As I mentioned earlier, we Madisonians are used to having our own cars to drive around. And it's pretty easy to get anywhere you want to go with a car. But there are so many ways to get around in Hong Kong, it was easy to get used to not having a car. We did a lot of walking. Even though the sidewalks were usually pretty crowded, it didn't take us long to figure out how to maneuver our way

View of Lantau Island (where the Giant Buddha sits) from the ferry.

through the crowds. It may have helped that three out of the five of us were over six feet tall.

First ride on the Star Ferry.

The form of transportation we used most after walking was the ferry. We rode the Star Ferry almost every day. We had never been on a ferry like this before. There is a small car ferry about 2 hours away from Madison that we have ridden on a couple times. But that was nothing like the experience of riding on the Hong Kong ferries. So many people ride the ferries throughout the day and night. The view while riding the Star Ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island was just breathtaking every
single time. We also rode a ferry to Lantau Island. Talk about amazing. We don't have anything in Wisconsin that even resembles the mountains and landscape that we saw on that ride.

We also rode on the subway several times. We don't have these in Wisconsin and no one in our family had ever ridden on one. This ended up being Stephanie and Nic's favorite way of getting around. Stephanie would put her headphones on and listen to her music while she sat back, relaxed to the sway of the subway car and people watched. I found them a little too crowded, but it certainly was a quick way to get around.

The Star Ferry passes by the Hong Kong Convention Center, site of The Medallion premiere.

We experienced several types of bus rides too. The open top double-decker trolley was a favorite. We rode one from one end of Hong Kong Island to the other. Since we didn't have to worry about doing the driving, we could spend the whole ride absorbing the sites and scenery and of course, do more people watching.

We had a couple of other crazy bus rides. One was the bus ride to the Giant Buddha. It was a closed air-conditioned single-level bus that took us on the curvy, windy ride. It was like a roller coaster ride. And then there were the open top double-decker buses that we rode on with Jackie and the other fan club members. It was a fabulous way to see the incredible bridges we crossed (another thing very different from Wisconsin) and the interesting changes in landscape along the way. With the cold winter months in Wisconsin, all our buses are enclosed. It was fun be outside in the fresh air where we could see everything all around us.
We rode in one taxi while in Hong Kong. We do have some taxis in Madison, but we have never needed to use one. They are very expensive and you have to call ahead to get one. In Hong Kong there are so many taxis everywhere. We saw everyone using them, from business people to moms with kids and a

The most familiar ride we had was the van that took us from our hotel to the fan club luncheon. What was different was that we didn't have to drive it. We just sat back and chatted and looked out the windows.
We saw several things that were nothing like we had ever seen at home. When buildings are being worked on, bamboo structures are used on the outside of the building. You see nothing but metal in the States.

A fun thing we hadn't seen before was a lighted water fountain that kids could run through. It was great fun watching the kids try and figure out which water spout would shoot out water next, or be surprised when the spout they were standing over suddenly shot water at them. Again, I suppose because of our Wisconsin winter weather, a fountain like this just wouldn't be practical.










©2003 Lisa Schwark

Photos: ©2003 Katharine Schroeder/Jackie Chan Kids Corner

©2003 Katharine Schroeder/Jackie Chan Kids Corner

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