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15th August - Hong Kong

HONG KONG | Tuesday, 15 August 2006 | Views [604]

We left Japan and flew to Hong Kong (don’t talk to me about the flight, I got all excited when I realized we were being upgraded, brushed my hair, put on some lipstick and they just put us in economy plus, we clearly don’t look classy enough for business class).  In the name of using up Ken’s airmiles, Emma followed us a day later.  Home for most of our stay has been a lovely, lovely little flat right in the middle of Hong Kong – thank you so much Mary and Derek..mucho appreciated!   We were also totally spoiled for a couple of days by some friends from East Grinstead, Caroline and Francis, who are living the ex-pat high life in Shenzhen right now.

Hong Kong

In Tokyo, despite the crowds and the fact that people are so polite they barely look at each other, everyone seems to glide along the streets, never bumping into each other.  I hadn’t actually noticed this until we arrived here.  In Hong Kong, you can barely walk down the street without being jostled or barged or crashed into and all the while people are trying to drag you into their tailors shop, sell you copy watches or take you off for a massage…it’s totally mental!  The whole city has a really upbeat, busy, buzzy feel and we’ve been really enjoying it. 

We’ve been wandering around markets or should I say, Emma and I wandered around markets, Eoin strode on ahead; we’ve been up The Peak (big hill, great views, very tiring and very, very sweaty if you walk it like we did); riding the ferry which is ridiculously cheap at less than 20p and, as recommended by Tiffany, eating lobster in a great seafood restaurant on another island where they pick you up and take you back in their own boat.


In the name of even more stamps in our passports, we went for a day out in Macau, a former Portuguese colony.  It’s a funny place, it has a really lovely, picturesque central square and some nice old ruins and forts to look but once you leave those bits and wander round town, it’s not so good.  Especially in torrential rain which came pouring down as we tried to leave.  We had to brave it and wade through it, Birkenstocks totally submerged in manky puddles, nice. 


Next door to Hong Kong is Shenzhen, part of China but a “Special Economic Zone” and so is just a taster of real China I suppose.    Anyway, we got our visas for China (bloody cheek of the country, they charged me 20 quid more than Eoin for a visa, just because I’m British) and went off to stay with Caroline and Francis who put us up in their huge, lovely house in Shekou, took us out for loads of lovely dinners and  showed us around.  The wet market was quite an experience..I’ve seen markets where live chickens are sold before but frogs???  I wanted to take photos but was terrified they might make me buy something or worse, set the frogs on me.

Most amazing was The Show…there’s a kind a of theme park in Shekou called Splendid China with all the sights of China recreated in miniature (saves us a trip anyway!) and in the evenings they put on the most amazing shows, I’ve never seen anything like it.  It was as glitzy as any Vegas show, must have been about 100 very acrobatic people in it, plus all these horses and even a buffalo.  Very hard to explain but really good.


I can’t gross you out with food stories this week so it’ll have to be toilets… it’s not Tokyo standards of toilets in China.  Squatties are everywhere and in some places can only only be avoided by sneaking into the disabled loo.  They’re none too clean either but I suppose I should be glad people are using them.  Lots of the children in China don’t wear nappies - Caroline has honestly seen a child wee on the floor of Walmart  and I saw a boy (who was old enough to know better) just pee against the wall of the stands where everyone sat for The Show.  Unbelievable.  On a much cleaner note, I went to the weirdest loo ever in a restaurant in Shekou…The walls were all totally covered in mirrors, I could see 20 of myself on either side of me all sitting on the loo.


We’re off the grog!  From yesterday, Eoin and I have decided to see how long we can give alcohol up for. I’m hoping my insomnia last night wasn’t caused by this. I will keep you updated.


Tags: Adventures

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