Published: August 29th 2006August 29th 2006
So saying goodbye to Vietnam was easy, we just got a mini bus to the airport and after a little messing around paying bloody airport tax we were out of there and on our way to Bangkok airport.
We took the cheaper option to get to Hong Kong, we were to fly to Bangkok airport and stay over night for 11 hours and then get a flight to Macau the next day at 9am, then take the ferry over to Hong Kong - simple… well not really. After sleeping in the airport for 11 hours we were the first to check in for the flight to Macau, so to kill some time we went on the internet for an hour. At 8.30am we thought we would make our way to the gate, it was then that we heard an announcement call ‘this is the last call for Chris potter and Daniel young’, we shat ourselves. Both Dan’s clock and the clock on the pc’s were half hour slow. We had to run as fast as our tired legs would take us. It was like a scene from a movie; I was hurdling benches and shoving children out of the way. After
a stop to take off my flip flops I gathered pace to reach the gate were there was a mini bus waiting to transport us to the airplane which was already on the runway with a plane full of angry looking passengers.
So after taking off and arriving in Macau 1 hour later we had our first taste of china - it was hot! It felt hotter than Thailand, but that might have been the engines from the plane which was still running. After getting through passport control we hopped on a bus and headed to the ferry terminal. We arrived in Hong Kong about 1 hour later and struggled to find the underground station from the ferry terminal. We headed for Kowloon, the northern part of Hong Kong, where the accommodation was apparently cheaper and had been recommended by a few people. As soon as we submerged from the underground we were hit by a tout trying to sell accommodation, we took her up on her offer and looked at a room. A really small twin room with a poxy shower cost us $150 Hk per night, which is about 10 quid, probably the most expensive we’ve paid
so far. However this was to be expected as it is Hong Kong and everything is priced up. We were staying in a building called Chung ching mansion and we were on the 11th floor. We later found out that if there was a fire then basically there would be no escape route, something which worried us when one night the fire alarm sounded about 2am, but thankfully it was a false alarm.
Apart from the hotel, the area we stated was spectacular, open 24 hours and full of lights, just what I expected from a big city. The best part of it though was the Jackie Chan gym directly across the road. We spent the first evening walking around the Kowloon area just to get our bearings, visiting a shopping mall and a cinema. The next few days we went shopping on Temple Street, which is a night market where we bought a few bits and pieces. We took some great pictures of the Hong Kong harbor and saw a water and light show. We also had to take a trip to Hong Kong Island to find the Chinese embassy and pay an unbelievable amount of $670 Hk
to get a visa for china, something lonely planet failed to mention. Whilst on the island we took the tram up to Victoria peak to get a cracking view of the whole island and also traveled along the longest escalator in the world up to soho where we had a drink in an English bar. On our final day we visited the Avenue of stars where we saw ‘Jet Li’ and ‘Jackie Chan’ hand prints on the floor and from the same place we watched the harmony of lights, basically a big laser show from Hong Kong Island.
After five fantastic days in Hong Kong we had to leave to enter mainland china. We took the train from kowlon straight into Shenzhen where we managed the easiest and fastest border crossing so far. We were met just outside of the train station by my dear young lady Xiao Yang who took us, along with her dad to her house where we stayed in luxury for 4 days. Her parents were fantastic to us, we ate in restaurants every night, we had our own bathroom with hot water… her dad acted as our chauffeur, driving us around everywhere, and it
was great. Whilst in Shenzhen we visited the Lotus Mountain, which was a bit of a challenge to climb, but offered great view of the city. We also went to a park called ‘incredible china’ which was a miniature version of the whole of china, showing models of all the great sights. Perfect for anyone short on time when visiting. That same evening we appeared on a Hong Kong TV station in a live broadcasted water fight. This was absolutely fantastic, I and Dan were the only westerners there so we were basically bullied and hence probably the wettest people there. There was a stage with a moat around it as well as water spays coming out of the ground which offered us endless amounts of water to fill up our buckets. For one whole hour we throw gallons of water over men, women and little children, an absolutely perfect night. The only downside was the endless amount of water that trickled out of my ears for the next 3 days. On the final day in Shenzhen we went to visit a Russian air force carrier and we walked on deck looking at helicopters and fighter jets. There was also
the opportunity to go below deck and look at the living quarters.
After 4 great days in Shenzhen we boarded the train to head to Beijing. The train took 30 hours and we slept over, I was absolutely bored out of my skull, but im now in Beijing and all is good. I will update the next blog from Beijing, so until then bye bye.
There are more photos below