07.02.2011 18 °C
After a pretty rough night in Manila International Airport we finally checked our bags and boarded a Cathay 777 bound for Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a pretty welcome relief after the poverty in the Philippines. Its immediately noticeable that this place is made on money. The cleaners must drive a Lexus.
Probably typical of the Chinese but this place is well organised. As soon as we were off the plane we got ourselves some transport cards ( Octopus) and that basically gets you around the city on any mode of transport, nothing new I know but when you have come from a place that treats public transport like a contact sport it’s nice to be treated well again. Suffice to say that although this city has a population of many millions and is on a massive scale, getting around is simple. Public transport couldn’t be easier.
We only have three and a half days here so we tried to make the best of it. We’re staying in a small one bedroom place just off Nathan Rd, Kowloon. We are right in the thick of it. I know it was said if you were sick of London, you were sick of life I reckon the same could be said of Hong Kong. This place never stops, the people dress really edgy and sharp, ( you could tell we weren’t locals, thongs got a few looks). The shopping is never ending, whole streets dedicated to sneakers, pets, men’s wear, women’s wear, flowers and anything else you could think of. The markets run everyday and night of the week until midnight and its hard to imagine a place absolutely chock ‘o’block with people on a Monday night shopping and eating and socialising. It can be a sensory overload. We did the usual tourist things liked rode the Peak train for the view, watched light shows off the Harbour, ate and drank massive beers off the street stalls and best of all shopped in the markets. I was told you’re not doing well unless they’re nearly crying so that was the challenge. Some stall owners couldn’t be bothered but I did manage to get a tie, hanky and cufflinks genuinely hand made or at least put in the box and in probably reproduction silk down from $180HK to $50 HK. Not happy Jan. I don’t know how to say F$#k off in Chinese but the tone is just the same as ours. Hillarious. This has to be the place if you want to buy a suit or a Rolex, genuine or not. If you walk 100m you’ll be asked 5 times if you want either. Looking at me they must have thought I was in desperate need.
The surprising thing about Hong Kong is that amongst the madness there are small pockets of serenity. We stopped at a small garden park where men bring their birds( feathered variety) and hang them off bars and just let them sing. The men walk up and down holding the birds like prizes in their cages, socialise and eventually cover them up and take them home. Something you don’t expect in a mad place like this. There’s heaps more to be said about Hong Kong and definitely another place to re-visit but I’ll just post some photos. We’re off to Hanoi, Vietnam today. Andiamo Coles.
Well here we are in Hong Kong and we all agree that we love it and want to stay for longer, but we will be back. The shopping is great and I keep seeing all this stuff that I would love to send back to Kindy. There is so much to see and do. We went to the night market on Temple Street and the first section we happened to go through was selling lingerie and sex aids, Matt in his typically 14 year old humour could not stop laughing, we had to drag him away. It was funny to see a guy with a dildo spinning in his hands haggling with the vendor about the price!!!
Anyway there were bigger and better things to come. We are actually here through the Chinese New Year celebrations. This year is the Year of The Rabbit so the decorations feature a lot of rabbits. We went to the Light Spectacular on the first night. They have a lot of buildings set up across the harbour from where we were and for 15minutes a display using lights, music and laser was performed. The time and money put into this must be great.
We also saw a lantern display. These lanterns are made on wire frames covered with silk and then have a light inside. Some of them were floating and some hung up, it was lovely.
I better go, Mike is waiting to post this. Can’t wait to come back to Hong Kong but off to Vietnam we go.