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Asia » Hong Kong » Kowloon
June 17th 2010
Published: October 15th 2010
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HONG KONG
17/6/10: We were both up at 5:00am to finish packing our overweight packs. Breakfast consisted of whatever we could buy to rid ourselves of all Nepal currency. With the last 320NRS for a taxi we jumped in arriving at the airport 15min later. It was all too easy when we checked our baggage and the total baggage weight came under 24kg for me and 18kg for Jacinta. We went through security six times, each time getting the lint removed from my pockets and trouser legs. The plane was delayed by 45min and my legs, hips, and arse hurt before we even took off. Reading the local paper, we read about the massive floods in southern China with the death of 35 lives and within 1.5 hours we were flying over the flood zone witnessing mass amounts of dirty water from swollen rivers. The flight was fine and we were looking forward to visiting and exploring a new country. I was a little nervous about the crowds, especially with our packs on travelling the metro as I remember what happened in KL during rush hour. The rest of the flight was spent reading The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson and typing my blog. Winding the clocks forward 2.5hrs we arrived at 4:30 pm to the unbelievably clean city of Hong Kong. It was almost like being in a futuristic city with modern gadgets everywhere. The toilets were clean and they had those special basin taps that require no turning of the handle. The train, more like a monorail, had a computer an animated screen to tell us how long until we reach the next stop. It was so easy to get to Kowloon only half an hour away. If we had to travel the same distance in India or Nepal it would have been 2hours of stuffing around. The main thing that we noticed once in the city was no horn honking, it was quiet, peaceful, clean and civilised. Of course this comes at a price; our dollar didn't stretch as far as it did in India and Nepal. The train cost $140HKD and the hotel room cost $200HKD, at a rate of $6.6HKD to $1AUD it already started to hurt our pockets within an hour of arriving. The lights in the city were incredible and they reminded us of Singapore. After asking a local lady where the best and cheapest local food was, we found a local Chinese restaurant and ordered two noodle dishes costing us $60HNK. It was the cheapest we could find and it was nice. We decided to get to bed early to try and sync to the local time.
18/6/10-22/6/10 Today was a busy day; we needed to get our China visas, find cheaper accommodation (which we didn’t find), fix my hard drive and shopping. But the day was spent mostly shopping. The next couple of days were mostly shopping for Jacinta’s a new camera. We both thought it would be stupid not to take advantage of the cheaper prices, I only wish we travelled to Hong Kong first so we had a reasonable camera for the Himalayas. We hopped on the MTR after working out how to use it. It wasn't hard, and if we didn't know how, there was always someone always to help without us even asking. We ended up going to Shan She Po, this is the place to buy any cheaper electronic equipment which seemed to exempt from the tourist prices. After getting a 1.5 Terabyte for $720HNK ( or $109AUD at the time), a Canon Powershot S1x with 20x optical for $2950HNK ( around $447AUS) and other bits and pieces we had to stop ourselves before we spent more money just because it was cheap. Once again we were blown away by how easy everything was; and soooo clean. Most of our meals were at a little local restaurant around the corner. It was mainly noodles done with any type of cheaper meat cuts. Jacinta stuck manly to the Ox brisket while I experimented with the Ox tendon, Ox Stomach, fish skin and pig trotter noodle soup; all were absolutely beautiful and all costing just $20HNK each. This was usually followed by a treat at MacDonald’s for a strawberry milkshake. Walking around Hong Kong, we were still bothered by touts selling us fake Rolex watches, copied handbags and tailored suits; of course all the touts were Indian. They are usually the only ones that will try to make a sale. I tried to enquire about a watch band in one shop, I knew it was a Casio G-shock but wasn't sure of the exact model. The Hong Kong owner of the shop basically turned his nose up at me; it was all too hard to get out the book and find the correct model. I basically called him a lazy fart, taking my business elsewhere. I’m not sure who I despise the most; the hard selling Indian that locks the doors when you try to leave without a sale or the fat lazy Hong Kong guy that couldn't give a shit about whether you leave or stay; Tough choice! We spent a good day taking advantage of the free WIFI in our room so I uploaded many of my Where’s Dan Blog. Plus our hard drive shit itself so I had to recover photos from a damaged hard drive; this proved to be a big pain in the arse, it just took up so much time.
21/6/10: Getting up extremely late, we were still getting over the new time zone. We really never bothered to adjust choosing to go to bed and get up late. We lazed around for most of the morning and it was around 2:30pm when we thought it was about time to see Honk Kong city so we hopped on a ferry costing $3HNK each, within 5-10mins we were walking the long futuristic overhead walkways that network over and around the city. We crossed a number of major roads before walking down the stairs and onto one of the longest string of escalators in the world. Our destination was the peak walk lookout on top of Honk Kong hill; it looks right onto Hong Kong city. But first we had to get on and off two dozen escalators that zigzag 800m up the hill. It was then a climb up to the top around 400m in elevation. It was stinking hot with a humidity of 95%+, our shirts were soaking from the sweat and I had to take mine off just because there was no breeze. The steep walk up was so easy for us, our fitness from the Himalayas was still impeccable, we didn't even raise our breath or heartbeats above normal feeling great the whole way up except for the humidity; it feels so great to be fit. Walking up and around the hill top was like walking in a rainforest with perfectly bitumen pathway; everything just looked so neat. The 3km walk around the top was picturesque once you were clear of the forest canopy. We walked in a clockwise fashion so when we finally returned around the circuit it was just on dark letting us take advantage of the beautiful Hong Kong lights. Once we took our photos we quickly put away our little itty bitty cameras compared to some of the huge expensive equipment that the locals use to take photos; I’m sure some of the lenses they were using were compensating for something, a massive overkill to say the least. It was getting late so we walked back down the hill and back onto the ferry reaching Kowloon around 9:30pm.



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