A Travellerspoint blog

Images of Hong Kong

We've been in Hong Kong a few weeks now and really enjoying it. It is a big city and there is a lot to see and do so its nice to have over a month to take it slow instead of rushing around. It also gives us a chance to see a little more what its like to live here and not just see it as a tourist. Figuring out the transit systems, going grocery shopping, finding places for laundry, haircuts, and miscellaneous supplies. Which can be challenging because these places can often be on the third floor of some random building somewhere, never seen from the street. So its not a matter of just walking around until you find what you are looking for. Luckily, with Lynette's wonderful abilities and experience in the research industry she has been awesome at finding everything we need so far online.

Lynette also has this passion for figuring out maps and transit systems and city layouts. I unfortunately am lacking this particular passion. And when she is looking for something she's got a one track mind, with an ability to block out all other sensory input until she finds the place. So I know to just leave her alone when her radar is in high gear. And as she is navigating us through the city to find the destinations I'm aimlessly looking around and taking pictues of hundreds of things that strike my fancy. As she is reading the street signs I am looking at the interesting design of the street signs. I'm constantly thinking, "Wow that looks cool" or "Ooh, I might need that as a reference for a design someday" or "I bet the folks at home would be interested in that when we get back." So I end up having thousands of photos. Some of which I may someday think, "Why the heck did I photograph that?" But I figure its better to have too many photos than not enough. I will probably never be in these places again. Lynette and I will be walking down the street and I will say "Wow, hold on Lynette." and I'll stop to look up and photograph something. And Lynette will kindly wait for me even though she is thinking "Does he really need ANOTHER photgraph of a rickety old bamboo scaffolding?" or "Doesn't he have enough shots of blank rusty billboards?" I don't know, some things just look cool to me. But we understand eachother and our own personal passions. That's one of the reasons we make good travel buddies.

One of the things I like to photograph which might seem strange is people doing mundane things. Like sitting on a subway. I think its good to have shots of people doing everyday things and not just of skyscrapers and landmarks and things. The tricky part is trying to get these shots without people seeing you and possibly being offended. I'll casually position the camera down at my waist like I'm just holding it and will snap the photo. Pretty simple in a case like this:
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I turned off the sound the camera used to make when a photo was snapped which made it silent. But there was still this little red light that would go on whenever I focus on something which brought attention to me. Such as was the case with this guy. He doesn't look too happy. I've since figured out how to also turn off the red light. Now I'm in complete stealth mode.
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The subway system here is state of the art. Its really fast and easy to figure out. The subways are crowded but the trains are running all the time and never late so you always easily get to where you are going. Another form of transporation that is huge here oddly enough is the escalator. They are everywhere. No doubt because the city is in the middle of the hills. They even have the longest escalator in the world outside in the middle of the city. Its covered from the rain so this is a main form of transportation for daily commuters to get to and from work. It sure is a thigh saver let me tell you.
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Right now the country is Olympics crazy. I didn't figure this would be the case until mainland China, but its pretty big here as well.

An Olympic countdown clock in the subway:
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They've developed these really cute Olympics characters that are everywhere.
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There was even a small Olympics street carnival the other night right outside our place. They had a street set up with some dancers and walk around characters and a couple tents set up with free carnival games where we won a couple Olympics souvenirs.

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And we each got our official 2008 Olympics temporary tattoos!
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The sky scrapers here are lit up to the hilt. The electric bills must be off the charts. And they also have countless amazing neon signs throughout the streets. Here's some shots for Tim and the guys back at WDI. Go graphics department!

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The other night we went across the river to watch the nightly city lights show. The city looks pretty amazing before the show even starts as you can see here. But then as the music starts the lights on the buildings start to flash and dance in sinc with the music. Prety cool.

