The Mong in Hong Kong
Trip Start Dec 21, 2009
22Trip End Aug 07, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Another blog from another new territory for me. I've arrived in Hong Kong safe and sound and can only say that I'm absolutely blown away by everything here.
Arriving here was probably one of the hardest and most 'out there' things I've ever done. I turned up without any local currency and without anywhere to stay. Needless to say, it didn't help that I'd managed to lose my Lonely Planet somewhere between Ao Luk and Bangkok. On arrival I collected my bag and found an information desk where a nice man talked to me and suggest I take a bus to a place called Tsim Sha Tsui, in Kowloon, known for cheap guesthouses
After a few minutes I was approached by people offering rooms to rent... A few moments' walk and a quick trip in the elevator later, I saw the room and was sold. I was careful to check the licence and make sure what the man was asking for, but it seems as though there are millions of these kind of guesthouses and that's how it works. The room itself is absolutely tiny, but I love it! To put it into context, I can stretch my arms wide and touch both walls, while the room is as long as the bed. Lol. To be fair though I have my own bathroom and it costs me a tenner a night which is very reasonable I think, given that I'm in Hong Kong. (By 'bathroom' I mean a cubicle with a sink, shower and toilet - with the shower so positioned that to use it you pretty much have to stand in the toilet or lean across to be able to use it.) No complaints here though, because this is exactly what I came on my gap year to experience! As much as I love the thought of a fiver star hotel right now (and believe you me, there are plenty of them around here), that's not really what I came to experience and be used to.
Friday was arrival day and I took the time to walk about, settle into my room(/cupboard), unpack (as much as was possible), and generally get to know Kowloon a bit
Saturday I again walked around and got to explore a bit further around Tsim Sha Tsui (the area in Kowloon that I'm staying in) that I'd missed the day before. I went to the Space Museum for a few hours, walked around the port, took some photos and did some shopping.
Yesterday (Sunday) I went to the Hong Kong Museum of History, which has a permanent exhibition on the geographical development of the land around Hong Kong and how it has changed over millions of years, as well as exhibits on Hong Kong as a city and how that has changed through its various occupations over the last few centuries. It was extremely interesting and taught me a great deal about a place I knew very little about. Next stop for me was the Museum of Science, right next door. This was by far a more 'fun' experience and the whole museum was centred around being interactive and providing a very 'hands on' approach to the learning experience. Almost everything involved touch screens, moveable objects and flashing lights while some of the installations even boasted brand new technology like augmented reality, where cameras use your surroundings to incorporate it into a digital environment onscreen - pretty impressive stuff that made the day all the more worthwhile. Even better was the fact that a week-long museum pass costs HKD$30, which is just under 3 quid - sweet
Today I went to the 'Nan Lion Garden' (described as a garden depicting many different types of Chinese culture over the last two thousand years) and the accompanying temple/nunnery, before going to Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple (no, I didn't make that up just to sound authentic..it's real). Next was Kowloon Walled City Park, which was also pretty cool, along with a trip back via the various markets at Mongkok. Hopefully later tonight I'll manage to catch the infamous laser and lights show along the river, the 'Symphony of Lights' (whereby some of the tallest buildings in the area each throw out huge beams of light and colour "create a myriad of colours to depict Hong Kong's vibrancy"). All in all, a lot of walking!
The only thing missing is interraction with other people because it's kinda hard to socialise when you live in a cupboard-room on the 15th floor of a building which is part stores and stalls, part office space and part guesthouse (used mainly by immigrants renting rooms on a permanent basis). Nonetheless, I'm happy as I am and have been very careful with the budget, so there are no real complaints here. In fact, the longer I spend here, the more I realise I actually secretly love it!
Right, now for the many photos to upload. Hope you're all well! xxxxx