Hong Kong, December 8th
Asia trip 2018-2019

Early in the morning, I take 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.

Close to Kowloon station, you find West Kowloon Station that gives access to the high-speed train. I went inside to get get a better idea of how it looks. To my surprise, there are trains that go directly to Futian station in Shenzhen. I had seen online several entry points to main-land China from Hong Kong but I was not aware that it was possible to go directly by high-speed train. Once in Shenzhen, I will depart from Futian, so it makes it easier to buy tickets to there also. But non-residents can’t use the vending machines and I didn’t want to waste too much time. So, I will need to come back tomorrow to purchase a ticket.

To get to Tian Tan Buddha I take the red metro line to the last station: 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 visit Hong Kong’s History and Science museums. Even that I find a few interesting exhibits, the museums are mostly designed for children and students. So, it is 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.

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

"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

Travel planning, museums, monuments and walking in a mountain, it has been a quite complete day.