hong kong island cityscapes from the top of the big bus *hong kong*

Saturday, April 4:  As soon as I disembark from the Star Ferry onto Hong Kong Island, I see a Big Bus *Hong Kong* siting right in front of me.  I’ve always been a fan of hop-on hop-off bus rides in cities all over the world, and whenever a city offers one, I’m happy to jump on!  In this case, a Hispanic woman sells me the ticket.  She’s talking a mile a minute, and I have to say I don’t understand half of what she says, but she’s stapling all kinds of tickets into a pamphlet and telling me I can get a one hour Harbour Tour, a free ride up the Peak Tram, a Sampan ride in Aberdeen, a night tour, plus numerous harbour crossings on the Star Ferry. All within 48 hours! In addition, I can take the green route (Aberdeen & Stanley Tour), the red route (Hong Kong Island Tour), or the blue route (Kowloon Tour).  All for the exorbitant price of 550 HK$, or $71 (USD).  Ouch.  I buy the ticket without fully thinking it through, and it turns out I’m ripped off royally because I don’t have time to get my money’s worth out of it.

Getting on the big bus *hong kong* at Pier 8

Getting on the big bus *hong kong* at Pier 8

As soon as I leave her, I hop on the first bus I see, and as the bus gets underway, I find I’m on the green route (Aberdeen and Stanley Tour).  This route goes to the south of Hong Kong Island, not through Central, where I mistakenly assumed we were going.  As per my usual way of traveling, I don’t bother to look at the pamphlet and think things through BEFORE I get on the bus!  Oh well, I’m on my way, and the bus is off, so this is the tour I’m in for.  It’s a two-hour ride, the automated voice at the end of my earphones tells me, so there goes a chunk of my day.  I shrug it off.  Whatever I see, I see.  Lately this is my attitude about travel.  I can’t see everything, so whatever I see is good. First we pass by the Hong Kong Observation Wheel and some fairgrounds, where crowds of people are congregating.

The Hong Kong Observation Wheel

The Hong Kong Observation Wheel

Fairgrounds

Fairgrounds

We drive up into Central, where I can see the Bank of China (where I do my banking) in the crisscrossed building.

The criss-crossed building is Bank of China

The crisscrossed building is Bank of China

Hong Kong Central

Hong Kong Central

Bank of China

Bank of China

In the midst of all these skyscrapers is a modest, more traditional building, that occupies some of the most prime real estate on the planet.

a more traditional building dwarfed by skyscrapers

a more traditional building dwarfed by skyscrapers

Central

Central

This interesting Lego-looking building is the LIPPO Center, a twin-tower skyscraper complex (the second is behind the one showing), completed in 1988.  It is nicknamed the “Koala Tree Tower” because it suggests koalas clutching a tree. The buildings were designed by American architect Paul Rudolph who designed clusters of obtruding windows to avoid the traditional severity of the skyscraper.

LIPPO Centre

LIPPO Centre

Some of the name brands are ones I recognize, such as Panasonic and Epson, others I don’t.

Panasonic

Panasonic

Epson, Skyworth and Company

Epson, Skyworth and Company

After passing through a tunnel, we make a stop at Ocean Park, a giant theme and adventure park, which I have no interest in visiting.  It covers an entire peninsula east of Aberdeen, on the south coast of Hong Kong.

Ocean Park

Ocean Park

Then we head to Repulse Bay, highly popular because it has a number of shops and restaurants. The bay is bordered by the monstrous tower centered around the Repulse Bay Hotel, a restaurant and shopping complex.

Apartments at Repulse Bay

Apartments at Repulse Bay

I am sitting on the left side of the open air bus, and I realize as soon as we reach the south coast that I should be on the right.  I can’t stand up because of low hanging tree branches, and so I can’t get any good pictures of the beautiful beaches and bays.  A couple of times I almost stand up to take pictures, out of pure excitement,  If I had done so, I wouldn’t be here today to tell the story!

Repulse Bay

Repulse Bay

Continuing on, we pass smaller bays and beaches, eventually arriving at Stanley, a residential town whose claim to fame is a bustling tourist market, selling souvenirs including clothes, embroideries and trinkets, and Hong Kong’s largest Dragon Boat Races.  Many people get off the bus here, but I am waiting to get off at Aberdeen, where I can take a “free” (included in my ticket price) sampan ride.

