Saturday, 9 April 2011

Hong Kong - Ferry passage

One of the things recommended to me to try when I made it to Hong Kong, was the ferry. This was actually one of the cheapest, more enjoyable things I did there. It was something like 2.5 Hong Kong dollars to take it from one side of the water, to the other.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Ferry - 01 - Ferry terminal

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Ferry - 02 - Ferry departing

There was too much smog for my liking, it kind of ruined the view of Hong Kong in general.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Ferry - 03 - Smokey bay

Lots of passing boats.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Ferry - 04 - Passing boats

The destination terminal, a nice brief ten minute ride away.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Ferry - 05 - Destination terminal

The ferry from the destination terminal departing before ours arrived.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Ferry - 06 - Departing ferry

Much more enjoyable than the subway - and cheaper!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Hong Kong - The Peak

Another tourist attraction that I decided to see in Hong Kong, is The Peak. Basically you go to the tram stop at the bottom of the hill, buy a return ticket, wait in line and then ride the tram up the hill.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 01 - Tram station

I arrived just after it opened, where the queue was about this long. It was a much better time to arrive than when I left, where the queues were huge. Life's too short to queue :-)

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 02 - Approaching tram

It's expensive to enjoy yourself in the tram.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 03 - Pricey warnings

But you can always enjoy the heady view.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 04 - Heady view

Then when you reach the top, you enter the bottom of this building. At that point, if you've paid the premium fee you can go out onto the roof and get a better view.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 05 - The Peak

Greenery at a confusing angle.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 06 - Peak view

The city with a nice natural healthy haze.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 07 - Peak view

A path through the bush. This looked quite appealing. Next time I am going to go up the hill, clog my arteries with one of the many junk foods sold there.. and then go for a nice healthy walk.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 08 - Peak view

A view of the tram tracks up the hill, where I arrived from.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 09 - Peak view

The other side of the hill.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 10 - Peak view

The plaza at the top of the hill, and the mall on the other side of it.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 11 - Peak plaza

The help center is an old tram.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 12 - Peak plaza help center

Not sure if the wording was wrong, or my English is not to good. But something about this seemed Engrish-like.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 13 - Rude rubbish bins

Some runners came down the track over the hill. Wish I could be doing that myself, but the health wasn't too good.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 14 - Runners

This path goes back down the way I came. I walked down it for half an hour until I realised it didn't go down, but round the hill. So I walked back up..

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 15 - Walking path

.. and took the tram down. Oh well.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - The Peak - 16 - Tram

Worth it? No idea. Beats sitting in a hotel room :-)

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Street vendor disappearances

Last week, I was talking to a coworker who lives in the same complex as me how the street vendors had all disappeared. Today I came off the metro to see no street vendors, but lots of people standing around. One of the street vendors had her cooked goods and cooking paraphernalia on the ground, but no cart. Then suddenly a horde of policemen descended on her and took some of her paraphernalia.

2011-04-07 - Sights - Street vendor clearance

In the picture above, you can see steam rising off the "sweet potato and corn cart" which all the policemen are gathered around (waiting for it to cool?). And on the back of the truck, you can see the "unremarkable omelette cart" waiting to be taken away. I wonder why the police do this.. street food is one of the many enjoyable things that make Shanghai and I imagine China in general a great place to live.

Hong Kong - Miscellaneous pictures

One of the things I liked about this part of Hong Kong, were the pedestrian overpasses that you could take to get around. It beats waiting at traffic light pedestrian crossings, and makes for a more enjoyable tourist experience.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Miscellaneia - 01 - Pedestrian overpass

Near the ferry terminal, the main pedestrian overpass that goes right into this part of Hong Kong has this construction going on underneath it. What's going on? A new metro line? Some huge building? Beats me.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Miscellaneia - 02 - Waterside construction

Further up the hill, there's a park. And I took a photo of it. Which I'm posting here. There's plenty of parks in Hong Kong, which is quite nice if you want to sit down and have a rest.

2011-02-26 - Hong Kong - Miscellaneia - 03 - Some park

Vegetable pancake street food

The number of street vendors at my subway stop almost doubled, both in the morning and evening. They included this vegetable pancake type deal. Quite tasty. Cost 2.5 RMB for one.

