Hello 香港 (Hongkong)
No I am already in Hong-Kong, and almost gone again to the next destination...
[G2:17461 n=1 class="left" exactsize=180 frame=dots] The island of Hong Kong and even more the rest of the territory is very green. Skyskrapers which grow almost into the cloads are everywhere, the skyline of Hong Kong is absolutly astonishing. But only a few hundret Meters away from the centre, you are already on the green Hills of the island.
I myself live a bit outside on the Island of Tsing Yi (青衣島) which is also still very green and the building of this part of Hong Kong hasn't started that long ago. I live in a huge appartment and hotel complex, 3 Hotels and 3 Appartement building use the same infrastructure. A huge swimming Pool, a shopping center, and we have our own Public Light Bus Lines (2 of them actually) which are serving the metrostration and drive about every 10 to 15 minutes. I have an Octopuscard which is usable for the Metro, Minibusses and even the tourist attraction Peak Tram works with it. (I saved about 30 minutes waiting in a queue for tickets.)
The public transportation system is very dense, but the bus lines are not easy to cope with, the Sign for Metro is one of the most important Chinese Charakters you'll have to learn. I use the Public Light Bus 88F, on parts of the same Route are driving also the Bus Lines 88A, D, G and M... and not always on the same Route. Very confusing, but if you know which one you have to grab its very easy to use. Its quite relieving if you see Hong Kong-Chinese which board the wrong Bus and are quite surprised about it :)
[G2:17193 n=1 class="left" exactsize=180 frame=dots] When I am in the city centre its also easy to get around on foot, most of the pedestrian ways are above street level and go directly through the buildings. The skyscrapers are good points for orientation. The sea is always nearby and the view from Victoria Peak is just amazing.
Most people speak a very good English here which is very easy to understand, even quite a few kids speak a fluent english. This will be probably quite different in mainland China
Die Menschen hier sprechen oft sehr gut Englisch und man kann sich sehr leicht verstaendigen, das wird im chinesischen Kernland wahrscheinlich etwas schwieriger werden.
To get my vis to China wasn't that easy as described in the Lonely Planet due to the Olympic Games, my first try was in the CTS (Chinese Travel Service) But they only would help me with the visa if I would book a return ticket.(No Visa-application witout a return ticket).
Then I tried in the consulate, after the security checks, I filled the form and after about 40 minutes waiting I already could apply on the normal Visa window. But they wouldn't issue a visa either without a return ticket, they said I should try it directly with the konsular window.
He said this is possible if I would show the bookings for trains and hotels in China.
Ok, heading back to the CTS, trying to get a hotel booking, which was more difficult than I initiall thought. I will be near Beijing during the 4 last days of the olympic Games in Beijing. The hotel prices are horrendous, during the olympics they wanted to give me a 2 star hotel for 160sFr. per Night. Therefore I will stay these 4 days in Tianjin instead of Beijing. (1.5 hours with the Bus) the rest of the stay will be in Beijing.
[G2:17377 n=1 class="left" exactsize=180 frame=dots] A train ticket, a air ticket and 3 hotels later, and a day later, I tried it directly with the konsular window. I tried to tell him why I cannot get a return ticket from China, and that it is not possible to organise the train ticket in Hong Kong. This wasn't quite enough for hom, I also had to write down my empoyer (which I dont have atm). But he was also happy when I just gave him the adress of my former employer. After some thinking of him, ge finally gave me the visa. I hope I get in on friday! On Saturday I will take the train to Shanghai!
Now I have some time left in Hong Kong, I take a look at the biggest daily Lightshow in the world, on the port of Hong Kong. By the way evening... Our clocks are 6 hours later than in central europe.