Hong Kong, I Think I Love You
Having escaped the visa place just after 10am - and with relatively little hassle or agro - I headed out to explore Hong Kong city.
Ludicrously impressive, never-ending skyscrapers get smothered by little white clouds as helicopters land on nearby rooftops all around. Trying not to get too dazzled by it all, I caught a ferry (for just HK$2, or 16p!) across the harbour. This is an essential way to admire the contrasting financial district’s mighty power with the tranquil calm of Victoria Harbour’s aqua blue waters below.
Everywhere you look here the world’s most high-end brands are firmly planted all around; temptations are provided by Dior, Armani, Rolex, Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss to name check a few… there’s certainly some serious fundage around here.
I spotted a rooftop restaurant with a terrace, called Prince, and - reminding myself it’s 5 o’clock somewhere in the world - I ordered a cool San Miguel and sat outside soaking up the sun to await my sushi breakfast.
A quick trip on the metro and I’m heading for them there hills. Travelling in style like never before, this whole city is soooo James Bond-esque. My first ever cable-car ride will be tough to top. All 5.7km of the journey is a heady mix of jaw(s)-dropping beauty and breath-taking scenery, overlooking not one but two national parks with the South China Sea as an idyllic backdrop. The whole thing is an incredible feat of engineering and it enables tourists to get a birds-eye view of the most picturesque aspects of this wonderful city.
When you arrive near the statue of the Big Buddha, you're greeted by a traditional-ish Chinese village called Ngong Ping. After walking through there and past the Twelve Divine Generals (linked with certain forms of Buddhism, including Japanese), you find yourself at the foot of the gigantic Big Buddha stairway. After the tiring climb, I claimed my free ice-cream and sat in awe at the foot of the immense statue. I practiced a little meditation in the Big Buddha’s shadow before returning back to the base camp to chill.
Just after sunset I ventured back out for the reportedly over-hyped Symphony of Lights show. I found an exquisitely transparent lounge and restaurant called Aqua, situated on the 29th floor of one of the buildings, just opposite the action centre.
Even before the 8pm show time, skyscrapers glow up prettier than rainbows. As the show starts lasers sparkle and lights glow, bouncing from building to building. For me, the show wasn’t so wow, but the views in general are all so simply stunning I really didn’t mind.
After a few over-priced beers I discovered that Hong Kong McDonalds sell Sausage & Egg McMuffin meals 24 hours a day! Result! Today was a very good day.
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