Friday, July 21, 2006

Hong Kong Phooey

Just an hour boat ride from Macau, and I was in Hong Kong. The metro links the ferry habour to Kowloon, an island south of Hong Kong island. After asking for directions to the metro I ventured forth. I had been told to go down the escalators at Starbucks. After wandering around, my eyes spotted a "OF" between two pillars. The advertising people will be glad that I instantly recognised it as the OF from STARBUCKS COFFEE, freaky!
I popped out at Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) stop, a short walk and I arrived at Mirador Mansion where my guesthouse should be located. I entered the building as a tout asked "Room? Come!" and charged off expecting me to follow, I lingered right and there was a lift, and even a business directory thing on the wall naming my guesthouse. So up to the twelfth floor and there was Cosmic Guesthouse sure enough. Very small room for the price, but it is Hong Kong!
A few blocks down in Chungking Mansion, full of dodgy looking geezers hanging about occasionally trying to sell fake watches etc.

I headed out for a look around. I headed north into the Kowloon harbour area. Here a couple of museums and the waterfront are located. I jumped on the Star Ferry, which goes between Kowloon and Hong Kong proper all day, just a short ride and cheap, only 2.2$HK. Seems like more of a business district over here. Lots of skywalks linking everthing together. I got lost in some giant shopping malls, and had a giant bowl of Laska, which wasn't as good as in Singapore!

Another day I went up to Victoria's Peak on the tram. The tram ride is very steep! But a great view when you get to the top. I got there around dusk, when all the neon starts coming on. Back down at the riverside in Kowloon I saw the 8 o'clock light show, where the lights on the building flash on and off and change colour. Strange seing it on a skyscraper scale.

The World Cup Final was on while I was in Hong Kong so I went over to Lan Kwai Fong to watch the match. Most of the places were packed, with table reservations in place as long as you spent 200$HK/person. I stood outside! It was still really humid at 02:00 and there wasn't that much atmosphere. By halftime I was falling asleep so I went back and watched the rest from the airconditioned comfort of my bed.

Then it was onto mainland China. I decided to jump on the train to Guanzhuo (pronounced more like gwanjo), and escape the traffic. After a bit of hustle and bustle at the train station (okay pushing and shoving!) just to get inside. All luggage is put throw an x-ray machine, although I didn't see anybody actually watching the monitor, but the actual train ride whizzed along smoothly.

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