Stanley Beach

Stanley Beach

Stanley Beach

Stanley Beach

Stanley Beach

Stanley Beach

Home on the south of Hong Kong Island, near Stanley Beach

Home on the south of Hong Kong Island, near Stanley Beach

Stanley Beach

Stanley Beach

Stanley Beach

Stanley Beach

Here at Stanley, the bus turns around and heads back past Repulse Bay and Ocean Park toward Aberdeen.

Back to Repulse Bay

Back to Repulse Bay

At Aberdeen, I get off the bus with a bunch of people, and we go on a Sampan ride.  I’ll show you that in another post. After our sampan ride, I get back on the bus, and we head back past the fringes of Repulse Bay and then back through the tunnel toward Central.

Repulse Bay

Repulse Bay

Back in Central

Back in Central

Back in Central

Back in Central

Back in Central

Back in Central

Highway signs: Central & Kowloon

Highway signs: Central & Kowloon

Central

Central

Across Victoria Harbor in Kowloon, I can see the tallest building in Hong Kong, the International Commerce Center (ICC).

Central in Hong Kong

Central in Hong Kong

Scraping the sky

Scraping the sky

International Commerce Center - ICC - the tallest building in Hong Kong - in Kowloon

International Commerce Center – ICC – the tallest building in Hong Kong – in Kowloon

reaching for the clouds

reaching for the clouds

Finally, back to where we started, I get off the Big Bus *Hong Kong*, where I get back on the Star Ferry and head back to Kowloon across Victoria Harbor.

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Categories: Aberdeen, Asia, Big Bus *Hong Kong*, Central, China, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong Observation Wheel, Kowloon, Ocean Park, Repulse Bay, Stanley, Star Ferry, Travel, Victoria Harbor | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “hong kong island cityscapes from the top of the big bus *hong kong*

  1. That architecture is incredible! I also liked how the clouds helped your pictures, even the dark gray ones. And your adventures continue!

    Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, Nancy, that the architecture is pretty darn impressive in Hong Kong. I liked the mood that the dark clouds gave. It was an interesting sky as it was actually a sunny day with those dark clouds hovering about as well. Believe it or not, I’ve had another adventure since Hong Kong, but I’m getting further and further behind in blogging about them all! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have no concept of where you are or what you’re doing, so posting them now or several months from now is not something I’d notice. I simply enjoy them for what they are.

        Like

      • Thanks, Nancy! I’m glad you enjoy them. -)

        Like

  2. That’s quite a tour Cathy, I find the architecture really exciting.

    Like

  3. High rise and cityscapes aren’t really my thing, Cathy, but I lit up when we looked out onto Stanley bay. 🙂

    Like

  4. Loved seeing a close up of HK! My mom went to boarding school there in the 30s and I remember her mentioning Kowloon. She certainly never saw the high rises but the bay is still there.

    Like

  5. your neck must have been hurting from looking up all the time…:-)

    Like

  6. Thank you so much for the tour of Hong Kong. I often wonder why those hop on, hop off bus tours are so expensive. $71! Ouch is right. You got so many great shots. I agree with one of the other comments — all that looking up must have been hard on your neck. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks, Robin. Hong Kong is really fascinating and so cosmopolitan, yet it has all that beautiful natural scenery as well. I’m getting hopelessly behind on blogging about all my adventures. That looking up was hard on my neck!! 🙂

      Like

  7. That sure was a mind boggling tour Cathy. I saw Hong Kong in 1989 and do not remember so many hi-rises, things have changed

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  8. So many familiar sights in your photos! Thanks for taking me back to a place I really enjoyed visiting. We actually did go to Ocean Park – we went there to celebrate my daughter’s 8th birthday with friends. We had a very enjoyable day spending time in the water park, on the rides and looking at the wildlife. It was great for a family day out but, like you, I wouldn’t have been interested if I had been on my own.

    Like

    • I’m glad you’re able to relive your good memories of Hong Kong through my posts, Elaine. I always love when someone writes about a place where I’ve been so I can reminisce. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed Ocean Park; I could see it would be fun with family, and especially small children. 🙂

      Like

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