Published: October 1st 2006September 2nd 2006
Room with a view
Our view from our room. NICE!
The taxi ride?? PHEW!!!! We had booked the taxi bus for 8am, at 8.15 Andy asks when it's coming the response to this was 'later'. Andy: 'when later?', 'later'. Luckily, for them, it turned up a few minutes later and we still had half a bus to pick up.
We had heard about bad drivers throughout Asia and how they put their faith in Buddha, but this ride took the micky! The driver even went to the shop, but to disguise this he shouts 'airport', but there was obviously no one waiting and we were already late!
So after a hair raising drive through the hectic streets of Bangkok (melissa was saying her prayers) we arrived safe and sound at the airport, still shaking, for our penultimate flight to Hong Kong.
The flight took just under 3 hours and was a little bumpy. The views coming into Hong Kong was quite spectacular, lots of green hilly islands scattered about some with sky scrapers dotted around the coastline.
So here we were in our 11th and final country. To get into the city we jumped on the airbus that dropped us off in the immediately intimidating city. Now we
The Botanical gardens and zoo
A nice break from the hectic city, even though you can see the sky scrapers in the background.
had done our final bit of research and found ourselves a place to head for out of the choice of uninspiring budget accomodation. The place we were heading for was called 'Sincere house' where there are at least half a dozen hostels. After getting a little lost and ending up looking for our hostel in a shopping mall!! of all places?? we eventually found our way and to be told our first choice was full. We finally got booked into a spotlessly clean room for about 18 quid a night at a place called Hong Kong Budget Hostel.
As soon as we got settled we were showered and back out on the hectic city streets of Hong Kong. ITS MAYHEM. Apparently the city has the most people per square kilometre than any other city in the world and they all look the same.
So what did we do??? Hong Kong is renowned for its shopping, so straight away we headed down to the ladies market that was opposite our hostel block, the stuff for sale was more expensive than the things we have seen so far on our travels, still we managed to buy a few little items.
Because we're in da market.
I, Andy had heard that the Hong Kong skyline was a sight to see, so via mcdonalds, this is where we headed, on foot (yes after all this time we still go everywhere on foot!!!)
This statement might sound too over exagerated, but what the eck! Nothing could have prepared us for what we saw as we walked out of the shopping mall down on the harbour front and onto the avenue of stars. WHAT A SIGHT!!! Its true, the view across the water to the island called 'Hong Kong' was amazing. Apparently its in the guinness book of records for the largest light show in the world. The avenue of stars is dedicated to the film industry and has handprints from film stars including Jackie Chan, it also has a wicked, solid statue of Bruce Lee, which with the lights in the background topped off probably the best man made thing we have seen all year?
We didn't know and you may not either but Hong Kong is a series of islands, we are staying on the mainland near China but today we caught the ferry over to Hong Kong island for more touristy things. We WALKED
This stall stunk bad!
Food is supposed to smell nice!
to the tram station to be taken up to a hill that I have forgoten the name of. But again the views were amazing, skyscapers everywhere, who would have thought that a city could look so scenic. The sun was beating down, it was hot, but we spent ages at the top, trying to savour our last sights in our round the world trip, we even had a coffee and buns at the expensive cafe overlooking Hong Kong. If there is a place to propose to someone, Hong Kong is the place (no we didn't)
After some more shopping centers, where the aircon is a massive relief from the humidity we went back and had a pot noodle for tea. We are really struggling, or just can't be bothered with the food in Hong Kong, or the fact that eatin pigs knuckles, cows tongues or hearts just didn't take our fancy.
As the views last night had amazed us so much we went back for a second dose, but this time we were on time for the free music and light show, which was good. Then right after we went to the free water and light show which
again was amazing. They even managed to write words in falling water, which was really wow!
After a full day out we still managed to walk back via the Temple street night market. The city is crazy, it NEVER sleeps it seems to get busier late at night! Everyone walks around at 100mph and they all seem to be doing the same thing. SHOPPING!!! Because of this it can get tiring, so we found ourselves tucked up in our aircon room for 10:30ish.
