To begin with I would Like to express our dismay at why the title says Hong Kong other than China? Odd things computers eh?!
Well, we arrived in Beijing on the 4th October, the adventures begin!
Our first night was rather crazy. We arrived at our cockroach infested brothel of a hostel at a ridiculous time in the morning! We slept for a good part of the day due to silly time differences and all that! As we ventured out into the streets of Beijing we found that not many people spoke english, nearly everything was in Chinese (fancy that!) and we were rather stuck with the "how to order food that was not meat" thing! So we opted for McDonalds, rather disappointing isn't it?
However within a few days we were meeting our tour and were rescued by our darling of a tour guide, Yuling! We also met our group, consisting of Briony, Dave, Emma, Lauren, Brian, Stuart, Geraldine and Vanessa. Great guys, a lot of fun! Beijing in all honesty was a bit of a s*** hole, god knows how they will manage to hold the Olympic Games! They are so disorganised! I think they need Alan Pringle on the case!
We visited the Forbidden City, took a rickshaw tour around the Hutongs and to be honest that was about it. We were glad to leave!
Next was the great wall. We trekked along it for what felt like a million miles! It was so hot and both of us thought we had developed asthma! Is that something you can develop by the way?! The views were great but I think the trekking took it out of us!
Nest stop was Xi'an, or s***'an according to our dear friend Emma, what a great name! The shopping was great, we also cycled around the city wall which was interesting, but to be honest the place was so over ridden with smog I felt like I had smoked 1000 cigarettes in the 2 days that we were there!
We took an overnight train to Shanghai, which was much more up our street! Again the shopping was immense. It was easier to get around as more people talked English, I personally felt so rude not having picked up anything other than hello and thank you in the native tongue! Siobhan and I had some great times drinking cocktails along the Bund just admiring the skyline, which I have to say is rather impressive. It is one place in China I would perhaps re-visit. We went up the 4th highest building in the world and had some cocktails in the highest bar in the world, Cloud 9. It was very posh but again we just got drunk andd had fun. Silly Sarah decided ti would be great to order two bottles of vodka other than one so we could get super drunk, this resulted in street spewing, taxi spewing, mobile phone losing, crying down phone to Craig and generally making an idiot of herself!
We took a 28 hour train to Guilin, again another s*** hole really but we didn't have to stop there! Yes! Get in! We took a bus to Yangshou, which is a quaint little town full of tourists. The shopping in Yangshou was fantastic! Fakes galore for great prices! I personally spent most nights shopping with Lauren and Emma, two girls after my own heart!
Siobhan however preferred to hang out with Vanessa and some random people in a small club where everyone was extremely intoxicated! Each to their own! Sounded like fun!
After two nights in Yangshou we got another bus to a small guesthouse outside it. It was in the midde of no where but was great banter really! We went on a bamboo raft in the pissing rain which was fun! We even had a hand in pushing ourselves along the river with a big stick, we were crap at it though! There must be a knack! We also had a bike ride, which I found rather mentally scarring! As we left the guesthouse, just five minutes up the road, some locals were getting rid of some evil spirits in their brand new home by blowing up some fire crackers! It was like that scene out of Home Alone where Kevin tries to frighten the burglars with the fire crackers in the pot! However, one decided to launch itself at my leg and for one moment I thought I had actually been shot! Siobhan just stuck her head down with her little chinese hat on and trundled along like a rocket! Haha!
Then it was onto delightful Hong Kong, we love HK! We did a lot in Hong Kong. We visited Ocean Park with our I Heart HK t-shirts, loved playing the token tourist! We went up Victoria Peak, watched the lightshow, walked along the walk of fame bit, ha som fantastic nights out too!
After departing from our group we decided to stay in Wang Fat hostel which was great. We had a resident mouse however it never left droppings and only came to say hello twice. We went out for Halloween and even managed to come up with some semi-decent costumes for the occassion! Hong Kongese (as Briony refers to them) certainly do love Halloween, we have the photos to prove it!
All in all China was an experience I am glad to say I have had! Although there are a few places we will definitely never visit again, there are some places I definitely would, and would recommend to others!
Now to our next country, November 1st Thailand here we come!