Well, after a touch & go rush to get our 24 hour train; we were supposed to check-in 90 minutes before departure, but because of a few things or others we made it with about 20 minutes to spare. Needless to say, it was a stressful buildup to our epic train ride. In a carriage with 4 other Chinese ladies, 24 hours is a long time, it’s like 24 hours, a whole day!
Our room mates were actually pretty friendly with their broken English and our not so much better English. They were kind enough to share bread and cakes with us through out the trip and let us know we were at the right stop. Arriving in Kowloon, just across the water from Hong Kong, we quickly found our hostel, dropped off the bags and hit the streets.
First port of call was the Victoria Pier and harbour. Posh boutiques, designer shops, plush restaurants all around, which clearly isn’t to our liking so we hit a Chinese Fast Food chain. The food was really nice, so much so we went to the same chain the following day for breakfast. After dinner, a quick wander round to try to waste 2 hours before the Symphany of Lights began.
This year round show of lights across the water in Hong Kong (and some of the buildings behind us) is a world record holder for something or other and it is quite a show. A dozen or so sky scrapers all light up in time with some traditional music and cue plenty of applause from the crowd. Unfortunately, I personally expected it to be bigger and more of a show. Not wanting to take anything away from the spectacle, it is quite something, but maybe a little weak from the stories we’ve heard along our way.
After the show, we trekked back up to Mong Kok where our hostel was and wondered around the Night Markets. The usual was available, cheap clothes, all good prices for friends, jewellery and mobile phone accessories. The real temptation, nestled between the hotels available by the hour and massage parlours, nothing seedy just coincidence I’m sure, was the Apple iPads available for £450 for a pretty good spec one. However, I resisted. Hopefully, some more shared meals & drinks will save enough money to get one from New York before coming home. Fingers crossed!
The next day, we dropped the bags off at the train station and wondered over to Hong Kong island to try pass 12 hours before our airport connection. This would be easy we thought. A walk round the financial district, a trip up to the Bank of China observation station for some cracking views, a trip on the Victoria Peak tram for some even better views, a bite to eat maybe and a drink followed by a wander around the Botanical & Zoo. After this, a couple of Happy Hour drinks (which includes free bar snacks, what more could you ask for!) in & around Soho before a trip on the World’s longest covered escalator, which wasn’t all that long really.
Eventually we made it to the airport and Jemma caught a few zzzz’s whilst we waited for check in at 4am, the flight was only a few hours and the plane was practically empty so it was a nice journey to Japan.