Tip on : Kowloon - 6 years ago
Today, I've spent the day in Kowloon trying to get myself a Visa to visit China over the next few days. Kowloon is the more businesslike area of Hong Kong, reachable by taking the ferry across from Central to the mainland. Here, the little backstreets are replaced by wide neon lit streets crowded with businesses being run from small offices above busy shops. Along the waterfront a modern walkway offers a relaxing morning stroll and a view across to the famous skyline of Hong Kong, and a second level contains seating where you can sit and watch the boats come and go. Morning in Tsim Sha Shui, by the waterfront, brings out children playing in the squares between the buildings and groups of people practicing Tai-Chi, a spectacle intriguing to watch as people take this opportunity to exercise on the way to work. I made my way to the Chinese embassy and crowded into the tiny room where Visas are issued. To be honest, my understanding of the local tongue certainly isn't good enough to understand half of what I was being asked, but by handing over my passport and nodding quite a lot I seemed to be getting somewhere and an English speaking local in the queue helped me out by telling me that I would have to return later in the afternoon to collect my Visa after it was issued. He also told me that they aren't supposed to hand out Visas to non Hong Kong citizens unless they are ordered in advance, so I guess I've been lucky. Nevertheless, I was happy upon my return in the evening after a day of browsing the shops to find that my passport was duly stamped and my visit to China approved - for a moment, I had rather thought I might have unknowingly signed up to the republican guard...