|Hong Kong Picasa Album|
First off, I apologize for taking so long to begin blogging about my winter travels. I hope and plan to post much more regularly in the future.
Drew and I left Qinhuangdao on January 14th, heading straight to Beijing. From there, we took a 26 hour train to Shenzhen, in Guangdong Province. Shenzhen was a mere fishing village 30 years ago before Deng Xiaoping changed China's economic policies and designated Shenzhen as a SEZ (Special Economic Zone--basically an experiment in capitalism). Today, Shenzhen is mainland China's richest city, but it has no significant sites, and the only reason to visit it as a tourist is to go into Hong Kong. Shenzhen sits right on the Hong Kong-mainland China border, and you can catch the metro from Shenzhen right into Hong Kong. So, after we stayed one night in Shenzhen, we headed straight into Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is the most non-Chinese city in all of China. It lacks many of the distinctive features of Chinese cities--the pollution and garbage everywhere, the constant spitting by the locals, and the disfigured beggars that you find everywhere in China. In many ways, Hong Kong has everything I love about China and lacks most of the things about China that bug me. Needless to say, I really liked Hong Kong. And being able to use English everywhere sure was nice, too.
Drew and I spent a total of 2 nights and 3 days in Hong Kong. One of the most delightful aspects of Hong Kong was the variety of food. We had an amazing Indian lunch one day and a great Italian lunch the next. You definitely don't get that kind of variety in mainland China. Anyhow, on to the pictures:
Shenzhen, the richest city in mainland China.
Drew and I in Kowloon, looking across Victoria Harbor towards Hong Kong island.
Hong Kong has the world's biggest laser light show every night, using all of these sky scrapers.
Hong Kong island.
One of Hong Kong's many alleys.
The Golden Bauhinia, erected to commemorate the handover of Hong Kong from British rule to Chinese rule in 1997.
Hong Kong at night.
The world's longest escalator!
Hong Kong at night, from Victoria Peak. This is definitely the best view of Hong Kong you can find anywhere in the city. It reminded me of the view of Seattle from Carey Park on Queen Anne.
Tian Tan Buddha statue, the world's largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha statue, located on Lantau island.
Some other sculptures next to the Tian Tan Buddha statue.
After spending three days in Hong Kong, Drew and I returned to Shenzhen on January 18th to catch our flight to Bangkok.