Return to Hong Kong and the Happiest Place on Earth!
Repulse Bay, Hong Kong
11/11/13 - 11/15/13
After Taiwan, I flew back to Hong Kong, where I would spend another four days. Since, I had already been there twice, I felt very comfortable navigating the city. The MTR subway is amazing and links the whole city together. The bus system is also pretty good and on Hong Kong Island, there is a slow tram that goes across the island, which is a really cool way to see the city. This time in HK, I had more time and so I wanted to explore even more. I had only scratched the surface before and so I could tell I liked Hong Kong, but this time, I found that Hong Kong has become one of my absolute favorite cities!
This time in Hong Kong was planned, as I booked a flight to Chiang Mai, Thailand from HK months in advance for November 15th and so I knew I would be ending my time in China here. I only spent four days here this time, but I wish I would have stayed longer. I stayed in really nice hostel in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. I did a lot more partying here than I had expected too, however. The first three nights I was out until 3am or later.
The first night I hung out with a bunch of people from the hostel on the roof top terrace, which was on the ninth floor. I was having such a good time, that I didn't even realize how late it was when I went to bed. The second night, I came back from dinner and met a bunch of people from the hostel in the common area and they invited me to go a bar with them. We took one of the slow trams down the street and found an expat bar, with plenty of drinks, music and dancing. This is where I met Mandy. Mandy was from Hong Kong and was showing one of her out-of-town business partners a night on the town. Somehow, we got to talking and eventually I found myself dancing on the bar with her. She was a really cool girl and I was having a really good time with her. Later, in the night, most of my hostel friends had gone home or to other bars, however, there was still one really drunk English kid still hanging around the bar. He was way beyond drunk, so I had to figure out a way to get him back to the hostel. I exchanged information with Mandy and then walked the drunk kid back to the hostel. The whole way home, the kid kept yelling at and being obscene with some of the hookers that were walking the streets. It was kind of funny how insanely drunk he was, but he was being a little obnoxious. The next day I talked to him and he had no idea how he got home the night before! I told him about making out with some random girl and his walk home with the hookers, but he couldn't remember a thing! He seemed surprised at everything that happened and even asked me if the girl was pretty!
On the third night, some of the same people and myself went to the horseracing track and then out to the same bar. Horse racing is pretty big in Hong Kong, a leftover from HK's time as a British colony. The horse races were a lot of fun. We got some beers and some people placed some bets. Me and this other English guy were trying to figure out which was the best horse based on the odds and how they looked when they walked them before the races. Obviously, we were very wrong about which was the best horse, but it was still fun and I even got a free beer from him on one of our bets.
Finally, the fourth night, I didn't stay out that late, only until 1am. I had received an email from Mandy the day before and she wanted to meet up again. We decided to go to a German-style Bier Fest that was being held at one of the hotels in Tsim Tsui Shu. The hotel was really nice and it was on the waterfront, so we could see the Victoria Harbor laser light show from the roof, where the bier fest was being held. We drank a little, hung out and I tried to get her to dance to the German-style music. It was a a lot of fun! Afterwards, she brought me to some bars that had live music. And then playfully chastised me for not knowing the title of some well known songs! I knew the songs, just not who sang them. Eventually, I had to go back to my hostel, because I had to catch a flight to Thailand in the morning.
Now, I did do a few other things in Hong Kong, other than partying. The first day, I went to Lantau Island to see the world's largest bronze, outdoor seated Buddha statue. It takes awhile to get there, but I think it was the worth the trip. I would have taken a gondola up to see it, but it was too windy, so I had take a bus. The statue was immense and I thought it was very interesting. The climb up to it is not terrible, but it is hundreds of steps. Unfortunately, the day was really rainy and windy, so the visibility was not all that good, however, on a nice day, you could probably see for miles around.
The next day, I went to DisneyLand! It's the most magical place on Earth, so I had to go, right?! Actually, I promised my friend Angela, that I would go. I have only been to Disneyland once, when I was 15, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I think the best part about it though, was seeing just how excited the little kids were, while on there way to it. The park is not all that big, as I was able to walk around in a couple of hours fairly easily. I did ride a few rides, such as space mountain and some go-cart ride in Toy Story Land. Mostly, though I just walked around. I saw Mickey and all of the Disney stars posing with various people. It also had most of the traditional rides like the Tea Cups and Flying Dumbo and of course, "It's a Small World." A Disney enthusiast, like Angela, would probably love it. However, for me, it's someplace, I wouldn't normally go, but I did enjoy myself, even though it was a little expensive! It was 500 Hong Kong Dollars to get in! That is almost 60 U.S. Dollars! Oh well. So, there you go Angela, I hope you enjoyed your vicarious visit to HK Disneyland! :)
Meeting Mandy and of course, Disneyland, made Hong Kong special and one of my favorite cities, but the thing that really made my trip to HK great was meeting up with an old friend. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin nine years ago. During my time at UW, I had made several friends. Unfortunately, I have lost contact with a few of them over the years. Vince, was one of my buddies from college that I had lost contact with. We were Facebook friends, but that's it. Vince was from Hong Kong and so returned there after he graduated in 2003. I decided that since I would be in HK, that I would try to meet up with him. So, I tried to message him on Facebook, just to see if he would write back. I wasn't really expecting anything, because it was apparent that he never used FB, however I was surprised to get a message back from him. He was surprised that I was in HK and so we met up and had dinner. It was so cool to see him again! We haven't seen each other in 10 years, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I almost expected him to walk up in a nice suit or that I wouldn't recognize him. However, he hadn't changed much at all. He was the same old Vince and so we just talked about how things were going in our lives. It was a lot of fun meeting up with Vince again. It honestly has been one of the coolest part of my entire trip!
Four days in Hong Kong were just not long enough. It is a mixture of Chinese and Western culture, making it a very fascinating city. It has great food and some very interesting things to see. The Harbor views are amazing and the way the city is built is dizzying. I've met some really cool people here and an old friend. I will definitely be back to Hong Kong, probably sooner than you might think!