Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hello from Hong Kong

The view from Hong Kong peak is as spectacular as you might expect. Hong Kong radiants wealth and a dynamic energy as it enters the 21st Century.

It brings a bit of city envy - in London we had docks, now we have Docklands, but here there is a huge working port. London might have the longest underground railway in the world, but the MTR is air conditioned, has wireless coverage, and animated route maps showing the train location as a flashing light.

But after nearly 3 weeks away beginning to long for the cold wet streets on old London town. But have a presentation to give in the New Territories tomorrow, so time for a short stop over sight seeing.

The island whose handover in 1997 marked the formal end of the British Empire, with Britannia sailing off into the South China Seas as the heavens opened and the rain came poring down, was won under the most inglorious of ways.

Its hard imagine now the circumstances that led 19th Century Britain to go to war with China in order to have the right to sell heroin, but they did, and not only did the gunboats succeed but also they gained this superb harbour into the bargain.

But the city has moved on, English is spoken much less (taxi drivers and restaurant menus have both proved a problem) and the city is most definitely part of China.

So anyhow took the tram to the top:

... and took a Star Ferry across the harbour:


Greg and Kris said...

Love Hong Kong. I don't know that I'd want to live there for too long, but it's fantastic to visit, I think. I'm trying to get a time to take my wife over. It's been twenty years since I've been back. Wow, did I just say that? I must be really old.

JP said...

Its a great place to visit but I agree not sure how I'd feel about a long stay.

(p.s. had a similar thing about Canberra: when I first visited the Parliament building hadn't been finished which means it again must have been 20 years ago!)