Holiday – China (Day 18): Scrutiny On The Buses

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Our penultimate day in Hong Kong – and the holiday! Gosh, it feels like we’ve been out here forever!

After my recent episode – On the Buses – we’ve now scrutinised our Big Bus sightseeing tour from yesterday, and whilst we didn’t cover everything we planned, we did pretty well! πŸ˜πŸ‘

  • Sailing on the Star Ferry – DONE
  • Experiencing all of the Green Route – DONE
  • Covering some of the Red Route – HALF DONE
  • Taking a trip on a sanpan – DONE
  • Travelling on the Peak Tram – DONE
  • Wowing at the views from Victoria Peak – DONE

I therefore feel a sequel coming on (wasn’t there also a sequel to the movie – On the Buses?) How appropriate! πŸ˜‚

Today, we’re going to try and…

  • …take in all of the Blue Route
  • visit the Sky100 Observation Tower (Blue Route, Stop 14)
  • take a guided-walk around the city
  • enjoy the (one hour) night-tour by Bus
Click on the map for a more detailed version
Yep, that’ll be fine, I’ll take it!

The Blue Route

Click above for a larger version

There are only about six stops on this route and it only takes an hour to do the complete circuit (excluding the Sky100 walkabout) – it’s all very do-able.

You can see a more detailed map of all the routes showing ALL the stops HERE.

The Sky100 Observation Tower

Developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties, Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck is located on the 100th floor of International Commerce Centre, the tallest building in Hong Kong. At 393 metres above sea level, it is the only indoor observation deck in Hong Kong offering 360-degree views of the territory and its famous Victoria Harbour.

Without doubt, the high-spot (see what I did there?!) of the Blue-Route was the stop at ‘Sky100’. We’d already been impressed by the views from Shanghai Tower earlier in the holiday, but this was even better! – helped by the fact that the place was almost deserted when we got there at around 11.20am. Fantastic! πŸ˜„

We really do recommend this! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

After enjoying a quick coffee on the observation floor, we headed for the exit and pickup-point. Getting to the top had been easy-peasy…

…but finding our way to where the Bus was to pick us up – not so much! After much mis-direction, we realised we should have just followed the signs for ‘Coach Pickup’ on the lower-ground floor (obviously!). πŸ™„

We were soon on-board… and what seemed like off again as the Tour concluded. I guess, in summary, I’d say we didn’t learn very much about the area; Sky100 was the best bit, but the hour tour had given us a feel for this part of the city.

Next stop was an early lunch. Fortunately, the tour finished right next to Pizza Express. It was empty when we arrived around noon and absolutely heaving, when we left around an hour later!

…and at HK$58 for a two-courser – around Β£5.80 pp – I’m not surprised; what’s NOT to love? πŸ˜‹

Guided Walk around the City

Ann and I opted out of this one, as we wanted to complete today’s Blog post before the Night-Tour later (well, that’s my excuse!). Ralph and Karen flew the flag for the group! πŸ˜‰, so we said our temporary goodbyes and they headed for the meeting-point via the Ferry. Cheers you two – see you later for the Night Tour!!

The Night Tour

This was a one-hour tour starting at 7pm. There’s only one departure time and it was suggested that we get there in good time to bag the best bus seat!

The Hotel’s free Shuttle-bus took me from the hotel and dropped me at The Peninsular – right where the tour started, so that was perfect!

I wouldn’t say it was the most exciting set of lights I ever seen but it was worth the trip if only to appreciate the sheer volume of the retail operation – especially the number of watch shops. The gazillions of people walking in every direction made us appreciate even more being on the top-deck of the Bus! πŸ˜ƒ

We’ve got a FINAL full day here tomorrow, and it’s our last day in Hong Kong – and the holiday! Time to think about packing!

Well, that’s it! After 225,616 steps, we’re done here! (until the next time!) πŸ‘ 😁

It’s been a great break, with great friends and some unforgettable memories! Back to reality, when we land at 5.30am on Saturday (tomorrow) morning! 😴😴😴😴

More photos (and none of my chat!) HERE

Holiday – China (Day 17): Hong Kong – On the Buses

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Well, hello there Reader, thanks for stopping-by.
It’s Day 2 for us in Hong Kong – day 17 of our 19-day adventure in China. 😎

That’ll do nicely

We’re sight-seeing today by Bus today taking in the sights of Hong Kong, courtesy of the Big Bus Tour. We’re attempting to cover as many of their routes as possible over the next two days.

We love a challenge! πŸ€”

Click on the image for a larger view

You can download a super-detailed map of all of their bus-routes from HERE.

Let the buses commence! Our first was the hotel’s free shuttle service, running pretty much throughout the day, twice an hour.

