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Where the Past Meets the Present

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Hong Kong may be easiest city that I have ever had to navigate.  The subway is fast and efficient.  Free city maps are everywhere.  Roads signs are prominently placed and written in Chinese and English.  Every time we pulled out a map someone would walk up and ask if we needed help…in perfect English.  On nearly every corner a street sign would point out directions and distances to tourist attractions.

Thanks for the warning

Hong Kong Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is also a collision of opposites.  We grabbed an $11 beer on the 118thfloor of the Ritz Carlton and several blocks over found a hole in the wall bar with 75 cent beers.  We passed people bargaining for knock off luxury goods at a street market and others buying the real thing a few streets over.  Giant construction projects were being undertaken and bamboo scaffolding was holding up the workers.  Cheap food stalls lurked on every corner while pompous, high class restaurants lined the avenues.  One time we walked into the subway alongside a crowd of well-dressed businesspeople. Two ancient fishermen in rags joined the fray carrying their daily catch.  The fish stunk up the whole car and dripped profusely onto the ground but from what we could tell no one was even fazed.

Not sure about the fish balls

Nug at the Ritz Carlton

Bamboo Scaffolding

Goldfish Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to Hong Kong

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The first thing we noticed on our descent into Hong Kong was the skyline and the lights.  In the airport everything was so antiseptic and orderly.  We were shocked after a month in the chaotic and grubby worlds of Vietnam and Cambodia.  Even the taxis are color coded based on the area of town where they operate.  The full impact of the skyline unfolded as we rode our taxi to our destination of Tsim Sha Tsui (TST).

The Skyline

What?!?

“Look at how everyone stays in their own lane,” Nug commented as we zipped along.  It was a complete 180 degree from the free for all of the roads in SE Asia.  I nervously glanced at the meter as we crossed the $200 HKD mark on our fare.

Ouch!

Happy for the translation

Our driver braked as we approached a red light while inexplicably a taxi several cars in front of us gunned it through the intersection…and T-boned a motorbike.  It flipped and the passenger on the back flew across our line of vision a solid 20 yards.  The sound was wretched.  The motorbike driver got up and ran to the girl who was now sitting up stunned.  The bike lay in a crumpled heap on the ground and the back tire was still spinning.  Before we could move our light turned green and our taxi driver maneuvered around the bike and accelerated.  The fact that we had not seen a single wreck during our entire time in Vietnam or Cambodia sunk in at that moment.