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C2C’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 04 Nov 2008

Location: Hong Kong

MapIt is now almost time to leave Hong Kong and the luxury of a comfortable hotel bed and internet access so a quick update to accompany the photos we posted yesterday.
In what was going to be a slow pace, time adjustment few days we seem to have seen quite a bit of the city as well as travel to Macau. The weather has been overcast so the views have not been great but we have got a feel of the place. For an international business centre it is remarkably relaxed and accessible, both culturally and physically. The steep tram ride to the Peak was particularly interesting and we could imagine the colonials taking to the cooler heights in the summer. We enjoyed the atmosphere with a beer at 400m above sea level to help the imagination. Until 1880 the people were carried by sedan chair so the 1.4 m track sometimes rising to a gradient of 27 degrees and taking only about 5 minutes is certainly transport progress!
Our trip to Macau was redeemed by the totally incompetent guide Albert who succeeded in uniting the group with unintentional humour. Every instruction was about the logistics of the trip and very little about the 'point of interest' we were visiting (most of the 'facts' were not endorsed by Lonely Planet!), especially where the toilets were at each location and which ones not to use. We knew we had lost it when he pointed out a tower which was 'too high' at which point the whole coach collapsed in laughter - it actually was Tun Hai, or so I think he said.
So - impressions of Hong Kong? It's different - but not as alien as we'd expected. Expected more crowds, less order, more smells, better quality/cheaper Chinese food & better quality markets. Hadn't expected clean and efficient public transport system and clear, uncrowded roads.
Altogether worth doing - think 3 days were enough to get the flavour.