Hong Kong Travel Blog› entry 4 of 13 › view all entries
Well, what can I say?! I just didn't want to leave!! The place was hot (25-31 everyday, humidity 92-97%!) and we could tell it was monsoon season from the minute we got there! Our flight was good (thank you ba) and I passed many hours watching good films, and listening to music on the flight, as well as sleeping. (What about your iPod I hear you say?! Well, I was listening to the albums and radio stations provided by british airways as the bugger broke pretty much as soon as I turned it on on the flight - so much for praying!!) We landed and immediately got the Airport Express which is THE cleanest, most comfortable train ride with baggage you will ever take, and then got off at Central which is, surprisingly enough, the Central part of the city, and aligned on the Chai Wan line to Causeway Bay. From here we decided that we could walk to the metropark hotel (www.metroparkhotel.com) as it was a humid evening. We stopped at Starbucks for a coffee and I set off for my first encounter with Hong Kongers in the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. I came back from the counter carrying three coffees and a biscuit - somehow I had managed to confuse the server when I asked for two lattes, but nevermind. My traditional English-tourist ways of pointing and talking especially loudly and slowly obviously weren't working, but thanks for all that training on previous holidays abroad, Pops!
We set off from Starbucks (leaving the iced-latte behind as it tasted of the untypeable) and walked down Paterson Street, with its huge TVs on the street, neon lights, fashionable shops, and many people with umbrellas in preparation for the monsoon rains that were a minutwe away from starting...Three minutes later we stopped on the corner of the main road out of Causeway Bay absolutely soaking!! I have never seen rain like it!! Thankfully, due to the weight of our bags it was quite refreshing warm rain, and we reached the Metropark after one stop to ask for directions and another for Carly to throw all of her toys out of her pram and for me to pick them back up. We were knackered and wet by the time we reached the hotel, so we were both glad to get a good nights rest in our amazing suite with walk-in shower, huge bed, and separate lounge with tv and 26th floor view of the city. It was lush, and we had arrived. Hong Kong by night is beautiful, except for the absolutely awful karaoke that went on in the hotel bar when we had our complimentary drink downstairs - I have never heard songs massacred so badly - and people were actually clapping - unbelievable, it really was.
On our first proper day we slept and then got up and went to Hong Kong Park, admired Central and the Piers and the shopping districts, and the big buildings. There are many and they gave me neck-ache - I will provide pictures once my camera has been fixed (but thats a totally different story!). At night we went to a Wellcome supermarket and bought food for a snack, and Carly slept while I watched Copa America football on the Super Soccer channel -Thank God for the worldwide love of the Beautiful Game!!
The next morning we woke and had an early morning swim looking out over the city - people were preparing for the 10th Anniversary of the Reunification of the Hong Kong Special Administrative District of the People's Republic of China (basically a very long description of celebrating Chinese 'leibensraum') in the Victoria Park sporting arenas that we could see below us. There were marches about universal suffrage going on, but Edwards and I ventured for the mainland- and Kowloon. Here we saw the Space Museum and Museum of ARt, but only from the outside as we couldn't get in for queues EVERYWHERE! It was a really busy public holiday and people came out in force to celebrate, despite the humidity. We walked along the seafront 'Walk of Stars' (I had heard of 2 of the people on their walk of stars, and that one is only counted if Jet Li changed his name at birth, and if Ryu from StreetFighter 2 has a surname) and then went back to the hotel for a sleep before the celebration at night, which was fantastic! The Fireworks were incredible and even though we probably watched from the wrong side of the city, were still fantastic and the best I've ever seen!
On the final day we got up really early and went on the Peak Tram to the Peak, which provided amazing views and an exciting, near-vertical tram ride to the peak, over 500 metres above the city. After an hour we descended and checked out of the hotel, then checked our bags onto our flight from Central Station, meaning we had the afternoon to go to Nong Ping and see the Big Buddha. The train ride was great as we went from HK ISland to Mainland to another island (the name escapes me now but thats probably a good thing as lets just say I could only pronounce a pigeon-English version of it anyway!), and from there got a 23 bus to the Monastery and Big Buddha, the world's tallest sitting buddha, made entirely of bronze. The bus ride was bumpy, and on this trip the screen to my digital camera broke, hence the delay in getting photos / videos to y'all, but the scenery was vastly different from the urban areas - from skyscrapers to jungle roads, and it was a beautiful part of the world on that sunny day, an amazing calm before a monsoon storm! The storm really hit by the time we got back on a bus to Tung Chung and then undergrounds to Tsing Yi and to the Airport, where we prepared for our overnight flights of hell firstly to Sydney (9hours) and then to Auckland (4 hour wait then 3 hour flight).
I will now try to get my camera fixed and update you all soon about New Zealand and THOSE flights!
Hope you are all well, take care,