Central Mid-levels Escalator

Faye Wong in Chungking Express.
Recently, I went on a short day and a half trip to Hong Kong and Macau with my dad.  We saw as many of the sites as we could, which I'll share in detail later in other posts.

Naturally, we rode the insanely long Mid-levels Escalator, the longest outdoor escalator in the world! Before I went to Hong Kong, I knew I had to visit the Mid-levels escalator.  Why?  Well, the Mid-levels escalator was where part of Chungking Express was filmed, an amusing movie with one of my favorite actresses/singers, Faye Wong.

Going up! Let the ride begin!

The escalator is not a useless tourist destination; it has practical purposes.  Hong Kong is an extremely hilly city, and densely populated.  Needless to say, rush hour can be a nightmare there! So, the escalator was built to facilitate the movement of the rush hour crowd up and down the mountains.  Unfortunately, there were insufficient funds to build a two-way system.  Therefore, from 6am to 10am the escalator goes down, and from 10:30am to midnight it goes up.

I think the escalator could be slightly difficult to locate for someone who is not a Hongkonger.  To get there, travel to the Hong Kong stop on the subway (Tung Chung Line [gold] or Airport Express Line [teal]) or go to Central Station (Island Line [blue] or Tsuen Wan Line [red]) and walk to Hong Kong Station.

From Hong Kong Station, take Exit A (opposite the Four Seasons), go up to the mall level and exit into the covered walkway.  Take a right, walk to the end, and continue to go up by taking another right.  Walk to the end again, take a left, then walk straight.  The escalator should be visible from there; the entrance is clear.  

(Note: these directions are for those who are going to the elevator during the times it goes up).

Domestic workers camping out on the walkway to the escalator,
their form of a peaceful protest.
You can be a peeping Tom and look
into people's apartments!
Now, you may think it might be boring to ride on a long escalator (it takes 20 minutes to get to the end), but there are many things to see around it as the escalator has exits were streets intersect.

My favorite stop was the Lyndhurst Terrace exit where the famous Tai Cheong Bakery is located.  The bakery is a chain, but the Lyndhust Terrance location is quite famous as it is where the first shop was opened in 1954.  The egg tarts sold there are divine, and so are the chicken pies.

If you come to the bakery, get ready to line up!
(You can spot me in the corner, about to demolish my egg tart.)
Stuffing my face, so unflattering!
The last egg tart I had!
We didn't make many stops on the escalator because we were short on time and had to hurry on to our next destination, but even if you don't stop, I'd say the riding Mid-levels Escalator is something any visitor to HK should do.

The view from the top of the escalator.

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