The dazzling lights of Hong Kong

Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
Trip End Sep 01, 2008

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Where I stayed
Rent-a-Room Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui

Flag of China  ,
Monday, February 4, 2008

Wow! Hong Kong is a great place and such a 'culture shock' from the last three weeks we had spent in Nepal. Even the airport has its delights.....proper toilets with automatic flushing and it's clean and the signs and directions are in English!

We spent an awesome week taking in the sights of this cool city with our big bro, Tim G who had decided to come and visit us in Honkers. We had an awesome week with him and it was sad to wave goodbye to him at the airport for another seven months.

Anyone who says you can 'do' Hong Kong in a few days is missing out. There is so much to see and do and we easily filled up six days. You definitely need a credit card here though, there's so much shopping to be done!

Weather wise it was a cold week here and there was a 'severe cold weather' warning in place but on the main land there have been snow storms and real problems with power outages, so we were thankful that it wasn't that bad here.

The views around the city are totally amazing, especially the sky scrapers lit up at night across the Victoria Harbour on the Island, the streets ablaze with hundreds of bright neon signs and the hills surrounding both the Kowloon side and on Hong Kong Island too.

One of the best things we did was take the tram up to The Peak in the early evening just as it was getting dark where you are 400 metres above the city and can look down over it. As it gets darker the views become more vivid as the lights show up more clearly.

A friend of Tim's warned him about ordering food in Hong Kong, in that what you see on a menu is not necessarily what you get! Well this happened to us when we ordered roast duck. The photo on the menu outside showed a whole duck with pancakes and plum sauce. What you actually get is cuts of skin with some meat that seems to have been accidently left on! Anyway, it tasted good and it made us laugh. The street markets do great food, and we ate amazing seafood at Temple Street Market in Kowloon at 1am, where it was still buzzing there, so busy and full of people with the shops open even at that time of night. Another fun meal was at a sushi bar on the first evening when by the time we got out to eat after meeting Tim at the airport it was gone midnight, but again, places stay open and they are busy so it's great.

We went to Lantau island to see the Tian Tan Buddha, the world's 'tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha' but it was so foggy that day we didn't see much, but the cable car ride over from the mainland was fun.

Have you heard of Macau? Well it's an old Portugese island colony about 35 km from Hong Kong. We took a ferry there and spent a day exploring the island with it's old churches, town squares and parks and we ate Macanese food, a mix of Chinese and Portugese. Although the island is now under Chinese rule, the gambling laws are different to HK so consequently there are many huge casinos here. We visited the Venetian which was so huge and designed to look and feel like you are in Italy. As well as the casino, the hotel had a shopping mall inside it with about 100 shops and an indoor canal complete with Gondolas!

We found the culture and local people so great here, they are polite and helpful. On one of the cable cars we went on, there was a sign at the bottom apologising for the weather, would you get that back home?!

Other highlights were drinks at the Hard Rock cafe and the very expensive Aqua Spirit bar on the 39th floor of an office building (there was no mention of a minimum spend in the lonely planet guide!), having my hair cut and treated (Tom!), stopping every 2 minutes for Tim to get his camera and tripod out for 'just a few' photos and generally being tourists for a week rather than travellers.

Tim, remember the theme tune for the week, all together now... ' everybody was kung foo fighting....'
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