Fireworks, drinking in the street and hot pot
Hong Kong Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
Much like the first couple of days here I have been keeping myself very busy, that is when I’m not in bed sleeping away all the sociable hours. I just can’t seem to settle down to Hong Kong time, every day I seem to get an hour closer, so maybe by the end of the week I will be in sync with the locals.
I managed to get up before going to bed again to spend some time with my extended family who treated me to a lovely meal of Dim Sum, where I unwittingly tried some chickens feet, I only managed to take one photo before we left of the two youngest members of the family in their matching outfits. I am also very thankful to the family for giving me some red envelopes, a tradition at Chinese New Year where money is enclosed, the red symbolises good luck, which is good as I will be needing some of that when I get to Oz.
Yesterday after a couple of tip offs about the fireworks at Victoria Harbour I decided to head down and check them out, the weather was miserable and wet but I’m glad I managed to get myself out of bed for this one, just about. After leaving it a little late to get there and find a good spot I thought it was going to be like Mong Kok all over again with queues for miles, I wasnn’t far wrong, infact due to being a little late the police had stopped any more pedestrians entering the Avenue of Stars where I planned to get a good view. Undeterred I settled for second best, which on the plus side came with some shelter, unfortunately this shelter did obstruct my view a little but there is always the TV footage to catch the bits out of view, you can see a picture below:
After once seeing a firework show, or dreaming that I saw a fireworks show which used the Star Wars film score I am always slightly less impressed by the accompanying soundtrack for any firework display and this one was no different especially since the sheer amount of people packed in to watch them made it barely audible, as a visual spectacle though they are definitely some of best fireworks I’ve seen and you can’t really beat the backdrop of the famous Hong Kong skyline…I’ll be heading back there before the month is out to see the light show.
After that slightly nervously I headed to Lang Kwai Fong, this was my first public transport Fail, and hopefully my last, apparently Kwai Fong MTR station is not where you need to be for the popular nightlife hotspot, infact it is far from it. There’s a hot travellers tip for you right there, perhaps a bit of research might have prevented the error though, never mind.
Once back to Central It was actually just a short walk, or just a short stand I should say thanks to this cool escalator that runs up the hill, seemingly for miles. I read that it always goes up except for the morning rush hour when it goes down; I’m not so sure I’d want to experience that whilst everyone is scurrying to work.
I was nervous to go to Lan Kwai Fong as a friend from back home had gone to the trouble of introducing me to a friend of hers who lives in Hong Kong, After meeting her and her friend who came along too my nerves quickly disappeared as they were very welcoming and good company After what was quite an expensive drink, $56 or around £4.50 we decided to take a walk around. As it was Chinese New Year….still – they have the right idea on this one, the bars were a little quieter than normal I was told as everybody was at home with their families, but still the music could be heard blaring from the bars and into the streets, I should add drinking in the streets is socially acceptable, and much, much cheaper. In many ways Lan Kwai Fong felt a lot like being at home, with many a drunken westerner to be seen. I’ll no doubt be back at some point. I should also mention that the music scene left a lot to be desired from the brief bits I heard, those from back home, think O’malleys at 11pm on a Saturday Night. In fact if this blog was to have a soundtrack like the Allan Partridge Autobiography I’d be urging you to play track 1 Can’t fight the moonlight by Leanne Rhymes.
After a few cheeky beers on the street at a fifth of the price in the bars we headed to Central to try a nice dessert, unfortunately the place was closed so that one will be saved for another day, we then got a little lost following Google maps and headed back home in a taxi which was only about $100 so if I miss the MTR I am reasonably sure I can get myself back home, whilst not really knowing where we were going we managed to use the toilet in a hotel where the picture below was taken, I was told it would bring good fortune, although I am a bit dubious about the claim, I think maybe it is just the reoccurrence of the fear of looking like a tourist that is casting doubts in my mind.
After another late night and some much needed sleep I began the next day in the afternoon, Today I experienced my first Hot Pot, unfortunately there was no live shrimp to cook, this had been mentioned many times by friends who have already experinced it but it was good fun nonetheless and a nice way to eat, I am sure it would be a very sociable evening if it wasn’t for the language barrier, although once again I was made to feel very welcome. My chopsticks skills leave a lot to be desired so it was a little embarrassing when I gave it a go, I just can’t help that I lack in the dexterity department.
After Hot Pot I enjoyed some nice tea at a friends apartment, where her family, like all the people I have met so far were very welcoming and gave me some red envelopes and Chinese tea to take home.
It’s all still a bit of a whirlwind but so far so good and whatever happens from now untill the end of my stay I can remember some good times and have met some good people too