The prodigals returnNovember 8, 2017 in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is rather like an old shoe; comfortable, slightly scruffy round the edges and thoroughly welcome at the end of a long day. It has lost nothing in the four years that have passed since our last visit, still resembling New York on speed! We arrived at our hotel in Kowloon mid afternoon and were checked in by a diminutive young lady called 'Pinky'. An enquiry as to Perky's whereabouts would have course fallen on deaf ears and probably just as well, in these politically correct times.
The weather is warm, (mid seventies) and misty and it is a pleasant change to wander about in short sleeves. Having said that the Chinese are in unrelieved black and autumn sweaters. The queues outside Hermes, Chanel and the like are undiminished from ten in the morning till ten at night, closing time. The appetite for designer labels is seemingly as strong as ever. Interestingly there are markedly more mainland Chinese here than when we were here before, only confirming the looming presence of the Chinese tiger just round the corner with wallets stuffed full of yen.
We found an old friend in a restaurant close by and retired early to bed only to sleep the clock round to our surprise.
Our major plan of this short visit was to visit Happy Valley, the racecourse shoe-horned into the centre of Hong Kong Island. Along with our fellow tour compatriots we were guests of the Hong Kong Jockey Club for supper and the racing, alongside an unlimited supply of whatever tipple took your fancy. The only request from 'Joanna' our guide was that we were able to stagger back to the bus at the end of the night, as she would not be able to carry anyone! The racing was competitive and we had an excellent view from the balcony outside. All bets are taken at the equivalent of the tote counter in the room and apart from the odd wander down to the paddock and winners enclosure, you are relieved of your money with the least possible inconvenience. It is all very civilised. A small starter voucher of 30 HKD is provided and after that you are on your own, or as in my case retired to the stables! The company was good and a very convivial evening flew by. The setting of the extremely palatial course is unusual, in that you are surrounded by towering skyscrapers with their twinkling lights, quite unlike anywhere else in the world and it was an occasion to savour.
Another tick on Peter's bucket list.
We are moving on today to Australia and I am tapping away to you in the lounge at the airport awaiting our flight to Adelaide, from whence I pen you the next instalment.Read more