On Saturday morning we took a tram to Western Market in Hong Kong Central. It was a nice building and one of the few old ones in the Central area, but the renovations had resulted in a rather kitschy shopping arcade. East along Des Voignes Road, we went into a department store to look at luggage again – although we didn’t intend to buy any in Hong Kong – it was just research for Bangkok.
Further along was the start of the Mid-Levels Escalator – actually a series of travelators that operate in a downhill direction during morning rush hour, and uphill the rest of the time. Ascending almost to the top allowed us a leisurely wander down the steep streets to the swanky shops of Chater Road
The funky lighting strips embedded in the floor drew us into the open air lobby of the HSBC building to admire its lofty atrium, and to study the remarkable advance of the waterfront as more and more land has been reclaimed. Then it was a ride back to Wan Chai to buy egg tarts and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch the next day.
While packing, I realised I’d lost my scarf but remembered taking it off in Mos Burger two nights before, so I went back to see if they had it. They found it – but only thanks to the entrance of an older man who understood my mime and the English word “scarf”. And for us as tourists, that was the biggest difference from our visit in 1987 – English is far less widely spoken than it was. Hong Kong now feels more like China, or maybe Taiwan, than an outpost of the British Empire.