Friday, November 21, 2008

Hong Kong Phooey

We arrived in Hong Kong on Tuesday evening from Bangkok and headed to Chung King Mansions. The only place to find cheap accommodation in Hong Kong. The place is an absolute dive but is in an excellent location in Kowloon and beats paying 150 pounds a night anywhere else on in the city.
Once we had checked in to what must have been the worlds smallest hotel room, we headed out to grab a few beers. We stopped by Delayneys Irish bar just outside where we are staying. We sat down at the bar enjoying the sence of being back in the west. We ordered some pints and everything seemed to be going well, until we realised that it was 6 pounds a pint!
Wednesday morning we headed to the office of our travel agent, who took all our paperwork and seemed confident that he could get us a Russian visa. We left the office assured and went off to explore Hong Kong.
The city is filled to the rafters with Gucci shops and super cars. Everybody seems to speak perfect English despite it being 95% Chinese here. The legacy of its British Colonial past has left a city that apart from the abundance of Chinese script and Asian faces is almost indistinguishable from any English City. The fire engines, police cars, buses, road signs, postboxes etc etc. are all modelled on England.
We headed down to Hong Kong harbor and the avenue of stars (Hong Kongs answer to Broadway) and hung around for the the Symphony of Lights show that evening. The worlds biggest light and music display. At 8 PM every night the amazing lighting of the many Skyscrapers on Hong Kong island is synchronised to music in a 14 minute orchestrated show. A truly amazing sight.
The next day we took the star ferry across from Kowloon to Hong Kong island and wandered around central district amongst its hundreds of skyscrapers. We then laboured up the huge hill on which Hong Kong's financial district is built, to the Hong Kong botanical gardens and zoo.
Later on that afternoon we found the peak tram and took a ride up to the Hong Kong viewing platform to watch the light show again from Victoria peak overlooking the city.
This afternoon we returned to our travel agents office, and by some miracle he had managed to procure us a Russian visa, at last, on the 5th attempt we actually managed to get hold of the Visa. A snip at 130 pounds!!!

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