Hello Hong Kong
Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
284Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Osaka Guest House, Chunking Mansions
It was packed and all the people from last night were still up! We all exchanged stories and tried to piece together last nights events. Dave had been involved in a fight! He had got lost on the way home and saw someone from our hostel in the distance so knew he was going the right way. A guy who worked for one of the bars tried to get him to go the wrong way and it all kicked off. Christine had been involved in a fight at the club again for the second time in as many days! And for exactly the same reason as the previous night.
After a quick glass of water we were on our way to the airport. We got the train to Ueno no probs but thought we were going to miss our flight as the trains to the airport were only going every 30mins! Realised we had gone to the wrong platform and sprinted to the right one just in time to get the train.
Arrived at the airport just over an hour before our flight and were one of the last few to check-in, and as a result weren't anywhere near each other on the plane. Got through to the departure lounge and spotted the Scottish guy and his missus getting the same plane as us, and informed them of last nights antics.
The flight was pretty bad. Legroom was non existent and made even worse when the guy infront of me decided to recline his chair all the way. This wouldn't have mattered as the amount of movies (60) and loads of TV shows (no Partridge) should have easily made amends. However it didn't. The software was painfully slow and as his chair was reclined all the way it was pretty much impossible to watch. My headphones also only worked in 1 ear! Meal (Beef in red wine sauce with rice) was rather good and I made the most of the free beer even though I probably shouldn't have as last nights excess was still very much in my system. I was also sandwiched between the 2 most miserable old women in the world, who kept getting up to go to the toilet every 5 minutes.
I was very glad when the 6:30hrs were over and we had reached Singapore Changi Airport, our home for the next 2 hours. The airport is really good and we spent a while using the free Internet (painfully slow and a terrible mouse that refused to work) and got a bite to eat before flying to Hong Kong at 7pm.
The flight was much better. Inflight entertainment was the same and I watched House of Wax at Dave's suggestion, very weird film. Leg room was fantastic and the little under 4 hours flew by. Meal was pretty disappointing though and maybe the one I actually asked for would have been nicer.
Arrived at Chek Lak Kok airport at 10:45pm and it was 31C outside. Breezed through immigration and received a rather generous 6 month visa free, only staying for 3 days but it's the thought that counts!
Went in search of a cash machine and withdrew $HK500 to go with the $HK200 I exchanged in Singapore. Got on the N21 bus at midnight for a trip to Kowloon in search of a room for the night. Took about 45mins and cost $HK33 (2 quid)
Once in Kowloon it was evident we had stepped out of the protective shell that is Japan. You are instantly mobbed by African and Indian men frantically trying to get you to go to their guesthouse. After going the wrong way we turned back and headed toward the waiting throng of bartering. We couldn't be bothered to haggle so followed the first person who approached us. That didn't stop the others still trying to get us to follow them instead of the other guy.
Chunking Mansions is a hell hole. A 16 story building with about a thousand rooms. I knew we would have no trouble finding a room without a reservation which is why we headed there. It was only ever going to be for 1 night and we would find somewhere better tomorrow.
We were led up to the 14th floor in the lift (still with others trying to sell us their rooms) and then down the stairs to the 13th floor. Our room was a tiny white cell with terrible beds but after only 2 hours sleep I was feeling rough and so paid the extortionate price of $HK200 and quickly tried to sleep.