A Jetboat to the mainland...

Trip Start Jan 12, 2008
Trip End Mar 19, 2009

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Now we are at the business part of the trip again..  Visa for India.  I have had endless trouble applying for visas outside of Australia so we hope that this one works!

We took the ferry over from Macau to Hong Kong Island.  After a quick comfortable ride, we arrive to a mass of high rises and not too much smog (compared to Beijing anyways).  We jumped on the MTR to our hostel and were just lucky the owner saw us as she was popping out so we got the door code and were told to wait.  The room was tiny but we expected as much but the shower over the toilet was a novelty even for us...  :-)  WE just chilled that night as it was off to the embassy for visa applications tomorrow.

It was so nice to put in my application with the Indian embassy in Hong Kong.  Even though I don't have it yet, it was easy as and will only take 5 working days.  It takes the stupid processing centre in Sydney 5 working days as well but they don't need to do any checks on me as a non-resident!  Really makes no sense at all... Anyways, we also visit Qantas's office and change our flight to Delhi for the following Tuesday - its great to be able to plan again!  We spend the afternoon strolling around Central and then headed to the mainland for a look.  We also decided as the location was a little more central to have a look for better accommodation.  We checked out the infamous, Chungkin Mansions, and decided to try our luck in the morning.  After dinner and a drink we headed back to our claustrophobic hostel.

The next morning, we headed back to Chungkin, where our first choice was not available, but luckily a few floors down we found something a little more comfortable and definitely more roomy.   After settling in we took a ferry to Wan Chai and took a walk up to Victoria Park and through the Causeway Bay part of town. Its basically a massive retail and business sector.  We then took a double decker tram all the way to the Western Market which was fun ( the tram not the Market - the market was sort of like QVB but about 1/20 of the size). 

Today we slept in and decide a movie would be fab for the afternoon..  Nothing on at the moment so we strolled around the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui and just chilled..  Nice.  Tomorrow is Disney!!! 

We got up at and OK time and headed for Disney.  Bill and I are both Disney fiends.  We have both done Florida and LA Disney parks (Bill much more than I) and Bill has also been to Euro Disney.  The park in Hong Kong is only 3 years old so is still new.  It has the best Space Mountain (and newest)... The park is definitely for the kiddies with the big rides found in the US parks not there.  The princess castle was really small too... So we still had a magical day as the Disney experience is just that.  Needless to say, we probably won't rush back any time soon though and would spend the extra $$ on LA or Florida...  That night we headed to the local Irish pub for golden Oldies night... 

 Friday, D-Day, Visa Day!!  We headed to the Indian Embassy early today.  No bad reports back from Oz about me (Leonie) so we sold our souls in HKD and have to go back at 5pm and collect the visa.   We start strolling towards the peak tram.  It is a tram that has been operating since 1888 at varying levels and speeds.  Its all done up today for the tourists and is a great trip up (a little scary if you aren't a fan of heights).  When at the top, the views of Hong Kong are amasing.  It feels like you are floating in the clouds looking down over the massive expanse of tall buildings that makes up Hong Kong!  It was a fairly clear day to so was extra nice. 

After this, we head back down and on a mission for the longest under-covered escalator in the world.  After fighting the mazes of walkways that link up Hong Kong's Central business districts, we eventually come out of the right building.   The escalator just links the streets in the area of Hong Kong Island known as the "Mid-Levels".  The area is home to a variety of restaurants and bars.  We travelled up and up and up, forever fearful of the impending walk down, down, down (they only built the escalator one way! Better up then down).  We strolled down, back to the embassy, got my passport back and headed back to TST for the night.

The next day, after a lay in we headed a couple of stops up the line to check out some markets.  Was quite interesting what we found.. The first was your stock standard street market with clothes and all the other usual nicknack's.  Further a field we headed down a street devoted to floral.  We found florists with 100s of picture perfect orchids.  A flower so hard to grow it was simply an amasing site.  On we trapsed and at the end of the street we came upon the bird garden and were delighted to find some beautiful species for sale.  They were also selling the most delicate wooden cages.  Of course, there was some cruelly small cages so we didn't stick around too long...  Our last stop of the day was the goldfish markets which is basically just a section of shops selling fish.  Again, a little cruel as they were taken out of the tanks and hung in plastic bags filled with a little water; but all the same interesting to see so many exotic types of fish and tortoises.  All in all an eye opening experience. 

Today, we just chilled again.  Amasing what you can do with a bit of time on your hands...  We know the next weeks will be busy busy.. And we did get to see that movie today.  Can highly recommend Quantam of Solice!!  Off to see the light display that they do over the city tonight! 

Last day in Hong Kong we decide on another trip out of town.  This time we head via the MTR and a bus to the Big Budda which is apparently the biggest bronze Budda in the world.  From here, we take a walk up the Wisdom Path and avoid the monestary as it is not our thing.  After being none the wiser, we head to a nearby fishing village of Tai Po.  Its awesome!  There are loads of houses built on stilts inbetween a series of Islands. We spend a few hours there and then head back to Central via a bus and Ferry.  Last night in Hong Kong we treat ourselves to a huge steak each (we are heading to India tomorrow) at "The Outback Steakhouse" and American chain but Aussie themed bar.  Along with the steak we taste our last Aussie beers (Cascade Premium) for the next 4 or so months...  Bliss!
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