Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cool new things in Hong Kong

Ok, so some of these things might not be NEW new, but they were new to me when I went to Hong Kong. It has been about 10 years since I've been back and a lot has changed, but at the same time, its the same old Hong Kong. Here are some things that are new:

Protective doors for the MTR platform-They have doors now on the MTR platform so you can't fall in the tracks or kill yourself. They have also stopped saying "Please mind the platform gap" and have now changed it to "please mind the doors" since there are now two sets of doors to mind. There is a sticker on the ground though that still says "Please mind the platform gap".
They have retrofitted the buses so passengers can yell at the driver if he drives too fast. There is now a speedometer in the front of the bus so you can monitor the driver's speed.
They have infrared sensors for crosswalk buttons. You don't have to press a button now, but you just wave your hand over the sensor (not available at all crosswalks). They demolished the original Star Ferry piers and have made new ones. The ships are the same though and it now costs HK$1.70 to ride on the bottom of the boat.

They have implemented a new system to pay for transportation called the Octopus. This is very cool. You buy an octopus card and you can use it to pay for buses, trams, MTR rides, and even regular stuff like food. But that's not what's cool about the Octopus. The cool thing is, is that you don't even have to remove the octopus from your bag or wallet. You can just leave it in your purse and wave it over the octopus reader that is placed everywhere. So when you ride the MTR, instead of using the little cards and feeding it through the machine, you just place your bag over a reader and walk through. And when you ride a bus, you just wave your bag over the reader that's by the bus door and walk in. You don't have to open your purse or wallet and worry about losing your card.

The police have new uniforms. Sorry no pictures of that.

They have hand sanitizers everywhere now. Like in elevators and in coffee shops. Speaking of coffee shops, Starbucks is now in Hong Kong. They're even in the MTR.There's a new Peak building (at the Peak). It's huge and filled with even more shopping. Here's Anson in front of the new Peak Building. The old Galleria is still there, along with the spouting fountain (closed during winter). Here are some pictures of things you might recognize & remember:
No #4 floors in buildings (or 13 or 14s)

Park n' Shop stores:
The heaters in the bathrooms:

The Star Ferry:
More photos here:
From Hong Kong pic...

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