Tuesday, July 19, 2005

First day in Kowloon

Festival of Lights
Originally uploaded by Tracie Milner.
Well, we survived our first day and night in Hong Kong. We spent the whole day yesterday in Kowloon, except for the trip to the airport to get our luggage that we stupidly left behind.

Since the second we landed, I have been uncomfortably conscious of the humidity. Having previously been to the southern United States and the west coast of Canada, I thought that I knew what it was like to experience humid weather. I did not. All I could think about yesterday was when my next shower would be. It is just like walking around in a steam room. It's hard to breathe at first and it's hard to see very far in front of you. Our cab driver said that it's how the city always is.

Another thing I noticed is how nice the people are. We must have looked lost on several occasions (oddly enough) and strangers would come up to us and offer some much needed help. Also, when riding the train, people would stand up and offer their seat to old people.

Hong Kong, although packed with people and buildings, seems very organized. The transit is efficient and they have directions (signs) for everything, including how to get on or off of an escalator or the train. It's pretty easy to get around when you speak only English, because many of the signs are in English and there's always someone within earshot who speaks English who can translate.

Last night, we went to see the Festival of Lights. I highly recommed going if you are in Hong Kong. From the Kowloon harbour, you can watch the buildings in Hong Kong island light up to music. It's really a sight to see. Music comes on over loud speakers and commentators speaking Chinese only come on, I imagine to give a bit of an explanation. Then the builings light up in all different colours in interesting patterns. Very fun. You can see in the photo I posted that the building on the left has two white lights shining off the top, and the builing on the bottom middle is lit up in blue. Way more builings were involved than just the ones shown here.


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