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And here is Hong Kong

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It has been several years since I visited Hong Kong, but the memories of how beautiful and vivacious this city is have remained with me. I'd really love to return.

Hong Kong boasts a fascinating mix of natural beauty, stunning harbour views and enormous skyscrapers which stand as metaphors for its financial power. This creates a pleasing jumble of modern and ancient cultures, natural and manmade wonders that can really take your breath away. Add to the mix the powerful Asian currents which are blended with Hong Kong's British colonial past, and the whole city-state becomes a fascinating, cosmopolitan mosaic. (Can you tell? I loved Hong Kong!)

A huge highlight for me was riding the Peak Tram -- which is Hong Kong's oldest means of public transit -- up to the top of Victoria Peak and its break-taking views of the city, which ripples over numerous sharp hills to eventually reach down to its harbours. (And for some reason, I found it a particular thrill to actually view the South China Sea -- I find that name so romantic!) Since I didn't buy a digital camera until a year ago, and can't scan my old snapshots, all of these photos are from TripAdvisor. The first photo is the view from the Peak!

Of course, I was in Hong Kong on business, so touring time was limited. A few colleagues had suits made in their free time; I tramped around to see as much of Hong Kong as possible!

Another highlight of this trip was a late-night jaunt a group of us made across an enormous harbour in an ancient (and very rough) junk to have dinner on Lantau Island. (The second photo above is a view from the water of the city skyline) Lantau is the largest island in the Hong Kong district, mountainous and very green.

One of my colleagues, who had been posted as a reporter in China for several years, knew the island well and had chartered a boat for our group of journalists to travel there. Of course, I and a few others wound up working late, literally missed the chartered boat and had to make our own way across the harbour. The three of us approached an elderly man with his tiny boat and hired him for the trip. As we rocketed across the water, we all tried to ignore the incredible amount of trash floating in the water and instead focus on the stunning night skyline of Hong Kong.

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Finally, a few TA photos of my hotel (since I can't scan my own.) (The above photo is of the lobby) I can highly recommend the Island Shangri-La Hotel, a 5-star in the centre of Hong Kong. I've stayed in several Shangri-La hotels across China, but I think this was the very best of this hotel chain.

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My room had a similar view to this (just above) and I thought I could get very used to such a sight!

Comments (12)

Very cool! That's an exotic place for a business trip (the most "exotic" place I've ever gone for work was Texas and while it was like going to another country, it's not Hong Kong!)

It's very scenic there, more than I would have expected. One of the regular Photo Hunter bloggers lives there, and I've enjoyed seeing her photos too.

Great post! And Happy Friday!

Dear lord - you get around! You should do that 'places I have visited' meme. I bet you've been to over half of them.

Oh wow - I'd love to go there! :)

sandrac:

Annie, Hong Kong is so exotic, I was beside myself with excitement the entire time I was there. It was just about this time of year, too, so the break from cold Canada added to the bliss. (And I imagine Texas would feel like a whole different country, I'd love to see it sometime.)

Jerry, when you say I "get around" just what are you implying? :)

Leslie, from Australia, it probably isn't horrribly far, I hope you are able to visit Hong Kong sometime.

cubbies:

Sandra, I'm delighted that you loved Hong Kong. I lived and taught there for 3 years (1968-71). We have visited several times since but not since the "handover" to China in 1997.

It's refreshing to get impressions from a first time visitor rather than the inevitable comparisons to "the old days" from my compadres.

The Peak Tram was always a favorite of mine, too.

dana:

You are so well-traveled and I'm so enjoying reading these.. Can't wait to see where's next!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, great post! I loved your wonderful description of the city and of your adventures! :)Maybe one day I shall have the pleasure of visiting there myself.

Thanks for this great post! Have a great Valentine's day!

sandrac:

Cubbies, I'm so very envious of you -- living in HK must have been fascinating! When I was there, the handover was still prominent in people's minds (although I was dealing with legislators and businespeople who might have a different view than the rest of the population.) There were still a lot of concerns about how much and how quickly Beijing's presence would be felt.

Dana, thank you -- maybe I should talk about Bejing? I was only there a week, but it was pretty cool (not nearly as much fun as Hong Kong, however!)

Thanks Kathy -- I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well.

Palma:

I was going to write, "You sure get around", but then I see that my twin beat me to it!
You have had some amazing and wonderful travel experiences!

I went to Hong Kong in 1985. Didn't know you have been there. I loved it! I went with friends who knew someone getting married there. It was a perfect way to visit as the bride's family took us around. I even bought a jade bracelet from her mom's local jeweler. Unfortunately it cracked years later while I was playing volleyball. It was fun reading this post. Nice memories for me. We stayed at the Holiday Inn. Wonderful hotel also. Did you use the bathroom at the Star Ferry? Not sure if it has changed, but it was a trough filled with...well you can imagine. Disgusting! My friend and I took turns going first into the bathroom after that. We had a star rating system going.

sandrac:

Thanks, Palma -- I have been lucky! (and you wouldn't believe the shopping there!)

Girasoli, OMG -- I'm so glad I didn't use the ferry! That bathroom sounds disgusting....although bouncing across the harbour in the little junk was a bit wild. One of the men I was with (who has several children) kept pointing out useful facts such as the utter lack of life jackets. I just figured that, like Venice, if you fell into that water you wouldn't want to survive!

I'm glad to hear that, Star Ferry washroom aside, you loved Hong Kong. I'm always watching for big seat sales, so I could some day return!

Eden:

WOW, I am impressed at how well-traveled you are! I have not been to HongKong. It is only a 2.5 hour by air from the Philippines so I am not sure why I did not venture out that way. I hope you get to go back soon.

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