This holiday I've been going through the tourist brochure doing all the things I haven't had the time for because of the work, the family and the commute. If I'd known what to notice, I could have gotten an idea about the flavour of Hong Kong from the first when I picked up the tourist brochure in the airport. It's thin enough to fit in a purse or breast pocket. It's full of succinct descriptions. And it includes detailed instructions on how to get there at the end of each paragraph complete with what exit to take out of the MTR. So I've been dutifully following instructions and checking off each attraction.
Here is my required picture from The Peak at night. There's the white "bearclaw" of the IFC that is the terminus for my ferry commute. There's the incredibly red Panasonic sign that makes the harbor glow. There's the "lightning" building which is the new Bank of China building. Somewhere in the foreground is the apartment in which I'd spent an hour of my vacation, tutoring to pay for a loft bed.
The Peak is in a nutshell what I understand Hong Kong to be. It's historic - the tram's been running since 1888. It's full of high end shopping - you are funneled out of the tram into a five story shopping mall. It's kitschy - there's a Ripley's Believe It or Not and a Madame Tussaud's wax museum with local celebrities like Jackie Chan. It's bright and electric - there's a multi-coloured light display on the ceiling of the Peak Tower. There is free fun - a big EA electronic game centre for the kids. It's sporty - lots of nature walks going off in all directions. And it's crowded.