Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hong Kong - Day 1

All the luggage from Elephant and Castle to Heathrow
Jane and I had a hilarious time struggling with our luggage from our station to the airport. There weren't too many steps to drag the cases down, but at one point Jane was sitting on my suitcase in the train when the doors behind her opened and we thought she was going to roll right on out of the train.

Looking to Hong Kong Island from the Kowloon side
The flight from UK to Hong Kong took 11 hours. I watched Hansel and Gretel, Jack Reacher, Identify Theft, and This is 40 on the flight. I won't have to get videos out for the entire year the rate I'm going. So I left UK at lunchtime and arrived in HK at 7:30am, so I lost an evening. When I got to the hotel I couldn't check in until 2pm so I had to walk around for about 6 hours and I had already been awake 24 hours. I wanted to find a nice park to lie under a tree, but that's not really what Kowloon is about. I found the main street and saw that there was water at one end of it - so of course I went in the totally wrong direction. Once adjusting and turning around I wandered for hours until I got down to the avenue of the stars at the end of Nathan Street. It was quite lovely. A stretch of water across which you could see the huge buildings of Hong Kong Island. People were walking along the avenue taking pictures. Everyone had an umbrella to protect themselves from the sun. Not a bad idea since I am now a little pink. 

The walk down to the water took me past soooooo many shops! It is a shopaholics dream and would most probably be my husband's nightmare. The sheer range of items made it so hard to really choose and I am still getting used to the dollar exchange so my wallet stayed relatively shut.
Tourists, umbrellas, and the avenue of the stars
I checked into my room at 2pm and found that my idea of doing nothing but laying by a swimming pool is not what I am going to do for the next few days. The hotel has an indoor pool and it will be serviced during the time of my stay - of course.

But the room is nice and clean and the bed is comfy so I settled down for a nap. I woke up about 8pm and went out to find the Temple Street night markets. There are so many people wandering around that it is perfectly safe to walk the streets at night. 
Temple Street night markets
I didn't have my good camera with me so these are all iphone snaps. The night market is like a huge $2 shop. You are supposed to haggle and I just can't do it. I paid exactly what they asked for when I wanted to purchase something. It seemed so cheap anyway. 

I am finding the language barrier difficult. I have a pass to ride the trains but I am finding it difficult deciphering the signs and maps and so on. I also had a moment where I had one of the hotel staff standing at my door trying to tell me something but she had no English and I had no idea what she was trying to say, even with gestures. It ended with a smile and she left. I wonder what it was all about. This has really brought it back just how much French we pick up in our western lives because the language barrier was not as difficult there, it was much easier to pick out lots of the words. 

Anyway, day one down. I am completely out of sorts but feel very safe and confident. Tomorrow I will try and find the large buddha statue or something like that.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous. Love Hong Kong. Hope you managed a ride on the junk on the harbour.