Hong Kong Street Photography #2

Little Italy? in Hong Kong?

Little Italy? in Hong Kong?

These are photos of streets with people as the decoration, rather than the type of street photography which focuses on people with their urban environment as setting. Nonetheless the presence of people in the photos is what makes them interesting.

The lads in the bucket were acting up when we went by,  but this photo doesn't capture it!

The lads in the bucket were acting up when we went by, but this photo doesn’t capture it!

On the street where we looked for lunch, half way up the escalators.

On the street where we looked for lunch, half way up the escalators.

Below are a couple of colour versus black and white comparisons. The more I convert photos to black and white, the more I want to do more of it.

Debris-catcher-enclosed building and vendors encroaching on the street.

Debris-catcher-enclosed building and vendors encroaching on the street.

Black and white: Debris-catcher-enclosed building and vendors encroaching on the street.

Black and white: Debris-catcher-enclosed building and vendors encroaching on the street.

Hardware store with working area on the street.

Hardware store with working area on the street.

Black and white: Hardware store with working area on the street.

Black and white: Hardware store with working area on the street.

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The Peninsula

Hong Kong 2013

The Peninsula is the sine qua non of ex-pat luxury. A few of my tour-ist colleagues had tea or coffee there. Like taking tea at the Empress in Victoria BC, or drinks at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

The inside was cool (air conditioning!) and elegant. There was even a string (quartet? quintet?) playing on the mezzanine level for the pleasure of guests in the lobby, coffee shop, and reception.

Reception and lobby, The Peninsula Hotel.

Reception and lobby, The Peninsula Hotel.

Lobby of The Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon where guests were taking their morning coffee.

Lobby of The Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon where guests were taking their morning coffee.

Outside was a clean, fascinating fountain, which helped you feel cooler than the weather allowed.

Hong Kong 2013

Next door was this statue of 1881 Heritage.

I had to look this up as I was preparing the post. I thought it was just a showy advertisement for a horse jumping competition, but it is the entrance to a compound of Victorian era buildings called 1881 Heritage which include the Peninsula but also shows some of the Marine Police history (pirates!) and it includes a shopping area (of course!)

The little girl is having fun.

The little girl is having fun.

Next (and last) few Chinese posts: urban Hong Kong and some street photography

Hong Kong by Night

After the harbour light show we walked back to the Metro (called, in English, MTR.)

What are you preparing for?

What are you preparing for?

Large lighted sculpture of cartoon characters. You can see how big they are by the size of the people walking around the edges  of the platform.

Large lighted sculpture of cartoon characters. You can see how big they are by the size of the people walking around the edges of the platform.

We had to walk up a major shopping street to get to the Metro…

A luxury shopping neighbourhood.

A luxury shopping neighbourhood.

In tropical and sub-tropical countries, orchids abound. But to a northerner, seeing them in flower boxes or growing wild, it seems very exotic.

Urban flower pots in a hot climate.

Urban flower pots in a hot climate.

This photo was taken before the light show as we walked back down from Victoria Peak (previous post) to get the Star Ferry (previous post) back to Kowloon.

In many cities I find the surname of my kids, and think they may appreciate a photo.

In many cities I find the surname of my kids, and think they may appreciate a photo.

Hong Kong – Star Ferries

Steaming in - taken from the pier waiting area, leaning out a window.

Steaming in – taken from the pier waiting area, leaning out a window.

The charming Star Ferry boats have been faithfully carrying passengers from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and back since 1888. You can read more about them here and here.  In the photo above you are looking at Hong Kong island in the background.  In the photo below, you are looking east along the Kowloon waterfront. We rode the ferries over and back on both of the days we were in Hong Kong; they cost next to nothing.

The building behind the ferry terminal played a role during the evening light show with lights playing across it's large surfaces.   I believe it is an Arts Centre but cannot find it on a map to confirm.

The building behind the ferry terminal played a role during the evening light show with lights playing across it’s large surfaces. I believe it is an Arts Centre but cannot find it on a map to confirm.

There are several ferry routes. So while we waited at one berth you could see the boats coming and going from the neighbouring berths.

There are several ferry routes. So while we waited at one terminal you could see the boats coming and going from the neighbouring terminals.

Steaming out.

Steaming out.

A late evening sailing.

A late evening sailing.

