The Asian Adventure has come to an end...

Trip Start Jan 21, 2007
Trip End ??? ??, 2008

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Flag of China  ,
Monday, October 22, 2007

3 hours sleep..not feeling on form at all!  A fast ride on the MRT took me to the airport, where it was a delight checking in with a proper airline (Cathay Pacific).  Bag 19kgs - no problem (added some books).  Extra leg room - of course. Excellent.  First mission in the airport was food, and a Burger King sorted me out nicely.  Then I had shopping missions.  I need sunglasses and some good face sunscreen since Australia apparently has a hole in the ozone layer.  Couldn't get either. They didn't have any of the sunscreens I had priced in the department stores and the only sunglasses I liked were super-expensive.  Can't justify it since my last (cheap) one were ruined after I put them in my bag with a nail file.  Oops!

So on arrival on Hong Kong I have a mission - to get to Eleanor's house on public transport with the instructions she had emailed me.  It actually wasn't too difficult thanks to some helpful locals.  One put me on the correct bus from the airport, one told me when to get off, and also escorted me to the next minibus I had to get, then an English woman on that one escorted me to the door. So not too bad at all.

Eleanor is my sister's friend's sister. I've never met her but she has extremely kindly invited me to stay. This is my first time staying in a proper home, so after 9 months in hostels, it's fabulous.  I get the spare room with ensuite, and a duvet (with air con to make it cold enough to need a duvet).  A duvet being something I have maybe had only once or twice in the more expensive hotels, normally you get a sheet to cover yourself with, or more often, nothing at all.  There is also a swimming pool, internet, TV, dvds, all things I took for granted at home (well apart from the pool) but after being without them for so long I'm in heaven!

So a week in Hong Kong.  I actually spent quite a lot of the time doing nothing much, which was great.  Doing nothing incorporating watching tv, watching dvds and lying at the pool sunbathing!

What did I actually do?  I spent a couple of days on Hong Kong Island in the shopping areas of Central and Casuseway Bay, which was quite disappointing as there were very few shops I could consider shopping in, the rest were all super expensive designer names
I took the tram up to the top of The Peak on HK island, a slightly nerve wracking trip as the tram is pulled up a 45 degree incline and I wasn't convinced that it couldn't just roll right back down every time it stopped at one of the intermediate stations.  From the top there is a view across Hong Kong Island to Kowlonn but sadly it largely faded into a haze of pollution, a common problem in Hong Kong.   I also checked out the view of the Hong Kong skyline lit up at night from the Kowloon side, very impressive.  I couldn't get any photographs to turn out unfortunately.
I tried some shopping at Stanley Market, a nice little area with lots of market stalls and shops and a pretty sea front promenade, and also at Mong Kok ladies market where dishonest sellers tried to persuade me that blatantly plastic handbags were genuine leather.  I did get a CK watch for 2 pounds and a nice (real!) leather belt for 3 pounds so not all bad!
I also took a trip up the longest covered escalator in the world (I think - something like that anyway), an outdoor escalator which takes you quite a distance up the hill from Central to an area called Mid-Levels.  The escalator goes down until 10am then a man has to change all the separate sections to make it go up.  I went all the way to the top then walked back down again, for no reason other than it was a bit of a novelty! I also took the Star Ferry across the harbour from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon, a trip that is faster on the MTR but, again, it was for the novelty value.  The same reason that I get on monorails or whatever the local transport is and go a few stops and then just come back again, just so I've been on it!

So for all I didn't do much, I think I did enough and saw all the relevant sights. 

Monday morning and it was time to bid my hosts farewell, and also bid Asia farewell exactly 9 months to the day since I landed in Bombay.  The Asian adventure has come to an end and I am very sad to leave and to return to the Western world, but hopefully Australia won't disappoint.
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