Foot-prints of Travel

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. FROM Nagasaki, in following our proposed course, we sail for Hong Kong, through the Yellow and Chinese seas, a distance of eleven hundred miles. This is very sure to be a rough passage, and the marvel is rather that more vessels are not lost here than that so many are. Seamen call it "the graveyard of commerce." As we enter the magnificent harbor of Hong Kong it is found to be surrounded by a range of lofty hills, which shelter it completely from the sweeping winds that so often prevail in this region. It is the most easterly of the possessions of Great Britain, and is kept in a well-fortified condition, the uniforms of the garrison being a striking feature of the busy streets of the city at all hours of the day. The houses in the European section are large and handsome structures, mostly of stone, rising tier upon tier from the main street to a height of some hundreds of feet on the face of the hill immediately back of the town. On and about the lofty Victoria Peak are many charming bungalows, or cottages, with attractive surroundings, which enjoy a noble prospect of the harbor and country. The streets appropriated to the use of the Europeans are spacious and clean, but the Chinese portion of Hong Kong is quite characteristic of the native race, — very crowded and very dirty, seeming to invite all sorts of epidemic diseases, which in fact nearly always prevail more or less severely among the lower classes. These streets exhibit strange local pictures. The shoemaker plies his trade in the open thoroughfare; cooking is going on at all hours in the gutters beside the roads; itinerant pedlers dispense food made of mysterious materials; the barber shaves his customer upon the sidewalk ; the universal fan is carried by the men, and not by the women. The Chinese marin...
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