Published: February 7th 2010January 31st 2010
Morning arrival into Shenzen our first task was to find the border to Hong Kong. We followed signs but lost them after a while. Feeling rather unsure about how close the border was we kept following the crowds and luckily stumbled across the immigration. It was weird thinking in this huge train station the border was marked and you could cross into the other part of the train station to catch a train into Hong Kong proper. Anyway after an hour journey we got to the hostel and spent the afternoon appreciating the warm weather and the sunset across the harbour. Hong Kong was good fun and had a few nights out with Helen, a friend from my CELTA course back in London. Vodka Jelly nights were very fun! Hong Kong has more things to offer than just the city itself although we did do the tram journey to the peak, the viewpoint at the ICC and the Mid-Levels Escalators (the longest series of escalators in the world: it took us 20 minutes to get to the very top). The tram journey at night is pretty special and the night views of a city of skyscrapers and tower blocks is fantastic.
Out of the city we went to the largest seated Buddha in the world on Lantau Island and also by ferry to Lamma Island with its floating fish farms and trekking. Both great places to visit the natural surroundings that cover more then 90% of the whole territory. Hong Kong deserves it’s reputation as an expensive city but cityphobes should know that there is more to it than the traditional skyscraper image. After 6 days I started to miss China and the habits of the Chinese. Hong Kong and it’s people are completely different to mainland China. Everything is sterilised from the door handles to the carpets in the shopping malls. In China I was woken on the trains by the sound of hocking and spitting. I saw a baby shit in the street in Guilin but door handles were sterilised every 2 hours and alcohol gel was available everywhere. The other thing about Hong Kong was the leftover influence of the British. The road signs and markings, the double decker buses and the fact that I saw a queue of 30 people waiting at a bus stop. In Xi’an I wrestled with 30 people to get onto a
bus. The people looked the same but didn’t behave the same way. I knew it was time to leave when I started missing China so on the 6th day I left to make my way to Vietnam. A train to Guangzhou to catch an overnight train to Nanning where I would get a bus to Hanoi. A 32 hour journey awaited me as did an interesting border crossing where I thought the latex gloves were coming out.
There are more photos below