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Published: June 16th 2010
Sorry this blog has taken so long to complete and isn't written in the same upbeat tone of previous blogs, the pain of being home makes writing this rather difficult!
The warm embrace of an old friend....
Thanks to Fay's abnormalities, red shirted protesters and overzealous government officials in Thailand, or in over simplified terms "Fate" has brought us to Malaysia's capital city for the third time in 4 months. Kuala Lumpur has become like an old friend, a warm and welcoming friend devoid of the grotesque people in Hanoi. Sure.... Malaysia's capital is far from perfect, but it sure as hell feels a lot more welcoming than Hanoi. Its streets are walkable, the people are friendly and we wake up happy to be here! After an extended stay in Vietnam's ugly capital we are much more appreciative of the finer, friendly things in life! Malaysia wraps you up in a warm embrace, much different to Hanoi's kick in the crutch!
Our Hotel for the two days affords us great views of the city, sweeping views of Times Square and the Petronas Towers. Whilst weather hasn't improved much since we last visited, it's still as hot
as HELL! Fay's leg isn't in great condition so long walks are still not on the agenda. We stick to our favourite places in the city, visiting the Petronas Towers, where we buy a birthday present for someone.... A rather old sister/ sister-in-law (who turned TWENTY!!) .... Then visit the central market and Petaling Street in a futile attempt to find Miss Winning a Real looking Fake bag!
We don't find a suitable copied companion for Fay's arm, so we head bag (back) to the Petronas towers where Fay settles for a Real Mango bag and some overpriced Topshop shopping!
Our third stint in Malaysia was over in the blink of an eye. No sooner have we arrived and got settled, its time to get on the move again, back to the Airport for our flight to Hong Kong. A destination we have both been excited about visiting, but also one we have been very apprehensive about. Apprehension because Hong Kong means our dream trip, the one we have been planning and saving for, is nearing its conclusion. A conclusion that is all to sudden and not at all wanted.
first impressions, from the window of our rapid express train from the airport, leave us with huge smiles on our faces. The hills of the new territories, and the sun shimmering against the sea provide a unexpected first view of this bustling city. Within minutes the view changes from sweeping bays to Skyscrapers and housing blocks. Jumping in a taxi to take us to our hotel, up in the Mid-Levels, provides another surprise for us, for the first time in ages we aren't taken around the houses and we are not ripped off! The YWCA Garden View Hotel is lovely, although slightly more befitting higher class business travellers rather than Tatty-clothed travellers.
After a long day travelling dinner at Pizza Express sounded like a great idea. And it probably would have been, had we not sat next to the most brash man in Hong Kong, a man who clearly lives to the Mantra of 'if you've got it, FLAUNT IT' or at least shout it very loudly at dinner!! His boastful conversations of Mansions and Cars leaves the two of us, and probably his dining companions, slightly envious. Exuberance is evident almost everywhere in Central, Hong Kong Island, however
the rows of Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Co. are broken up, much to Fay's delight, with H and M!! The towers tower above the ants below, the hustlers briskly walk from meeting to meeting all dressed in suits and dresses. Central Hong Kong has a way of making the two of us feel we don’t belong here! And My wallet is yelling, I don’t want to belong here too long!
Our first full day saw us visiting the hospital, for a change of bandage and to depart from another £50 of hard earned money! With bandage changed, we head out for a night of entertainment courtesy of some small men on some large animals! (Horse Racing).
The Happy Valley Racecourse is everything that Great Leighs isn't, for example; It's Functional, and has been for 120 years, Its in a Great Location, overlooking the skyscrapers in Happy Valley, it looks good and It's Cheap £1 to get in! Fay has a successful night gambling on the horses, until race number 4..... We both pin our hopes, and about 40 Hong Kong Dollars on the aptly named "GO FAY FAY" only to see Fay Fay piped to the post
by 9 other horses!!
The next day we visit Kowloon, where we are disappointed by the markets which seem to be selling plastic tat and very poor clothes. Kowloon, however, provides a insight into the lives of the slightly less well-to-do communities.
Stop Forrest, Stop!! Stop Time, Stop!!
Kowloon may not have impressed us, The Peak certainly did. The Forrest Gump themed restaurant (Bubba Gump's) overlooking Central, Hong Kong island provided the perfect vista for contemplating life back home, how do we explain the last four months? How do we reintegrate back into life back home? What next for us? It's all to unreal, even discussing the future seems ridiculous when all we want is for time to stand still so we can savour every last moment away together. Anyway, enough pondering, the food was great, the view was fantastic, and Fay, like every other day of this trip has provided perfect company.
We spend the rest of our time in Hong Kong enjoying the vibrancy of the "special administrative region," we visit Stanley and Stanley market and hang around bourgeois in Hong Kong's Soho district. We really like Hong Kong, and when the time
comes we are reluctant to move on to Macau, but move on we do......
Casino's, Craps and Cartier.... Oh and Venice!!
After our 5 days in Hong Kong, we headed to Macau hoping for a miracle to prolong our travels. No Miracle was forthcoming, although Macau was still a fitting way to end our trip. After four months of roughing it we were in a Room with a TV that welcomed us in every time we entered the room, "hello MR. Brighton"..... "Hello Stevie the TV!" We were in The Hard Rock Hotel, complete with casino and "Sleep like a Rockstar Beds."
Macau is Asia's Casino capital, rapidly trying to catch up with Las Vegas, already boasts the worlds largest casino. The Venetian provides a surreal reminder of a past trip to Venice, albeit without the stench of the stagnant water or the Acqua Alta that plagued our visit to the Real Veneto. The grandeur of the Venetian is only eclipsed by the elaborate Grand Lisboa, with shimmers with gold inside and out.
We don't have much luck in any of the casino's although this is not because we (FAY) don’t give it a
go!! Our Two night stay in Macau is long enough, not least to prevent a certain someone from getting a full blown addiction to gambling.
Leaving Macau was something we had to do in stages......... We're not going home, we are just checking out of the hotel..... We are not going home, we are just going to the ferry terminal...... We're not going home, we are just going to the airport........ You get the picture, the conclusion of the trip was far too hard to bare! Nevertheless, we both knew what the next stage was....... GOING HOME..............
Final Blog Appearing soon!
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