January 27th, 2002


what I did in Hong Kong, part I.

What I did on my winter vacation, part I
by moof, age 29 and a half

I got in about 7am, was waved by Customs, and took the train into town. On the train ride in, one of the things you notice is "there's a lot of hills" - and then "there's a damn lot of high-rise public housing in pink concrete". The subway system there is nicely laid out, with signs in English and Chinese. Most of the cab drivers speak a little english (enough to know what street you're talking about), but the phrase "ni dao" - "right here" is damn handy to know.

Most of what I did for the first couple of days involves eating and walking around and lots and lots of hills. Hong Kong Island is amazingly hilly (and as a consequence it's not completely concrete - there's a bunch of greenery in the non-build-up-able sections.) As far as eating goes, it's generally pretty tasty, but damn expensive. You're lucky if you can get lunch for under $10, and dinner for under $20. (McDonald's, on the other hand, is absurdly cheap for some reason.)

The Central skyline is damn impressive. An awful lot of tall buildings, and most of them are reasonably well designed and not ugly. A bunch of them are lit up at night and look even better then. HK in general is really really well lit up at night, so that while it still looks dingy and dirty, it's not dark and gloomy.

It can be quite difficult to get one's bearings, though - most of the commercial sections of town look very similar to each other, and the residential sections are almost always high-rises that aren't terribly distinctive. If you were plunked down at random in HK or Kowloon, it might take quite a while to figure out where you were.

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