Hong Kong

It was quite appropriate that it was raining as I left to catch my flight to Hong Kong, due to the bad weather the flight was delayed for around an hour or so, but after take off it was an uneventful but long flight.

With the time difference between both places meant that I arrived in the late afternoon and I took a bus to the Aberdeen area and checked into my hotel/hostel which was a really clean and modern looking place, but due to it being full, I was put in an 8 bunk room. There was much coming and going during the night which meant that I didn’t get much sleep. Before going to bed I did have a wander around the area and found it interesting, to say the least.

I was collected by Stuart Orr, my cousin Emily’s son, after breakfast and we drove to his home in Clearwater Bay to meet his wife On.  I left my bits in my room and we headed off to his boat and went to a floating fish farm/restaurant for a really great fresh fish lunch. After lunch, we then headed across the bay to meet his boss and some friends on their boat, and we had great fun on one of the many beaches. The beach was littered with much debris from the recent tornado so we all spent much of our time clearing it up and tidying it up a little, it was a great day showing me a side of Hong Kong I never knew existed.

The next morning I travelled to the city centre where I picked up one of the tourist buses for a tour of the city, There are 3 routes available, Red, Green and Blue, I started with the Green route which took me to the Stanley and Aberdeen areas, it was a really good trip which included a Sampan tour around Aberdeen harbour. On returning to the central part of the city I stopped for lunch then boarded the Red bus which took me around Hong Kong Island Central area, I got off the bus at the Peak Tram station and went up to the peak, I stayed up there until sunset and took some photographs before returning home to my bed, another good day in pleasant weather.

I went back into town by the usual route the following day, getting off the train at Wan Chai to have a look around the computer centre there, I found it interesting with loads to see, but I don’t think it was any cheaper than home. I got back on the big bus to resume my tour but got off at the Hollywood Road/Soho area as I spotted a lot of street art in the area, this caused the usual wandering around little streets and lanes in an interesting area, after stopping for lunch and a beer, I got back on the bus to the ferry terminal and took a Star Ferry across to Kowloon.

Following the tour, and thinking about changing my camera, I visited a recommended camera store, but again there was little difference between here and home. I stayed in Kowloon at the waterfront to watch the Symphony of Lights, where the city’s buildings put on a light show every evening, I enjoyed it, but unfortunately, I couldn’t hear the music that went with it.

The next morning, I decided to go to see the Big Buddha at Ngong Ping, following the usual route into town, I took the train to Tung Chung on Lantau Island, then joined the long queue to buy my ticket, then joined another long queue to get on a gondola, it was worth the wait as it was the longest and highest cable car I had ever been on. Once up in the village of Ngong Ping, it was a bit commercial but good fun, especially watching peoples reaction to the cattle and buffalo wandering around. I climbed the 265 stairs to get to the Buddha and was quite spectacular and we worth the effort.

Due to the time I spent in queues, I couldn’t linger much in the village, so took the bus ride to the nearby village of Tai O, a traditional Chinese fishing village built on stilts, I had a trip on a boat around the village and then out into the bay, but unfortunately I didn’t get to see any of the famous white dolphins. It was interesting walking the village streets seeing all the dried fish products and spices for sale, I tried a couple of the fried fish balls with curry sauce, very nice indeed, though I never knew fish balls were that size!

Again, as my time was limited, so rather than going back to Ngong Ping and going back down on the cable car, I decided to save some time by taking a local bus back to Tung Chung to catch the train back to Hong Kong. This was a really good trip showing me a different side of Hong Kong and it’s residents, it was well worth the waiting.

My last day in Hong Kong and almost the end of my trip overseas left me with loads of time to kill as my flight home wasn’t until just after midnight, I thought it best to leave my cousin’s home early and head into town and check my luggage in at the railway station, giving me some time in the city before leaving, and there are still a couple of things I would like to do before I go.

After checking in at the railway station, I took a train to Wan Chai to revisit the computer centre, and pick up a couple of bargains.

Lunch in a traditional Chinese restaurant before a trip on a ‘ding-ding, one of the old traditional tram was a bonus.

When the tram reached it’s terminal, I got off and went for a wander around the Kennedy Town area, finishing off at the escalators to the mid levels, where I managed to stumble upon a craft brew house called Zhang Men Brewing, where a refreshing beer went down very well.

Hong Kong surprised me, it is a wonderfully diverse place, bustling city, beautiful beaches and bays, within stunning countryside. The public transport system is great and I was able to get around safely and cheaply, I’m sure I’ll go back.