Big buddha, small shower

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Where I stayed
Kyoto guest house, chungking mansions

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When the plane lands in Hong Kong you think you are going to hit the sea, then a small strip of land comes from nowhere for the plane to land on. We could instantly feel the heat and humidity as soon as we left the plane. From the airport we took the A21 bus to Nathan road on kowloon island to our first accommodation, Kyoto guest house in Chungking mansions. Space is at a premium in hong kong and our en-suite reflected this, the shower and the toilet combined into one small room. It most probably goes against taveler etiquette but I toilet in the communal toilet / shower and have a shower in our en-suite.
That evening we went down to Nathan road to jade and temple street night market where you can buy all sorts of cheap goods. We had some noodles (just chicken noodles - nothing too adventurous yet!) and a beer outside by the market and watched the world go by. Hong Kong seems to be a contrast of Chinese and Bitish and old and new. You have old decrepid buildings next to new glass exterior high rises. Today I was watching an old market store owner with a wrinkly wisened face as I sipped my beer. His mobile rang and he pulled out an i-phone (or something equivalent). This seemed to sum up the city.

 21st April 2011 - We went to the peak today. The peak (is exactly what it says it is) a hill or mountain that overlooks the rest of hong kong island. The views of the high rise buildings are great from here. It is worth paying a bit extra to go to the upper tower part. The pictures you can take from here are that much better. In the evening we found a little corker of a place. We thought we would use the underground MTR and pick a place on the tourist info map to find - without expectations. We went to nan lian gardens. What a great little place. This is what I'd imagie the eye of s storm would be like. All around it are the glittering lights of high-rise buildings and manic streets, but there in the gardens you have a total contrast, a peaceful beautiful garden with bonzai trees and old world cabins and pagodas. Worth a visit, especially in the evening and especially if you have a girlfriend to take with you. It's a very romantic spot.

22nd April 2011 - Today we headed to Lantau Island to ngong ping, the po lin monastery and the giant Buddha. It is a bit of a trek to get there. We took the undergroung to tung chung station. On hind sight the ferry might have been a bit nicer. From tun chung we took the bus to ngong ping. The bus wond through Lantau island. This is what I'd imagine kowloon and HK island must have looked like before being populated to the hilt. Lantau island has green peaks, lush tropical forrests and pretty fishing villages. The giant buddha is very grand sittin atop a hill with many steps to get to it. We took the cable car back down to tung chung.
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