That’s what it feels like - a sauna, which is not at all grammatical but when it’s 80% humidity outside that is the way it feels. I’m loving Hong Kong and its people but their weather - not so much. I really don’t know why I actually bother showering in the morning because 5 minutes after I leave the hotel I feel as if I have just stepped out the shower. My advice to anyone who wants to visit Hong Kong is: do it before or after August / September. All the travel info I read told me about the temperatures; none mentioned the humidity. It’s been between 29-34 degrees since I arrived and that includes evening and night time. I could just about cope with that if it was a dry heat. It’s not.
Enough of that, onward ever onward. I spent most of the day either in an air conditioned bus or subway walkway for the reasons mentioned above. I did venture out from time to time but had to retreat back when it got too much. The plus side of that is that I have seen a huge amount of Hong Kong. The bus and subway covered the centre and another bus took me out to Stanley and Aberdeen harbour. I wouldn’t be a bus driver in Hong Kong if you paid me. You are either negotiating very busy crowded streets between other buses, trams cars etc or very busy, very very steep narrow streets crowded with cars and people.
Anyway I saw where the handover of Hong Kong took place. It’s commemorated with a big golden lily since that is the symbol for Hong Kong Kong. It looked quite cheap and nasty to me but everyone’s taste is different.
The shop keepers here seem to be very organised. If you’re redecorating your home go to Johnstone St, Fashion Walk does what the title says, Hennesey St gets you electronic goods and any mall will sell you Gucci, Breitling etc. Designer goods really matter. I don’t think I have ever seen so many designer bags hanging from folks’ arms anywhere. As you go up the Peak the shops become smaller and often far more expensive. Hollywood Rd is just one antique or art gallery after another but the roads that go vertically between are crowded with little shops selling food,stalls selling anything at all, homes and people.
It’s also around this area that you are liable to see homes or buildings from the 19 /20th century sitting cheek by jowl with modern buildings. I know that the same can be said for home but the contrast between the earlier Chinese styles buildings and the last 60 odd years where any cultural influences in actual building has gone is marked. However most of the buildings under construction are are covered in bamboo scaffolding which didn’t look at all substantial to me but it’s good feng shui and that is what is important.
My trip out to Stanley and Aberdeen was interesting as the bus followed the coastline closely and as you know I am not the world’s greatest traveller on windy roads. Think Arran roads crowded with traffic in very hot weather and you’ll get some of the picture. I (and the rest of the bus) was only saved by the traffic jams. Anyway we did eventually arrive Aberdeen harbour for our sampan ride. This is where the Tanka people still live on their junks. I think that they are probably the Chinese equivalent of our Gypsy/Travellers. The harbour is really a sight to be seen. In the midst of some very expensive boats sit all these wee junks. Some of which look as if they have been plying the water for a long while and others look as if they are the harbour tips. Not sure that I would want some of them for neighbours. Apparently the government has been trying to rehouse them ashore for the last 10 years or so but the majority are declining to be moved.
In the midst of it all sits a huge floating restaurant which is apparently one of “the” places to eat. I wasn’t persuaded.
I finished the day off by another trip over to Kowloon to eat and to see the Light show which happens every night at 8pm in Hong Kong, but you have to see it from Kowloon. All the financial buildings, most of the hotels and quite a few boats are involved and it is some sight. Every electronic geegaw that could assist in making this eye catching is used.