This isn’t really a Hong Kong Travel Guide – it’s just a few observations about an awesome city…
But first, I’d like to take a moment to say how absolutely stunning Hong Kong is from the air.
Flying into Hong Kong it looks like the love child of Rio & Vegas. Rolling green luscious hills falling into sparkling blue waters reflecting dozens of magnificent glass skyscrapers standing alongside their prehistoric stone-peaked neighbors – all competing for their portion of the skyline, it is stunning.
Upon arrival in Hong Kong we head to Kowloon; the tourist trap end of Hong Kong and it is exactly how you imagine.. Manic street-sellers touting silks, trinkets, gadgets & gizmos, trying to convince backpackers and regular tourists alike to part with their cash for a variety of goods, everything from shorts & T-shirts to a pin-stripe double-breasted `Tony Curtis` suit.
The stars in the sky are replaced with a wash of neon signs of all shapes and sizes hovering above a frenzy of market stalls and local street food vendors.
For the foodies amongst us; if you do find yourself wandering the streets of Kowloon, stop at one of the food stalls selling clams in a black bean chilli type concoction – they are delicious, the atmosphere electric. Equally good is the clay pot rice…
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After a couple of days we arrive in Hong Kong Island to meet with some old friends who live on the 17th floor of a lovely apartment block, well, probably the 15th floor actually – the Chinese believe the number four means death and the number one means `definite` so floors 4 (death) & 14 (definite death) are not represented on the lift, which is fair enough.
They kindly put us up for what was meant to be 2 nights and turned into 5 – guys, thank you a million for your hospitality, it was a well needed break & we hope to return the favour one day.
Not wanting to outstay the wonderful hospitality of our friends we moved into a hostel. I don’t usually let my pictures do all the talking, but in this instance, I think it sums it up quite well…
We visited Lantau island which is one of over 200 islands surrounding Hong Kong, about 12 of us played American football on the beach and were only interrupted twice by a passing herd of water buffalo.
Once our emotional bank balances were replenished we started to embark on our trip into mainland China.
To do this you get a very nice train from Hong Kong straight into Shenzhen and where we experienced probably the most surreal bus journey of our lives and as I enjoy being slightly didactic, there is a lesson to be had here.
And it is this – in China there are two types of services, State-run and all the rest. Always, under any circumstance, when it comes to transport, opt for State run.