Trip to Hong Kong 2006
All travel reports are translated electronically although minor improvements are sometimes made.
Trip to Hong Kong 2006
Travel: Kowloon – island of Hong Kong.
The border between China and Hong Kong
After reaching the border with HK, I passed border control and customs just as if I was entering another country, although I was still in China. On the Chinese side of course no one spoke English and everyone had very serious faces. On the Hong Kong side they spoke fluent English and people seemed to be relaxed. Then I drove through a large concrete wall and barbed wire, drove to the left side of the road and was already in Hong Kong.
China vs Hong Kong
Although it is practically already China, Hong Kong is said to be the cradle of freedom and capitalism and prosperity where every Chinese from its main part would like to get there. Mao and the communist government did not have their influence. Although it is now part of China, HK is separated from the rest of China, to which the Chinese need a very expensive visa. Me, as well as everyone I need a visa to China, but to HK can go for 3 months without a visa. As I mentioned HK is separated by a border and a large high wall and barbed wire. All of these protections are so that the Chinese from the main part could not get there.However, if they want to, they must pay most of their salary for a visa. I have read that despite the economic boom in China, many Chinese have wanted and still want to get to HK in search of a better life.This reminds me of the situation with East and West Germany before joining.
Last time I was here two years ago as I was flying from Hanoi in Vietnam I had a changeover in Hong Kong.At the time, however, I was not aware of border crossings as I left the airport without high tension barbed wire.
My trip around Hong Kong
Fight for the hotel
Hong Kong is visited by crowds of tourists every year and sometimes it is hard to find accommodation at a good price. The more that the season lasts practically all year.
The driver took us to Hong Kong island and there we started looking for a hostel. All the rooms were full but I found one after the strenuous search. We spent the first night in a nice double room but unfortunately expensive for our budget. There was a TV and only one program – with porn. I went out and saw the advert that they rented rooms also for hours. I think I found a room in the brothel but it was too late to change it. Besides it was nice, quiet, had a shower, a bed, four walls and a roof. Only then did we need it. On the same evening we went for a walk and it was very nice because we stayed in the center of the zoo where the lovely dachshunds were sold. The next morning we moved out to look for something cheaper. I decided that this time we will look on the side of Kowloon, where I lived two years ago. It was a bull’s-eye. On Nathan Road I found something flashy because there are plenty of hostels there. I was afraid that again everything would be occupied so we paid for two nights straight away. We got a small, very cheap room on the seventeenth floor. It was a nasty rat rat but for two nights it had to be good. The only good thing in my cheap hole was the ability to watch the eagles patrol the roofs of skyscrapers. On the other side was the nest with the young, so it was interesting.
Kowloon – Nathan Road and surroundings
That same evening we left not only because we could not stand the peace. I wanted to show Monica the beautiful HK, who I met here two years ago. First we broke through the crowded Nathan Road and the shock wave of sellers from India. Here you can see that HK is inhabited by people from all over the world.Nathan Road is the main street of Kowloon where shops are open 24 hours a day and where Indians try to sell watches and suits.
When I was there last time and I had enough questions whether I wanted a watch or a suit, I ran into a bearded Indian man and asked with a desperate voice: “Don’t you know where they sell watches and suits? I need 200 pieces. “ They got red of the impression but then they knew it was just a joke.
Nathan Road is the best way to experience the madness of shopping in this great city and try exotic dishes. Shops are open at all times and the night is almost as bright as the day, due to shopping lights and Chinese neon lights.
We spent the rest of the evening at night bazaars where we could eat some local delicacies. It was always loud and clear as in the day. I am referring here, among other things, to the night bazaar on Temple Street, though we went through a few others. For one, I could watch the smoked pigeons at the restaurant show.That evening we were also in the park at Nathan Road, but shortly after they threw us out at 11.
Being in Kowloon two years ago I also saw the Museum of Art and History. The first was mainly a display of Chinese paintings and ceramics, while the second museum depicted HK history from prehistoric times to its takeover by the PRC in 1997.
Chinese from China and Chinese from Hong Kong
I noticed that Chinese people in HK are very different from those in China. In HK cars stop at the lanes and pass passersby, while in China even the buses evacuate people in red light. In HK I did not see anyone poke and the waiters have clean aprons and give the bills. Unlike in China where they often write on a piece of paper how much you have to pay. In HK also, almost everyone speaks English which is a great convenience. I was speaking with one Chinese from HK who told us about China saying that society is slowly changing for the better and that there is a huge difference compared to how it was 10 years ago. He did not see anyone wearing colorful clothes there. Everyone was dressed in gray buro. He said they just need time.
Kowloon – the Avenue of Stars
The next day we went to the famous Avenue of Stars, although this place we visited many times. This is a street at the port, which is modeled and nothing less than this in Hollywood.
Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan have left their footprints in concrete. There are always a lot of visitors, movie memorials and many other interesting sculptures related to the film. It is still very time Bruce Lee. There are a lot of posters and a great monument in the fight against the “Dragon Entrance”. We took pictures with everything that was connected to him. Avenue of Stars is also the best viewpoint on the skyscrapers standing on the island of Hong Kong. In the evening all the buildings of the world’s largest banks (eg Bank of China, HSBC) and many others are very well and well lit. This panorama of skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island is famous worldwide and I think it was a model for this in Shanghai. In the evening from Kowloon there are a lot of photographers who offer two photos for 50HKD. I think these photos are necessary to remember your memories well.
