A fairly onerous journey of overnight, normal and subway trains eventually deposits us in the centre of Hong Kong, that since 1997 is back in Chinese control after being leased by the British. That said it is still radically different to the mainland China we have spent the last 3 weeks travelling around and everyone, the Chinese included, have to go through a border control process.
Hong Kong is a wonderful city, but having spent 3 days here in October 2012 there was not a great deal that we hadn’t already seen before and therefore decided that we would use the short amount of time we had available more productively and get our Japan Rail Pass…..or I should say we tried to be productive.
The legacy of British rule not only includes driving on the ‘correct’ side of the road, having weirdly familiar road signs and a general rule-following approach, it also stretches a list of public holidays that still means most offices shut on Good Friday. The rail pass will have to wait until South Korea.
One of the things we didn’t manage to include last time was the Hong Kong Symphony of Light show, apparently the longest consistently running light and music show in the world. Arriving on at the waterfront just before 8pm finds the banks packed with tour groups and tourists patiently waiting for the show to begin.
A cheesy recorded compare introduces the buildings that will take part and they each flash their respective lights in turn before a rousing (but fairly quiet) piece of classical music starts up over the PA system and the lights and lasers shine across the water in time with the music for around 15 minutes. I think ourselves and the rest of our group were a little underwhelmed by it all and happily departed for food and beer before a trek around the legendary night markets.
Maybe the Temple Street night markets are not what they once were, or we have just seen so many night markets over the last three months that we are a bit bored of them, but stall after stall selling the same mix of tacky tourist souvenirs and fakes of whatever is the current ‘thing’ fails to inspire.