We’d already bought our Big-Bus bus tickets online (saving 10%) before we left – and opted for the two-day deluxe option (details HERE). Buying the tickets to cover two days meant we’d be able to pace ourselves accordingly. At the time of writing, the cost per couple was Β£135 and that included a trip on the famous Star Ferry, plus the Peak Tram/sky100 observation tower. plus all three routes (Red, Blue and Green), the night tour, a cruise on a Sanpan and a two-and-a-half hour guided walk around the city.

If you want to get a real feel for Hong Kong, in my view, this is probably the most time efficient/cost effective way to do things.

Once the shuttle-bus dropped us off, it was just a short walk to the (rather unattractive, but functional) Star Ferry Terminal.

After a bit of help from the Big-Bus visitor Centre at the Terminal converting our online QR codes to actual tickets…

…we were soon on-board ‘Twinkling Star’ heading for adventure…

…with some beautiful views across the water!

It’s less than 30p to use the Ferry, and it’s the easiest way to get across from the Island. The Big-Bus err… buses are large affairs with a semi-covered roof and an air-conditioned lower deck. There’s free wifi too! Headphones seem to be on ‘request-only’ these days in an effort for them to ‘help save the planet’ (their words).

On the Bus (Green Route)

11.15am: We’re off on the Green Route that takes in Ocean Park, Repulse Bay, Stanley and Aberdeen. I’d say it was less ‘hop-on/hop-off’, more hang on for dear life as our driver did the circuit at some speed! It’s very twisty-turney and not very camera-friendly given the foliage that was blocking a lot of the views. Ralph and did our best!

All in all, very green, very pretty and by the looks of it – very expensive! (Nine Teslas spotted plus a Ferrari showroom!) πŸ˜„

Oh yes, very nice indeed! 😎

On the Sanpan

A Sanpan is a Chinese flat bottomed-boat. We’re not quite sure of the difference between it a Junk, but we think the latter might have a traditional hull. Anyway, enough of the specifics, we got this one all to ourselves and our skipper navigated us with ease aroud the harbour area and further afield.

Smiles on the Sanpan
The Skipper’s View

Very nice! 😁

And good to see the floating Chinese restaurant again after all these years. it still looks the same! Beautiful! 😍

On the Retail Therapy

Lunch was now calling! LOUDLY!!! 😁 So, when the bus dropped us back at the Ferry Terminal, we took the short walk over the footbridge to a rather swanky shopping centre – The International Finance Centre. Crikey! There’s posh places to shop, even posher places to shop… and then there’s this development! 😯 Seriously impressive with some very expensive items on sale, especially writwatches… and especially RADO! Leave me here, I’ll be fine! 😁

On the Burgers

However, our needs were more basic – even a burger would do! And as luck would have it, there was an outlet called Shake ‘n’ Vac Shack (website HERE). It was looking pretty busy with seating inside and out – and on two floors! We joined the queue but were quickly ushered into ‘fast-track’ because we were paying by plastic! 😁😁

We sat outside with some great views across the water – and the food wasn’t bad either. Pity tht the loos were so far away though! (must be my age!) πŸ™„

The view from the Shake n Vac Shack

We were stuffed, but we still had plenty of Hong Kong still to cover, so we headed back to the Big-Bus boarding point near the Ferry Terminal (whilst taking in some great views of the ‘Hong Kong Observation Wheel from the covered walkway).

Next stop was the world famous The Peak and the equally famous Tram to get us there…

On the Tram

The experience was pretty unique! It climbs VERY steeply, and in spite of a fellow passenger insisting it was climbing at an angle of around 22Β°, Ralph and I reckoned it was more like 45Β°!

On the ‘Wonk’

I’ve gone all wonky!

Ann and I have been here before and so we knew what to expect when we got to the top…

…only we didn’t! Much has changed here in terms of the viewing opportunity. They seem to have built UPWARDS and created a major new viewing area. We thought it was going to cost us extra, but a quick wave of our Tram ticket got us in up there for nothing! 😊. Apparently it’s called Sky Terrace 428 and is the highest platform in Hong Kong at 428 metres (ahh, that explains the name!)

And nothing could have prepared us for the views! They were great last time – this time? simply jaw-dropping!

Wowser! 😎

Then it was down to earth the way we came – by Tram…

…where we waited for the next Red-Route Bus for about 45 minutes (Grrrr!) that took us back the Ferry Terminal.

On the Ferry

It had been an action-packed day, and we were glad ot be back on the Ferry. We caught a taxi at the other end and were soon back at The Kerry for our evening meal at 5.30! Phew! πŸ₯±πŸ₯±πŸ₯±πŸ₯±

We briefly planned what we left to do on our two-day tickets and it looks like tomorrow is shaping up to be a another fun-filled day, just like today! 😎

  • As much of the Blue Route as we can
  • The visit to the Sky100 Observation tower
  • A guided walk around the city
  • The Night Tour

By the way, there’s hardly any evidence of social unrest here (maybe contrary to what you might have seen in the media). A bit of graffiti, but not much more than you see in a typical modern city!

Nighty-night, see you tomorrow! 😴😴

More photos (and none of my chat!) HERE