Saturday, August 31, 1929

Had to make final arrangements about a  boat to Shanghai today. When I had tried further to find a boat and I had talked to the vice consul, I ratified my reservation aboard the Linan and bought the ticket for $60 Hongkong. I sail Wednesday, 4th, and will arrive in Shanghai about five days later, with one stop, at Amoy, an old Chinese seaport, and a place not to be missed, so I am told. I might have had a third class cabin (instead of first) on the Canadian Pacific’s Empress of Asia leaving the same day, but the $55 for two days is burning money too fast and seeing nothing with the result that I would go broke before I got the next check.

This settled, I located the Peak Tramway or Funicular Railway or San-tin-foh-char, and paying my 30¢, entered the car for a beautiful scenic rise in the world. It is 4,700 feet long and rises 1,207 ft. in the nine-minute ride. At first the slope is very gradual but soon it is going up one foot for every two feet horizontally. There are a couple of stations on the way. Soon you had a pretty view of the harbor, city, hillside homes with their beautiful gardens and terraces. At the top there is the Peak Hotel, some apartments, and many homes. It is still a stiff steep walk to the peak, but it is more than worth the energy expended. On one side you see the China Sea, dotted with large and small mountainous islands, the island of Hongkong with its dozens of beautiful capes, coves, and inlets, its many hills. Looking to the north you see Victoria stretched at your feet, Kowloon across a narrow neck of harbor, and everywhere high, rugged cone peaks rising up about the blue waters. While the Hongkong hills are green, those on the mainland are mostly of varying shades of brown and give the impression of being barren and dry and wild. In the harbor all is activity. There are four Star Ferry boats plying back and forth, a large liner steaming slowly out past more than two score cargo boats docked at the wharves and tied to buoys. Then there were hundreds of sampans, motor launches, and sailing junks going in all directions. The wind was so stiff I had plenty of trouble taking any pictures.

By way of return I followed the zigzag winding paths that lead about the hillsides, nearly throwing my legs out of joint from keeping on the brakes so much. In these upper reaches are found rickshaws drawn by two coolies and sedan chairs. The paths or sidewalks are all of asphalt with benches placed in darned nice places from which to view the scenery—and moon too I suppose.

The American Consulate produced a letter from Betty B[ayless Kaufman] for me on the way home.

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