longitude/latitude

a travel blog of my trip throughout Southeast Asia

On my last day in HK I visited the Tian Tan Buddha which is a large bronze statue. It is located on Lantau Island and is near the Po Lin Monastery. It represents the relationship between man and nature, people and religion. This Buddha was completed in 1993. It is near the second highest peak in HK. I had to take a tram (white knuckles the whole  time) to get there. It is worth a visit on a nice day and there are other things to see and do on Lantau Island.

I stayed at the Kimberly Hotel for my last few nights in HK. It was a nice middle of the road option and had everything I could need and was in a convenient location. One day I got a late start to the day and I was checking out the hotel’s restaurant when the Head Chef approached me and began to explain that the buffet was the most cost effective option. I wanted to tell him he was preaching to the choir. Instead I just agreed with him and acted like this was a new concept to me. I agreed to eat the buffet but it wouldn’t be ready for another 20 minutes. During those 20 minutes the Chef showed me around the buffet and what was available. In HK they are very interested in eating for health. This is also evident in all of the health shops that are in HK that promote using herbs and things like shark fin soup to cure ailments. As the Chef gave me a tour he explained that women wanted to eat salmon for the Omega 3 factor which was good for their skin. The buffet was okay (shark fin soup isn’t worth killing a shark for), but the Chef’s hospitality was incredible. He presented me with his business card when I left and I promised to visit him the next time I was in HK. It’s a promise that I intend to keep.

It’s amazing what you’ll bond with when you have no travel companions. I found myself looking at buildings differently and taking my time with them. Looking at them as art rather than four walls that provided shelter so that I could perform some everyday task in them. I came across the Hong Kong Cultural Centre after the light show was over. I people watched as people  took a break outside from the performance they were watching. As the people started streaming back into the building I found myself alone again and I took the last shot, which is my favorite. It’s of the area above the entrance to the building.

HK is incredibly clean and it makes you well aware that it is clean and that you should also hold yourself to that standard and wash your hands or wear a mask if you are sick.I believe this cleanliness stems for instances like when SARS hit Asia in the Spring of 2003. I stumbled upon the SARS memorial In HK Park and for a moment remembered SARS as just another media hyped disease but from visiting the memorial I remembered the very real fear that the world felt from the disease. It’s amazing how news which was once so terrifying becomes so far from your mind as time travels. The memorial pays tribute to the people who helped HK and the world end SARS from spreading.

This is a photo that I found in a  thrift shop in NYC. On the back of it it says “Hong Kong”. View high resolution

This is a photo that I found in a  thrift shop in NYC. On the back of it it says “Hong Kong”.

Tourist of the day. A man who believes that there is no such thing as “non-shorts weather”. View high resolution

Tourist of the day. A man who believes that there is no such thing as “non-shorts weather”.

The signs of HK. Signal Signs would make a FORTUNE here. View high resolution

The signs of HK. Signal Signs would make a FORTUNE here.

The Central-Mid-levels escalators are part of what developed the Soho district in Hong Kong. 55,000 people use these escalators daily! The escalators run 2,600 ft and consists of 20 individual escalators and 3 walkways. From 6 am - 10 am it runs downhill and from 10:30 to midnight it runs uphill. Along the escalators are restaurants, bars and shops. I stopped in a bar and people watched people coming home from work, it was a great scene!

I was a bit lost and I saw this graffiti on the stairs and decided to walk up them and take a photo of them. Once I got to the top I continued to the street behind them and found that I was exactly where I had been looking for! I was in Soho in HK. Soho has a massive escalator (more on that in a moment) that assists people in climbing the steep hills that remind me of San Fran. Before the escalator was built (1993) Soho was made of antique shops and a fairly quiet place. Now it is a vibrant area with lots of shops and bars and restaurants. 

I ended up buying a beautiful necklace at a shop in Soho. It was a great place to wander around and grab a drink and window shop.

In almost every city I went to there was an opportunity to climb up its highest hill and look down at the city/town below it. Hong Kong was no different. I waited online for the the Peak Tram that took me to the top of Victoria Peak.

The tram was incredible and what was most incredible was that it was built in 1888. A forward thinking developer built it so that they could develop Victoria Peak. The peak is 5 degrees colder than the city of HK so a lot of the wealthy people wanted to live on the peak and it is still a very wealthy area.

In my opinion The Peak tram is not for the faint of heart. A woman sitting next to me who was in her mid 70s marveled at the tram. Then as soon as it started to ascend towards the top, at what felt like a 90 degree angle, she began to tell her husband how it just didn’t feel natural and could this really hold all the people and make it up the steep hill? I was with her, amen sister, it was one of those moments where you just have to trust that someone who knew what they were doing designed it and someone who knows what they’re doing still checks up on it every now and then.

Once you’re up on the top, about an 8 minute journey, you are delivered to a mini mall which has places to have a coffee, lunch or shopping. You can also go to various levels and see the city below you. The Peak is the #1 tourist destination for a reason — it truly is beautiful on a clear day.

The Peninsula hotel is beautiful inside. There is an area in the lobby where you can have afternoon tea and there is a string quartet that serenades you from above. The lobby was built in 1928 and up until the 1950s the lobby was divided into east and west wings — the British would occupy one side and everyone else would be on the other side. The lobby is worth a stop in if you are nearby. View high resolution

The Peninsula hotel is beautiful inside. There is an area in the lobby where you can have afternoon tea and there is a string quartet that serenades you from above. The lobby was built in 1928 and up until the 1950s the lobby was divided into east and west wings — the British would occupy one side and everyone else would be on the other side. The lobby is worth a stop in if you are nearby.

This is a picture of a boat that was waiting in the harbor for the light show to begin.

During the light show many people were looking across the harbor but the building behind us was also part of the light show.

This is a statue that is at the start of the Avenue of Stars in HK. It celebrates the stars of HK cinema. I always think it’s funny to visit cities that you think will be very different from what you’re used to and find a replica of things such as the Hollywood Walk of Stars. I guess some ideas are just too good to not replicate. View high resolution

This is a statue that is at the start of the Avenue of Stars in HK. It celebrates the stars of HK cinema. I always think it’s funny to visit cities that you think will be very different from what you’re used to and find a replica of things such as the Hollywood Walk of Stars. I guess some ideas are just too good to not replicate.

HK def. has the craziest food that i’ve seen thus far on my trip. This is most likely due to its close proximity to Mainland China.  I wish I had a partner in crime on this leg of the trip because it’d be a lot easier to eat things if it was a dare. Also, it’d be nice to know that there was someone to run to the drug store if I needed some medicine. Above are some photos of things I’ve eaten. Nothing too out there.

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