Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hongkong 3: The streets within

To experience Hongkong means getting acquainted with the structures, both the buildings, and the space (streets and gangs) between them. Hongkong has one of the crowded yet comfortable pedestrians in the world, just like Singapore, whereas their width equals the streets. With such proportions, we wonder how the traffic would go without any significant jams where we can easily find here in Jakarta. Though the pedestrian was quite pleasing, Hongkong still shares the untouched urban structures above the pedestrian levels, where we constantly had to cover our heads from the dripping window air conditioners.

When we arrived at the plaza in front of HB, we noticed that similar urban crowd we have in Singapore or even in SCBD Kuningan has come to the surface, except with different settings or backgrounds. But after a short Tram ride, when we stepped our feet on North Hollywood Road in Hongkong along the way to the southern part (SOHO), we were amazed by how they managed to have both traditional yet modern society living on such tight and multi layered space (or perhaps storeys).
To get to the southern part (which is on a higher grounds), we must take like hundreds of climbing steps, where these stalls, kiosks, and even cafe are located on each side. Fortunately, we came to a connecting mid level elevators where we can reach the highest part of the town, near the Peak Tram. This mid level elevator has the width of the streets below, except it's intended only for people, thus many advertising boards/boxes were placed at the same level as the elevator as building facades. Considering the miles and terrain we have encountered that day, we decided to take a raincheck for the Peak:). Instead we walked downhill, across another kiosks and grilled-pork canteen again, towards the IFC Mall near the harbour.

Once, we saw this signage that says "open public park ahead" that we easily refered to our common parks in Jakarta, instead there were only smaller gardens with ramps and stairs downward, where we finally realized that the park was actually placed in levels below us with some stairs and a glass-paneled lift to access.

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