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Hong Kong by night

Published Thu 14 August 2008 22:54 (+0800)
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Hong Kong Island at night, from Kowloon
Hong Kong Island at night, from Kowloon
Hong Kong at night, from Victoria Peak
Hong Kong at night, from Victoria Peak

Hong Kong does look very shiny at night. The panorama here is taken from Kowloon's waterfront, where you go to see the 8pm lights show, and the second shot is from Victoria Peak. (You really need to zoom in to these photos to see them properly.)

Symphony of Lights

Don't worry too much about going to see the lights show – it's pretty short (~15 mins) and not that impressive (unless it's one of the special celebration days when they add fireworks, apparently) so no big deal if you miss it. But do go anyway to take in the night-time view – it is very nice.

The Peak Tram

As for the Peak Tram, well… don't try and go up at sundown. I did, and spent about an hour waiting in the queue (it started up the street, so one couldn't see that it there was a huge queue inside the building too), so completely missed the sunset.

But again, it's a great view, night or day. Try and sit on the right side going up, if at all possible – the tram curves around the hill so on the left you're just looking at rock wall mostly.

Since the tram was completely packed, there wasn't much chance to see on the way up (it'd be better earlier in the day) but the view from the top is great.

Don't shell out the extra for the viewing terrace at the top of the mall thing – just go out the mall into the courtyard, and walk down the path that goes down in the direction of the city; the Lions have kindly built you a viewing platform. (Hint: there's two levels, you don't have to compete for space on the top one.)

After waiting so long to come up the queue back down looked little better, so I decided, hey, I'm youngish, fit, I can just walk down… This takes a while :). But it did give me a good chance to see the apartment fortresses where the rich people live – each with its own car gate and security guard – and the density of the urban jungle throughout the whole area.

Every single slope seems to be artificially supported and drilled, every bit of bush has narrow concrete steps for maintenance running through it. Even on the nature walk I went up on every single stream and rivulet of water was concreted and funneled to join its siblings. All this done to provide flood control, slippage control, support for a huge population packed into a jungle by concrete.