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Notes about China
Hong Kong: What Can Be Seen in a Day?
As I already wrote, my initial plan to lodge in Hong Kong and to visit Macau for a day changed to opposite.
The next morning after an arrival to Macau I have laden myself on the Jetfoil and have left in east direction. This type of ferry is a hovercraft and moves rather quickly. Inside it is very wide. Every row has 12 seats. I sat on the place which unfortunately was not by a window. By a window there was a Chinese who behaved quite disgustingly: he closed the curtain and has fallen asleep. Only the most incorrigible optimist might call that curtain transparent; besides the window was covered with salt traces of sea water, so I could not fully enjoy the seaview. Nevertheless I have noticed that the Pearl River delta is rather crowded. However, for the first time I have made this conclusion twelve years ago, sailing here from Guangzhou to Hainan Island.
In an hour the ferry was moored at the Hong Kong terminal. The Chinese continued to sleep, and, having decided not to wake him up, I had felt myself revenged. The crowd of passengers has passed to the immigration control where it had broke on two unequal parts: residents and non-residents. The first are not any spies but permanent inhabitants of Hong Kong and Macau which show to the immigration officers identification cards. Though residents were more, but they had passed faster - there is no need to put stamps on ID cards.
Having left a building of the terminal, I found myself in Sheung Wan area of Victoria city. So officially called at British that part of a megacity which places on northern coast of Hong Kong island and faces the continent. By the way, Hong Kong in putonghua spells "Xianggang" and means "the fragrant harbour". The name Victoria is not in use now. Everyone calls the city Hong Kong, and the opposite continental part - Kowloon (putonghua: "Jiulong" - "nine dragons"). Everything that does not belong to Hong Kong island and Kowloon is called New Territories.
So, there was a multi-million city in front of me and only few hours to see it. It was reasonable to start excursion from the centre.
Certainly, I read all publications about Hong Kong that I could have earlier; watched Hong Kong action movies not for the sake of a plot but paying attention to environmental landscapes. Therefore I knew something about interesting places of a former colony.
Having arrived by the subway to Central, I saw the index to one sightseen - Star Ferry. It is a line between Central (on the island) and Tsim Sha Tsui (in Kowloon). There are some ferry lines in a megacity, but now they are used for excursional purposes mostly, because it is much faster to get from one coast to another by the subway or motor transport through the tunnel under the straits.
From Tsim Sha Tsui in northern direction there is a main street of Kowloon: Nathan Road. Its initial part carries the name of Golden Mile. It is the best-known shopping area of Hong Kong.
Returning back, I had taken advantage of free shuttle bus to the Star Ferry quay. As the second floor of the bus was without a roof, I managed to take some picturesque photos.
From the quay I went to Wanchai area by the bus. The bus is paid by coins - the passenger throws them into cashbox. Unlike Central, there are plenty of shops and less buildings of steel and glass in this area. They are very interestingly grouped: quarter of grocery shops is followed by quarter of building materials' shops and so on.
The general impression is: it appears, Hong Kong is much smaller, than it seemed to me earlier. Nathan Road which I thought like Changanjie of Peking (who saw, that will understand), appeared a rather narrow street. An island part - a narrow strip jammed between the sea and mountains which can be crossed on feet in five minutes.
The sun already shot with sunset beams along the streets of Hong Kong, and it was time to come back to small Asian Portugal. Going for last time by subway straight to the ferry terminal, I had bought the ticket and passed border control. To the moment of departure the sun for already disappeared, and Hong Kong has turned to a loose of lights along coasts of the straits. Brief acquaintance with attracting city was finished. Some time I come back again.
© Dmitry Alemasov
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