Asia 2005 Journey Day Twenty-Four
                                   Hong Kong, China
                                            May 27, 2005:  Overcast and muggy heat.  Hong Kong is constant excitement in motion  
                                            allowing on to see and enjoy much.  The day was a full walking tour of many well known sites.
                                            We passed on the endless shopping malls and countless suit tailors.
                                            Started the tour with a departure from Kowloon to Hong Kong island on the Star
                                            Ferry.  The service has been active since 1888 and is completed in just eight minutes.
                                            Two fares are available - lower (22 cents USD) and upper (28 cents USD).  Higher rate 
                                            for the upper deck includes an AC section.  
                                            After a walk through the skyscraper giants, the World's longest covered escalator transports
                                            pedestrians to the "middle" area, or halfway up the mountain side.   The one way direction 
                                            changes each day at 10:02 a.m. from down to up.  The ride provided a slice of apartment 
                                            life views.  
                                            From the "middles", it's a quick walk down to the Zoo and Botanical Gardens.  We were not
                                            alone and enjoyed the Zoo with several school groups with brightly colored caps.  The views 
                                            of the city center from the Gardens is quite rare among cities and provides a nature with steel 
                                            construction perspective.  Next stop was the infamous Peak Tram.
                                            The red painted wooden Tram begins in a high tech building lobby and proceeds up the mountain 
                                            at a 27 degree angle.  Buildings tend to appear tilted.  A few tourists did the usual trick of standing
                                            at an angle to order to be perpendicular to gravity. There were a few "hold-your-breath" incline 
                                            stretches.  The vista points at the top of Hong Kong island allows for a full view of the city and the 
                                            never ending apartment towers.  Looks much like dominoes lined up ready to be toppled.  
                                            The Peak Circle walk starts at the Upper Peak Tram station and continues for about
                                            45 minutes around Victoria Peak (552 meters).  Views in all directions are available since 
                                            the pathway literally hugs the side of mountain.  Now, this is where the real adventure
                                            started.  From the other side of the mountain came a flash flood storm.  After waiting
                                            a couple hours under a small park hut, it was decided that the storm would not end and
                                            darkness was starting.  So, averting varied waterfalls and becoming totally soaked, we
                                            arrived at the Tram station.  The ride down included a lighting show while we continued the 
                                            dripping process.  
                                            The return ferry ride included a view of the colored and dynamic light patterns used
                                            on many buildings.  A lighting strike on a large skyscraper added to the show.  A few
                                            blocks later, a dry hotel room was awaiting.  The lighting and thunder continued onto the 
                                            late night.







                                           Travel specs:  Star Ferry and Peak Tram
                                            Return to Asia 2005