Hong Kong From the Peak

Yesterday FC met me at my hotel and we went off to the Peak Tram. If you weren’t aware, Hong Kong, being on the Pacific Rim and all, is mountainous: topographical map of Hong Kong
So there is a tram that goes from Central all the way up to The Peak on Hong Kong Island. It can make stops in the Midlevels – a neighborhood that’s halfway up. We were there on Sunday for church and dim sum.
FC and I boarded the tram, and we sprung for the extra fare that would allow us to the roof of the observation building. The tram ride was steep, and my ears popped. I was glad later, on the way down that we were still sitting facing up the mountain.
It was a somewhat hazy day, but even so, so view was spectacular. We could see across to Kowloon on one side, and to another island that I now can’t recall from the other end. Hong Kong has some massive skyscrapers, and we were above them all. Also, the vegetation was quite spectacular, as well.
We saw some trees that were huge and lovely but that I couldn’t identify.
The heat remained stifling, and I think I was beginning to suffer from some heat exhaustion when we went into a restaurant on the Peak for some lunch. We ate in what was the old carriage house. Mt cousin explained that before the tram, men used to carry people up to the Peak in rickshaws! They’d stop and rest (and eat) at the carriage house which was later converted to a restaurant. His mother (my dad’s first cousin) used to love to go there.
There are two big commercial buildings on a plaza up top. They are filled with shops, both high-end and kitsch. Oh, and Madame Toussaud’s Hong Kong is there as well. We skipped that.
After we came back down, we went to visit the big fancy department store, Shanghai Tang. They have an exclusive fragrance that permeates the store, and several hotels (including mine) use it as well. Space is at a premium in HK, so even though this is the great big famous store, it’s quite small by US standards. Their selections are exquisite, but few. I chose not to spend $500 US on a silk dress, but I did get the fragrance for my house (they sell both the home and personal fragrance).
FC then showed me The Lanes – the narrow streets where peddlers sell – everything. I’d seen some of this the past few days. He went to run some errands and I wandered.
I got back to the hotel all set to go for a swim and… The pool was closed because of the possibility of thunder storms. Alas. I took a nap and when I got up, I took the tram by myself to Western Market, where there are fabric merchants all over the second floor. I neglected to photograph this myself, so you’ll just have to search out some images if you’d like to see. I bought entirely too much silk because the prices were so good compared to the US.
Then I walked from there to meet FC at the ferry terminal, and he was early, so he was already there.
We headed out to his favorite Spanish restaurant where CW met us and enjoyed probably too much food and some live music. We walked through Lan Kwai Fong – which is where all the nightlife is, before getting a taxi back to the hotel. LKF is hopping. Narrow, twisty streets, indoor/outdoor partying, and a fair bit of neon, but not too much.
I cocked out early, and woke up in the middle of the night, which is why I’m posting this in the late afternoon US time. Guess I’ll try to get a little more sleep now.
That’s all I’ve got. That’s my mite.

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