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Down UnderHectic Hong Kong

On 30 October 2004 from Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR , trackback

Yesterday I successfully managed to pack all my stuff in my bag, and to my surprise my large backpack was only 19,5 kg when I checked it in at the airport. It could have been 25 kg, because over that amount Cathay Pacific charges extra. I guess I am getting better and better at travelling light.

After packing all my stuff and bringing some old clothes to the Salvation Army, I sorted out the last photos I made in Australia, did a final e-mail check, and said goodbye to some friends I made in the hostel. Then I took the bus and train to the airport, where all went according to plan as well (I must say that I have had no problems or even delays with any flights on this trip so far). Cabin service on the Cathay Pacific flight was impeccable, and I arrived in Hong Kong well-fed, albeit slightly tired. I watched 3 movies on this flight: ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ and ‘The Terminal’ (not that anyone cares, but I just felt like mentioning it).

Upon arrival in Hong Kong I took a bus to Tsim Sha Tsui, where I arrived a little after midnight. I was slightly worried about not having booked anything in advance, but that fear proved ungrounded, as I only had to walk in the busy street for about 5 metres before someone approached me with an accommodation offer. I took up the second offer, and got a small basic double room on the 13th floor of Mirador Mansions. I do have to move to an actual single room in Chungking Mansions today though, but for an average of 10 euro a night I do not really care, I only need a place to sleep and leave my backpack during the day.

Today I slept in a bit, before getting out into the city. I tried to find a bakery for breakfast, but bakeries are fairly uncommon around here (I found plenty of curry shops already open), so I had to settle with some bread roll and orange juice from Seven-Eleven. In Kowloon Park I tried to figure out where to go today, and met a 90-year-old medical doctor, with whom I had an interesting conversation. It basically came down to the fact that I should read the Bible myself, because people that are 90 years old (and he was still in his right mind, I must add) are wise. I told him I would consider it (that is, when I am stuck on an uninhabited island with nothing else to read), and took the MTR to Central.

“When it comes to public transport, nobody does it better than Hong Kong.” [Lonely Planet Hong Kong & Macau, 2004] I must say I fully agree with this statement, even though I have only spent a few hours in Hong Kong. I got an octopus card at the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) station. I only have to hold it over a sensor when going in and out of trains, busses, ferries, trams etc. and the correct amount is charged. Too easy. In Central I took the Peak Tram up to the Peak, where I am writing this post now. After all, I needed a cup of coffee (2,10 euro) and got free internet with it, not to mention views of an uncountable amount of skyscrapers when I look outside.

 

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