I really enjoyed Hong Kong. In a few days, I think I got a good feeling for the city. In many ways, it is very accessible. Compared to American cities, it is pedestrian friendly and easy to get around. There are signposts everywhere. Similar to shopping mall corridors, there are pedestrian walkways throughout the city–so you can easily and safely cross busy intersections. There are even outside escalators to take you to different levels.
The city proper is squeezed in front of the cliffs of several mountains. Over time, land has been “reclaimed” or added onto in the harbor, so the city has grown significantly. Because of the shortage of land, the city has grown up. Skyscrapers and sky-rises are everywhere. Reportedly, there are 6,480 people per square kilometer.
I went to the top of Hong Kong to Victoria Peak by the tram. I rode the Star Ferry to Kowloon and saw downtown from sea water level. Went to the Hong Kong Park, Arboretum, Kowloon, Art Museum, History Museum, and the Tian Tan Buddha. We also rode the trolley to the end of the line.
Staying first on Lantau Island and resting up before going to downtown was definitely a good idea. Like most large cities, the noise and air pollution is intense.
The MTR or subway is easy to use despite the large numbers of people. At one point, I noticed eight escalators going up and down, all full of people. People are polite, friendly and generally follow the directions. Public service announcements are everywhere. There was a gigantic video screening showing how to stretch in your office. Free public toilets are clean, well-marked and well-lit. The libraries are top-notch and the main central library is the nicest library building I have been in. WiFi, computers and Internet terminals are readily available. Parks, zoos, arboretums and public areas are everywhere.
We stayed at the Harbourview Hotel and had a good view of the Harbor, downtown and Kowloon.