After an uneventful flight (which are in my opinion, the best ones) we landed in Hong Kong around 5.30 pm. Chek Lap Kok Airport is huge and you realise this when you board a train that takes you to Immigration & Customs. It takes about 20 minutes in all, from the plane to baggage carousel. It's all silky smooth going through immigration although oddly, Grant doesnt get given a visa but is just waived through. We think this is something to do with being born in Hong Kong. We grab the bags and then head for the superb Airport Express Train. Once on board we get swallowed by the city, it's pretty much dark now and we just see the bright lights as we head to Central. Off we get and then it's time to take one of HK's taxis. first thing I notice is that there's less street pollution, we put this down to the fact that the taxis' are now run by LPG or Electric as opposed to the belching diesel engines of yesteryear.
On the move we head through Gloucester Road and then into Happy Valley, home of the vast Horse Racing Stadium. We're staying just opposite at The Dorsett Hotel. In we bounce and see Clive, Gail, Lloyd & Owen, having a cheeky beer...well an expensive beer, Clive tells me it's over a £10 for a pint. Think I'll give that bar a swerve. We're told Spencer has arrived, he was on the Cathay Pacific flight that left London just after us. So we lug the gear up and go to our respective rooms. Lloyd Scragg got lucky and scored a room with a view of the Race Course, Owen & Grant got the vast Happy Valley cemetery. Not sure what we had as it was frosted glass, probably insisted upon by the Feng Shui Man, who gets to order frosted glass if some deity or Dragon is likely to be offended by a particular view. I imagine it's something to do with the grave yard as superstitions are big over here - and what the Feng Shui Man says - goes!
We all meet up downstairs and the plan of action is to head into Central and head up to Soho via the escalator. We take the Hotel Shuttlebus, which was a bad move as it went round and round in bloody circles in Causeway Bay and Wanchai. Eventually we get to Central and have a wander around. It seems a bit odd being back, it's almost like I havent been away.
We head up the escalator to Soho and the first thing I notice is that the place looks a bit run down and dirty. We end up in Staunton Street and go to Bar 1911 - we have a few beers and a bit of a laugh. The area doesnt seem that busy. Odd. We then opt for some late night Dim Sum a bit further up the street and very good it was too. As time was getting on, Clive was ready to heed the call to prayer for the Great Religion of Northern England - Manchester City Football Club were playing and we needed to find a digital temple. We headed to Wanchai and opted for Misty's on Lockhart Road. Here, some of the younger members of the entourage began to lag. Once again Lockhart Road was quiet. Hard to believe, I know. I did have a quick wander round to the Wanch and it was full of Ockers celebrating Australia Day - There was even a Midnight Oil tribute band playing. Pretty soon we called it a day and got a couple of Smash and Grabs back to the hotel. Not a bad start, we'd managed to sink a few and visit some of the old spots.