Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2006-07

Arrival in Hong Kong

Yes, it was another of those strange days that started sometime during a flight, but who really knows exactly when?

(Link to flight log in side panel)

I had a very easy passage through the remarkably efficient Chek Lap Kok, going through immigration, collecting my luggage, going through Customs, buying an Octopus card and finding an ATM, all in what seemed like a matter of just a few minutes. In no time at all, I was sitting on board the Airport Express, speeding my way towards Kowloon. I changed onto one the little shuttle buses and it dropped me off not quite at the InterContinental, but near enough. I was shown to my room - a very nice junior suite with a wonderful harbour view - and was absolutely delighted with it.

After all that travelling, I took the opportunity to have a refreshing shower and change of clothes before doing anything else. With good timing, some complimentary Chinese tea arrived as a welcome gesture, and very nice it was too. As it was a nice day outside, I wanted to try and fit something in, rather than just say "I've arrived, so that's it". Once I'd got myself organised, I walked first to the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station to top up my Octopus card, then to the Star Ferry terminal, along the very familiar Salisbury Road. Although it wasn't perhaps the clearest of days, my objective was the Peak, which I hadn't been up at all on my previous visit. However rather than use the so-called Peak Tram (a funicular) favoured by most tourists, I decided to catch the No 15 bus instead. I think this would quite definitely make it into any round-up of the world's ten most spectacular bus journeys, if anyone ever had the inclination to compile such a thing. The start is deceptively ordinary, as the bus makes its way through the streets of the Admiralty and Wan Chai districts, but then it's a right turn and up all the way. The ride is not for the faint hearted, as the driver coaxes his tri-axle decker up the narrow and twisting road, with several sheer drops at the side to the skyscrapers below   Definitely fun provided you're not of a nervous disposition - and there does tend to be a bit of a scramble for the front seats upstairs.

When we reached the summit, I had a quick look around and took some photos in the fading daylight, before having an enjoyable early evening meal in the Café Deco, an old haunt of mine from several previous visits. The return journey gave me the opportunity to sample the whole thing again in darkness, the night views rivalling those to be had by day. Then it was back to the hotel for some well-deserved relaxation. Not a bad start to the first of my two stays in Hong Kong