Greetings from Kowloon, Hong Kong

I’m in Hong Kong, arrived last night from Shanghai. Hong Kong, from what I’ve seen so far is pretty much awesome. It feels a lot like Tokyo, but spread over rolling hills and mountains. I’m staying at my cousin’s place in the Mid-Levels, and walking around there feels like you’re on the worst hills of San Francsico. It’s that hilly.

Last night, I took the Airport Express from HKD to Central and a cab from there to their appartment and promptly passed out. This morning, I walked down from the Mid-Levels to Central. That’s a feat on its own — the sidewalks come and go, disappearing at random locations, and othertimes suplanted by strange circular staircases. Getting from the mountain down to sea level is a feat. I walked through Central, around Deux Vougex Road, Cogunaught [sic] Road and took the tram from one side to the other. The buildings and skyscrapers of Hong Kong are fantastic. From I. M. Pei’s Bank of China building, to the crazy Norman Foster HSBC Building, to the graceful IFC Tower, everything is on that skyline. I decided to take the Star Ferry across the harbor so I could take in the full skyline and once I ended up in Kowloon, I ended up staying here.

The Star Ferry building itself leaves a little to be desired, esp. considering how well it’s spoken off. But the ride (only HKD 2.20 on the top deck) is fantastic and gives you a great view of the HK Island skyline. Once in Kowloon, I walked up Nathan Road and took some time in Kowloon Park, and ended up on some of the side streets in the area, such as Saigon Street, Nanking Street, among others. Oh, of course. I went and checked out the Peninsula Hotel. It’s just as beautiful and timeless as I imagined it to be. As you talk in to the round about for the valet, their fleet of Rolls-Royces stand as guardians. I even saw one ease its way out with some very large American looking guy in the back seat.

I’m going to head there again this afternoon for tea, but now I need to get some lunch. There’s a Spanish place up the street, where I think tapas sound plenty good now that it’s started to rain.