I’ve just had a great trip to Hong Kong, my first there, and only my second ever to Asia.  Hong Kong is a very lively city, and fairly compact for its size, as it is hemmed in by steep mountains.  The central part of the city, on Hong Kong Island, is built on the side of a hill.  Streets uphill are frequently replaced by stairs.  Clearly, the harbor was the important feature in the selection of this location by the British back in the nineteenth century.  The city continues to be bi-lingual, with a large foreign population – it takes seven years, I learned, to become a permanent resident.  And there are enough foreigners to support quite a few coffee shops, a feature I appreciated in the mornings, though I enjoy Chinese tea the rest of the day.

It was grey when we arrived, a result of the typhoons in the area.  This was convenient for one coming from a colder climate.

From the Star Ferry

From the Star Ferry

Gradually the weather warmed and the sun came out, providing an opportunity to enjoy the view from Victoria Peak.  Across the harbor is Kowloon, another part of the city, which is a peninsula of the mainland.

View from the Peak

View from the Peak

The look back at the peak, from a 42nd floor hotel room, shows how close the green landscape is, where it gets too steep to build.

Southern view from hotel

Southern view from hotel, morning sun

A half hour bus or taxi ride takes one around the hills and down to the south side of the island, where there are villages with nice beaches and houses which seem far away from the city high rises.  More of that in another post.

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