Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Hong Kong  ,
Monday, September 19, 2005

Seeing as we had done very little in the way of sightseeing yesterday we planned to see quite a lot today. To do this both of us set our alarms for 8am, however neither went off and so we woke at around 10.

On leaving the hostel we went straight to the MTR subway station and headed to Admiralty. This is the financial district of Hong Kong with masses of skyscrapers as far as the eye can see. But we hadn't come here to see them, we had come to see the overhead view.

To do this we got the tram to the top of Victoria Peak. The tram line has been running since 1888, though thankfully on more modern trams now. It was quite a laugh going up, although rather painful sitting on a wooden bench when going up the hill at a near vertical angle. The view from the top was pretty special and relatively clear despite the fog. I imagine the views of the harbour are even better by night. They are currently building a new viewing platform, which was kind of in the way of the view, but it should be ready for next year.

We were planning to visit Macau today so we head off to find the dock and see what times the ships were sailing. Walking around Hong Kong Island was incredible. It was Mid-Autumn festival and the streets were packed! It was also Sunday so 10's thousands of maids, all Thai and Phillipino, were sitting on the paths having a good old chat. We couldn't find the dock so headed back to Kowloon to pick up our passports.

CTS was closed when we arrived and there was already a large queue. When the doors opened there was a mad rush but I was happy to get my passport back with a shiny new visa for China in it, well not shiny but a rather dull sticker but either way I could go to China for up to 3 months now.

Whilst we were there we decided to book our train journey to Shanghai. Nearly booked it for the wrong day so I was glad I checked when we would get back from Taiwan! Chose 2 middle bunks in the hard sleeper section for about 35 quid. Not bad for what will be a torturous 26 hour journey!

Both formalities sorted out we went in search of some dinner. Found a cosy little Chinese restaurant round the corner and had a lovely meal of yellow tree pork and a side dish of pork and cabbage wontons for about 3 quid! I was stuffed, but Dave even managed to squeeze in a banana split as well!

Fully refreshed we went in search of the China ferry terminal in Kowloon to see about going to Macau. However we decided that it would be totally pointless going to Macau today as we would only get about 2 hours there. So we'll go there tomorrow instead.

On the way back to HK Island we found a small coffee shop offering free net access in return for buying a drink so decided to go in. Good job we did as the rain started up again. Had a good chuckle at the guy in the street struggling to sort out his umbrella for a couple of minutes!

Back on HK Island we went looking for the Central Library for some proper Internet access. As it was mid-autumn festival there was a massive party going on in Victoria park. The amount of people around was incredible! Just trying to walk anywhere in HK is a hassle and takes about 3 times as long as it would elsewhere. Finally got to the library and it had closed early! Had to force our way back to the hostel to see if we could use a computer there.

As part of this festival all the kids carry around colourful lanterns. Some were traditional paper ones whilst others carried modern plasticy ones blaring out 80's tunes on a non-stop loop! Rather irritating. Back at the hostel both the computers were free so I tried to ring home, didn't work and it was bloody boiling so I made a quick getaway to our air conditioned room.

The pub from last night was showing an early footie match so we headed there. As we approached the entrance we noticed a sign that read "minimum spend $HK100", probably as a result of our milking antics last night! Went for the cheapest thing on the menu which was rancid. Never buy Eidelweiss beer again, no matter how cheap!! After the game we took the star ferry back to Kowloon to have a wander around the night market.

The market was pretty cool and sold loads of worthless tat that nobody would ever need. I bought a cheap fake watch of a fake brand and if it lasts a month I'll be happy. Looked around the food stalls on the market selling some rather appealing looking seafood, most of it still moving!

Turned the corner and spotted a Yoshinoya Japanese restaurant. Its funny that we avoided Japanese food almost all the time whilst in Japan but head straight there in HK. Either way it was delicious and a bargain.

The walk back through Nathan Road was nice and we stopped by the park on the way. It was packed full with kids celebrating the festival and the noise from all the 80's tunes on their lanterns was deafening! Spotted a fantastic Engrish sign on a shop selling teaching materials for kids that proudly said "Kiss My Kids"!! Picture above as proof.

Arrived at the dock to find the ferries had stopped running. Frantically headed back to Tsim ha Tsui subway and made it back to Causeway Bay just before the stations closed.
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