Hong Kong

Trip Start Oct 13, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, November 23, 2007

23rd November
Arriving in HK was great, and seeing the area from the plane really cool as we landed.  All the islands around and the blue sea - so nice to see the sea!! 
Went to the
tourist information to check that I had the right bus information and the lady
spent about 5minutes telling me all the great things I could be doing and giving
me great maps and booklets - really nice and helpful, so first impressions of HK were amazing!!
 The Airport bus was organised and I arrived no worries - then it felt like I was  thrown back into Delhi again.   I was instantly surrounded by about 7 guys all telling me they were from my hostel and they could help me, and did I want a copy watch/scarf/bag!!  Finally fought my way through and got to the 'reception' of my hostel, where I paid the hostel
'owner/boss/conartist/evilman', and then had to go back down to the ground floor (reception is on the 3rd floor of this huge complex of hundreds of different guest houses) and up a different elevator on the otherside!  Then I was shown a prison room!  Literally, a tiny room with a
very thin bed and just enough space to walk next to it on one side.   No windows
or anything.  Well I refused straight away to stay there - had paid for a dorm
and wanted a dorm!  'but we charge you the same for this room - this is an
upgrade - no dorm, so we charge the same'....lots of complaining and I AM NOT
STAYING HERE, FIND ME ANOTHER ROOM and I was eventually taken to a little
dorm...which was full!  "its ok lady, I move someone out of here into the single
and you stay here!" 
Well....correct me if I'm wrong but you can't just move
someone without asking...something I pointed out again and again until the lady
finally gave in and said that I should wait in a single room - but a nice single
room (not bad - ensuite, and with a tv!) and when someone from the dorm came
back we could either swap or I could stay in the nice room....fine!    Then just
as I'm begining to chill out the phone goes and the owner has found kim and is
dragging her over to my room!  So it was all move again and up and down some stairs and eventually me and kim ended up in a
twin room with a shower.   Can't complain really, was nice and we both chilled out a bit, although I'd paid for my dorm about three times what Kim had paid for her's so no wonder they were happy to give us a twin room!  
That night we headed out with Yui, from Thailand, and Stephie from Germany to see the laser show over the HongKong skyline.  All the different buildings around the area put on a light show over the river to music.  Kinda cute and cool, but really tacky at the same time! 
We then went up to the night market, and wandered around hoping to find some bargains!!   Was a pretty cool little market, and we found a cool little local cafe for some yummy noodle soup and beer!!   Good way to start in Hong Kong.
24th November
Got up early (couldn't stay in the hostel/dump for any longer than was totally necessary!) and then headed to the beach with Yui and Kim.   Got the MTR over to central and then the bus round the island to Repulse Bay to sit on the beach and chill out (me and kim lying in the sun trying to get as much skin to tan as possible, and Yui hiding in the shade trying to cover up!!  Us strange UK'ers and our obsession with getting a tan!!).
We then got another bus round to Stanley Bay where we had lunch - ina true brit pub...I know I should be ashamed - but it was really needed!!
Then it was a quick visit to a couple of temples and back to Central to head up the peak.   We eventually found the peak tram (the signs seem to point you well for a while, and then just stop at a big junction so you have to decide where to go!) and after a queue got on the very steep tram and headed up the hill.   Have to put alot of faith in the cables that are holding the cars!!
We stayed at the top of the peak as the sun set and looked out over the gorgeous skyline as all the lights came on!   Really nice.  Then headed back down and found another nice local place to get some noodles.    Headed for a few drinks at an irish bar near the hostel, and then on to a local bar to meet some people that I had met in Yangshou!!  Went to a really locals bar, and ended up joining in with the Karaoke....no where near as good as the live band that was playing in the same builiding, really impressive.
Finally headed back to the hostel, and all said goodnight, however about 20minutes later Stephie came kocking on our door.  She'd gone back to her dorm only to find that there was someone else in her bed!! The hostel own had moved her....for no real reason and with no exprlaination!!!   So poor stephie had to get all her stuff together and trapse across the building to a new room!!  Not good, she was so annoyed so we stayed up having a moan and eventually all headed to bed at about 3am!!
25th November.
Yui and Stephie both headed off to Macau early in the morning but me and Kim decided to have a bit of a relaxed day and moved to a dorm room (I wasn't going to pay any money to stay in the nicer room!! which really wasn't worth half of what I'd paid!!).   The room was alright...not great but ok and we settled in and then spent the day being lazy - as Sundays should be!  We had decided we would treat ourselves and splash out on some good dimsum for lunch.  We met another girl just as we were heading out who had just arrived and was hoping to grab some food so she came along too.   After a stupid amount of green tea (really yummy green tea with a hint of roast dinners!) and dimsum....and about 2hours of chatting, we finally left the restaurant (we did get lost going to the wrong metro station on the way there, but eventually found the restaurant that the lonely planet had recommended!!)  We waddled back home...literally and sat on the internet for a while and got a few bits and bobs done that we needed to.  Also went and posted parcels home etc.   Good day of not doing much but relaxing and getting abit organised also met up with another single traveller - Amy who was on her way home a couple of days later.  
