Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Some Hong Kong

We didn't stay here.

My kinda town!
The lovely view from The Frog Arms Hotel
Jackie Chan has big hands!

Click the pix for larger picture.
Long time no write. We went to the US for a family and loved ones visit. It was nice. The home country is much cleaner, and the nights are noticeably cooler. People stop at the lights, and there are just a whole lot fewer people.
We flew out of Hong Kong. We took a bus there and spent the night. Our fun filled evening was marred by torrential rains which managed to soak us in spite of umbrellas. We did have a great seafood meal in a crowded little place that was frequented by both locals and foreigners.
Hong Kong different in many significant ways from the mainland.
It's cleaner. People don't litter like they do in China, and debris is cleaned up from construction projects in a timely manner. It's also more orderly. There are no motorcycles on the sidewalks and in the crosswalks. There are actually few motorcycles. Horns are not constantly blaring.
They drive on the wrong side of the road, just like the British.
There are tons of non Chinese folks. There are lots of white folks, Africans, Indians and Pakistanis, especially in Kowloon. I saw my first Ninja suited Muslim woman there.
On our return trip we spent two nights there, since we arrived late at night. The next day we went to the Museum of Art which has a fine collection of Chinese art from all eras. I couldn't help but wonder how much was destroyed in the mainland during the Cultural Revolution.
We also went to the Hong Kong Avenue of the Stars, which is the tribute to all the great Hong Kong actors, and is along the water front.
Hong Kong is expensive compared to the rest of Southeast Asia, about what you would expect to spend in the US. After my budget trips to this city, I decided to upgrade a bit in the lodging. We stayed in two different places that had a similar price range, about twice as much as the backpacker/third world/cubbyhole that I stayed in before. Both were well worth the extra dough. One had a much larger room with free breakfast and a view of the crappy building across the street. The other had a small, but nice room with a great view of the bay and an expensive breakfast. It was French owned.
A Westerner who wants to travel in China might want to consider going to Hong Kong first. It's a good way to ease yourself into the Middle Kingdom. People speak English, they have English menus, rules are followed, and you can get pizza.