It’s been two weeks since the last post, and that’s been a very busy and drunken two weeks in Hong Kong. Writing this post on the flight over to Hanoi, my body is craving water, fruit and sleep. None of which I am likely to see any time soon. In fact the first beer of the day has already been consumed.
As Katy had previously lived in Hong Kong for two years back in 1995, she decided to take on the role of tour operator and guide. We began with a night staying at the infamous Chung King mansions. Katy really didn’t want to stay here, but we got our dates wrong for leaving China, and didn’t really have much choice. To be fair to Katy, it was probably the smallest room I have ever stayed in. But it was clean and safe (other than the lifts) and that is the main thing. The next day we checked into our hotel which was lovely.
We spent the first night floating between Tsim-Sha-Tsui in Kowloon and Lan Kwai Fong in Central. It took a bit of getting used to how much more expensive Hong Kong is compared to China. We went from paying about £1 for a pint of beer in Shanghai to about £6 for a pint in Hong Kong. We very quickly learnt to exploit the happy hours. It didn’t take us long however to find a good dumpling restaurant which was cheap and cheerful, but did the job.
The Hadcroft Holidays tour then took us to the peak where we got some amazing views over Hong Kong. We took a walk around the peak, and then headed back to Kowloon to take a look at some of the markets. When I say some of the markets, I mean all of them. We did the Bird Market, the Flower Market, the Goldfish Market, the Woman’s Market, the Jade Market, the Temple Night Market. It’s not exactly my idea of fun, walking around trying to stop Katy from spending all of our money on fake tat, but it did work up an appetite for a beer or two that night.
The next day we went to Lantau to see Big Buddha. We got the ferry there, which was about an hour from central. Katy has fond memories of Big Buddha as her dad used to ask for some luck with the Bolton results. Only time will tell if climbing those steps makes any difference to Bolton this season. While on Lantau we also went to see a little fishing village called Tai O, which was very different to other parts of Hong Kong. We then got the cable car home which was quite cool.
We found out that it was the last night of the racing season, so we decided to head over to Happy Valley race course for a night out. It cost about £1 to get into the general enclosure, and it was a really good atmosphere. We came out just about even for the night thanks to my winning bet, so it was a good night.
Dave and Shiona arrived soon after for a week in Hong Kong. I thought that their arrival would make for some more sensible nights out. How wrong could I have been? We started with a night at the Hong Kong cricket club, where we had a nice meal and among other things witnessed Arsenal beat Chelsea 5-3. We then descended into Wanchai for more drinks at Dusk Till Dawn. The next morning we were all feeling a bit delicate, and not really in the mood to continue drinking. So the Champagne brunch that had been arranged didn’t really appeal. A few plates of food and a glass or two of Champagne changed that very quickly, so we then made our way to Kowloon cricket club to watch the Cricket Sixes. This format is basically 6 overs with 6 per team on a smaller pitch. Everyone has to bat and bowl (except the wicket keeper), and it’s quite exciting as they basically just whack it out of the ground every second ball. The final was England vs Pakistan, and Pakistan won after hitting 177 and bowling England out for about 140.
The following day we decided to give our bodies a bit of a rest and took a trip to Lantau Island for lunch. We sat and had a Thai lunch on a really nice beach, enjoying the sun and relaxing. That was until Katy and I were attacked by wasps, causing me to knock over a beer which landed on top of our new camera, face down in the sand. It’s a good job that we’re not travelling on a budget as we’re now on camera number two after failing to get it working again.
We decided to get over the pain of this by drinking some more. We returned to the Hong Kong Jockey Club at Happy Valley race course the next day and enjoyed an all-inclusive day for the Melbourne Cup. With free wine and champagne flowing all day, we soon forgot that we even had a camera, never mind had broken it. After several lost bets and several bottles of wine, we decided to head to Soho for a night cap.
As Katy, Dave and Shiona knew various people in Hong Kong, a night was arranged where everyone could come and meet. This again was in Soho, and again was a very drunken night. When shots are being bought at 8pm, it’s a good indication that you may lose a large chunk of the following day. And the following day when Dave asked if he came home with us gives you an idea of how the night turned out.
So we’re now on our way to Hanoi for some recuperation. Although we both really enjoyed Hong Kong, we ready for a change and looking forward to seeing another country.
Until the next time…