Since 潘雷 was visiting me in the South we decided to spend New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong, just to use her freshly made special permission (not a passport as she reminded me!) for this jump over a gray border between mainland China and HK+Macau areas.. yeah, I do not want to enter the political aspects here (I had a few discussions with her already and basically I do not care too much anyway!).
So, without any plan, we decided to head to Hong Kong in the afternoon of the 31st of December and this is probably the only good thing of living “close” to the border, living in one of Shenzhen districts.
It was my second time in the streets of Hong Kong, the first time as purely a tourist.
Here and there some sponsored reminder that the year was at the end, like this interesting (for the “wrong” reasons) countdown clock, well sponsored:
The number as a judge beauty contest mark? 😉
The new year celebration itself was a little delusion though: I had to remind myself this is not Chinese New Year fireworks! It was actually short and not so spectacular when compared to other fireworks I have seen in both Italy and Norway. Later on though a friend from Hong Kong told me that they have very strict rules about the length of fireworks: my feeling that the whole show lasted less than 10 minutes was right! This is the approved limit!! A part of the show is below, a few minutes after midnight, when we moved through the crowd:
Then we walked more along the busy streets of the center, got some food (delicious pizza from a Turkish place, reminding me of so many good Milano pizzas in Trondheim, Turkish owners!) then headed for our “hotel”: Hung Hom Station hall! Accommodation in Hong Kong is crazy expensive, then we had decided to save money and sleep on the benches of the station, that is anyway open all the night. unfortunately the benches were quite uncomfortable and the place was a little cold, but we survived and even a McDonald breakfast, warm and cheap, was inviting for the first day of 2013!
Avenue of Stars
About the Peak, that is one of the most visited place in Hong Kong, we have been extremely lucky in choosing the time: we went there late morning of the 1st January 2013, when most of the people, tourist included, was still recovering from their end of the year party. All the friends I talk to about the Peak said that they remembered more the queues for everything, the amount of people everywhere, than the landscape. We met people, yes, but we had not to queue for the restaurant we wanted (delicious Vietnamese food), for going up to the observation point (just until the level that it was free!) or walk around the place. Also the bus rides up and down were ok, but when we left we saw probably 500 meters of car/busses queueing the road taking to the Peak! Good timing!
And then it was time to get back to Longgang, about 3 hours by “subway”, that is more train… for a long, warm and confortable sleeping night in the bed!! A real bed!!
To be repeated, maybe in summer, when I will be able to sleep outside in some of the several parks or stretching on a bench on the waterside!!