Once Around The Sun

20617 km

HONG KONG

It's HOT and humid, really sticky, but that's ok, because air conditioning in every closed public space is set to arctic -10C. Until we got used to the heat or brain freeze, we had to stand in a doorway of a shopping centre. Once we've made it to Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, where our hostel was, we've realised how smooth the journey from Guilin was, despite the fact I couldn't buy a direct ticket to Hong Kong. Anyway, a 2 hour journey to Guangzhou South, quick transfer to Gouangzhou East, and 2 hours to Kowloon, Hong Kong didn't seem that bad. Finding our hostel was easy too. Did we really care that our room was 1.7m X 3.3m? Nope, we had 2 beds and an en-suite. But where is the window? I mean, is it even legal? We fight for animal rights, while people live like this??? Really??! No biggie, we thought. We only need to put our heads down for a few hours each night. And so it was. Until we found out the next 'morning' around 11am, that we could sleep through half of the day because our bodies think is still night...

Our must see list for Hong Kong wasn't too long and it included the Light and Sound Symphony, which is a lame laser show glorified by The Guinness World Records and to be honest leaves plenty of room for improvement. Also we had to climb Victoria Peak to look over Hong Kong and see the famous view over the bay. You can pay for a tram to take you uphill, but the dent in our budget would have been steeper than the hill was. Let's be honest, Hong Kong is not a typical backpacker destination, but I wouldn't leave it out our itinerary, even though Majka tried to make me reconsider. On the other hand, The Star Ferry only costs 2 HKD per ride and is a charming experience. The boats breathe with past times and I recommend the lower deck if you're ever to take it. Not only is cheaper (the price difference isn't really worth mentioning), but seemed more rustic and as if it had more character left than the brighter and better kept upper deck. Besides that, you get to share the lower deck with the captain and the docking crew. Is cool to watch them work while you enjoy the views. Another inexpensive must do is the trams. Probably from the same age as the Star Ferry, these double decker trams run on the north of Hong Kong island from east to west and back. At 2.40 HKD per ride is an inexpensive alternative to The Big Bus Company. Yes, Hong Kong has them too... The most enjoyable time was when we were just getting lost on the streets and accidentally running into local markets, getting a glimpse of life behind all the sparkle of a super rich metropolis. Night market at Temple Street is also fun. You can find items here that you could have lived an entire life without knowing you need one... We didn't buy a thing, had a dinner and a delicious Vietnamese coffee. Later we have sneaked in to a parking building and took some photos of the night market from the 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th and 4th floors, until I decided that number 5 was the sweet spot.

Our last day I could not resist the temptation and I went on camera hunting. Well, lens hunting. At the end I've bought a lens that I dreamt of for it's great picture quality and versatility. However, if I can give you an advice, don't shop for electronics in Hong Kong. Not worth it. Scammers are real, price difference is not that great as glorified by some and if you can not afford the 'proper' price, you probably can not afford the gear anyway. Long story short, price difference about £300, guarantee: nil. Not only non existent for the item itself, but the sales people are pulling scams that you have to watch out not to be trapped.

I've also found time to meet up with an ex colleague, Bianca, who has moved to Hong Kong, and stepped up a big one in the company hierarchy. Good to see that people are actually getting somewhere while I'm bumming about and was absolutely perfect to meet a friend on the other side of the globe...

Our 4 days in Hong Kong were quite jam-packed. Last day I was excited about catching our flight to Ho Chi Minh City from the legendary airport that Hong Kong build in the middle of the sea. It involved some pretty radical new technology that involved building an island. Insane if you ask me, but you know from the recent news, that this wasn't nearly the last island that China has built. Well the airport island wasn't technically built by China, but that's just technicalities... You get my drift, right?!