Arrival in Hong Kong
19th April 2012 06:04
Well, I made it!
The flight wasn't the most fun in the world, I don't have a problem with flying but as predicted, I did struggle to sleep. It's just so hard to get comfortable when you're bolt upright (save for a slightly reclining seat back).
Food was OK (they must have fired Gordon due to foul language though).
Films were OK (watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Moneyball).
Flight itself was OK (some fun turbulence where it felt like we were about to plunge to our deaths, but hey - they have to liven it up a bit, right?).
First impressions of Hong Kong... manic! There's countless people lining the pavements, all busy going about their day, or trying to tailor clothes for you, or trying to get you to stay in their hostel... If you love big cities, and everything very loud and full on, this is the place for you.
I must admit, when I arrived in my hostel room and plonked myself down on the bed, I was completely shell shocked. Thoughts like 'have I bitten off more than I can chew' did briefly enter my head! But having had more time since then I'm going to put that down to tiredness from the flight! I've had a good night's sleep since then and today's been great.
By the way, don't come here if you're claustrophobic (or maybe just don't stay in a cheap as chips hostel). The room is tiny. Don't get me wrong, I knew what to expect before I arrived (and had also seen pictures) but it's a different thing entirely when you actually arrive! Actually, come to think of it - you'd never even make it up to the hostel in the tiniest lift you've ever seen, so it's a non-issue!
Here are some photos of my "cosy" room:
The position of the shower is inspired. I'm not sure if this is representative of other hostels here, I'll find out soon enough. You also can't have too much pressure behind the water, or it all pools on the floor and overflows into the room. You can't expect much for £25 a night though!
The weather here is cloudy with occasional light showers, which is a shame because it means the view of Hong Kong island from the Kowloon shoreline is very misty.
I really hope it clears up for at least one of the days I'm here, as I want to take the tram to the top of Victoria Peak. This gives a fantastic view over the harbour and Hong Kong, but not with weather like this!
In complete contrast to the chaos on the streets, Kowloon Park is so tranquil and calm you could scarcely believe you're in the same city. I haven't even been there in the day yet, but at night it's amazing. The place is very big, but no matter which path you wander along you feel completely safe. I saw at least three security guards patrolling, but there's just a bunch of people in there going for a relaxing stroll or taking half an hour away from the madness outside the gates.
The food situation's been fine so far. I know some people (including myself!) predicted this would be a big problem - for those that don't know, I'm a slightly fussy eater. The general rule I have is meat = good, veg = bad. There are a few exceptions but in general that holds true. I've stuck to things I know (crab dumplings, BBQ pork with rice, egg fried rice with prawns, skewered chicken and beef) and everything's been hunky dory. I might decide to get more adventurous as time goes on, I'm just easing myself in gently!
The hostel I'm staying in doesn't have a common area, so I haven't really had a chance to meet anyone yet. I briefly chat to a Spanish guy I saw coming out of his room as we went down in the lift, but that's about it. But tonight I'm meeting my first Couchsurfing host, to stay with her for the next two nights. More on that in the next update!