I consider Hong Kong my home away from home in Asia. I could live there.
In 1996 jets still landed at the infamous Kai-Tak Airport (closed July 1998). This approach over densely populated apartment buildings was scary spectacular!
I was forewarned of the high cost of travel to Hong Kong. Backpackers held the city state as a place best missed.
Wrong. I loved Hong Kong instantly and found it quite affordable for the careful penny pincher. This was the first of many trips here.
A typical scene in the tourist ghetto of Tsim Sha Tsui, at the tip of the Kowloon Peninsula. Shops, restaurants, pubs, topless bars and camera stores.
Kowloon is also home to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Space Museum, the famous Peninsula Hotel and the Museum of History.
The Promenade, in East Tsim Sha Tsui, is a great place for a stroll, and has wonderful views of Victoria Harbour, particularly at night. The liveliest night market in the territory is on Temple St in Yau Ma Tei.
I stayed first at the infamous Chung King Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui.
I ended up on a top bunk bed with a window looking down 45 floors. What if there was a fire? An earthquake?
It’s amazing these buildings have not been torn down.
I made every excuse I could to hop on the Star Ferry, an inexpensive commute across Hong Kong harbour.
East meets West here. It was the confluences and contradictions which most attracted me.
The public transportation system is terrific. It is easy to get anywhere quickly.
I made the manditory tourist pilgrimage up the cable car to Victoria Peak. 552m (1810ft)
The vista is amazing.
My second night in Hong Kong I moved to Mt. Davis Hostel, high up on Hong Kong island with a harbour view. What a discovery! It became my hostel-away-from-home in Asia on many future trips.
At the hostel the talk was much focused on the hand-over from the British to the Chinese which was to happen a year later in 1997. Many residents were nervous. Affluent Chinese families bought homes in Vancouver and Sydney … just in case.