Saturday, October 19, 2013

Zip and A Vehicle (This week's Photo Hunt themes)

Think of a concrete jungle and images of heavy traffic probably will be conjured up along with veritable walls of high rise buildings.  In other words: something not too far away from the photo at the very top of my entry this week for Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunts!

To escape traffic jams in which few, if any, vehicles can zip around, many Hong Kongers go underground to use the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) that regularly maintains a schedule whereby there are trains for people to catch every two or three minutes.  (Around midnight, one sometimes sees the message that the next train will come in eight minutes -- something that can get quite a few locals here complaining about having to wait so long!)

Another way to escape traffic jams is to go out into the surrounding countryside -- something which is easy enough to do, given that there's hardly any suburban area in Hong Kong, making it so that the countryside often can be found just mere meters away from super high density urban spaces!  And it was at a scenic nature spot with the strange name of Ma Shi Chau (which translates from Cantonese as Horse Excrement Island) that I got on a vehicle -- specifically, a speedboat operated by an older woman wearing the kind of hat seen worn by the folks in this blog post's middle photo -- on which I had what felt like the zippiest ride I ever had in Hong Kong!

Having got on Ma Shi Chau by foot and then tramped about quite a bit along the island that boasts some amazing geological sites and sights, my hiking companion and I were feeling a bit tired.  So when offered a ride back to Civilization (or, at least, where we could catch a minibus back to the nearest town for dinner!) at a price that seemed reasonable enough by the boatwoman, we readily agreed to go on her vehicle.  

As it turned out, the ride really was a lot of fun -- being, as you can tell from the spray generated by the boat (as seen in the bottom photo), on the zippy side. Another bonus was that it gave us alternative views of Tolo Harbour and some of the islands in it from those to be had from on land at, say, the Tai Po Waterfront Park or the Tolo Highway.  So should you ever find yourself in Ma Shi Chau, I'd recommend taking that speedboat ride -- though I wouldn't pay more than HK$20 for it since it sadly is on the short side (and yes, you have to negotiate the price of the ride with the woman before getting on board her boat!)  :b     


Anonymous said...

I could imagine all the fun activities in the harbor of HK. Such a scenic spot.

Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, the speedy boat ride looks and sounds like a very cool experience. Your photos are beautiful. I especially like the perspective in your 2nd & 3rd photos.

Have a great weekend.

Gattina said...

Your photos are beautiful ! What a traffic !

magiceye said...

Lovely takes!

Marcy said...

I avoid driving to the city, I ride the train instead. 8-min waiting time? my train rides every 30 min!
Happy weekend!


Marcy said...

And I loved your story about the house and the cow :)

YTSL said...

Hi ewok1993 --

Imagine all the extra fun that comes from Hong Kong having more than one harbour and bodies of water... hehe! ;b

Hi Trekcapri --

The speedy boat ride was indeed fun! Thanks for liking the story and the photos. Hope you have a good weekend too! :)

Hi Gattina --

Thanks and teehee, figured you'd be appalled by the urban traffic photo! ;b

Hi magiceyes --


Hi Marcy --

I think Hong Kongers would revolt if they had to wait half an hour for their next MTR ride! :)

And am glad you like my cow and house story that I wrote about over on your blog. :)

Carver said...

Great take on the themes. I like the contrast between the peaceful boat shots and the heavy traffic.

To answer your question, it took under 4 hours to get to the motel where we stayed in the mountains. But we had a rainy morning where we drove to the other side of the mountains which was several hours round trip. Even when we hiked we had drives of varying lengths to different forests. We were there for 4 days.

Sue St Clair said...

Great pics! Love boats and that is a fun action shot :)

Annie said...

Nice photos, I love the splashing water.

You asked if Venice is entirely car-less. Yes, except for an outer edge next to the bridge that connects Venice to the mainland. In Venice, the ambulances and other emergency vehicles are boats.

Happy weekend!

RNSANE said...

I love Hong Kong. I hadn't been in years but, after my first long stay in India, since I flew Cathay Pacific, I did a five day stopover on the way home.

Loved the fabulous light show - it wasn't around when I was last in Hong Kong.

My Saturday Photo Hunting is about India, what else. Only 45 days left of my six months stay. I'll be back in San Francisco on Dec 3rd, in time for Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Lots of zipping vehicles there!
Great shots for this week's theme.
Have a super weekend.

EastCoastLife said...

The traffic in HK is not as bad as in Bangkok :) I find the MTR convenient and much cheaper.

YTSL said...

Hi Carver --

Glad you like the pictures here -- and thanks for answering the query I posed over on your blog. :)

Hi Sue --

I like boats too -- though I have to admit I prefer those with engines to those without! ;b

Hi Annie --

Woah re Venice being THAT car-less... It's still on my list of places to visit but that airfare is really off-putting these past couple of years. :S


Funny that you like the light show -- have to admit that it's one of the things I dislike about Hong Kong. Call me a killjoy but I feel like they shouldn't waste electricity like that!

Hi JDeQ --

Thanks, and hope you have a good weekend too. :)

Hi EastCoastLife --

True re Hong Kong traffic jams not being as bad as Bangkok's -- or Kuala Lumpur's, for that matter. Thank goodness -- and, I'd say, the public transporation we have -- for that!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

That would be a thrill to zip around the harbor!
Happy Hunting y'all ~

YTSL said...

Hi Sandi --

It was more like zipping across the harbour than around but ya, it was cool nonetheless. :)