Day three and four, exploring Hong Kong Island
Now I am already the third day in Hong Kong. Why I’m here? The Hong Kong Tourism Board invited me! Now I will look around Hong Kong Island. (Deutsch hier)
Today, I and the other international participants of the Fam Trip to Hong Kong will be picked up by bus immediately after breakfast. Through one of the two tunnels, we drive from the Royal Pacific Hotel and Towers from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island. We are stuck in traffic for a while, but it is very limited for such a big city. Public transport in this huge metropolis is extremely well developed, organized and above all very cheap, so that the more than 7 million inhabitants of this Chinese Special Administrative Region really do not have to drive their own car. Pitches and parking garages are extremely rare and incredibly expensive.
The Peak Tram
Our first stop on the today’s sightseeing tour will take us to one of Hong Kong’s landmarks, the Peak Tram. The funicular railway opened in 1888 and leads to the 552-meter-high Victoria Peak. At the entrance are some showcases that tell of the “good old days” of the tram car and make the wait for the tram that comes every 8 minutes a little more entertaining.
We do not have to wait for long before we start. The best view you have on the right side, already by going up, the view over the Hong Kong skyline is impressive.
Arriving at the top station we have to climb a few more stairs, then we stand on the viewing platform.
What an overview, in front the huge city and the harbor, on the other side then the contemplative and green Aberdeen. What a contrast, which is also visible in the hazy sky.
Of course, a road leads up here, because people live here as well. I don´t want to know what such a plot or apartment would cost …
The bus picks us up and brings us quickly back into the swarm of cars and people. Here in the heart of the commercial center of Hong Kong Island, we will be served a typical dim sum lunch at Lin Heung Kui Restaurant.
Practically only locals eat these typical stuffed dumplings, which are steamed or fried and then served in a bamboo basket. We distribute ourselves at several round tables, with the rotatable table top in the middle. The omnipresent jasmine tea is already there and the many different dishes come in quick succession until our table almost bends under the load. We can hardly wait to try it out. Not everything suits my taste, but that doesn´t matter. There are enough other things to get up totally stuffed.
Everyone would probably like to doze off a bit on the bus, because the outside is very warm and the belly so full … but no, now we walk with several guides through the historical center of Hong Kong.
Through historical Hong Kong
Our first stop is in one of the small, quaint shops that are housed here on the lower floors of the old houses. It’s a small shop, the Craftissimo, with a tap for all kinds of beer in the world. Although I’m not a beer drinker, but the variety of funny beer bottles fascinates me already!
We continue and explore the Buddhist Man Mo Temple and the former tenements where the police lived with their families. Now the PMQ is a multi-level arts center, where many local artists have their studios and showrooms. If I had more time and especially space in my suitcase, I would have liked to buy one or the other here. Another reason to come back!
Then it’s fast back to the hotel. A quick change of clothes and back to Hong Kong Island for the grand opening of the annual Wine & Dine Festival. It takes place beneath the currently closed Ferris Wheel on the Star Ferry on Hong Kong Island.
Countless pavilions offer wine and delicacies from all over the world. Everything is brightly illuminated and shines in all colors. I like to tast a flashing cocktail. The variety of food and drinks offered makes the selection really difficult.
Dead tired, I fall in my bed after I have quickly packed the suitcase. Unfortunately tomorrow, late in the evening, the plane goes back home, but before that I have plenty of time to explore the city with the “Big Bus“.
Big Bus Tour
As elsewhere in the world, there are also the hop on Hof off buses, which are here divided into three lines.
Two lines travel on the Hong Kong Island side, one on the Kowloon side. The tickets are available for one and two days. Although I go on all three lines, there is only time to get off and explore the area twice.
I ride the Central Mid-Levels Escalator, an 800 m long escalator system and a sampan, a traditional boat in the harbor of Aberdeen. So if you want to go with the “big bus”, the 2-day ticket is recommended, only then you´ll have enough time to get on and off from time to time.
Unfortunately, it is time to say goodbye to this lively and cosmopolitan city. I know that one day I will come back, but I won´t wait 30 years again;-)