Monday, 11 October 2010

Jimmy In Hong Kong


I needed to get out of Japan. Tickets to Australia have been quite pricey, so going home for a while has been out of the question. Even Christmas looks like not happening. It's going to cost me around AU$2000 round trip. Ouch.

I looked at a few airfares to Shanghai or Hong Kong, and the latter wasn't too bad. We checked with the local Japanese travel agent, HIS, and they were a rip-off. I just made reservations myself online. The Monday is a holiday, so taking two days off I had five days to do what I wanted. For the best price and time I wanted, I booked from Monday the 11th, to the 14th.

It took about five hours with a stopover in Taipei. From the plane window I could see the whole of Tokyo, Yokohama and even Mt Fuji!

Tokyo and Kawasaki.


Mt Fuji. There isn't any snow yet, so not as beautiful.

I'm quite lazy at making itineraries so booking a place to stay was done just about the day before. Probably the most (in)famous lodgings in Hong Kong is the Chungking Mansions.
It's located in Tsui Tsa Tsui on the Kowloon side. From the outside it looks like a slum, but to be fair, a lot of the nearby alternatives look pretty much the same. There are a LOT of hostels in the building, and the lifts are SLOW.

This is the place to come if you want to be immediately turned off about Hong Kong. As soon as you get close the hounds come out and attack you with, "Need a room?", "Wanna buy a rolex/hash"? I had second thoughts about coming here at that moment. Definitely a lot of "interesting" types for tenants too. Being a female by herself here, would be terrifying. I was!

We went up to the hostel, and it seemed like ages to check into our room. The room itself is actually pretty good. It looked newly renovated, and wasn't too bad space-wise. The only little detail is that the shower and toilet are the same space, so splashing water all over the place is unavoidable.

We had woken up at 4:30 am to be at Narita for our 9:40 flight, so that and the effort getting here, I was quite drained by early evening. We went to the waterside and it was then, that I changed my mind about Hong Kong. The view of the harbour at first sight is fantastic. Million dollar view. We watched the "Symphony of Light", the Hong Kong Island skyscrapers doing a cool light show.
The meal on China Airlines was so-so, but quite filling, so I didn't feel so hungry till much later. For dinner we had a HK$40 chicken Istanbul kebab in a parallel street from the hostel. I hadn't had one for SO long, back in the post-night out drunk days.

Hit the spot right there.