Hong Kong Highlights

There are so many things to do in Hong Kong. One of them is to catch up with new technology and I visited the Golden Shopping Centre in Sham Shui Po to see what would be on offer. Located diagonally opposite exit C2 from the MTR station,the basement and first floor of this nondescript building are jammed full of little shops that sell all kinds of computer equipment. Most shops are about as big as a bathroom and each is jammed full of stuff. Most of it is the same, so the choice is whether to buy from the pretty girl in one store or the nerdy looking guy wearing heavy framed glasses in another. I couldn’t find anything really creative – no USB powered breathalysers, for example,  or Google glasses, but I did buy a large external hard drive and some new SD cards for my camera.

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The fog has cleared slightly over the last day and it has been worth spending some time at some of the lookout points around the city. Every night at 8.00 pm, the city puts on a spectacular light show. About twenty buildings along the harbour take part and as music is played from the PA system along the harbour, various light displays are lit up on the buildings. Some change colour, others have moving patterns and some have laser lights beaming from their rooftops.The show lasts for 15 minutes and is the sort of attraction that you could watch many times and still not get bored. I wandered down to the street and across the road via the underpass and then I had to walk a couple of hundred metres along the harbour front until I could find a position to setup my camera. This is obviously a popular spectacle as in some places, the crowds were three or four people deep.

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We also found some exceptional views from the observation floor of the ICC building, the tallest building in Hong Kong. I think that it is around the 6th tallest building in the world. The observation floor is almost 400 metres high and provides for 360 degree views of Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsular. We could easily identify the runway of the old (disused) airport and It provided a good reminder of just how close it was to the city. I can remember landing there a couple of times and you could look right out of the windows into the buildings as you came down. The ICC building is located a little to the west of the main area of Kowloon. It is 109 floors high and underground, there are three floors of designer shops and a railway station. We see a large difference between the stations here and those at home. They are much more modern and generally include a large shopping mall. Some of the ones, especially those in the business districts that have been established for some years, still look as though they are brand new. They are spotlessly clean, shiny and not one speck of graffiti!

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Yesterday, we visited an area at Shau Kei Wan which is located towards the eastern end of Hong Kong Island. After riding on the Star Ferry to Central, we took the Island Line of the MTR for 11 stations. In the early days of Hong Kong, this area was a fishing village and there are a number of old temples which are now over 150 years old. These house various deities representing the gods of the sea and in true Chinese fashion, these are decorated in bright red colours. Large spirals of incense burn from the ceilings and there are many intricate carvings and decorations.

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This area is well out of the tourist domain and is a residential area for many of the local people. We came across a number of surprises. In this street in the photo (below), we found a little curry restaurant that had been awarded one MIchellan Star. It seemed very much out of place, but it just shows that when you take the time to look, you come across interesting things. A little further along the road, the local panel beating company was operating on the street, repairing a Porsche and an Audi. It did have quite a sophisticated spray booth in a shop front around the size of a one car garage. Further along, we found a business selling outboard motors next to a quite western looking coffee shop and further down the street was seven story building housing a large secondary school.

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Near the tram terminus was a little market and various shops selling different  kinds of foods. It must be reassuring for the local people to read the sign said that the meat on sale at the butchers comes from a government authorised slaughterhouse. The next door shop selling ducks may not have needed such a sign. All the fruit and vegetables in the street market looked very fresh.

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One comment

  1. Pamela Saunders · ·

    3 cheers for public transport and foot power for exploring cities and towns. I enjoy your writing Bruce..