Hong Kong - 09/05/09
Hong Kong Travel Blog› entry 2 of 111 › view all entries
We have arrived at our first destination! After a gruelling 11 hour flight we landed at Hong Kong airport at 7:10am HKG, which was really 12am GMT.
We landed a bit apprehensive about how we were going to handle the language barrier issues but to our surprise it appeared almost every single sign/advert is in Cantonese first then English. Even their tannoy announcements are the same, so despite still getting a little lost we found our way from the airport to the train station and purchased an Octopus card. This card is basically the 'pay as you go' of train travel, quite cheap at $150HKD each which includes a $50 deposit and $100 travel.
The train transport system is much better than the UK standard, people are quiet and respectful and the trains are impressively tidy with exceptionally easy to understand signs.
Due to the fact we arrived so early, by the time we got to Fortress Hill it was only 9am and we could not check in till 1pm so we left our bags at the hostel and set off on an walk. My first impressions of the city were that although some tall buildings looked like a cramped council estates, they still retained much vibrant colour and a real feeling of life to them. People seem friendly and many speak good English. There is a noticable lack of a middle class it seems, most of the cars that pass by are either luxury Porsche’s or cheap travel vans/trams.
Never the less the city is still rustic and beautiful looking, we were only a couple of minutes walk from the harbour to view across to the much more business side of Hong Kong which shines tall buildings of much more professional design and content.
On our walk we encountered a lot of health conscious older people who seem to often be walking around stretching and happy and a young respectful youth who are basketball mad. The amount of basketball courts around here are nuts, they are all good courts with sprung rims and you can not go more than 5 minutes without walking and spotting another one. There are also some delicious looking cake and bread shops and an impressive fresh meat and fish market. After a few hours passed we headed back to check in to our hostel.
Our hostel room would make a sardine can look spacious. It consisted of a table, a bed and a small cut off shower room.
That is all for now, talk soon.