Since I must work on the restructuring first it will take some time until I can give You my views of Hong Kong - plus travel tips. Travel Tip No. ONE: Fly there!!! PLUS see Macau, too!!!
After the First Opium War 1842, Hong Kong became a British colony. After a 99-year lease Hong Kong remained under British control until the Second World War, when Japan occupied the colony from December 1941 to August 1945. After the surrender of Japan, the British resumed control. Transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong to China on 30 June 1997.
I think the british did an uncompared act of smart diplomacy since everybody wanted Hong Kong. Except for the japanese interlude they defended their stay and their rights in Hong Kong, avoiding wars against the enemies, especially against China and Japan.
They did so in giving China wide influence in Hong Kong despite their sovereignty. All major decisions were made after consultations. Nevertheless China did not allow the British to establish a proper airport. Landing airplanes had to fly a low curved approach over hilltops and houses to touchdown on the runway. Errors were fatal. Pilots were scared. They were only allowed to do that after special training.
Just to make clear that I know what I am talking about: I am licenced to execute navigation and communication worldwide on board german aircraft. This is a bureaucratic joke: if I sit in the cockpit of a Boeing carrying the name "Lufthansa" on the fuselage I can legally manage the flight to Kai Tak. Including approach and touchdown, landing, taxiing. If it's the same Boeing on the same route with the names "United Airlines", "Cathay Pacific", or "Singapore Airlines" written on the outside I am not allowed to do that. I'm only legal if the plane is registered in germany, lol.
In the year of the handover of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China, in 1998 the new airport Chek Lap Kok was operative. Kai Tak was closed. A piece of history. The facilities are gone. You can still see the area, the remains in google earth.
My interested readers may forgive me this special part for aviators and fsx-enthusiasts, please!
Visual descent right turn just above the roofs of Mongkokhill aiming for checkerboard tight right turn to final and establish glidepath. I would love to have an old horse who's done that tell me about bad weather minima.
Upon reaching a small hill marked with a huge “aviation orange” and white checkerboard, used as a visual reference point on the final approach (in addition to the middle marker on the Instrument Guidance System), the pilot needed to make a 47° visual right turn to line up with the runway and complete the final leg. The aircraft would be just two nautical miles (3.7km) from touchdown, at a height of less than 1,000 feet (300 m) when the turn was made. Typically the plane would enter the final right turn at a height of about 650 feet (200 m) and exit it at a height of 140 feet (43 m) to line up with the runway.
Approach to Kai Tak: here the Jeppesen IFR approach chart for Kai Tak for pilots:
Continued flight on the Instrument Guidance System flight path after passing the MM [Middle Marker] will result in loss of terrain clearance. For reasons of noise abatement please try to avoid that!
Translation: loss of terrain clearance = You crash into the ground. Noise abatement = avoid the sound of that impact into the city.
So You'd better turned on MM/NDB, needle to runway.
I guess it is pretty unique that a glidepath goes to a checkerboard, right? But it's smart. I LOVE smart!
Situation nach Schliessung 1998 - after 1998
Aktuelle Situation 2016: Der neue Hong Kong airport Chek Lap Kok
Present situation 2016: new Hong Kong airport Chek Lap Kok
View from my room in the exquisite New World Millenium Hotel in Hong Kong. Victoria Harbour View. Located prominently in Kowloon. Kai Tak was on the left.
We support umbrella movement and student leader Wong for the FREEDOM of Hong Kong!
Those who wish to understand more of China and colonial life, the history of Hong Kong MUST read the best expert: James Clavell wrote the exciting stories "Tai Pan", "Noble House", "Shogun", "King Rat", "Gai Jin". You'll find some of them as movies.
If You're hot You're hot. If You're not You're not.