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A few shots from around the city:

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I thought it was cool how the sunlight bounces off the glass buldings creating some neat effects on others.
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This building is a big mall.
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They are pretty germ careful here. In many public places they have these signs posted informing that they disinfect the place every hour, such as with this library elevator button.
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A few times we've been walking around the city we've caught sight of this guy who walks around dressed as Batman. I could not resist getting a photo with the superhero.
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There are so many people here. Its maddenning just trying to walk around the city streets. Constantly having to bob and weave to get around the hords. And good luck trying to get a table at lunch time. We walked around for a long time the other day trying to find a place to sit down and eat. But the lines were really long and the tables all full. We finally found a KFC and while I was in line to order the buildings power went out (which is not common here as it has been in previous countries.) So we had to continue our search for lunch. HK_city_crowd.jpg
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We visited a Buddhist temple where they have tons of spiral incense hanging from the ceiling. Its a pretty cool sight. Each one lasts for 10 days. There are trays underneath them to catch the falling ashes as well as signs to watch out. I'd hate to look up and get a burning cinder in the eye.
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These pigs were not in the temple. I just put it here at random. Thought they were cute.
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We still have not visited Hong Kong Disneyland which I'm really looking forward to doing, but we have made it over to the the Hong Kong OceanPark which is an amusement park with a few rollercoasters and such. You actually ride more escalators than anything because the park is built into the hillside. You take about 3 slow escalators to get up to each level where there's one or two rides. I thought it sure was a good way to build excitement for the next ride.

Hard to get a photo alone with so many people.
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Unfortunately the one big coaster was out of commission. The one that was running was just okay from a ride standpoint, but just the view from it alone was awesome.
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There were two animals I wanted to get to see while on this trip. One was the koala which we were fortunate to get to see in Australia. The other was the panda. So when we heard that OceanPark had some pandas I had to go. And it was a pretty cool experience. They were so cute. Here's a few photos. I love the way the one on the left is reclined back while he's eating the bamboo.

Here they are talking about which one of them has eaten the most bamboo today:
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All they do is eat, poo and sleep....eat, poo and sleep. And we got to see them do all three!

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Lynette and a baby seal. (Not a real one) Her sister Kirstine should appreciate this one.
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We got to see the movie Kung Fu panda recently which is big here. We really enjoyed it. So we thought it was cool to see these photo-ops at the OceanPark.

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With all the heights we've been experiencing I'm actually getting over my vertigo and extreme fear of heights. I would not have been able to ride this ferris wheel without freaking out before the trip. Now it was a piece of cake.

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They had some pretty neat "streetmosphere" characters (as we call it in the biz.)
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Except for this one:
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The park is divided into to parks which are not within walking distance of eachother. We were surprised how far apart they actually were. You had to take this amazing cable car ride across the hillside to get there. It was a great ride with some great views of the ocean. And again, not afraid of the heights!
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A few days ago we went up to the viewing tower on one of the hills behind the city. The view was breathtaking.

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Another movie we've just seen here is the new Batman Flick. Pretty awesome. If you haven't seen it I recommend you go. I don't think its a spoiler, but one of the things we thought was really cool about the movie is that in it Batman goes to Hong Kong. And what made it even more surreal was that Batman even jumps off the very skyscraper that the theater is inside where we were watching the movie. Its the tallest building on the left in the photo above. And there were a few other spots around town we recognized in the movie. Pretty neat. The weird thing about the movie was that it was at 10:00 AM. I've never before had to set my alarm clock to see a movie. Now I can say I have. Movies are pretty expensive here but the early ones are cheaper.

-Dave

Posted by schuckley 23:42

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The only thing I have time to write at this point is the first thought that came to mind--Amazing!

Stay safe. Know we're enjoying the blogs and photos! Love you to both, Melissa

by sthrngrace

It's that farm girl experience (Grandpa saying "It's in the Northeast corner" stuff) that Lynette is using to find things. Dave keep up the odd ball pics. Those are some of the ones you'll treasure most. Also, keep telling yourself you're over the fear of heights..some day you're mind will believe you. ;o)
If you could, bring me back on of those pandas. What a treat to get great shots. The only time I've seen them they were sleeping. So you're lucky to have seen all 3! Keep having a great time. You're time is going fast so make sure to stop,take a minute and let it sink in. What a ride! Safe travels you two. Love, Angie and Family

by aprochaz

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