After an 11 hour overnight flight we made it to Hong Kong. We easily found a public bus to take us to our hostel but couldn't believe the heat and humidity (80%!) that hit us the second we stepped out of the airport. The views of Hong Kong Island on the hour long trip distracted from any discomfort. We then had our first experience of carrying our backpacks, fortunately only a short distance, and we were very glad to put them down in the hostel. However, finding the hostel proved quite difficult as there were no signs on the outside of the building and on the door was an official sign stating that any hostel within the building was operating illegally. Despite this warning we went straight in glad to escape the heat and discovered our hostel on the 3rd floor. Our tiny room was on the 10th floor (but at least it was en-suite and there was a lift).
After a power nap we ventured onto the streets and by this time it was much cooler. We jumped on the famous Star ferry with lots of Hong Kong commuters which took us across the bay to Kowloon. We had wonderful views of the bay out to the South China Sea, and even better, the sun just happened to be setting (very romantic).
Every night at 8pm there is a light and sound show involving all of the major skyscrapers on Kowloon and Hong Kong island waterfronts. We joined the hundreds of people on the waterfront to watch the show which is featured in the guiness book of records as the longest running permanent light show in the world (Brenda insisted on putting in this fascinating fact!). We had an hour to stroll the promenade to wait for the 18 minute show, after which we were slightly bemused by the overhyped and quite tacky show.
By this point we were starving and so headed to the chinese equivalent of McDonalds (Yoshinya) for chicken and rice with broccoli, green beans, carrot and cauliflower (so much for our concern about not getting broccoli when we ate tonnes before we left the UK!).
We overslept the next morning after a disturbed night's sleep due to the noise from a broken toliet that would not stop flushing! Fortunately Dave can do wonders to a toilet with gaffer tape to try to fix it at 3am! Anyway, we took the MTR (mass transit railway) to Lantau island which we were very impressed with. We then jumped aboard the skyrail (Ngong Ping 360 cable car) to see the Tian Tan Buddha. This was the largest cable car we have ever been on (it took half an hour end to end) and the views were fantastic. We then walked up some very steep steps in the rain to see the big Buddha. This was built in the early 1990s and is the largest seated open air Buddha in the world and very impressive with that despite the showers. After our hard work on the stairs we went to the nearby Po Lin monastery for a peaceful lunch of noodles, dim sum and green tea in their gardens.
In the afternoon we decided to check out some markets. First up, Goldfish Street, where they sell....goldfish! As well as cats, rabbits, lobsters, turtles, crabs.....etc etc, anything that moves really as a pet. Next to this was Flower market street with some beautiful lotus flowers that came out well on the camera. Finally, the bird garden, where you can buy pet birds (apparently they feed them locusts with chopsticks but we didn't see this!).
Despite the funny smell of the markets we were hungry so we went to another night market to get some dinner. The Temple Street market was bustling with street traders and street restaurants with various seafood-to-be in buckets swimming about. We ate at one of these but didn't fancy the sea snails offered and went for boring chicken and pork instead, maybe snails next time!
On our final day in Hong Kong we took the peak tram to Victoria Peak but had to laugh at an American tour group who were panicking because they couldn't work out how to get off the tram as their guide had just got off and left them - there was only one door to choose from!!! Anyway, we enjoyed the misty view over Hong Kong and went for a walk through the former Governor's gardens. After this we sadly made our way back to the hostel to collect our bags for the airport.
Hong Kong is crowded, noisy, hot and humid but equally there is lots to see and do and was a fascinating city to explore, we both loved it and are thinking of returning again one day (when we have money!).
From Hong Kong we fly to Cairns via Brisbane and are looking forward to updating you on our Queensland campervan exploits!
PS: we have put our photos into an album for you all to see on this website.
Love, David & Brenda xxx
Elen Sounds delightful! I bet you were glad that you could leave your bags in the hostel whilst climbing the stairs up to the Buddha, they look really steep! Hope Australia's nice, I hear spring has sprung (much to my dismay as it means autumn here) over there :-)
Michelle Hi Brenda and Dave, Hong Kong looks amazing. I love your photos, I really want my very own 'Weird blue cat'. Have fun in Australia :-)
Brenda and David Spring has definitely sprung but cool at night but luckily no jellyfish yet! Will update our blog very soon! Hope you guys are well.