Saturday 19th February
We've flown down to Hong Kong in less than a hour from Guilin which I may add was the worst flight we've had in the last 8 months as it just didnt feel right, we both felt the same throughout the flight. The plane banked to the left quite harshly on take off and before landing we banked really hard to the right giving us a right fright.
There's a airport express train that will take us to the Kowloon MRT underground station and from there we hailed a taxi onto Mody Street which is in the Kowloon area. Kowloong is on the mainland part of HK and is less than 100m from the waterfront.
Our hotel is the Impressive Regal Kowloon Hotel which overlooks the bay and across to Hk Island. We approached the counter at the reception where we're told we have been upgraded to Regal Club status due to a promotion their doing. Its off the the 14th floor to check into our room using the Regal club reception. Ooh, we are feeling like Erchie Plum now!
Theres only 14 buttons on the lift and its looking like we're up on the top floor,
great! We checked in, treated like royalty and taken up a flight of stairs to the 15th floor where we are overjoyed at the room they've given us. We dumped the bags and opened the curtains to a wonderful view of Hong Kong Island. Perfect!
We have an Office desk, 50inch Plasma TV, free internet and also a control center at our bedside which we can control the lights and various electric items in the room. Its at this point im realising what a pair of doolies we must've looked clambering out the lift on the 14th floor with the backpacks on and tatty travellers clothes on. Ah well who cares, we're Regal Club members for the next three days!!
We spent the evening chilling out in our cosy room and we're sitting like a right pair of nuggets with our matching dressing gown and slippers on! We draw the line at the expensive room service so I nipped out to Subway for a couple of Sandwiches. On my return I had to endure the "welcome back Mr Grant " and "goodnight" from the two Regal club receptionists with the obvious Subway plastic bag under my arm. Classy or what?!!
Sunday 20th February
BeingRegal Club members we use the Regal Lounge where we have top floor window seats looking out to HK island while we eat breakfast. We felt quite important sitting there reading the sunday papers whilst enjoying a full cooked breakfast all the time being waited on hand and foot by our own personal waiter.
We're reluctant to leave the luxurious Regal lounge but we did eventually roll our fat bellies back to our room we got ready for our big day out in HK.
We walked around the front of the waterfront, now called the Avenue of Stars because, like L.A, it has stars and handprints of famous actors and actresess from China printed on the ground. All along the waterfront we can see the skyline of HK island which looks very big and the buildings are all lots of different shapes, sizes and colours. Its not the greatest of weather today as its a bit grey but warm nevertheless.
We headed for the Star Ferry terminal where we paid 30p each to cross over the sea to HK island where we disembarked near the Central Station. From Central Station we caught the number
6 bus around to Stanley Market which is on the opposite side of the Island from Aberdeen Harbour.
We passed by Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay where we could see beautiful hotels and houses perched high up on the steep hillsides. The beaches here look very clean and theres lots of expensive boats moored off the coast. It takes us half an hour, on which felt like the bumpiest and windiest roads you could imagine, to reach Stanley and we were glad to get off the bus at that point as we're aching.
Stanley is renowned for its many bars and restaurants on its waterfront along Stanley Main Street where you can enjoy a variety of different foods or relax with a beer and soak up the friendly atmosphere in one of its bars.
We walked along to the Stanley Market not far from the waterfront and it was a bit of a let down due to an undergoing renovation. We did manage to at least walk around the market stalls that were there and take some of the vibe in but its not as enjoyable as we'd hoped. However the shore and bay views are very
nice so we relaxed for a short while gazing out to sea watching the sail boats coming and going.
Once back on the bus we headed back to Central station where we jumped aboard a tram for a little voyage down towards Causeway Bay.
Causeway Bay is a heavily built-up area of Hong Kong, located on the northern shore of Hong Kong Island. The rent in the shopping areas of Causeway Bay is ranked as being one of the most expensive in the world and its easy to see why as its heaving with people to the extent your constantly being bashed about. We crossed the busy Yee Wo Street crossing and headed for Food Street which is just around the corner. Its a shopping mall with food outlets throughout and we wasted no time in finding somewhere to sit and eat away from the hustle and bustle outside.
We get out of this area as fast as possible by enduring another jam packed tram which took forever to get back to Central station. Times getting on now and dusk is approaching so we jumped into a taxi and ordered the driver to take us up to the Tramline
at the foot of Victoria Peak. With an altitude of 552m it is the highest mountain on the island proper, but not in the entirety of Hong Kong, an honour which belongs to Tai Mo Shan. We queued for around forty minutes and took the 7 minute journey up to the peak.
With some seven million visitors every year, the Peak is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. It offers spectacular views of the city and its harbours. The number of visitors led to the construction of two major leisure and shopping centres, the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria, situated adjacent to each other.
The views up here are awesome in the night time darkness and you can almost see the entire city in its splendour which is shining brilliantly as far as the eye can see. We hung around for about a hour up on the sky terrace admiring the views while we had a well deserved drink.
The Peak Tower is an amazing building itself with its ultra modern design and flashy interior and we spent a few moments inside before taking the escalators towards the tram.
On the way back we queued for less than
twenty minutes and sat engrossed by the views as we descended back down to the base.
Once reaching Central station we sailed the Star Ferry back to the mainland where we admired the HK island skyline from a different perspective as it looks so much better at night.
Its quite enchanting as we walk around the front of Kowloon admiring the views from both sides of Hong Kong and its not a million miles away from the Shanghai skyline we enjoyed last week.
Monday 21st February
We're taking a bus around Hong Kong Island to visit Aberdeen in the South of HK Island just for the hell of it to see what its all about. Instead of the Boat crossing we decided to take the underground MRT train which took very little time in crossing under the sea and taking us to the central station on HK island. Its a short bus journey to Aberdeen Harbour which has a population of nearly 60,000 and is the main fishing area of HK Island.
Today Aberdeen is famous to tourists for its floating village and the floating seafood restaurants such as the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. The Tanka people are generally associated
with the fishing industry, and there are also several dozen expatriates living on boats in the harbour.
We walked past the many restaurants along the water and its quite cool watching all the junk boats and old fashioned fishing boats which are all still operational and working.
From here we visited the Main Street in Aberdeen where its busy with locals shopping around the markets and food shops. Its all walked in under ten minutes and we're soon back on our bus back to Central Station.
It was inevitable that we would get lost at some point on our visit to Hong Kong and now was that moment. We took a wrong turn in the MRT train station and ended up about a mile away from the Station we should have used.
Its not easy following some of the signs written in Chinese but we finally worked it out and got back on track although its now the height of rush hour and the MRT stations teaming with commuters. Its all part of the experience of Hong Kong and we just hold on tight and jump off in Kowloon just yards from our hotel.
We've both really enjoyed our two
weeks in China. Theres so much more to see and do in this country and we wished for another couple of weeks but times running out and we've bigger fish to fry.
We're off to Bangkok again in the morning but only to connect to another flight North so its a big thank you and goodbye to China. We will be back again I'm Sure.
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