Pitstop at Hong Kong
When the flight landed in Hong Kong, excitement was touching new levels. I rushed out of the plane and rushed to look for the information desk. I had to be in a new city for a couple of hours and wanted to make the most of it. But the guy at information desk gave me such a look that could really make one think again about the decision. But I was what I usually am, Out of my mind. I had to enter the city now come what may and that is what I did. Picked the map from the information desk and headed straight to the immigrations. Apart from a line at the counter which took some 15-20 minutes, the process was very smooth. The person at the counter asked me just one question, when do you plan to leave the city and I just showed him my boarding pass for my forward flight. He, although confused, stamped my passport to indicate the entry into the country and there I was officially into Hong Kong. Just outside the immigration counter was a tourist desk to which I directed a straight question, how to cover maximum points of interest in shortest possible time. The guy was a bit more helpful than the information desk guy and marked a series of points on the map and gave some quick pointers on how to get there quickly, with a warning to watch out for time. I thanked him and moved to the airport express ticket machine. Partly my anxiousness and partly because of the illogical restrictions for the denominations accepted by the machine, I spent few expensive moments in getting the change and moving into the train.
Once I was on the train, there was no stopping me. Got down at Kowloon station after half an hour ride giving a quick glimpse into the city and took the free shuttle service to a pier which gave an awesome view. But time was of essence and hence could not stay too long to enjoy the view. From there, I moved on to the Hong Kong Cultural Center. It is a wonderfully designed three hall building and provided performance platforms for cultural events.
Next stop from there was the Space Museum, planetarium. It was divided into two parts, one of which was for shows and other was for exhibition. Time only permitted for going through the exhibition and had to move on to the Museum of Art. The museum showcased Chinese cultural history in highly systematic manner. There was a fountain part besides the museum that added a lot of beauty to the location.
No visit to Honk Kong could be complete without looking at the markets and business areas of the city. Hence I headed to the area of business establishments. Offices and showrooms of Canon and Rolex were very prominent and so were some of other international brands. Moving a bit ahead, I could see electronics being sold in a manner as if it was a grocery market. If one has enough time, temptations of shopping would be hard to resist in such an environment. Next, I entered into a Super Mall kind of building – The Harbour City.
After this quick tour around the island, it was time to move onto the main Hong Kong Island. This again involved finding a way to travel through the intercity subway (The airport express did allow pick-up at stations on its way away from the airport). The transport helpdesks were really helpful in directing me to the right paths and this saved a lot of time for me while travelling on MTR. While roaming around the main island, I found a local person who suggested that I could even have a chance to take a ferry to one of the islands of the country. This was what I did, ignoring all the warnings of time restrictions.