Having met a new friend on the other side of a couple of continents, I bounded off to meet Selina at Central for a day of explorations. Since one had already conquered the tram, this time one opted for the MTR (http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/homepage/cust_index.html). For anyone worried about getting around in Hong Kong, do not fret. The Chinese-tube is far more reliable, accessible and easy to navigate than in our beloved London. The trains even tell you what side to depart! And yup, all in English.
From the station, we navigated our way to the Peak Tram terminus (http://www.thepeak.com.hk/en/5_5_1.asp ). This took a while; mainly because I can’t read maps for love nor money. But anyway, we got there eventually. And we mounted the vessel (a posh way of saying ‘we got on the tram’). Up, up, up we climbed, our bums sliding all the way into our seats as our bodies tilted a drastic degree. As our popping ears became accustomed to the new level (i.e. circa 400 metres above sea level), we carefully climbed out and continued heading towards the sky, this time via the Peak Tower. The Sky Terrace 428 offers spectacular panoramic views of the vibrant city, but make sure you don’t go on a cloudy day as you won’t really get to see anything except… cloud. Confession time: that’s kinda what we did. We used our viewing pass before the day’s sun had burnt away the mist and – despite craning our necks and widening our eyes – we were not particularly gripped by the view. Admitting defeat, we went for a mango juice (so good by the way – try it). As we sat, sipped and stared out of the window, the sun nudged the foggy skyline out of focus and the heavens cleared to reveal the stunning cityscape. We decided to embrace the moment and make the most of the weather by popping back up to the viewing terrace. But alas, we had already used our ticket and were told it was a ‘one time only’ deal. When such opportunities arise, you have to try your luck, right? So I moaned and pouted and sighed and puppy-dog-eyed until the poor dude gave in and let us slip through the barrier. (We were lucky; you’re only supposed to go to the top once so choose your moment carefully). After we took a million photos and imprinted the sights into our memories, we wondered around the shops & re-fueled at Starbucks (god, they’re everywhere, eh…).
Upon successful completion of our backwards slide back to earth, we met up with Tina and went for cocktails at Staunton’s Wine Bar-Cafe in Soho (http://www.stauntonsgroup.com/staunton/) The Mojito tasted like lighter fluid (don’t ask me how I know) but the ‘Watermelon something’ was heaven in a glass. A few cocktails later, it was time for food. I wish I could remember where we went, or what we ate… but it was really good. Something spicy with noodles and broth. (Apologies for being vague: blame the cocktails). From there, we haphazardly rushed our way to the Star Ferry pier because we wanted to catch the light show, which starts around 8pm. We caught the Kowloon light show as we sailed across the water separating the islands, and we just glimpsed the last few minutes of Hong Kong Island’s competitive response. It was pretty. And pretty impressive.
And then – this is the highlight of the holiday – we saw the Rubber Ducky!! (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2318490/Giant-rubber-duck-Hong-Kongs-Victoria-Harbour-continues-world-tour.html). (As you’ll know by now, it died a day later so this was a magical moment – although we didn’t know it at the time).
Once we befriended the duck his clan of smaller ducks, we meandered around Tsim Sha Tsui (from now on I shall refer to this as ‘TST’ because – let’s face it – nobody can pronounce it). Then we collapsed in a heap because the day’s exercise bypassed the acceptable quota. Day two – a success!