Friday 22 October


We have an uneventful flight to Hong Kong, where we land at midday. The airport train whisks us into the centre of Kowloon in precisely 22 minutes, and a hotel bus ferrys us from the main station to the Marco Polo Hotel. There is a slight delay while our room is made ready, so we go to change some travellers’ cheques while we are waiting. The room is spacious but characterless, and the window looks directly into an office next door.

It is a short walk to Nathan Road, where we take the MCR to Hong Kong Island. We are planning to visit some missionary friends of James in Macau tomorrow, so we go first to the ferry terminal to sort out tickets.

The highlight of the day is the ride up to the peak on the tramway and the view over Hong Kong as night falls. The tram is unbelievably steep so that we are tipped right back in our seats. Outside, skyscrapers loom around us at crazy angles.

Hong Kong at Night

View over the Bay

The top has been redeveloped since James was last here. It is now billed as the “New Peak Experience—more than just a view”. The “more than just a view” bit seems to pertain to a lot of tacky souveneer shops and a freak-museum. Prices are nearly as high as the peak, but we settle for dinner at the Café Deco, a smart restaurant with live music and a stunning panoramic view over the city. The food, although not up to the standard to which we have become accustomed, is no disgrace. My Cantonese duck pizza is unusual, but rather good.

Just before desert, our view of the cityscape suddenly improves when a large party arrives forcing the waiters to rearrange some tables. A waiter asks us if we would mind moving to a table next to the window. We are happy to oblige.

For variety, we take the Star Ferry back to the mainland. One last look at the panorama of lights over the waterfront, and then it is back to the hotel.