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60 ~ Hong Kong

Day 17 : Getting through both immigration & security was so quick


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Hong Kong – A short 9 hour layover and in my head I knew what I would love to achieve:

- If fine go up to the Peak and the new observation Sky Terrace 428 to see down over Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor again. I knew that it didn’t open till 10am / 10:00.

- Take the Star ferry across to Tsim Sha Tsui.

- Go to Wan Chai where Aunty Eileen and Uncle Kwong who was the minister at the Methodist Church and I had stayed all those decades ago plus see the development in that area.

With the skies still dark Hong Kong airport loomed and we arrived at 6.15am / 06:15.

Thanks to Chris’s Octopus card which still had some dollars on it so at the Express Train counter topped it up with another HK$100 NZ$18.90 / US$12.70 / for a return same day trip into town.

Slowly the sky brightened during the short 24 minutes that it took the train to get into Hong Kong station.

Hong Kong was still asleep and just awakening.

Then following my nose and signs to the wharf at Central to catch the Star ferry across Victoria Harbour to Tsim Sha Tsui.

Using the Octopus card HKD$3.70 HK$78 / NZ$0.70 / US$0.50, it was a short 10 minute ride on the upper deck. Yes, there are quicker ways to cross the harbour but it was the magic of the ocean water in amongst the tall skyscrapers and after spending 2 weeks inland in desert like conditions enjoyed the sea air …

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Had the Tsim Sha Tsui side changed as I approached it? No, not really. Just many new buildings across on Hong Kong Island.

I allowed myself just 30 short minutes on this side walking along Kowloon Public Pier passing Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Hong Kong Museum of Art.

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Going as far as Salisbury Garden as the Avenue of Stars was closed for renovations.

Then back along the street passing the famous The Peninsula (hotel) and finally the iconic former Kowloon – Canton Railway Clock Tower.

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So, it was back on ferry at 8.30am / 08:30 and this time on the cheaper HKD$2.50 / NZ$0.50 / US$0.30 lower deck across to Central. Much better experience being closer to the water level. Plus it had the locals on their way to work.

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I knew approximately where the Garden Road Peak Tram lower terminal was so again following my nose going through the elevated walkways between the various buildings got to St John’s Cathedral at 9am / 09:00. The Peak Tram terminal was around the corner.

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A tram was about to leave, but the Sky Terrace 428 viewing terrace didn’t open till 10am / 10:00. I was glad that I brought my HK$99 / NZ$18.70 / US$12.60 ticket for the Peak Tram ride. It takes only 7- 8 minutes each way conquering about 370-meter / 1,300 feet height differences along the 1.35km / 0.8 mile route. It is so steep that the buildings you pass look like they are leaning a gradient of between 4 to 27 degrees!

Meanwhile buses need at least one hour along the winding hill roads. With the tram taking 120 pax = 95 seated and 25 standing, there were plenty of seats to choose from.

Knew to sit on the right-hand side going up for the views.

It was 9.30am / 09:30 when I got as far up as I could in the Sky Terrace 428 building, but it was still 30 minutes before the Sky Terrace 428 roof top opened. Spent time walking along to the Lion Pavilion and then further along Findlay Rd getting a slightly different perspective of the city scene below me.

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Sky Terrace 428 is guess what, 428 metres above sea level and is the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong offering a stunning 360-degree panoramic view across the Hong Kong.

https://www.thepeak.com.hk/en/the-peak-experience/the-sky-terrace-428

https://www.thepeak.com.hk/en (tram)

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Being one of the first to get up to the Sky Terrace 428 was good as there was hardly anyone on the viewing platform. With free wi-fi did a Facebook Live sending New Year’s greetings. Yes, Hong Kong has as expected changed and is still growing “upwards”.

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Then down and it was only 10.45am / 10:45 but what a long queue was now waiting to get their tickets. So glad that I went up early!

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Hennessy Rd with Methodist House and the Chinese Methodist Church was only a short 15-minute walk away along Queensway.

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While the trams are still there, gone is the “ding, ding” that I vividly remember the sound trams made when staying with Aunty Eileen and Uncle Kwong above the church.

Henry showed me around the redeveloped site and chapel. Just the facade of the building was kept and a 28-story office block built 1997/98.

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Time for some lunch but with my spoken Cantonese now virtually non-existent and I can’t read Chinese, it was interesting wandering around the back streets of Wan Chai trying to find a local place to eat at.

Found Wong Kei Chinese Barbecue Restaurant = Suckling Pig with Rice HK$72 plus the soup HK$6 = HK$78 / NZ$14.70 / US$9.90.

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Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre down by the harbour. With MTR expansion construction passing the Central Government offices and Legislative Council Complex.

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Down through Tamar Park with “both” flags flying.

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Along the Central and Eastern District Promenade to the Central Harbourfront event space and neighbouring AIA Carnival with the Hong Kong Observation Wheel.

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Now 12.45pm / 12:45 so time to think about heading back to the airport. I had allowed 2 hours to get back and that included getting through immigration / security etc.

In fact, I had plenty of time as the Express train left soon after I arrived at the platform. Getting through both immigration and security was so quick. So, had time to pass before my 3.20pm / 15:20 departure. By now I knew that Premium Economy passengers had their own queue at the boarding gate.

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Yes, I should have added all these videos below together as 1 continuous clip ...

It was a night flight, dinner then managed to get some sleep.

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Posted by bruceontour 02:23 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged star_ferry tsim_sha_tsui sky_terrace_428 Comments (0)

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