Sunday, March 5, 2017

Trip to the South Side on the new MTR South Island line

Hong Kong is a pretty efficient city, and the speed of infrastructure construction is one of the areas where it (and Asia generally) is heads and shoulders above the West.  Despite being an incredibly dense and fully developed city, Hong Kong puts to shame other cities who cite those challenges as excuses. 

The extension of the MTR Island line from Sheung Wan to Kennedy Town was unveiled almost precisely when promised (give or take a few months for a few stations).

There had also been talks for a long time about an entirely new line, the MTR South Island line, and it opened without too much fanfare at the end of 2016.  Michael and I were shocked in January when, changing at Admiralty station one uneventful afternoon, we discovered an entire system in full operation.

This past weekend, I finally had the opportunity to take the line.  It is amazing and so convenient.  Traversing the island from north to south, it consists of only five stops, taking you from the heart of Central on the north side of the island, to the south side (Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau), in a matter of minutes.
Previously, this was a thirty minute to fifty minute taxi or bus ride, depending on the traffic.  It's frankly amazing and brilliant.  The MTR now reaches all 18 districts of Hong Kong.

I emerged at Wong Chuk Hang:
The buildings down here are mostly warehouses and commercial space, but a lot of artists and studios have taken over these spaces in the past decade. 

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