12.12.2010 - 16.12.2010 26 °C
We got here!
With very numb bums and family relations just about in tact, we came up Nathan Road on Monday night at about 5.0pm, with a lovely taxi driver who had to dial up for interpretation of our request for the 'Novotel Kowloon'.
Hong Kong is eye popping in almost every respect, and a of bit jet lag gives it an extra spin. It has the most skyscrapers, the biggest docks, the most crowded streets, the most designer shops, the most escalators (and the most money!) I've ever seen in one place. It is very varied too, in a very small area. Kowloon is lots of bustling crowded streets, small shops, smells (both nice and noxious - 'Hong Pong' as christened by my future Sun headline writers) – its where the workers shop. Hong Kong island is air-conditioned, sleek buildings,street upon street full of glamorous designer shops and business people.
In one day obviously we could only scratch the surface; we walked down Nathan Road in Kowloon, took the Star Ferry to HK island and the Peak Tram up to Victoria park to get the best views of the breathtaking harbour location. We stopped off on the way back in beautiful Hong Kong park at a pristine children's playground on five levels. We didn't see the giant Buddha, the Man Mo temple or the Jade market, all of which I wish we'd had time for.
It did give us a little taste of China - the British influence although clearly here is much less dominant than I expected. I didn't feel any sense of an overpowering state either, though, just a prosperous city in a great location making the most of all its connections. People were friendly and very accepting of our complete lack of language skills - English was definitely not universally spoken, but we got by. I would like to come back and do the place justice - one for retirement I think.
We breezed through Melbourne airport and arrived in Launceston today. I think we will be OK here so long as we don't ask for a split bill - I'll explain later!
P, C, J and S x