The Avenue of Stars is also full of Indian-fortune-tellers who are looking for naive and try to pull on 20HKD. Next to this particular place is the Museum of Art, the Space Museum and the Clock Tower. Especially the latter object throws in the eye because it is high and leads to the street of palm trees. I think the Avenue of Stars is one of Hong Kong’s best attractions from the Kowloon side. I also think that you should come here in the day and after dark. Then the skyscraper panorama on Hong Kong is a completely different experience
Slowly walking along the Avenue of Stars, we reached the harbor to take the ferry from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island.
In 2004 I was in Hong Kong for Christmas and then the panorama of skyscrapers was even better lit than now. The same can be said about the island of HK, so I advise to come also for the holidays.
Ferry crossings from Kowloon to HK Island
Hong Kong is a very good metro that allows you to quickly get to almost every corner of the city. Metro is also under water so getting one island to another is not a problem. Despite all the modernity of HK, there is no better tourist destination related to transport than crossing Kowloon to HK Island on Star Ferry. The operation began in 1888 and is on four routes. The ferry is not luxurious but it has its own style. In less than 10 minutes you can get to the other side, along the way observe the “approaching” skyscrapers and waves.This is a short and enjoyable cruise that I highly recommend.
Hong Kong island
When we reached the other side, we looked around with our heads facing the skyscrapers, built in many different ways. It was from this island that the great British trade with China began, and here a great financial center was created, which is the world power. But I did not want to take the island of HK because it has so much more to offer. Relatively not a large part of the island is built. Most are still wild and green. Obviously not to be missed is the characteristic office building of the Bank of China, but around there are also noteworthy colonial squares and buildings with fountains. It is also possible to drive along the old, green tram on the street of shops and office buildings and visit Soho, a street of bars, pubs and restaurants.My taste was too expensive here. I recommend these to Kowloon because they are cheaper. We walked all the way in this way, inhaling the atmosphere of the city, which, although interesting, may prove very tiring for those who prefer silence.
Hong Kong Island – Victoria Peak
Walking on the island of HK, I started looking for a bus that would take us to the top of Victoria, one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. It is Hong Kong’s most famous observation point, allowing you to see the skyscrapers on HK Island and Kowloon with the Avenue of Stars. I specially chose the evening dress to see the HK light at night. We took the bus no. 15 and headed for the peak. We were able to get there by train too, but I preferred to take a bus this time because the train I did when I was here last time. The higher we were the views were more impressive. At first we were on par with the skyscrapers and then they appeared from the bottom as small, shining chalets. In the middle of the island of HK there is a big mountain, (at which point we were driving), and each degree is very well developed. Everywhere there are very high residential houses and villas, sometimes with pools on the ground floor or on the roofs. Most likely they live here the richest.
Victoria Peak is beautifully located and well maintained. It has changed a little since my last visit. There are even more shops and restaurants but above all in the middle of it was built a great, full of shops of course, a very high object. Standing in the long queue and getting to the top of the building took some time, but from the top you could see the beautiful panorama of the city. It was wonderful because the view was impressive. We were so high and below us are beautiful, full of colors and very high at night. On the way back we took the train to Monika also had and experience. At the bottom we took the ferry and sailed to Kowloon to lie down after an eventful day.
Hong Kong Island – Convention and Exhibition Center
Very special is the square and modern glass building of the above mentioned name. This building has the highest glass wall and has a profiled roof that looks like a kind of aircraft carrier. Hong Kong was taken over by the People’s Republic of China at midnight on June 30, 1997. In the square in front of the building are fluttering flags: Chinese and HK and there is a large sculpture, which is a symbol of this unique city. It is a statue representing the golden bauhina, a kind of orchid that was not found anywhere else in the world except Hong Kong. Around the world there are about 300 species of this species but the bauhinia blakeanaexists only here. Today the flower is also on the HK flag.
As for my personal impressions from this place, I think that the building itself did not like me because I prefer the old architecture. Despite this, it is still an important place to visit because of its historical significance.
Beach on Hong Kong island
The next day I wanted to go to Lantau Island to see the great Buddha but Monika convinced me to spend the whole day at the beach. It was nice to take a bath in the warm, clear sea again, but I preferred to see the great Buddha. The road itself was not boring as HK is very mountainous and we had beautiful views all the way. This time, however, not to the city a beautiful green mountains and the sea with a few hundred meters above it. It was beautiful and I also had the opportunity to get to know another part of HK that is quiet and very natural, not crowded and noisy from Nathan Road. We spent the day in the South China Sea and sat on a beautiful beach surrounded by a cliff. But it was worth coming here.
The same evening I ate dinner, which hurt my sauce and I was very sick all night. From then on, I had to take care of myself. But it was good in the morning. After arranging for further business trips and buying a new Chinese visa, we headed for the port. We took a quick boat to reach Makao, which means “little Portugal” in the south of China.
The summary of my trip in Hong Kong
Hong was beautiful and curious in every way. I have been here for the second time and I still have not seen everything I wanted. It is important to understand that this city does not consist only of the glorious panorama of skyscrapers, shopping on Nathan Road, the Avenue of Stars and the Victorian Peak. There are many more interesting places and attractive natural corners. I mean beaches, temples, reserves, mountain walking, zoos and one of the largest aquariums with coral reefs. I could exchange that long but the fact that being here for the second time I finally understand why a visa to HK is given up to three months.
Most tourists stay here for only a few days and every time it is a big mistake. Having already experienced in this particular city, I would advise to stay at a guest house on one island and to thoroughly explore everything we want and then to settle on other islands and explore new places in turn. I assure you that a month may be too short. The island of Lantau, with its huge Buddha is also worth recommending.
The next stage of my trip was a visit to the ‘Little Portugal’ – Macao.