Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Hong Kong Day Three

Today was a chance to experience the Hong Kong bus system.  Buses seem to be very frequent, either that or I was lucky.  Having found my way to Central station, it was quite easy to find the express bus to Victoria Peak.  The journey was very scenic journey as we ascended into the lush green mountainous countryside of Hong Kong island.  What surprised me was no matter how high we went, we still couldn’t out-climb the tower blocks that jutted from the mountainside like tall lego creations poking through the trees..  I know space is at a premium but it felt like an intrusion into nature.  The same is true for the massive shopping plaza at the terminus nearly at the top of the Peak, though I was glad of its warmth and shelter as it was only about 7 degrees outside and raining.

The hour-long walk around the Peak was invigorating in the chilly morning air the view was very impressive even though a bit misty.  There was a lot of unusual flora and all along the way were  explanations as to what they were.  Quite a few of the plants were in flower, many had drops of rain dripping from their leaves.  My favourite, however, was the vast Indian Rubber tree that bent and shaded the path.  .

After a noodle lunch at the Peak, I caught the bus back to Central then took another  to Stanley, which is on the other side of Hong Kong Island.  It has a great covered market – lots of narrow streets with stalls that stretch back grouped around tiny streets, selling everything from trinkets, jewellery to silks, leather and clothes.  I was good and resisted the temptation to buy fat Buddahs and colourful dragons. I also had fun clambering over the golden coloured rocks - and no, I didn't slip.

On the way back I thought I’d see what the tram was like.  Definitely a step back in time to wooden seats and rickety wooden carriages – clanking and uncomfortable but worth experiencing once.  I even managed to get off at the right stop for my hotel.

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