2011-03-10 - Street food - 01 - Pancake omelette thing

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Hong Kong - Avenue of Stars

One of the tourist attractions five minutes walk from my hotel, was the Avenue of Stars. It's basically a strip of pavement on the waterside, with concrete "stars" featuring names of people mostly unknown to me.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Star walk - 01 - View from above

It wasn't so busy at this point in time.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Star walk - 02 - Sidewalk

Here's Jackie Chan's star. It's very hard to get a photo of a star without the shadow of someone else looming over it.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Star walk - 03 - Jackie Chan

Take for instance this clown, who is characteristic of the problem. A stream of people wander from star to star, putting their foot on it and taking a picture.. or god forbid, a movie of their foot on it. To me, it looks like a sad attempt to establish a remote dominance over whomever the star belongs to. But someone I asked back in Shanghai told me, that it's more like a "I am here thing." In any case, this clown stood there for several minutes videoing the intricacies of his foot on a lump of concrete with Jackie Chan's name on it.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Star walk - 04 - Lets stand on Jackie Chan

There's a few statues along the avenue, one of Bruce Lee I think, and this of.. I am not quite sure.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Star walk - 07 - Some tarty statue

There's a free night time light show. I wasn't too well, but sitting in a hotel room is hard to bear, when you're in a different and interesting foreign country. So I headed out and took a gander.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Star walk - 05 - Night time

The actual light show is.. hmm.. how to put it positively. A restrained affair that takes care to be subtle and not to excite anyone much. If it wasn't free, I would have asked for my money back :-)

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Star walk - 06 - Evening light show

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Hong Kong - Triple-O's

Travelling by subway is kind of soulless, so I tended to travel by ferry from the side of Hong Kong where my hotel was, to the side where the visa office was. Walking around the area near the ferry terminal, I came across this place. It's hard to find a decent burger in Shanghai, so I decided to try one here.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Triple-Os - 01 - Storefront

I didn't actually look at the menu on the outside, the one inside was kind of confusing. Otherwise I would have tried something more interesting.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Triple-Os - 02 - Outside menu

Seeing the menu offered the option to add extras like eggs, I decided to New Zealand it up, and added a fried egg. All they needed was the option for pickled beetroot and pineapple slices and it would have been even better.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Triple-Os - 04 - Burger

The burger was pretty lacklustre, but this was on the table. It looked a lot more promising, but I wasn't hungry so decided to come back.

2011-02-25 - Hong Kong - Triple-Os - 03 - Table thingie

On the day I was leaving Hong Kong, I came off the ferry and gave it another shot while waiting for the visa office hours where I could pick up my newly work visaified passport. This was actually pretty lacklustre also. Never again, this place.

2011-02-28 - Hong Kong - Triple-Os - 05 - Poutine

Monday, 4 April 2011

Hong Kong - Visa Trip

In order to get a working visa, I had to leave China and get it in another country. Hong Kong is the closest most convenient place, so it's where everyone goes. Airplane food on the way over.

2011-02-25 - China Eastern - 01 - Airline food

My hotel was the Ramada on the right. Pay per view porn channel pamphlets on the table beside the bed, pay per view porn advertisements on the television when I turned it on. Definitely a bit different from China, where that shit does not fly. The restaurant in the center offered homestyle heavy carb-laden meals.

2011-02-28 - Some cafe - 03 - Storefront

A closer look.

2011-02-28 - Some cafe - 02 - Storefront

Bought a meal there. Unfortunately, most of their meals seemed rather stodgy, but the value was pretty good for Hong Kong.

2011-02-25 - Some cafe - 04 - Some meal

Their coffee. This came free with the meal. Too bad it had milk in it, why do people do that to their coffee? What do I care, I don't drink coffee anymore anyway.

2011-02-25 - Some cafe - 01 - Coffee

Free wireless internet in Hong Kong was hard to find, Macdonalds was the easiest place to find it. Decided to get breakfast there one day.

2011-02-26 - McDonalds - 01 - Hotcakes breakfast

How can a business sell slop that looks like this?

2011-02-26 - McDonalds - 02 - Hotcakes breakfast

Thankfully, I found another cafe underneath Macdonalds which had better coffee and unlimited free wireless, not the half hour affair they had at McD's.

2011-02-26 - Another cafe - 01 - Coffee

Decided to splurge out and try the apple pie. Tasted mostly like nutmeg or cinnamon. Not very appealing.

2011-02-26 - Another cafe - 02 - Apple pie

Went back for breakfast another day. The eggs were still raw on top, with raw whites.. ewww. And the rest was a token endeavour, got about six beans.

2011-02-27 - Another cafe - 03 - Breakfast

A shot of the visa office. I waited a bit before I went in. It was a pretty painless affair.

2011-02-28 - Hong Kong - 01 - Visa Office

Can't wait till next year, although I think I will go to Outback Steakhouse everyday, not just once..