We took the train from Guangzhou direct to Kowloon, then the ferry to Hong Kong Island.
20 years after Britain handed back the colony, it still feels a bit like a border crossing: you get stamped out of China at Guangzhou, Facebook can be accessed again, and the massive skyscrapers of Shenzhen give way to the rural remoteness of the new territories.
Currently, the journey takes 1 hour 53 minutes, in a year or two, when the high-speed link opens, it will come down to just 43 minutes. See this as a metaphor for the creeping “mainlandisation” of Hong Kong.
After five previous massive Chinese cities, we hoped Hong Kong would feel different, but unfortunately it didn’t. In fact, we found ourselves simply wanting to escape the ubiquitous noise and crowds, and everything we liked about Hong Kong was a reflection of its past: the Star Ferries, the Lugard Road walk around Victoria Peak, the quietness of Stanley Beach, and sitting on the top deck of a historic “ding-dong” tram.
When we leave Hong Kong, we’ll miss the Chinese people, but we are in need of some peace and quiet.