Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An Island and an Escalator

What is it about the lure of the islands to Kathy and Brian? After an early breakfast we hopped on the MTR and traveled one stop to Central. From there we again walked a heck of a long way against the main flow of foot traffic until we arrived at the ferry pier. We took the "fast ferry" to Cheung Chau Island.

It was only a 30-minute ride but that ferry bounced around a fair amount for a catamaran and a young woman in the row ahead of us had occasion to use the Vomit Bag we previously mentioned. As for us, we were fine but happy to reach dry land.

We followed the route recommended by Frommer's and found it absolutely fascinating. The village streets reminded us of visits to smaller towns on our trips to Mainland China. On the other hand, we saw what we wanted to see in about 45 minutes and this time hopped on the slow ferry, paying the "deluxe" fare to sit upstairs with the availability of an outside aft deck. Here's travel tip - the slow ferry provided a much smoother ride than the fast ferry. On any future trips to Hong Kong it'll be the slow boat to China for us.

We were back in Hong Kong's central district by 11:30 a.m. and decided to go for a ride on the world's longest escalator, a "trip" we'd enjoyed on our first visit. The Central-Mid Levels Escalator was built in 1994 to enable Mid-Levels residents to commute to work. The string of escalators and moving walkways descend until about 10:00 a.m., and then run up until they shut down around midnight.

We started our ascent and got off partway to look for a Thai restaurant recommended by Frommer's. Doggone it but the restaurant went out of business and it was a long and warm walk back to the escalator. A few minutes later we spotted Cafe Siam. We jumped off the escalator again and enjoyed a spicy and delicious lunch. After the fact we found that various reviewers give it a thumbs up as well.

We continued our ride all the way to the top of the escalator. From there we walked a little farther than was enjoyable on a warm and muggy day up one more hill and then down through the zoological garden and the Hong Kong Park back to our hotel.

The more we see of Hong Kong the more we realize there is to see. Another great day...

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