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breatheDEEP goes global - Roadtrip report #2


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Road Trip report number 2 - Hong Kong

Communication is turning out to be a little tougher than I thought. I wanted to go to an electronics market to do a little shopping, but it did not happen. Just because someone says "I understand" does not mean I have to believe them. :-) Napha's little sister had the day off, so Napha called her to stand in for Mary as an interpreter. Her name is Wan, and she has been dating a Canadian for more than a year. Her english is fair.

We met up with Wan in the Central Station of the MTR which is the mass-transit system in HK. Sweet gal, but she has a phone glued to her ear talking to her boyfriend all the time. She is a maid for a wealthy family in HK. She makes much less money than Napha, but still more than she could make in Bangkok. She has a very small room in her employers house. She likes this employer, because she has her own room. At her previous employer she had to sleep on the floor in the bathroom.

The MTR is truly a piece of engineering genius. It is the most advanced transport system I have ever seen. I thought we would take a ferry out to Lantau island, but the ferries are old-fashioned now. The underground goes under the harbor, and is much quicker. Traveling on the M TR is cheap and reliable. These trains run on time. You buy a ticket from an automated machine and use it to move through the system. If you are a regular user you can buy a pass that is on a small electronic card. Whe you go in the system, you just wave the card over the reader and it deducts one fare from your card. The technology used is RFID wich uses radio. You do not even need to remove the card from your wallet. Travelling on the MTR is a lot of fun. There is a vibrancy and an energy about the people in Hong Kong that is hard to describe.

The Big Buddha is a major tourist attraction, so of course I had to see it.

We had dinner with Wan's boyfriend on a resteraunt overlooking HK harbor and I made my first real screwup of the trip. I was not wearing my glasses, and I had a setting on my camera wrong, so all of the pictures I took of HK harbor at night are trash. :-(

Victoria Peak is the highest ground in HK. The MTR got us close to Victoria Peak, but we had to take a bus to the top. This is kind of scary, as the road is very narrow and in some places single lane. The buses are huge, and very nice. They are also double-decker. This is pretty scary when they pass each other on a very narrow road leading to the top of a mountain.

The busses use the same technology as the MTR, so you can just wave your pass over the reader as you board, and the fare is automatically deducted from your pass.

Regards from the road,



My pictures: www.jaggedweb.com

MTR: http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/train/intro.html

Big Buddha: http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/tou ... sla1.jhtml

Victoria Peak: http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/tou ... vict.jhtml

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Mike, I love travelogues. I have been on bus rides like that and I don't like heights, heart pounding time.

What is interesting here is that all of the hillls seem to be encased in ferrocement. I understand totally, but it is very wierd to see. The cement is sprayed on the sides of the hill, so it does not wash off during the rainy season.

Most of the ride up was spent looking at hilliside covered with cement, with a little hole where each plant comes out. Suprised me a lot.



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