Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Scouting and Art Kowloon, Hong Kong, Wednesday, 15 September 2010 8:33pm

When I discussed the options for getting to my hotel with the woman at the tourist information booth at the airport, one of the options that she dismissed was taking the Airport Express to the nearest station (Kowloon) on that line and then walking. She said it would be too hard, and would take 30 minutes.

Since the distance really didn't look too far on the map, I decided to test it out without my baggage or a deadline. It turned out to be much trickier than it should have been. Most of the signage in Hong Kong has been great, but this particular route had a lot of misleading signs and places where signs were entirely lacking. I suspect that one of the problems is a development that has torn up an entire block in the middle of the route (it seems they're putting in a new long-distance rail station). I did end up finding a route that works. It involves walking through a subway station (Austin), then through a mall (Elements). Kowloon station is under the mall (this is quite common in Hong Kong and China).

I stopped in for lunch at a restaurant called Red Ant on Ashley Rd, one of the foodie areas of Kowloon. I had a really good bowl of chicken noodle soup and a couple glasses of fresh-squeezed lime juice. Just the thing to fight the cold that's been sneaking up on me since I left China.

I spent the afternoon in the Hong Kong Museum of Art. They're running a special exhibition called "The Ultimate South China Travel Guide — Canton II", which gives tips for traveling from Europe to Hong Kong, Canton, and Macau... in the period after the Opium Wars (1839-1860), but before the turn of the 19th century. Lots of fascinating paintings, etchings, and excerpts from travel guides of the period. There was also a section on what souvenirs to buy, with excellent examples of the art you might have taken back to Europe with you when you were done. A great idea for how to structure a thematic exhibition.

In the evening, I stopped by the Temple Street Night Market, refusing a number of offers of watches, but picking up a small bag to check on the plane tomorrow and some assorted souvenirs.