Our first order of business upon arriving in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong was applying for new PRC visas. Once we’d dropped of our passports with the authorities we were free to explore Hong Kong for the three to five business days it would take to process our request.
We crashed with the wonderful and worldly Pam, a friend of mine from high school, who is working in Hong Kong as a producer at CNN. With a bookshelf full of travel guide books, Pam is a woman after our own hearts who had a number of suggested must-dos while we were in Hong Kong.
Our time in the banking capital of the world wouldn’t be complete without palling around with a representative from the banking elite. I reconnected with an old family friend, Dave, who I hadn’t seen in over a decade who, as luck would have it, is working for Duetsche Bank in Hong Kong. His bachelor pad, home to three i-bankers, is very “bull market” as Dave would say and has an amazing view of the city skyline. Dave and our new friend Kalina took us out for a night on local bar scene. But as Dave explained to us, the reckless hedonism is now fueled more by a fear of the collapse rather than a celebration of the boom.
The tallest building on the city’s growing skyline is the International Finance Center. The foreboding tower has a very Gothamesque look to it, which is probably why it was Batman’s perch in The Dark Knight during the Hong Kong scene. Check out the annotated image below the jump (as well as other photos) to see where Batman’s Hong Kong BASE jump occurred. Next time I’m in Hong Kong I’m totally bringing my bat’chute.
We also got a chance to head over to Hong Kong’s sketchier, Portugese sister city, Macao, home of the world’s largest casinos. We watched Cirque du Soleil’s ZAIA show and explored the cavernous innards of the Venetian Macau. I managed to win HK$200 in black jack at the lowest stakes table I could find and felt good that I’d covered my ferry costs.