Friday, May 9, 2008

Hong Kong

We arrived at Hong Kong airport around 9pm on Sunday and caught the airport express train to Kowloon. It's strange to think the next time we get on a plane we'll be in Europe. Anna's brother's friend Steve had agreed to put us up for a few days.

Unfortunately we had a bit of confusion with the taxi driver on the way to his place. Understandable when later we found there are several hotels/apartment blocks all named similiarly, each containing variations on Harbour/View/Front/Suite & Hotel. Eventually we found Steve's apartment/suite and were made to feel at home..

The following morning we decided to start with the typical tourist sights and caught the famous 'Star Ferry' to Hong Kong Island. We wandered around the Central district for a while before grabbing a bite in a wanton noodle shop. Biggest wantons I've ever seen, they were huge and cheap!

Later that afternoon we took the funicular railway up to Victoria Peak to check out the view, which was good if a little hazy. We followed this up with a trip to Mong Kok to see the street markets in particular Temple Street Night Market. It was a touch difficult to check out what was on offer while trying to avoid the 'you wan' copy watch/handbag' brigade which constantly harass you. We had a cantonese dinner on the street before being washed out by the shower that had threatened all day.

On Tuesday, we did a walking tour around the west of Central which was interesting, especially seeing the dried geckos and frogs on offer alongside other more indistinguishable fare. After a nice dim sum lunch we rode the express bus to the south end of HK Island to Stanley, which could literaly be anywhere on the south coast of England. Only nicer.

On Wednesday we ventured a bit further afield to Lantau Island to see the 'Big Buddah' and he was definitley big.. No question about it. Nice rides on the cable cars both ways as we were too lazy to walk up... Then last night we followed Steve's advice to have a night at the races. As it turned out it was a great recommendation and one we would pass on to anyone visiting HK. Wednesday nights at Happy Valley are great value for money (less than a quid each to get in). The atmosphere was great. We even won a bit of cash, which paid for a couple of beers and a slap up dinner!

We're on the train now heading to Shanghai only another 20 hours to go...

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