hong kong shopping & people watching

Hong Kong Travel Blog

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ahh hong kong... where all my electronic gear has passed through once in its lifetime... and of course i came here for one reason (besides the chinese visa hehe): SHOPPING

after the nintendo ds frenzy in japan i wanted to buy my erm 'backup&homebrew solution' for my nds - since they all get imported from hong kong anyway i hoped to get a good price

but first: transport in hong kong... is gorgeous! you buy a smart card called octopus which is valid on everything, even the ferries, and just use it oyster card style on the devices. but you can also use the card to pay in 7-elevens, mcdonalds, photo machines, etc... incredible!

so i made my way to the dodgy electronics market at sham shui po, apliu street. what a sight! ok it opens at 1pm and i was there too early but once i came back it was paradise: from 20yo lamps to portable dvd players there is everything one could wish for. only a few steps away is the clothes market with tons of cheap jeans, dresses, fabrics, etc... hong kong is a traders & shoppers paradise!

so i went into the golden computer arcade, 10 years ago the mecca of pirated software, now on the first sight more legitimate (but you can still get the stuff if you ask nicely hehe). police is roaming all the street markets in hong kong now as they want to clean up their image :-)

so anyway.. the arcade: this is what the crappy paraguy city near the iguace falls should have been like! first floor full with video games & accessoires, basement floor full with computer stuff: amazing! so i got my r4 microsd device thingy & a 1gig card for 300hkd (about 50 chf), thats less than the price of a game! and he even 'forgot' his backupped games on the card, how convenient hehe and it still works the day after, i am surprised! hehe

i also went to nathan road yesterday: where stupid tourists meet stupid stores... what a big tourist ripoff area, thank god im not staying in one of the cheap hostels there: everything around nathan road screams 'scam'. especially the 'friends' that greet you at every street corner to help you out with their services... "what are you looking for" is the usual pickup line of the mostly indian/pakistani guys dressed in cheap grey suits... worse than the beggars in south america

when i was watching they great skyline from kowloon at the evening i was approached by two school girls which i gladly helped filling out their marketing survey form (i even got 2 free drinks hehe). listen up dodgy corner guys: if you send girls i will listen, if you send guys in cheap suits i tell you to bugger off... idiots!

ah subway observation: more people read mangas than in tokyo! and everyone, like in japan, has their mobile phone hanging at their badge neckless around their necks! imagine ghetto rapstar with ipod, mobile phone etc around their necks instead of bling bling: thats the typical asian subway scene hehe
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ok, i am impressed... that was one perfect operation

i was worried about my chinese visa since leaving the uk: initially i wanted to get it there but the problem is that is starting from the day it is issued: so the 6 months would soon be over by now (i am taking a 6 months multi entry visa to have some freedom about getting in and out of china without hassle). besides, processing times of 5 days and queuing to even get the chance to fill out an application form was not so my thing :-)

so i heard that hong kong is a good place to get the visa and that was the plan... on the thorntree forum i found a link to http://www.fbt-chinavisa.com.hk/, a dodgy website for a dodgy company that is supposed to do the job well... it sounds too perfect: prices lower than that 5 day ones in the uk or switzerland and all that on a same day processing time? something must be fishy...

... NOT

went to the office today at 10, which looked professional and busy so i left my password and my picture... got back at 5:30 and voila: my passport has a 6 months visa for china! it took me 2 times 3 minutes at their office: no application form, no statements about where in china i want to go, absolutely nothing... so whats the trick? easy, i got a business visa instead of a tourist visa. no bureaucracy there! and they seem to have a good link to the china visa office.

anyway, i am totally happy! absolutely smooth!
ah well... hong kong is supposed to have a nice skyline, right?

that's one hell of a understatement! nothing comes even close to the view you have at night taking the ferry from kowloon and wan chai. new york? pah its a joke to even compare it... same with sydney, tokyo and all the other big cities... nothing like hong kong! absolute highlight so far

no pics yet but they will follow... even though they won't be able to show even a bit of how impressive the real view is

Hong Kong
photo by: Sunflower300