Hong Kong Visa Run
Hong Kong Travel Blog› entry 1 of 9 › view all entries
Went to Hong Kong to renew my visa for Taiwan. Landing visa is Taiwan can not be used to get an ARC card. So I flew out of Taipei to Hong Kong on a 747! Believe it or not this was my first time on a 747, the flight was only an hour though so there was no reason to go exploring. But I will say this... It's a big plane, and fast too, came back on a much smaller plane and the flight took 30 minutes longer.
So I arrived in the new Hong Kong airport at about 8 pm and went into the city. I actually went to Kowloon first as I knew that staying in Hong Kong itself would be a lot more expensive. When I arrived first thing to do was grab some dinner. After only one month in Taiwan I had already forgotten how expensive little things like a plate of fried noodles can be, $5! I know, still not that expensive, but more than twice what I pay in Taipei for the same thing. But enough about the cost, I now knew that Hong Kong was just like any other western city in the world.
After dinner I went down to the bay to take in the view of Hong Kong from Kowloon. Nice! Even more impressive (and probably almost as recognizable as) the Manhattan skyline from New Jersey. So I hung out by the water for an hour or so, took a walk along the waterfront, and took it all in. Wish my camera wasn't broken, but it was a little different to enjoy the sights without trying to capture it to share with others. I love to take pictures, but it was also cool to just be there, in a new place, and not be looking at it threw a view finder.
Next it was time to find a room. Started walking up Nathan road and was not moved by any of the guesthouse in the "Mansions" and was enjoying the sight and activity of Nathan road. I was reminded of Kohasan road in Bangkok... but nathan road had a lot bigger variety of faces, peoples from all over the world, not just the europeans that you see in Thailand. Eventually I had found I was about a kilometer up nathan road and most of the guesthouses were back closer to the water. But I found a nice small room in a small out of the way hotel. It was nicer than I was expecting and had a nice nights sleep before I had to be up early to take care of Visa business.
Next day I was up nice and early to get the visa taken care of. Of corse nothing goes quite as easily as it should. My passport was out of pages, but the US consulate was just a 10 minute walk away and had new pages added and was back at the Taiwan consulate, and had every thing dropped off by noon. Now I have about 24 hours to explore. Saw the busiess McDonalds ever, there must have been 30 people working behind the counter! There is a corridor of buildings in downtown hong kong that are connected by bridges so there is little reason to walk on the streets in this area. Nice to have in the tropical summer heat, or when there is a typhoon coming in, As there was while I was here. For this reason there was little point in taking the tram to the top of "The Peak" or taking a ferry to the beaches on the other islands around hong kong. So i just explored the streets and allys, as well as the fancy shopping centers of Hong Kong. After several hours I was hot tired and ready to find a cheaper guesthouse and take a nap. Found another surprisingly nice room, this one more in my price range. By the time I woke up the typhoon had come and it was raining pretty good. So random nighttime roaming the streets was out. So headed to a nice pub after some Lamb basimi at the "Butt foodcourt" (again, wished i had my camera to document). After drinks in the pub went to a small club and danced the night away. Very quite due to the weather, and being a wednesday night, but still had a fun.
Woke up late the next morning and explored HK for a couple hours, took the midlevels escalator walked threw the posh hillside neighborhods above the city in the rainy remains of the typhoon, and to HK park were I hung out in the aviary for a bit, before picking up my passport and heading to the airport.