My winter 2018 trip to Asia. Day 3. Hong Kong, China

Earlier in the morning, I took the metro to Kowloon station. While preparing the trip I read about the Octopus card, it is easy an easy way to pay the metro and can be used in all kinds of stores. So, I got one and started my trip.

Hong Kong high speed station with tall buildings in the background. A few people walks around, as it is early in the morning.

Close to Kowloon station, you can find the high-speed train station. I went inside to get more information, as I had not yet decided how to travel to mainland China. To my surprise, the trains go directly to the Futian station in Shenzhen. While investigating online I just saw the entry points to mainland China, but I missed the existence of the direct train. As I already have a ticket booked from the Futian station, it will be good to visit it as soon as possible to get familiarized with it. I will purchase a ticket from Hong Kong to Futian. Non-residents can’t use the vending machines and I didn’t want to waist too much time. So, I will need to go to tomorrow to purchase a ticket.

To get to Tian Tan Buddha I take the red metro line to the last station in 
Lantau Island. From the metro station, there is a cable car that leaves you at the top of the mountain. When traveling around I like to visit the most popular touristic places, they are the most visited places for a reason.

Back into the metro to the city a tourist asked me for directions. I was happy to be able to help, as after two days I already had some knowledge of the metro map. Hong Kong station is named after the city, but it is just one of many stations in the Hong Kong metro system. That can be confusing for someone that wants to get to the city.

As they are situated side by side, back in the city, I visited Hong Kong’s History and Science museums. The museums are mostly designed for children and students. So, it was a quick visit.

One of the key exhibits at the History Museum is about the opium war as it’s a fundamental origin to the current Hong Kong cultural identity. History museums are a good way of creating a shared identity for the residents. The museum also has an interesting piece on the origin of public housing in the city.

On 25 December 1953, a major fire in Shek Kip Mei destroyed the makeshift homes of refugees from Mainland China, leaving more than 50,000 people homeless. After the fire, and facing a surge of immigrant population, then governor Alexander Grantham launched a public housing program to introduce the idea of “multi-storey building” for the immigrant population living there, thus commencing a programme of mass public housing, providing affordable homes for those on low incomes.

Public housing in Hong Kong, Wikipedia

 The “Gilded Glory: Chaozhou Woodcarving” special exhibition was very interesting and a good addition as a less child-focused exhibit.

The Science Museum dedicates some space to conscience young visitors about human activities and pollution impact on Earth. And it shows how technology is an interesting option as a career path. Both exhibits are very common in science museums all over the glove.