Had a bit of a later start this morning and I (melissa) have a stinking cold coming.
Another day for a lot of walking. First stop was goldfish street, and yes, it sold fish! There are lots of 'themed' streets like this in Hong Kong.
On our way to the flower market we came across Fa Yuen St market where we both bought a couple of little bits.
Last theme street was Yuen Po bird market street. Here lots of locals gather with their song birds singing for competition. Because of me bing allergic to birds and the worry of bird flu (even though the signs said it was safe as of Feb) we didn't
stop long and continued our walk in the boiling heat to a food market where Andy enjoyed looking at all the fish and cows tongues, hearts, lungs and various other organs hanging around. Its such an interesting sight to see anything like this as its a million miles away from any market at home.
On the maps of Hong Kong are various colour coded areas, our next stop via 'flower street' was the bird market, where yes, they sell birds and all things to do with. We didn't stay here too long as melissa didn't fancy dying of bird flu, although it was rather nice, what with the singing birds and scenic gardens.
As the immense humidity and heat was getting so intense, we decided (or maybe Melissa did) that it was time to hit the shopping centres for a bit of air-con!!! Then we went and had a brief look at Shanghai street 'the oldest street in Hong Kong' Not very interesting at all.
After another days sightseeing and a heck of a lot of walking we chilled for a bit on the tinternet (for anyone who knows Peter kaye).
You will never guess where
we went for tea again, yes you've guessed it. Maccy D's. Then we had a spot of market browsing before we retired to our air-con room to plan our last day travelling the world. But where shall we go, Disney world? We had heard it is not all that!!!, Ocean World? Maybe. We would see Pandas!!! Or the free zoo and a trip the the south coast beaches and markets? We chose Ocean World just as we nodded off. GOODNIGHT.
OUR LAST DAY, FRIDAY THE 1ST OF SEPTEMBER, 367 DAYS ON THE ROAD WITH HEAVY RUCK SACKS ON OUR BACKS SEEING AND DOING AMAZING THINGS!!!!
Our plan to go to the Ocean World somehow went out of the window, so we ended up at the free zoo/ botanical gardens over on the Hong Kong island.
We had to fill a full day in as we planned to leave for the airport at 6ish for our flight at 11:30 ish.
The zoo was good! It had monkeys, a panther, birds and lovely gardens all in with the scenic Hong Kong skyline in the background. We really enjoyed it here and relaxed in the sun, had a soft drink
at the cafe and trying to savour our last few travelling moments.
Afterwards we had a brief walk around a couple of markets and generally made our way back to our hostel via the ferry and more markets, trying to buy some final souvineers.
Hong Kong was an amazing city to visit (maybe amazing is just slightly too strong a word to use) , it is sooooo fast and hectic but we felt really safe, some of the smells we encountered whilst walking past the restaurants were bad enough to make your stomach churn. But just being in the city of Hong Kong was wicked in itself, but the 3 days we had was enough!
So after 3 days mixed emotions were begining to overcome us. We so wanted to go home to see friends and family again, but were sad that the 12 months were coming to an end.
The flight home was pretty uneventful really, apart from Melissa almost causing the plane not to leave! She noticed that the metal framework on the seats by her feet were red hot! So she mentions it to a steward whilst we were taxiing to the runway. Next
thing we knew there were 3 official guys getting us to all move out of our seats so they could all have a feel! Including the captain!! They were a little unsure and checked a few things. People were now begining to turn around and stare!
Well in the end they reassured us that it was just because the whole cabin was boiling hot and it was near the vents. Apparently the luggage compartment was 43 degrees too!
So after 13 hours of trying to get some sleep we touched down in good ol' blighty to be greeted by both sets of joyful parents. Andy's only just made it.
THE END........OR IS IT?
There are more photos below