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Getting Around Hong Kong Part II – The Star Ferry.

July 10, 2011

The centre of Hong Kong includes Hong Kong Island and Kowloon – separated by Hong Kong Bay.  This was one of the busiest ports in the world – and still is, although commerce has moved to the west.  One of the remnants of Hong Kong remains active – and is one of the coolest low-buck things one can do while here…The Star Ferry.

The Star Ferry http://www.starferry.com.hk/ traces its origins back to 1880, and the current floating stock has been in service for the past 50+ years.  This is a real live ferry service – not a tourist trappy thing.  The ferries reminded me of the Bob-Lo boats of Detroit, now long gone.

To take the ferry, one purchases a plastic token for the princely sum of HKD$3 (about thirty-eight US cents) and enters via a ferry terminal more at home in the 50’s.

The yellow line is paving guidelines for the blind, ubiquitous throughout Asia.  I suspect nutrition-induced blindness to be the reason; we experienced more blind people in Seoul than pretty much every other place we’ve been combined.

It’s open seating; first come gets the best seat.

The Queen’s English comes first – a reminder this is a relic of another era.

The cabin felt all the world a pilothouse of a 19th century steamer.  This is the real deal; the people of Honk Kong know and cherish the ferry as a result.

I was intrigued by the seats…

While they look spartan; they’re quite comfortable – and – reversible!

While the ferry was cool, the real reason for its longevity are the views.

I’m pretty sure this is a tourist junk by the wake, but it’s a cool shot anyway.  The photgrapher at work:

The views from the ferry are nothing short of spectacular – especially so at night.  If you go back a couple of days in the blog to An Evening In Hong Kong – you’ll see what we mean.

No wonder this has been a Hong Kong fixture for nearly 130 years!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Garythetourist permalink
    July 10, 2011 8:58 pm

    Hi Chuck. I just found your blog and I’m so happy that I did. This is fantastic. Thank you for sharing. Hong Kong is one of those “bucket list” places for my wife and I and your photos only add to our desire to see it. We really hoped to see it before “the change” but obviously that didn’t work out. Many years ago James Clavell’s novels like Shogun, Tai-Pan and Noble House ignited the desire to see Hong Kong….maybe one day.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      July 10, 2011 9:10 pm

      Great to see you here!

      It was Michael Beattie’s prodding which catalyzed the process – now I can’t stop, even though I think he no longer follows our travels.

      Growing up in the 60’s meant watching movies which portrayed this part of the world as an exotic place – and in many ways, it still is. The world is smaller now – and exotic is Penom Penh or Ho Chi Minh City these days.

      We really liked Singapore, and strongly recommend it as a place to go to when you get the chance.

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