Hong Kong streetcars

I love streetcars.  There’s something amazing about sailing smoothly through the downtown core of a city.  Hong Kong has great system of double-deck streetcars that provide a great opportunity to see life on the busy streets.

The cars are built mostly of teak and steel, and look like they’re completely indestructible.  Here’s the view from the back of one of the cars.

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Two cranks turn a fabric scroll that’s lit from behind to show the destination on the outside of the train.

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Even the controls look amazing.  Throttle on the left, brake handle on he right.  I’m not sure what the giant wheels do.  I started chatting with the driver and was surprised when he said that the of the carriage is from the 1920s, and the engine and controls is from the 1980s.  Absolutely amazing.

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Hong Kong above and below

I landed in Hong Kong for an overnight stay.  The moment I looked out the window of my hotel room, I knew I had to get out and start exploring.

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I’ve been to Hong Kong a number of times.  Each time, I’m reminded of why it’s one of my favourite cities.  There’s just so much going on, yet at the same time the city works in a very civilized fashion.

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China Fashion: fun at Lan Kwai Fong

One of my favourite places to hang out in Hong Kong (among many) is at Beirut Cafe in Lan Kwai Fong. They have the best hummus in this part of Asia, and the people watching is incredibly amusing.

The matchy-matchy is strong with this couple:

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But, this couple takes was the winner of the night’s matchy-matchy showdown:

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I think this couple was pretty stylish. I just liked how the shot turned out.

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Audio players you don’t find at Radio Shack

Does Radio Shack exist anymore? Either way, I doubt they carry the highest quality panasonic mono AM/FM receivers and pocket cassette recorders. At least, I hope not.

I’m not sure how this store stays in business, although it’s possible I’m underestimating the size of the niche market for low quality audio enthusiasts.

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Hotel reception

I stayed at a Traders hotel in Hong Kong which was very funky. The lighting at the reception desk caught my eye.

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Reflections on a Hong Kong taxi

I love the taxis in Hong Kong. They’re old Toyota Crowns and giant. It’s the only car in the world where I have legroom to spare. I was riding on a streetcar when this reflection caught my eye out the window.

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One night in Hong Kong

What do you do when you only have one night in Hong Kong?

First, go to Mong Kok and buy a new camera backpack.

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Stop for a drink at the bar at the top of the Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon, then take the Star Ferry back to the Island.

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Next, eat glorious food. I think I was so distracted by the food that I didn’t take any photos. In this case, we stopped at one of my favourite restaurants. It’s a little bar called Bacar which is on the Mid-level Escalators. When you’re going up hill, it’s at the the bottom of the one short escalator that goes down. Their tapas and thin crust pizzas are absolutely delicious.

After a short walk, stumble upon a huge street-party in Lan Kwai Fong.

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Find a patio seat in a bar and watch people dance in the street.

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Top it off by randomly running into Ultimate players.

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Not bad for a Sunday night. Not bad at all.

Hong Kong Panorama

I took the shots for this panorma and have never had any time to do anything with them. With 15 hours of flying time I have plenty of opportunity. I’m not overly impressed, but then again it’s my first attempt.

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Here’s the full size photo.

Bamboo

There’s always large piles of Bamboo hanging around the streets in Asia. It’s used as scaffolding for almost all construction projects. In Hong Kong, a complete scaffold can be set up, a huge billboard changed, and all the evidence removed within a day.

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It’s even more impressive when it’s used to build a skyscraper like this one in Macau. The entire scaffold is bamboo strapped together.

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Another ride on Hong Kong’s Star Ferry

We took a couple of rides on the Star Ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. There’s something amazing about a ferry service that thousands of people use daily to commute.

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I particularly like the sailor uniforms with a big Star Ferry patch that the deck hands wear. It’s all very “Anchor’s Aweigh.”

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For less than a dollar, the ride offers the best views of the Hong Kong skyline.

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Wandering around Hong Kong

Wandering around Hong Kong is a great way to see the city. To be effective, a wandering can’t really be aimless wandering. The route can be varied, but a destination or a goal is essential. In our case, the goal was usually food related.

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Along the way, we encountered a lot of interesting sights. These guys were playing a game keeping an oversized badminton birdie in the air in an Asian version of hacky sack. Seeing guys twice my age jumping around with that kind of grace was impressive to say the least.

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It was interesting to see all the food products and wonder how little pieces of dried fish or meat can become so delicious.

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There’s a reason why they built the mid-level escalators, although taking the stairs would definitely keep you in shape. There’s something about this shot that I really like.

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This temple was so filled with the smoke of incense that I couldn’t get a decent shot, but you still get an iddea of the vibrant reds.

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There was also some shopping to be done. Hong Kong is one of the few places where I can find clothes in my size. It’s not easy, but at least I know they exist. Here’s my mom rushing back to let us know she found a good sale.

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I’m always intrigued by the things you see through second floor windows, like the salon or a guy cooking for the restaurant below.

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