Sunday, December 18, 2011

First night - To sleep, perchance to fall in front of a bus.

Unpacked, showered and changed into more comfortable clothes, I headed back out to investigate the area. Below was my first sight of the nighttime Hong Kong skyline, looking out from the small parking area adjoining the hotel.

The hotel at night.

These little shrines with burning incense are common outside homes and especially businesses. Some buildings have them built right into the corners. 

If I had to pick just one favorite thing in HK, it might be the Central to Mid-Levels Escalator, which was five minutes' walk down the street. It's a series of covered, outdoor escalators and walkways that goes down the mountainside from 6:00-10:30 a.m. and up from 10:30 to midnight. That's it on the right just below. Much more on it later.


Spell it backwards:

Signs are generally much more vivid and colorful in HK, especially for foot massage parlors.

Bamboo poles awaiting usage.

Always good advice:

A church of some sort.

Very close by were the famous nightlife areas of Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo ("South of Hollywood Road"). The general tenor of the area can be gleaned from the yellow sign below. That's 198 HK dollars, I hasten to add - roughly US$23 or $24. Lots of yuppies, especially Brits and Aussies, staggering around drunk with their co-workers and trying to pick each other up.

My explorations didn't last that long, though. I had slept only three or four hours on the plane in the approximately 48 hours since I'd gotten up for work on Thursday morning, and was about as tired as I've ever been in my life. I started nodding off standing up on street corners, and once for a split second while walking. Seriously. It suddenly occurred to me that this was dangerous, especially in a place with such narrow, traffic-choked streets. Then I got nervous because I was having trouble finding my way back to the hotel, as I couldn't get my brain to focus long enough to negotiate the maze of unfamiliar streets. I finally found the escalator again, though, and was very grateful for it as it carried me back up to bed.


  1. Wow, Michael, am amazed you managed to do and see so much on your first day in Hong Kong! Hope you enjoyed it all as much as I've been enjoying reading and looking at your blog entries thus far. :)

  2. Thanks, Y! Would you believe I thought I'd do a lot more? I thought I'd hit Tsimshatsui and the Peak on my first day, too. I mean, I had 17 hours or something to fill after landing, right? I really underestimated just how much time it takes to get around an unfamiliar foreign city (mainly because you get a little lost five times an hour). And also how tired I'd be.

  3. Hi again --

    My general rule of thumb when on holiday is to aim to get to three places I want to do in one day -- and these three can include one or two restaurants that I'd plan on having a leisurely meal at (as opposed to being just a convenient place to chomp down food at). This way, I stop myself from rushing and, instead, feel more liberty to pause and linger at a place I'm really enjoying visiting.

    I'll be interested as I read on about your Hong Kong trip to see if you kept up your first day's pace/schedule or slowed down... but do please don't slow down in terms of your postings! ;b