Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Cruise in the Fragrant Harbour

Hong Kong Day 1

For the Holy Week I joined Arvy and his family on a trip to Hong Kong. Though it my third trip to HK, it's been five years since I've been to the former British colony (the last time was with my mom, in 2010). We flew via Philippine Airlines, on a morning flight on an Airbus A330-300. The flight was pleasant enough; it left on time, and the aircraft is spacious. 

The bus ride from the airport to Causeway Bay, where the hotel is, was a bit of a doozy. We were all standing for most of the 1-hour trip, and the driver was a bit of a speed demon, zigzagging along the freeway like he's racing to the john or something. It was rainy (and cold) when we reached Causeway Bay, and after a bit of navigation, reached the Park Lane Hotel (it was swanky!).

After resting for a bit and having a late lunch we took a cab to the Central Pier to take a cruise around Victoria Harbour. The historic harbor was instrumental for Hong Kong becoming a trading center, and it offers the best place to see the city from a different point.  

The cruise started around five in the afternoon and it lasted for about an hour, making a circuit around the harbor and stopping in three piers, in Central, Wan Chai and Tsim Tsa Tsui. It was rainy at times so the sky was overcast and there are times we stayed inside the boat, but most of the time we were on the deck taking pictures and admiring the view.

I was able to pick out the interesting buildings and structures that frame the Hong Kong skyline as the cruise progressed, and I noticed there are a lot of changes from since I last visited. I also saw several Chinese junks lumbering along, as well as large cruise ships bringing in tourists, aside from the hulking container ships laden with goods.

As dusk approaches the skyscrapers started lighting up, the neon lights of the buildings giving color to an otherwise gloomy sky. The cruise completed the circuit as the boat docked in Central Pier, and we disembarked and made our way One Financial Ceter, to stop by the Apple Store, then to Central Station to catch the MRT to Causeway Bay and back to the hotel. 

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