by Silke Oettel
Have you ever been to Hong Kong, the most exciting and beautiful big city in Asia? Have you ever experienced this city with all your senses: seeing all the huge buildings, listening to the noise of the everlasting traffic, tasting the Cantonese food or smelling all the different fragrances at the markets and temples there? No, you haven’t done it yet?
Then it is time for a short trip what will become even more special when you experience and discover the city as Jackie’s fan. Almost everywhere in this beautiful big city he has left his traces….. if it had been in the buildings where he has lived and worked or at places on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, where he has shot many of his movies.
Inspired by his biography “I am Jackie Chan – my life in Action”, his documentary movie “Traces of a Dragon – Jackie Chan and his lost family” and his many movies I have decided to
“Discover Hong Kong on Jackie’s Traces” .
So I want to invite you to a tour across Hong Kong, beginning on the top of Victoria Peak and ending in front of his offices in Waterloo Road in Kowloon Tong.
While the tour we want to visit places where Jackie has lived as well as many shooting places of his movies.
Part one – Hong Kong Island
Let’s start on the top of Hong Kong Island’s biggest hill, the 554 metres high Victoria Peak, or like the locals use to say The Peak.
Jackie has spent at the quarter Victoria Peak the first six years in his life and he lived with his parents in the formerly French Embassy, where his dad has worked as a cook and his mom was a housekeeper.
The Peak was in opposite to now almost empty these days, like you can see in this photo from 1953, what was taken by Hong Kong resident and photographer Mr. Lee.
Today there is located a big shopping center, the Peak Galleria, with a huge number of shops, and one of the most famous buildings in Hong Kong, the Peak Tower. From the rooftop terrace of the Peak Tower one has the very best view down to Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbour and Kowloon.
Inside the Peak Tower is the Hong Kong branch of Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Jackie is one of the first celebrities near the entrance. Currently his wax figure is wearing the original clothes from Rob-B-Hood, one of his most successful movies ever.
You can meet there also many celebrities from Asian and international movie business as well as from sports, music and politics.
The view from top of the Peak down to the city is one of the most beautiful views on the world and really a must for every Hong Kong visitor. But unfortunately the sight isn’t clear all the time. That’s why they have placed also a special sign there:
There are different ways to come up to and down from the Peak: by foot (if you are in a good physical constitution because the way is very steep), by bus number 15 from Exchange Square or by Peak Tram.
Using the Peak Tram is upwards the best possibility for looking at all the sky-scrapers and offers a great view down to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon during the way up, especially when the air is clear.
The Peak Tram is a rack railway. It was built in 1888 and does it’s work still very well. The length distance is 1,37 km and there is a high difference of 373 metres between the Lower Peak Tram Terminus and the final destination Peak Tower.
On his way to and from school back home to Victoria Peak Jackie probably often did use the Peak Tram and maybe he left it at the station Barker Road.
From there he could have went along the Barker Road until he’d reached the entrance to the former French Embassy, which was located in Barker Road Number 3.
Only a few steps away from the Lower Peak Tram Terminus is the Hong Kong Park and there we can visit more than one of the shooting places from City Hunter.
You all surely will remember for the skate-board scenes in the amphitheatre and the following chase across the glass tunnel.
Leaving the Hong Kong Park we are now in the middle of the Central District. Around the next corner already the next shooting place appears.
It is inside the hotel ‘Island Shangri-La Hong Kong’. There you can see from a panorama lift between the 39th and 56th floor a beautiful picture of Chinese landscape, 51 metres tall and 14 metres wide, painted on silk by 40 artists from Beijing. The picture appears in Twin Dragons for a short moment.
After leaving the hotel again we should turn left. After a short time we will reach the Chater Street, where in New Police Story the gang of five had the first gunfight against the police.
Some steps later we see the Jardine House. It is because of it’s round windows very remarkable and was a shooting place in Twin Dragons. Jackie and his friend saved here Barbara after the fight in the Bar.
