Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hong Kong, The Peak et al (11/12/2011)

Saturday, November 12, 2011
Today we are flying to Hong Kong. Although Hong Kong is part of China, it is a SAR (Special Administrative Region), which means it was like going to a foreign country. Mainland Chinese need a special permit to go to Hong Kong, and apparently many go there to shop, as there is not the hefty luxury tax.
We took the Airport Express from the airport into Central, Hong Kong:
Plus a free shuttle to the hotel. The only problem was that we were nearly the last of hotels for drop-off in the Causeway Bay area.
Jennifer and Ken Tashima were waiting on us as we checked into the Excelsior Hotel and dropped off our bags.
Lunch at Times Square, just like the one in Shanghai:
Holiday decorations:
A subway ride, then a walk through Hong Kong Park:
Lots of graduates getting photos taken: 
It's hard to see, but the walkway on the right has water cascading down:
The old Bank of China Tower:
Built in 1952, designed by Palmer & Turner, it was the tallest building in Hong Kong at the time.
We tried getting on the Peak Tram, but the line curved around the block. Went to catch a taxi near the HSBC Building. This is the location of Occupy Hong Kong:
Very convenient covered area under the building:
Nearby is the Final Court of Appeal:
Built in 1917 in Edwardian Neo-classical style, it was the former French Mission Building.
A reflection in the Cheung Kong Centre:
Built in 1999 and designed by Cesar Pelli.
Finally reached the Peak by taxi. Victoria Peak is the highest point in Hong Kong at 1,817.6 feet above sea level.
The historic Peak Lookout restaurant::
Built in 1888 in Arts & Crafts style, with many renovations.
The Peak Tram arriving at the Peak Station:
Lions Pavilion Lookout:
The Peak Tower:
Built in 1997 and designed by British architect Terry Farrell.
Panoramic view of Hong Kong:
View of Victoria Harbour and the ICC (tallest building in HK):
The X-banded building is the new Bank of China Tower:
Built in 1989, designed by Ieoh Ming Pei, it is the fourth tallest building in Hong Kong.
We circled the Peak on Lugard Road. It was like walking through a rain forest: 
A view from further west:
The sun setting:
Night view from the Peak:
We had dinner in the Lan Kwai Fong area, at Zhong Guo Song:
Bean curd and scallops, yum!
The area was crowded because of a carnival, ala Mardi Gras:
We finished the night with drinks at Schnurrbart's, where it takes 7-10 minutes to pour the draft beers. They pour in the beer which starts out with mostly foam filling the glass. When the foam settles, they pour in some more. So you get about an inch of clear beer at the bottom each time.

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