Victoria Peaks – Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a popular stop over for international flights, and we made it to our hotel in Kowloon a little past tea time.
The temperature was a modest 16 degrees. Which was a refreshing change from the 43 degrees experienced in Alice Springs earlier. The 30 minutes taxi ride to the hotel gave a great view of the city lit up at night, made more interesting with the city lights blending with the fog giving a Bokeh effect. Then something made me say Wow!, the glow of lights from the suspension bridge (Tsing Ma). Unfortunately my iPhone didn’t do justice to the view as we drove at speed over the bridge. Next time I will try to be more prepared!
My memories of Hong Kong are foggy. Not that I don’t remember, it literally remained foggy from arrival to leaving. But that didn’t detract from the sites/views and experiences gained whilst travelling this island.
I found that food and drinks reasonably priced, and it had a safe feel to walking around the city, that said…
Walking into the shopping district, prepare to be hassled every 10 – 15 feet by Indian street sellers, pushing fake Rolex watches, suits and other pieces of tourist tat.
Personally I found it annoying, they can clearly see you say “NO!” to the previous 16 sellers, but they are very persistent, in the end I turned round and headed back to the hotel for sanctuary.
The city has a dense population, therefore you can not move anywhere without bumping in to people. If you are claustrophobic, you may easily find it too much. If crowd’s is your thing though , then there are many sights and sounds to unlock from this great city.
There wasn’t much time to explore, so here’s a brief run down of what we saw (not in any particular order) I’ll cover more in future blog entries:-
Avenue of Stars – It’s Hong Kong’s Equivalent of Hollywood’s walk of fame. There are many Asian actors with their hand prints and names along the walk way. My favourite was the statue of Bruce Lee, many other names unfortunately I wasn’t too familiar with.
Dynasty Jewellery – If you pick up a tour with this included, I’d give it a swerve, it’s just a sales pitch to try and buy some Jade and other jewellery at hiked p
rices. You do see some of the jewellery being made, and they do give you a talk and some modest hospitality.
Jumbo Floating Restaurant – This looked interesting, it’s huge and we found it during the Sampan ride.
Sampan Ride – Costs about HK$10 for a ride, which interestingly you only pay before you dock in port. So the old guy takes you round to see the views of Hong Kong on the Sampan, but ensures payment as he won’t dock until everyone pays cash. Quite funny really, and worth the trip.
Stanley Market – Visited this during the day when quite tired, so rather than view the market, we enjoyed refreshments at a nearby cafe!
Symphony of Lights – This starts about 8pm
every evening, and the lasers are on each of the companies sky scrapers around the harbour, it’s better to do you research as to the best vantage points, it lasted about 10 minutes whilst there, and the fog obscured many of the effects, so make sure you’re close to a bar 🙂
Victoria Peaks – We arrived by bus to the first vantage point and you’re already a way up the peak. Some amazing views, and you can go higher, into the shopping centre there’s a series of escalators which will take you all but the last level. The last level costs about HK$30, though my memory is a bit hazy, and for this you go out on top of the building to get some amazing panoramic 360 degree views of Hong Kong. It’s here where the photo was taken. The amazing thing is, it’s the highest the general public can go, looking around the peak, you could go significantly higher if you lived in the colonial home etc.
Victoria Peaks Tram – Once you’ve finished breathing in the sights, what better way to get down the peak than via the tram! This journey is packed so be prepared for seated and standing.
There’s a lot to see in Hong Kong, you need more than a couple of days to cover much ground, and you can get a train to take you straight to Beijing, there are monastery’s, Markets, Entertainment, Peaks of Lantau etc, however I was disappointed that I didn’t see any Junk’s in the harbour. Apparently they are a rare sight these days.