Between the small alleys in Central we could find also some shooting places from Rob-B-Hood like the formerly Victoria Prison, where had been shot the end sequence of this great movie.
Following the big roads towards Western District we see another shooting place from New Police Story. It is the high building, where Jackie and his partner in the movie had chased the villains down the wall.
Later we come to the Grand Millenium Plaza, a shooting place of The Medallion…
… until we turn back and arrive finally at the bus terminal near the Outlying Islands Ferry Piers.
At a bus car park like this one could have been shot several scenes from Rob-B-Hood.
Now we take the tram, one of the cheapest possibilities to do sightseeing on Hong Kong Island. For the whole fee of 2 HK $ you can use one of the three lines as long as you want. 164 trams run on 3 lines at a distance of 13 km. I only wonder, why Jackie never did use the tram in one of his movies?
In Rob-B-Hood he went by bus together with Louis Koo and Baby Matthew through big roads like this.
A few stations later we leave the tram again and come to the begin of the Mid Levels Escalator.
With it’s length of more than 800 metres it is the world’s longest escalator system and has additional another speciality: from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. it goes only down and from 10:20 a.m. to 11 p.m. it goes only up. This is a special service for the residents in the Mid Levels. Parts of Accidental Spy and New Police Story had been shot here.
On our way up we pass the Hollywood Road, the most famous and important street if you are interested in collecting antiques. Jackie has walked along this street and visited also the Man Mo Temple in the documentary Jackie Chan’s Hong Kong.
Back to the begin of the escalator we jump into the bus and a short time later we arrive at the Wan Chai District. On our right side appears now the Hopewell Centre, which is very remarkable because of it’s round form. One of the music videos from Rush Hour (‘How deep is your love’ by Dru Hill) has been shot on the roof of this building.
A short time later we pass the Queens Road East number 284. The street in front of the house was a shooting place in Heart of Dragon. Jackie walked there with his brother, which was played by Sammo Hung in the movie.
We left the bus again and go by foot back to the waterfront. In front of us appears now the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center (HKCEC), another shooting place from New Police Story, outside as well as inside.
It was built right before Hong Kong’s handover back to China and from above it looks like a bird with spread wings. This photo here was taken down from the Sky Lobby at the 46th floor in the Central Plaza. The view is similar to one in New Police Story.
Nearby the HKCEC is the Victoria Typhoon Shelter. Here was the landing place of the ship located, where the archeologist Jackie lived on in The Myth.
On our way towards to east we arrive at Causeway Bay and pass now the Victoria Park, another of the green oases of Hong Kong. The Buddy Bear Exhibition in 2004 was held here.
Let’s jump back to the tram and enjoy the ride through the streets of Causeway Bay with their typical architecture until the tramway arrives at the final station, North Point. After a short walk we find ourselves in the middle of one of the “wet” markets on Hong Kong Island. Jackie also visited a place like this in his documentary Jackie Chan’s Hong Kong. Everything here is fresh and alive. These markets are really a symphony of fragrances and sights to unidentified animals as well as on vegetables and fruits.
Now we take the MTR (Mass Transit Railway), which is the subway here and Hong Kong’s fastest and modernest possibility to cross the city. We leave it again at the station Admiralty and change into a bus.
The bus takes us into the southwest of Hong Kong Island to the Ocean Park, one of the two big fun parks of Hong Kong. In summer 2007 the park has celebrated it’s 30th anniversary.
Parts of the Ocean Park were also to seen in Gorgeous, where Jackie did swim together with Bu and the dolphins and in Rob-B-Hood also, especially the ferris wheel, the free fall tower and the roller coaster.
After spending a great time at the Ocean Park, we pass on our way back to Central the formerly fishing village Aberdeen. The most famous place here is the Floating Restaurant “Jumbo Kingdom”, which was also to seen in The Protector.
Before we arrive back in Central we find ourselves in the middle of a very real Rush Hour. That’s Hong Kong!
CLICK HERE FOR PART TWO
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