Chuck Hillig's Travel Blog

Well, I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling over the next 6-7 months so I thought that I'd better re-activate my travel blog. The last time I posted anything here was way back in 2006 when I was traveling through SE Asia. Feel free to read my entries back then about my earlier adventures through India,Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines and Hong Kong. This time (at least for the next six weeks), I'll be traveling through Greece and Turkey.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A room with a view...

Steve and Lorraine have graciously allowed me to stay with them during my remaining days in Hong Kong. They live with their daughter, Alexa, on the 43rd floor of a luxurious apartment building in Kowloon that's about six blocks from the water. Their apartment looks south across the half a mile of water that separates Kowloon from Hong Kong Island. Like the other rooms in the apartment, the bedroom where I am staying has an unobstructed view that is truly breathtaking. For those of you familiar with the area, we're directly across from the Convention Center on HK Island and about halfway between the two piers where the well-known Star Ferry has operated since 1888 between Kowloon and the Island. Across the water and to the right, we can see Victoria Peak and the tram. In the harbor below, there is always boat traffic with ships of every size (including the Star Ferry, of course) providing an ever-changing kaleidescope of activity out on the water. At night, the lights in the buildings across the water transform the entire panorama into something almost mystical and other-worldly...particularly if there's fog or low-lying clouds.
Yesterday, Steve and I went to see "The Omen" which turned out to be a re-make of the original 70's film with Gregory Peck. Not too bad, if you like that sort of thing. Last night, I took the Star ferry across the harbor to meet up with Cedrick in Wan Chai. This tourist/ex-pat area of the city, (filled with bars, pole-dancers, restaurants, bistros, etc.) became well-known as the backdrop of an old movie with William Holden called "The World of Susie Wong." Cedrick and I went to Joe Bananas, a popular hangout for ex-pats and watched a bit of the World Cup with Peri, one of his co-workers. Frankly, after traveling in southeast Asia for the past three months, I had not seen so many westerners gathered in one place. As you might expect on a Friday night, the HK "working girls" were out in full force in Wan Chai. Cedrick had to email some information that evening to Gino so he and Peri went on home around 11 P.M. while I continued to drift around until after midnight to sample more of the colorful ambiance of this fascinating area. The Star ferry stops working that late, so I took the MTR (subway) back to Lorraine's place. Like it is in Tokyo, the subway system in Hong Kong is clearly marked with directions/instructions in both Chinese and English. Consequently, it's very easy to travel through the maze of inter-connecting subway lines with a minimum of concern. Everything is very clean, bright and entirely safe. The crime rate in HK is amazingly quite low...especially considering that there are about 8 miliion people living here. The Triads, however, seem to exert a lot of control over the local businesses and even pressure the local merchants to pay protection money. Another oddity: although HK is a thoroughly modern city, they still use the traditional bamboo scaffolding in order to erect and maintain their high-rise buildings. After dinner tonight, we're all going to visit the Temple Street night market which is famous for offering a wide selection of very inexpensive items displayed for the shoppers in a maze of stalls. Cedrick and I are still planning to take a boat over to Macau tomorrow and Alexa is leaving for Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday. The weather in HK remains hot and humid. More later...


Anonymous blacksun said...

so you wish to meet me
are you ready?

4:30 PM  
Anonymous blacksun said...

you are doomed

4:35 PM  

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