15.09.2009 - 22.09.2009 35 °C
We got the train to Hong Kong from Shanghai on 15th September, and this time opted for the cheaper "Hard Sleeper" train. None of us really knew what to expect from the train, only that we would be sharing a cabin with two strangers, and that there would be no door on the cabin, but we were saving money compared to the "Soft Sleeper" we had previously used so it was worth it. We all boarded the train, found our room and quickly jumped onto the best beds before anyone else arrived. As it turned out, nobody else arrived, and the room was actually quite nice, so we managed to get a bit of sleep:
When we arrived in Hong Kong it was boiling!!! Again this was confirmed by Jay's dripping brow....will he ever acclimatise??? We headed to our hostel which we had booked online, all looking forward to a nice rest in a "clinically clean room with ample storage and an en-suite bathroom", which is how it was described on the internet. However, the reality was very different, a box room in a run down high rise council block with a cupboard for an en-suite where you had to sit on the loo to use the shower. Here are pictures of the girls room, ours didn't even have a window:
We went for a little wander and found an outdoor pool complex with around 4 different pools, so we decided to head there the next day and spend a day at the pool tanning:
We found out that Hong Kong is actually on the coast, and is split into the mainland and also Hong Kong Island, where there are lots of different beaches. We decided to spend one of our days at the beach, so headed to Deep Water Bay and had yet another relaxing day at the beach. It was the hottest day so far, 35 degrees and clear skies. It was nice being able to swim in the sea and there were loads of little fish all around us. We swam out to some podiums in the water where you could lie out and sunbathe, and Stacey spent a good bit of time topping up her tan (or reflecting the sun onto everyone alse becuase she is so pale!!!)
Everything in Hong Kong was very expensive compared to China, and even the UK. The electronics however were very cheap, so Jay, Stacey and Me treated ourselves to a laptop so that we could keep in touch easier, they were a complete bargain (as long as we don't get caught out at the airport and have to pay tax on them!!!)
On out last day in Hong Kong we managed to cram in loads of sightseeing, first on the list was the Big Buddha, the worlds largest Buddha statue. It was a long journey to get there, first a ferry, train and then a bus. We went on the star ferry to get to the train, this ferry is part of the culture of Hong Kong, and a must see when visiting. It was a nice 10 minute journey across the river on the ferry.
When we got there we had to walk up 250 or so steps to get to the Buddha, it was hard work but we finally made it to the top. At the top you could see how big it actually was, and you could go inside and learn all about how it was built and transported up the mountain:
As we were up there a tropical downpour was brewing, and it started pouring with rain just as we were about to head back down. Me and Jay managed to get a binliner each from the shop, which we put over our heads and made a little hole to breathe through. It kept us dry but didn't look too good!!
Although this picture just looks like me and jay being fools, we were actually trying to get close enough to the sign so that you could see from the picture what it said. It gave the distance to the UK, USA and other countries in Km, but it didn't really come out in the picture!
Next on the list was to take the tram up Victoria Peak, where you can see over the whole of Hong Kong. The peak is described in the book as "gravity defying" and it really was!!!
It was dark by the time we got to the top though so I didn't really get any good pictures of the views. we also went to what was supposed to be the biggest laser light show in the world, which was the "symphony of Lights". This was on the Island so we parked up at on the balcony at a bar with a nice pint and waited for the show. The 10 minute show was not quite what we were expecting, and looked more like people were shining wind up torches from the tops of the skyscrapers, but the pint went down nicely.
That was pretty much it for our time in Hong Kong. Next stop...Bangkok, so check back soon. Bye for now x x