Hong Kong

Trip Start Aug 18, 2008
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Trip End Aug 17, 2009


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Saturday, September 6, 2008

To get to Hong Kong we had to get a train that would take twenty five hours. We got to the train station and went to the waiting room, one of us was going to stay there to mind the bags while the other went to the shop and got supplies for the train. Unfortunately it did not end up that way. We were told we had to go a different area to go through immigration because we were leaving the Peoples Republic of China. We followed a girl who showed us where it was ( her English wasn't great so we couldn't understand what she was saying), this meant going through security a second time ( not nice when you've a massive rucksack and everyone is pushing you out of the way!). So we went through security and immigration only to find we were at the train and couldn't get back into the station to buy food! Total disaster so we ended up on the train for twenty five hours and forty minutes with three bananas, one nectarine, one orange and two packets of oreos! The food carriage didn't have a lot of western food to offer us so we rationed out our food! We were able to buy water so that was something!
We got to Hong Kong went through immigration, got a taxi to the hostel, the lift we used has a sign saying no spitting, just so you get how bad it was in Shanghai! We found somewhere to eat because we were starving! When we got back to the hostel and we slept. Then after waking up I started to notice a few things like, why is there a bucket in our bathroom? Why are there flip flops there that aren't ours and OH MY GOD is that our shower? The bathroom was tiny, our room was too but apparently that's typical for Hong Kong. So our shower was basically a hose with a shower head on it attached to the wall with no base, so that's what the flip flops were for! So I suppose you could say I was out of my comfort zone! The next day we found out what the bucket was for; to fill the cistern of the toilet so we could flush it! Yeah the hostel is actually voted one of the best in Hong Kong and is one of the most expensive so I really would hate to see what the cheaper ones were like, I did read one review about another hostel not having any windows in the room!
We met a girl called Clare who was there by herself, she was on her way to Australia to meet her friend and was only going for two weeks. She arrived the day before us but said she didn't feel comfortable by herself at night time so we invited her out with us. We just wandered around for a while taking it all in, lots of flashing neon lights, people selling fruit, cooked food of all sorts, bags shoes etc. and then we found a bar. The place was full of locals playing some sort of game. Later some guy showed John how to play. Basically you have five die under a container and shake it, you can pretend you have two threes and if the other person calls you on it you have to show them what you have. If you were lying you have to take a drink. They buy buckets with around five or six drinks in them that are on promotion. We got back to the hostel around three, we passed people who were tidying their stalls or still working on them. For a Monday night there was a big buzz in the city.
So the next day our intentions of getting up early ( 8 am!) and going to Lantau Island did not happen! Instead we gathered up our dirty clothes and got them all washed, we thought we would have to do them ourselves but when we found the laundrette we were told we could leave them and collect them that evening! So as the place was tiny we were on the busy footpath trying to sort our clothes in whites, colours and darks trying not to show the whole street my lovely collection of underwear! The way it worked was we were charged by the weight of each load and there was a minimum charge of $3.60 which was just 3 euros. So we got a load of washing done for a tenner! The hotel we were stayed at in Beijing were charging a euro for underwear so as you can guess we saved a fortune!
We got the MTR which is a modern more efficient version of the DART, it has air conditioning, leaves when it says it will, is very fast - even the escalators go faster than a normal one! The stations are very clean - you aren't allowed to eat in them which is difficult cos they all have 7 elevens and bakeries in them! We went to Kowloon park which is really nice, it has an aviary, a garden of sculptures, nice walks and of course a mini MC Donalds that sells ice cream and drinks! We spent a while there and just wandered around. We ended up at a pier and had a great view of Hong Kong Island.
We did get to Lantau Island which means big island mountain, to see the largest seated outdoor Buddha. To get to the island we could take a cable car (25 minutes) or a bus (an hour). We chose the cable car. It went up the mountain and we had an amazing view! The photos I took just didn't do it justice or capture the height that we were up!
The Tian Tan Buddha is 34 meters tall, weighs 250 tonnes, it cost $68 million in euros that would be around 6.8million, still a lot of money! There are 268 steps to climb before you get up to the Buddha, it was nothing in comparison to the Great Wall of China! There are statues surrounding the Buddha and the view is great. There wasn't really a lot to do on the island apart from eat!
So we went back to the mainland and went to the cinema! It was in English and preparation for our next destination so we picked Bangkok Dangerous - given the rioting that was on we thought it was appropriate! The cinema was in a massive outlet shopping centre which was a bit depressing because I couldn't buy anything!
Another must do if you are ever in Hong Kong is go to Victoria Peak, I'm not sure how high up it is but it is the best view point of the city. You can walk to it or get a tram, we chose the tram and were very glad that we did because it was sooooo steep! It is open both during the day and night so we decided to check it out at night time to see the city all light up and it was amazing. I'm not going to write a lot about it because the photos just speak for themselves!
I watched Mega Structures with my dad a while ago and it had this massive bridge on it, I realised the day before we left that it was in Hong Kong so on our last day we went to look at it. It's called the Tsing Ma Bridge it connects Tsing Yi island and Ma Wan. It has two decks, 41metres (135ft) wide on the top deck cars, vans etc with six lanes, three each direction and the lower deck has two rail tracks for the MTR. The bridge has a main span of 1,377 metres (4,518ft) and a height of 206 metres (676ft). The span is the largest of all bridges in the world carrying rail traffic. There are also two sheltered carriageways on the lower deck of the bridge for maintenance access and as backup for traffic when particularly severe typhoons strike Hong Kong. (as happened the week before we got to Hong Kong) The MTR would still be able to use bridge but it wouldn't be to traffic. Just to get an idea of the scale have a look at the suspension holder (yeah that's the technical term for it!) and John. While we were up high looking at the bridge there was thunder and lightning in the distance. When we were finished we headed back to get a taxi to the MTR station except the taxi rank was empty and we were basically stuck there! Some guy did try to help us and tried calling a taxi but he said they wouldn't come out to get us! Then a taxi appeared and I was very tempted to steal it but it was for someone else who had pre booked it to drop them off and collect them. We told them we were stranded and again he tried to call us a taxi and then said we could share his taxi so six of us got into five seater taxi. So just to let you know not all Chinese people are rude spitting, pushers with no manners! We found two very nice people! Then again Hong Kong is separated from The People's Republic of China!
We spent an hour getting ferries around Hong Kong which gave us a few nice photos, you might recognise some of them if you have seen The Dark Knight - Batman.
So that was Hong Kong, we are now in Phuket, Thailand.
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Comments

vwbeetleie
vwbeetleie on

Hong Kong
Cool you got to see the places that Darragh had told me about, I must tell him you got to see the Budda he will be delighted. The pics look good.

fairlyhappy
fairlyhappy on

Fricken Awesome
Howya Buddy!!! Well done on the Pics really professional compostion angle and proportions HA X

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