Hong Kong was founded on the opium trade and proclaimed a British
colony in 1841, remaining so until 1997, when it was returned to
China. Hong Kong is 6 million people crammed vertically onto 400
square miles. Her population is highly literate with 60 Chinese
newspapers published in Hong Kong, as well as several English dailies.
We took the funicular tram up to 1800 foot Victoria Peak for splendid
views of the city (photo). We sailed on a sampan all through Aberdeen
Harbor to see her floating population of literally thousands of
families living their entire lives on sampans and junks (photos).
A visit to Stanley Market provided all the excitement, chaos and
clamor of a street market with shops jammed full of brightly colored
silk jackets, intricate Chinese embroidery and extraordinary tapestries,
rugs, jade, bamboo, chopsticks…all sorts of exotic Asian wonders.
Our conclusion is that Hong Kong has been misspelled. It really
is “Shop-Ping” (accent on last syllable)! Incredible pieces of Chinese
creativity, ingenuity and workmanship are for sale everywhere. Most
of us are aware that Hong Kong, like the rest of the world, has
experienced a sagging economy in the past few years. We can assure
you that Hong Kong experienced an abrupt financial turn-around as
the result of our visit. Our effort to shore up their economy was
magnificent! Sailing in and out of these world cruise harbors is
a fantastically extraordinary experience, of which folks who fly
in and out are sadly deprived. Hong Kong is a case in point. Hong
Kong is miles of sleek and astonishing steel and glass towers, lined
up shoulder to shoulder, whose nighttime illumination reflected
on the water is a sight that shall remain with us always.