Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hong Kong and Shenzhen day 2

After loading up on the best breakfast I've had in a loooong time at the Holiday Inn, we headed off to the border of China and Hong Kong.

The view down one of Shenzhen's streets.

Shenzhen itself was interesting with its differences and similarities to Guangzhou - it was less developed in some regards, yet it was nice seeing a city that wasn't scrambling to renovate itself due to the impending Asian Games.

Chinese immigration lines for departing the mainland, or "The downside of traveling during a Chinese 3 day holiday..."

 This is the part where you literally walk across the border, over the water.

The MTR train that heads from the border to the populated areas of Hong Kong; it goes to 2 different border crossings with Shenzhen - this is at the larger of the two, at the East end of the city. The trip from Shenzhen itself is $40.8 HKD, or about $5.26 USD.

The MTR in the more populated was...crowded.

One of the first noticeable differences as we arrived: the double decker buses and trolleys. These are referred to as "the trams" of Hong Kong - double decker rail cars, essentially.

Our first location was roughly the northern center of Hong Kong island itself - we exited around Admiralty and just started wandering around on foot.

By the entrance to the cable car to head up to the peak - this is where we decided we were going to hike up there ourselves; possibly the best / worst idea ever (leaning toward best, of course!).

The cable car path. Jeez, that gets steep. Everybody else taking this path seemed to be wearing more appropriate athletic clothing...hmm.


Starting to get really good views, however.

Like I said, the views kept getting better and better.

...except when I looked ahead.

 I'm not actually sure at what point of the hike I took this picture...

Believe it or not, this is a public restroom on the path up to the peak. Something that was also present yet outside of this shot was a working fan on the ceiling.

Almost there...

The top of the peak, ahead!

The famous Peak Tower.

I literally just expected the tower to be up here; I had no idea there were so many residences.

Now THAT'S how you hike the peak...

The peak tower was $25 HKD ($3.22 USD) to gain access to the roof; we passed since we had a good enough view for free. I did pick up a brownie for $14 HKD ($1.80 USD) since I was starving, however! There were a ton of shops and restaurants around the peak for relatively reasonable prices (translation: normal prices but at a really good location, so I was impressed).

I had to take the standard tourist picture!

Someone vandalized this sign in a very subtle way that changed the meaning entirely...I laughed.

We started wandering around the roads nearby since we weren't quite ready to head all the way down.

A taxi having a hard time making this turn.

On example of a residence up here.

Kind of a steep driveway...

Hi kitty!

The view toward the southern end of the island - toward Repulse Bay, Deepwater Bay, etc...

I'm not really sure why I took this picture. Oh well, enjoy!

The weather was messing with the lighting for my pictures...

We somehow ended up back to the tourist areas by the Peak Tower. I ended up just getting a McDonalds meal for a pretty reasonable price, and because I wanted to see the differences between mainland McDonalds and Hong Kong McDonalds; there were only tiny differences.

A crepe place that actually had really reasonable prices, especially given the location. What you see here ran somewhere around $26-30 HKD, or roughly $3.30-3.80 USD.

I spotted wildlife in a tree on the way back down the peak.

This was so random that I had to take a picture.

 Steep grade...

Josh didn't pay attention to the guy with the Michigan shirt until after he passed by since he sees them all the time back home, but then remembered where he was; I thought it was funny, too.

We followed signs that kept pointing us toward some kind of "escalator" that I assumed had to be pretty long for there to be signs directing you to it. Well, there was an escalator...but what the signs failed to mention was that it only goes UP...

It was a really cool walk, nonetheless.

Back near the North side of the island, toward the main shopping areas, we came across this scene. We asked a few of the women what was going on, and I guess they were all workers at shops just trying to kill time until their next shifts; they didn't really have a designated area to wait and I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume their residences were way too far away.

We passed by this place on our walk and came across these people:

Since we get asked to take pictures with random people in Guangzhou, we figured we would do the same here in Hong Kong!

After some Google searching, I found out they were the cast of the Cantonese version of The Taming of the Shrew. Who knew?

$26,825 USD, roughly. I'm not really sure if that's high or low for that car.

Entering the Causeway Bay area. 

I ended up getting some octopus on a stick covered in some kind of sauce for $7 HKD (<$ 1 USD).

It was kind of interesting to see public protests / demonstrations again. I won't give out specifics about this picture since I'm still residing on the mainland. To say it's a sensitive subject with the PRC is a bit of an understatement...

Inside Victoria Park - a really fantastic park.

Tons of people enjoying the grassy areas - there were a lot of people from Indonesia and the Philippines - it felt like a ton of them spoke really great English.

Club Edwin.

We saw this guy get on the MTR back to Shenzhen with a girl and laughed at his shirt. He gave us a look like he was thinking "what are they laughing at...?"

We asked him if he knew what his shirt meant, but he didn't really speak English. The girl he was with spoke really great English, but the English word "orgy" wasn't in her vocabulary.

She asked us what it meant, so we explained and everybody got a good laugh. The guy seemed pretty okay with it after she explained it to him in Cantonese!

Day 3's post coming soon...


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