Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Post Of Hong Kong Photos

A festively-painted ferry.

Not much to write about today's walk. I plotted an approximate course on Google Pedometer here. After getting off the ferry on Hong Kong Island, I walked Eastward along the water for an hour or so (again in the stultifying tropical heat) before coming upon the trolley (on, I believe, Hennesy Rd.). I decided to take the one going furthest afield and walk my way back. So my map above shows the outward trip, which was about 1/3 walked. And then I walked the entirety back into town (which is not plotted on the map). When I got back to Central I thought about taking the Central-Mid-Levels escalators all the way up, just to see the whole system, but I realized there was no way down once I got there and I was feeling pretty walked-out at that point. (The escalators are only one-way, and they go down in the mornings until 10:30AM or so and then are reversed en masse and go upward for the rest of the day.) That will wait for my next visit.

So, a gray day for a long walk and here are a bunch of typically bad photos as a memento.

My first destination: the convention center to the East of the ferry terminal.

This is where I caught the tram.
Big intersections have pedestrian pass-overs to keep traffic moving, since there are so many lanes of traffic to get over. These are in Shanghai and a couple in Guangzhou as well. This one is in the form of a huge covered circle with stairs on all four corners.

Here I'm on the upper level of the streetcar, near the back. I figure a seating capacity on the car of about 40-45, about the same as a city bus. They're pretty noisy and have a rickety ride. No air conditioning. But a ride is cheap ($2HKD, about $0.25 USD) and it's an experience. There are buses that go the same places (and more) and a subway system as well.

A tram stop. The trams run in the middle of the lanes of traffic, which seems a very... old way of doing things.

End of the line; the turn-around. There are actually three cars waiting here. I arrived on the front one.

A little sense of the traffic density. Three or more car and bus lanes, and trams in the middle. The pedestrian overpass also serves to get people to the tram stop in the middle of the road--you can see the stairs going down to the stop. Not all tram stops have these overpass access, but many do.

A machine shop. The device by the white bucket is a powered hacksaw, which was grinding away at cutting the head off a bolt. Love the smattering of live plants; such a contrast.

Mom's shopping companion.

Morning tai-chi by the convention center. The bare-chested instructor was very fit for an old-ish guy (50s-60s).

Lots of shops like this produce market, especially out of the center of town. This isn't really a shop so much as an alley which has been equipped with a makeshift canvas cover. Over time it becomes a bona fide commercial enterprise.

I know, I have a fetish for these streetscapes. I'm continually struck by how dense it all is, by how many people are trying to occupy every square foot of space--to live, to drive on, to make money with. New York is like this, but Hong Kong is just a touch more relaxed, I think (maybe it's the tropical climate, which sucks the energy right out of you).

A huge variety of architecture, from super-modern glass skyscrapers (maybe more of those here than anywhere else in the world) to places like this, which appear almost ready to collapse. You can see where plumbing has been added to the structure, just tacked onto the exterior and drilled into the apartments. China proper is full of buildings like this, and there are plenty of them in Hong Kong as well. But everything that goes up around them is more and more modern.

This picture gives a sense of how closely the city is built to the rise of the hills, and how the topography dictates the lay of the city. The building on the left actually curves along the road, which in turn follows the mountain behind.

A fish market. So different from ours, the fish are just laid out on ice or in water. It all looked quite fresh. But there are parts of the fish being used that, um, challenge my tastes (see large selection of heads).

Sometimes the city encroaches so close as to block the light. It's 11:AM here, but the lights are on.

A street market. It goes in a block or so and extends to the cross streets. Mostly clothes.

The city has a department dedicated to "slope management," since so much of the city is on the mountainside. Lots of people working to maintain foliage or rock walls or concrete covers and the like. It seems like a huge job. These certificates are all over.

And finally, I made it to the start of the Central-Mid-Levels escalators, but decided not to head up.

1 comment:

Jon said...

Very interesting. The farmers markets would be neat to see, although I'm not a fan of fresh fish heads. All this stuff has to be hauled in everyday. That in itself has to be a task being around all those people.