26th November.
We got up early and joined in with a TaiChi lesson on the river front.   Really really cool, and relaxing and fun too!   We were actually taught different sequences and also relaxation and stretches which is good!
After that we got changed and wandered around some of the shopping malls....not really buying but enjoying looking.   Looking forward to being able to wear more that 3 sets of clothes when we get back to England!   I know its a long way away but its something we can't wait to be able to do....the same clothes get really boring!
After the amazing dimsum yesterday we thought we'd get some again for lunch, but this time only a couple of pieces.   Really yummy again and in a pretty cheap place overlooking the river and hong kong island.  Stayed there for a while and then decided to head over to Lamma Island.   So we went over to central and jumped on the ferry.   Lamma island is cool, although we only saw one small part of it.   The main village is literally just one road, with some really cool hippyish shops, a couple of off licenses, a greengrocers, lots of yummy fresh fish restaurants, and the best cafe ever!
Bookworm cafe, which has second hand books, organic and fresh food, and the most yummy homemde soups!    We had gone with the hope of getting second hand LP Australia guides, which unfortunatly they didn't have any of, but we both fell in love with the cafe!   Back on the ferry afew hours later with full bellys and an afternoon of the giggles... (sure they put something in the soup!).  That night we met up with Amy and all headed to the Ladies Market, and got some dinner in a nearby local restaurant.
27th November.
Had a bit of stressful night after some dodgy guy moved in to our dodgy hostel dorm room at about 4 in the morning and just was rude and arrogant, making both me and Kim feel pretty uncomfortable, so we got up early and left, heading for the Macau ferry port!   After a quick coffee, and getting lost on the way we made it to the terminal, however couldn't get a ferry until 1pm and it was a fortune, so we decided to give it a miss and jumped back on the metro and decided to go over to the Big Buddha on Lantau island.   We gave Amy a call on the way and met her at the metro station.
Once at Lantau island the cable car which normally ferries people up to the Big Buddha was shut, so we got on the bus and had the long bumpy and swerve journey around the edges of precarious mountains.
The buddha was pretty impressive though and stood high up some steps looking out over the world.  Similar to the gold one on Koh Samui in Thailand, but the most impressive views were from before even arriving when the mountainous skyline was broken up with the silhouette of the buddha.  Very impressive.
After a look around and some photo taking, the sun was begining to set and we went back to the bus stop, only to be confronted with a 45minute queue to get back to the train station!!!   Oh my gosh!!   By this point it was getting chilly, so we were not impressed.  Did make the journey back more fun though as we were all piled on a small ricketty bus!
When we eventually got back, we got Amy's bags, got some quick dinner and then headed to the airport bus station to wave her goodbye!
We wandered around some of the local shops and then headed back to our dorm.  The guy that had been annoying us the previous night was still there and both me and kim felt so uncomfortable that we decided that enough wsas enough and headed to the local YMCA hostel to see if they had any room, and then moved out at midnight, into a lovely, clean and friendly hostel, where the people aren't trying to cheat you or steal from you......had a VERY good nights sleep!!
28th November.
Waking up in our nice dorm room (we were the only two staying there though), both me and Kim were very happy and chilled.  After hot and nice showers, we went for a relaxing coffee and then over to Lamma Island for lunch......I know, we must be mad to get a ferry over to another island, just for a cafe and a nice atmosphere, but we enjoyed it so much it was great.   Had a couple of games of Mahjong, some really good home made pizza and fresh garlic bread and relaxed and chatted for a good few hours!!
Just as we were leaving we had a call from Stephie asking if we were still in Hong Kong, she'd had a nightmare few days, long bus journeys into and through china, and got stuck, had her money stolen and then back on a long trainjourney.....not the best experience on China the poor thing.  SO we met her and hopefully cheered her up a little with dinner, a little wine, and the plan of a movie....which didn't actually happen, but a nice chat instead which was good!
29th November.
Flying out to Sydney in the evening, so a chilled out day of completely unpacking and repacking (a regular thing to do before moving country!), then a yummy dimsum lunch with Kim and Steph and then off to catch my bus to the airport!!
Very sad saying goodbye to Kim and Steph, even though I'll see Kim again in a couple of days!!
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