Double-Decker Bus Ride In Asia
Lucky to be in Kowloon and convenient if in Central. Lucky in Kowloon because one has the opportunity to enjoy passage by Star Ferry to Central, proceed up the ramp, turn right and walk a mere three blocks to the main bus terminal. Should one already be in Central, then one should be within walking distance or a short cab ride. One need not reach the station, by simply meeting Bus 61A en route at one of the stops nearby the ferry, however, chances are that the top two forward seats on the left side of the bus will be pre-occupied and that is unacceptable! At the station, should others be in line for 61A, one should step back and await the next departure. Those seats up the stair ladder are paramount in assuring a most fascinating ride to Stanley Market.
Leaving the station, 61A travels down Connaught Road, aside the ferry docks left and the stately Mandarin-Oriental positioned on the right. Driving past city hall, 61A makes its right turn onto the narrow lanes of the Rattan furniture district, while trolleys crisscross the roadways, hurried pedestrians make their way to and from the myriad of narrow, towering shops, offices and innumerable food stalls, seemingly wedged into slivers of open space between kiosks and storefronts. Riding 61A, whilst seated in the two, second-deck front row seats provides the rider with a dramatic viewing perch from which to witness the continuous flow of cars, carts, merchandise, pedestrians and trolleys, all vying for position and making meager headway in a bustling marketplace.
The onward passage takes 61A up the hillside and toward the mountain peak. The narrow roadway challenges the best of drivers and this leg of the journey becomes a true adventure as 61A’s rooftop narrowly misses both hanging tree limbs and streetlights as it lumbers at times slowly onward, at times racing downward, with the view of the harbor becoming ever more grand. From the moment 61A had left the station, the rider has been swarmed by an array of colorful, rapidly changing scenes, each with its own fascination, some a mere passing swirl. Nearing the peak, the rider is presented with an eagle-eye view of the towering residential apartments, cemeteries that dot the highlands and scores of nearly hidden mansions.
Arrival into Stanley is the gateway to an over-crowded, half-mile serpentine alleyway, filled with great varieties of meaningless mementos, but also is the site where can be found authentic treasures from the finest labels within the garment industry. It is here at Stanley that the excess order stock finds its way to the local populace and where the brands of Neiman Marcus, Calvin Klein and like kind find their collars and sleeves tagged for pennies on the dollar. Stanley offers real challenge to the most ardent of shoppers, however, seldom will persistence go unrewarded. Laden with bags of treasured garments, the wise shopper chooses a local taxi for the return to Central.
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