Today marked my first full day spent in Hong Kong. This morning, after bumming around my hotel for about two hours shaking off jetlag and putting together an itinerary, I headed out in to the sweltering city of Hong Kong. Starting to sweat before I had even reached the street, I wandered down Nathan Road to locate a) the MTR station, b) Kowloon Park, and c) a Currency Exchanger offering fair rates (HK$7.73 vs. HK$7.2). Successfully locating all three, and taking a bath in my shirt, I spirited off to Hong Kong (forever abbreviated HK after this, because Hong Kong is taking too much time to write) Island. Two spots in, I alighted from the train and wandered uphill, thankfully via escalators for most of the way, to a decent eatery for lunch.
Heading onward, I wandered through the zoological gardens, enjoying some splendid views of animals (although the San Diego Zoo remains the creme de la creme). The monkeys were chattering quite a bit though, with screams echoing throughout the park. And the enclosed greenhouse felt refreshing, compared to the sweltering temperatures outside.
Nearby was the Peak Tram, and the skyline looking not-too-overcast, I headed up to Victoria’s Peak. This provided a fairly decent view of the surrounding areas, and a decent walk around the plateau area that took about an hour and a half or so to complete. Along the way I had a discussion with someone named Jeffrey, originally born in Canton province (I believe) and now living in Auckland, regarding travel, foreigners, and HK (see, I promised!). Splitting up back at the Peak Tram station, I wandered back to the viewing platforms and rested until sunset, which by then wasn’t very far off. While I waited, a cute young “couple” (probably, if I was forced to guess, in their early, early teens, but I’m terrible with age so they could have been older than me for all I know) asked to have their photo taken and then, to my amusement, have their photo taken with me! The guy sitting on the bench next to me was really amused by this, but of course I did. I’m starting to wonder how many strangers in foreign countries are going to have photos of me floating around.
Dinner followed the evening photo shoot, with a meal at the nearby restaurant. This was when I was first informed that there could well be a strong storm (i.e. minor typhoon) heading through tomorrow evening. Surprise, looks like tomorrow evening in to Wednesday will be a wash-out if the forecast is accurate. We’ll just have to see.