Hong Kong

If you’ve ever wondered what a bus ride from North Point to Stanley Bay on Hong Kong Island looks like from the front row in the top level of a double decker bus — or you have taken that route before and want to relive the placid thrill — today is your lucky day.

That happens to be the route and vantage point from which I videotaped a trip on the Hong Kong Bus Route 65, I believe it was, hitting the pause button every time the bus stopped, re-starting the video when the bus began rolling again. The trip itself takes an hour or more but — explaining why this is just an 8-minute video — it turns out that most of that time is spent not moving at bus stops and red lights.

Here’s a map to highlight the approximate route you’ll be seeing in this “Virtual First-Person” video (although — can’t give it all away for free — great views of Repulse Bay are not included in the video footage):

Instead of forcing you to listen to a chorus of mostly inaudible conversations in various languages and dialects going on within earshot of the camera’s microphone, your relaxing background music is … and for a view from a bus headed to a drop-off near Stanley Market, this musical selection will either make complete sense to you or none at all … Cracker’s “Euro Trash Girl.”

And now, all aboard! The bus — and with it this blog, as you are reading the last post I expect to make in it — is now leaving the station. Until we meet again, Happy Trails!

After getting rained out on our first attempted visit to Hong Kong Park, my daughters and I returned on the next day while the rest of our away party was out on another shopping marathon.

This trip to HK was also the first time I’ve ever visited Hong Kong Park.

Which makes me an idiot on all my previous visits, because it’s an amazing place, with enough scenes and attractions to fill an entire day, if you’re so inclined. Ponds with koi and turtles; walking paths; a restaurant or two; an aviary; a large 5-level playground built on a hillside; a marriage registry office (bring your camera); waterfalls; flora and fauna; a tea and teaware museum; plenty of backpacker chicks on benches pouring their lonely hearts out onto the pages of their diaries; the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre; and more.

We took in all we could, but probably spent more time than anywhere on the extensive multi-level playground, built in broad stages going up the hill, and which for most of our visit was populated only with (1) me and my daughters and (2) a handful of international nannies and au pairs with their young charges. I chatted with a couple of them and overheard some others’ conversations–pretty fascinating combinations. Japanese nanny with kids from England. English au pair with kids from India. Hong Kong nanny with kids from the U.S. American nanny with kids from Japan. Even one rare Hong Kong nanny/Hong Kong kids combination.

And here are some pictures and a video from our visit….

Look! There’s a signpost up ahead…:

Turtles and fish in the background; they really really really wanted to catch one:

Scenes under the waterfall:


Video demonstrating how the park is in a “fishbowl” surrounded by skyscrapers:

Definitely worth a visit for anyone, but I’d say it’s a must if you’re in Hong Kong with your kids. For more information on the park, check out the Hong Kong Park’s own Web site, and this Wikipedia entry.



To wrap up our trip to Asia, we spent a week in Hong Kong, and were able to bring along my Wife’s siblings–two sisters and a brother. We did some sight-seeing and took some excursions as a group (Ocean Park, Stanley Bay, etc.), but on two days, the four of them wanted to shop from sunrise to sunset. Fair enough, Hong Kong is still a shopper’s paradise.

But for my daughters and me, not so much. A whole day of shopping would be too much for them, and I’d rather have a root canal with rusty pliers than shop, so the youngsters and I took off by ourselves in the opposite direction just to explore and play and see what trouble we could get ourselves into.

The big idea was to slowly explore and make our way to Hong Kong Park. We did that, but soon after reaching the park, it began to rain, so–irony alert–we headed back into the shelter of the nearby Pacific Place shopping complex for the rest of the afternoon…which for pre-schoolers can have about the same effect as visiting the park. You know, ride the escalators umpteen times, play hide and seek in Hong Kong Seibu, that sort of thing.

Here are some pictures from that day’s adventure–right up to the point when the rain began.

The girls all ready to hit the pavement on our way out of the hotel room:

Riding the subway from North Point to Central:

On a roof across from the Bank of America Tower:

Just hangin’ out, watchin’ the world go by:

In front of a map outside Hong Kong Park:

At the playground in Hong Kong Park, just as it started to rain:

Next time: Our return trip to Hong Kong Park

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