Hong Kong Victoria Peak

Turned loose in Hong Kong, we first headed for the subway to the waterfront in Kowloon, took a Star Ferry (in a subsequent post) across the harbour to Hong Kong, and climbed the steep Hong Kong streets to the entrance of the tram which takes you to the top of Victoria Peak.

You emerge in a touristy building….from which you can see down the mountain.

View from inside the inverted pyramid at the end of the funicular railway.

View from inside the inverted pyramid at the end of the funicular railway.

You can ride escalators to the top of the building – if you have paid the extra fee to do so. We didn’t.

Those who paid for a better view, get it.

Those who paid for a better view, get it.

Alternatively you can walk around a path just below the peak and look across to Kowloon, down on the densely populated business centre of the north-facing part of Hong Kong Island, or westwards to the shipping lanes.

Looking over built up Hong Kong towards Kowloon and the New Territories.

Looking over built up Hong Kong towards Kowloon and the New Territories.

Looking over built up Hong Kong towards Kowloon and the New Territories.

Looking over built up Hong Kong towards Kowloon and the New Territories.

That must be one expensive piece of real estate!

That must be one expensive piece of real estate!

From the west side of Victoria Peak was another shopping area and viewing platforms towards the west, where it was quite hazy over the China Sea.

From the west side of Victoria Peak was another shopping area and viewing platforms towards the west, where it was quite hazy over the China Sea.

Next Hong Kong Post: the Star Ferries.

Hong Kong – Hotel Views

At last I have come to the last destination on my 21 day tour of China. Hong Kong was less smoggy than anywhere else we had been, though there was a haze as the day heated up.

The hotel as seen from a lovely park which we crossed on our way to the subway station.

The hotel as seen from a lovely park which we crossed on our way to the subway station.

We stayed at l’Hotel Nina et Convention Centre in the New Territories, not on Hong Kong Island, nor in Kowloon, which lies between the New Territories and Hong Kong Island. Our fellow tour-ists also stayed there and ate breakfast there, but we were free to tour Hong Kong on our own time and according to our own tastes.

The hotel consisted of two towers, with a bridge at the 51st floor. I think we were either just below or just above that floor.

The hotel consisted of two towers, with a bridge at the 51st floor. I think we were either just below or just above that floor.

Half way up the rise to our room, we had to change elevators – somewhere around the 44th floor. The elevator lobby at that height looked westward and southwest towards sea lanes and shipping. Most of the following photos were taken out of windows so you will see reflections in some of the corners.

Looking west towards Lantau Island and HK airport.

Looking west towards Lantau Island and HK airport.

The land to the right of the bridge is called Tsing Yi

The land to the right of the bridge is called Tsing Yi

Looking southwest past Gin Drinkers' Bay and towards Rambler Channel. (Don't you believe everything on Google Maps?)

Looking southwest past Gin Drinkers’ Bay and towards Rambler Channel. (Don’t you believe everything on Google Maps?)

This photo was taken at ground level while walking to the subway and it shows another section of the highway which appears in the lower left of the two previous photos.

This photo was taken at ground level while walking to the subway and it shows another section of the highway which appears in the lower left of the two previous photos.

From the same elevator lobby you could also see south towards a densely populated city where building was going on everywhere.

The building on the left is the same one as on the right of  the second photo

The building on the left is the same one as on the right of the second photo

From our room we could see south and eastwards towards the mountains of the New Territories.

The New Territories.

The New Territories.

The New Territories.

The New Territories.

Looking down, you could see the hotel’s amenities, but we never went!

Expensive real estate for a pool and tennis courts.

Expensive real estate for a pool and tennis courts.

This dining table seats at least 25. We breakfast buffet clients didn’t get to sit there!

Longer than my house is wide!

Longer than my house is wide!

Next Hong Kong post: Victoria Peak

Macau, Las Vegas of the East

Smoggy casino top.

Smoggy casino top.

 

We were told that Chinese people love to gamble. Macau has developed an economy for itself by becoming a gambling centre. Some of the casinos are modelled on ones found in Las Vegas, including the Venetian.

The Venetian

The Venetian

The Venetian

The Venetian

 

Our hotel was more or less across the street from the Venetian, and when Google earth filmed the ‘strip’ in December 2008, our hotel was still under construction.  It too had a casino which you had to enter in order to sit within the lobby.

This view is from the pool area of our hotel which was lovely and cool that evening.

 

Night life at the Venetian.

Night life at the Venetian.