Hong Kong, December 9th
Asia trip 2018-2019
Hong Kong is a easy navigable city. I am able to move around without much trouble thanks to how compact the city is, how good is the public transport and the big amount of signage that help you to locate important landmarks.
A poster with signs written in English and Chinese. The three pink signs point to touristic spots like St. John's Church. The three blue signs point to transport stations like Central Station.
As I wake up early, I decide to go to the Peak Tram again. I get to the station before 8 A.M. It is almost empty. When the groups of tourists arrive the queue is going to be discouraging. So, I buy a combined ticket to the Sky Terrace and the tram and get in. This time the views don’t disappoint. The day is not perfectly clear. But I can see far away and get a good grasp of the shape and size of the city.
The next spot to visit is the Chi Lin Nunnery. To get there, I take the red line and change to the green line at Mong Kok station. The metro system is expertly designed. The onboard panel shows that at Mong Kok you can change directly from the red line to the green line direction Diamond Hill without changing platform. A kick jump from train to train and I’m on my way.
Chi Lin Nunnery and the Nan Lian Garden are worth visiting. Rebuild in the 90s, the place is beautifully designed and the green plants, blue water and the song of the birds will make you forget the fast pace of the city. Chi Lin Nunnery main entrance door. A wooden structure with small trees at the sides. In the background there is some modern tall buildings.
From Chi Lin Nunnery I started to walk towards the next metro station. I didn’t have any concrete goal beyond to see some non-touristic places. I pass by a neighborhood with very tall buildings, like everywhere in Hong Kong, and families with kids are all around the place. It’s Sunday. This is not part of the touristic destinations but the everyday life of the neighborhood residents.
As I get close to the metro station, there is a long line of people close to a temple. I decide to investigate it. The place is Wong Tai Sin Temple, a very well known and touristic place that I missed when looking places to visit. People touch the bronze statues looking for good luck. I follow the crowd of people and do some of the same rituals. The temple is filled with smoke of burning incense.
Next stop is the Hung Hum Promenade. From the harbor is easy to get a good view of the city. Helicopters are crossing from Hong Kong island to the harbor on a regular basis. It’s a high-end commercial area. Similar crowds to the ones in the temple can be seen around. Crowds are similar in numbers. But people here wear posh clothes and plastic bags with their purchases.
Finally, I get to the Civic Center. Still in the harbor area, but a very different atmosphere. I get distracted by the different artisan shops with a variety of products. It’s not as crowded as other places. From there I got to the Garden of Stars, were I just recognized a few actors’ names, on my way to the Tsim Sha Tsui metro station.
I have been able to see everything I had planned for Hong Kong. There is a lot more to see. But, for me that’s it. I have a ticket for the high speed train for tomorrow. I will leave in the morning.