Venturing across the harbour
For those who have always lived, worked and gone to school on Hong Kong Island, like my siblings and moi, Kowloon, which is only 5 minutes by ferry across Victoria Harbour has always been viewed as alien territory. And yet there are times when we have had to venture there. Today I decided to go check out the Kowloon side.
I took the MTR there (it was only 3 stops on the train from where my brother lives). I roamed around on Nathan Road, Cameron Road and all the connected roads just to take in the changes. Then I went to Oliver’s Super Sandwiches which serves the most sumptuous Baked Potatoes on the planet. Oliver’s is a fast food joint that has been part of the Hong Kong lunch scene since 1981. They serve the best salads, sandwiches and baked potatoes that you can imagine. I had the tuna salad potato which is my favourite. It still tastes as good as I remember. Health food over with, I went down the road and had a banana crepe – yummm!
Then I strolled down to Hankow Road to look in on Andrew at Echo Photo & Audio. Andrew has been the person that I have bought my camera and audio equipment from for years and years. He is totally reliable, gives the best advice and you can go back to him should there be anything wrong with any product. Never thought Andy would age. Was quite shocked to see him looking frail. His memory is still great though. He recognized me and asked about Captain (that’s Zak who is his favourite customer). We chatted for a while. He said business was slow probably because of the heat. I don’t think he knows what heat really means. The maximum temperature here today was 30 degrees. It rained heavily this morning but that didn’t disrupt anyone’s movements. Everyone was out and about as usual. All day the weather was cool and overcast. Absolutely lovely for walking around.
After taking my leave of Andrew I headed for Ocean Centre and Ocean Terminal – beautiful huge complexes with shops galore. Again, I browsed, oohed and aahed but bought nothing – I really must be ill 😉 When I started to tire, I headed for Star Ferry. This is the ferry that has, for decades, plied between Hong Kong and Kowloon taking passengers to and fro. I love the ride across the harbour. It costs HK$2.20 (approximately US$0.30). I was horrified coz for years it cost only HK$1.20. Anyway, it is still quite cheap and it is a lovely experience. I sat right in the front so that the breeze could blow through my hair – blow all the cobwebs away. It reminded me of the company boat we used to have when I was working in Hong Kong – it was good for entertaining customers and friends at weekends. Used to be on my ‘favourite things to do’ list when I was living in Hong Kong.
From the ferry I observed the skyline – there was a time, till recently, when the highlights were the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, the HSBC building and the Bank of China Building. This time I noticed that the latter two buildings which were once the tallest buildings in Hong Kong were actually dwarfed by a glass building that rose into the clouds – the International Finance Centre – 88 storeys high – about 1,362 sq ft – wow! The architect of this wonderful structure is Cesar Pelli. I was so absolutely wowed by this structure that once I disembarked from the ferry, I headed straight for it. It has two towers and the top floors house the Hong Kong Monetary Authority who are said to have paid US$0.48 billion for their office space. It also has 26 trading floors. At peak construction time as many as 3,500 workers from all over the world are supposed to have worked on this building. It’s famous too having appeared in the Hollywood production Tomb Raider 2.
I browsed in some of the shops including Dymocks Book Shop and I noticed that they house a cinema hall , the Four Season Hotel and they have vast amounts of exhibition space. They also have the first Ben & Jerrys ice-cream parlour in the complex. Now what more could one want!
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