Before I start I need to apologise for my previous post. With it being written when I was half cut I didn’t bother to proof read it which meant it was littered with horrible errors and the writing was sloppy. So, sorry.
5 Good Things About Hong Kong-
1. Fellow backpackers
2. Warmer climate
3. 3 cans of beer for 18HKD (£1.80)
4. Big Buddha
5. Their underground system
5 Bad Things About Hong Kong-
1. The smell
2. The food
3. The Dragon Lady
4. The food
5. The smell
The flight was a long one. Really really long. I think it took us 11 and a half hours or something like that. I can’t really say much about flight, what would there be to talk about? Not a lot if I’m frank. Some of us broke the ice early doors by participating in a multiplayer poker game. Sterling performance by myself if I do say so. I managed to get into the final two (out of about 8) with my new pal Ollie. After initially being bottom due to a lucky hand for Nay. As with most (if not all) long haul flights the drinks and snacks are free. The drinks were being caned and the plane was literally drank dry by Nay & co with about 2 hours of the flight left to run. Killer.
After landing and getting through the usual security clearances we were met by our tour guide/rep. I don’t know what her name was, in fact I don’t think any of us do, but I’m going to refer to her throughout this post as The Dragon Lady. She navigated us through the airport and onto our coach sporting a superb mullet. I’d never seen a woman with a mullet before so Hong Kong was delivering with the new experiences straight from the off. The coach ride took about 45 minutes. The Dragon Lady talked us through lots of information which proved a little overwhelming after the flight and lack of sleep so me and Nay tuned out with our headphones about 10 minutes in. One thing we did take from her information however was that we should go and see the Big Buddha statue once we’d dropped our bags off at the hotel (as we couldn’t check in until 2pm and we would be at the hotel by 9am). We had lots of free time on our hands so, wanting to get the full Hong Kong experience, me and Nay went to see Big Buddha with Ollie and Zain. The Buddha sits on top of a huge mountain and we had to get there by taking a bus, train/underground and a cable car. Was he worth it? Absolutely. It wasn’t all plain sailing though. Much to our surprise we made light work of the Hong Kong underground, absolute pros. However, once we got to the cable car station the temperature had risen to 28 Celsius with 0 cloud cover and we were faced with what was a 2 hour queue for the cable car. We contemplated turning away for about a second but opted to go hard (not go home).
The cable car journey takes about 30 minutes and provides some spectacular views. It cost us 210HKD each which works out at about £21… great value for money and I’d recommend it to anybody.
Once up there we decided that as fatigued backpackers we needed to fill our bellies before we could face the trek up to Buddha so we walked into the first Cantonese restaurant we could and got to it. The food was nice all in all. It’s worth noting that I had some curry sauce that was exactly the same as the curry sauce you get in Chinese Chippys in the U.K. I always assumed that in the U.K it was just some generic curry sauce passed off as being authentic…clearly I was wrong! Once eaten and paid we set off further up the mountain (by this point it was a slight hill). I’d done a bit of pre trip googling on The Big Buddha so we knew there were a lot of steps leading up to the statue itself but what we didn’t know was that it would be such a steep set of stairs. The picture doesn’t do it justice but it was hard work to get up there. They were really fucking steep. Did I mention they were steep?
As you can see, the sun was positioned right behind the statue which meant that any pictures up close that I took looked shite. Ollie managed to get a decent one that I was supposed to get off of him but I’ve forgotten so you will have to just google the big Buddha if you wanna see. What I did get though was a boss (if I do say so myself) picture of the nearby temple. See below
We did pop over to the temple actually to soak up more of that culture and we were faced with one of the strangest moments of the trip. There was a prayer ceremony which the public could view but couldn’t take photos/videos of. In a big hall complete with all the stereotypical Buddhist items and statues there was about 60/70 people all chanting/humming together whilst incense was being burnt. At the front of the room were who we assumed to be the main monks as they had bald heads and orange robes on. Accompanying them were people in blank robes. These people assumed to be members of some kind. We watched on for a few minutes before eventually noticing a man at the back of the room who was wearing an electric blue Standard Chartered sports jacket. It looked so out of place we couldn’t stop laughing. I wish I had the photo evidence because it’s become distinctly less funny after typing it out. Once we’d walked around the temple and statue for an hour or so we decided we needed to head back to the hotel because the journey home would take a couple hours all in all and the day was getting older.
One thing I was surprised (and annoyed) at is that in the city centre there are lots of men hellbent in trying to get you to buy a suit off them for a “very good price” and all you need to do is “come and see the shop”. I think I was approached on nearly every street corner by several men. Anyhow we managed to get back to the hotel eventually and check into our room. The room allocation was decided by Bunac so me and Nay were quite lucky to end up having the same room. Rested and showered we headed out to one of the local shops to buy alcohol. The cost of living in Hong Kong is expensive. Most bars and restaurants cost around 80HKD for a pint which would work out at around £8….so you can imagine the sheer delight when we found that the 7eleven shop around the corner was selling 3 cans of beer for 18HKD. 60p a can? Don’t mind if I do, 9 of those please.
Due to the long journey the group had decided that we were going to stay in and drink our cheap drinks in one of the rooms, listen to music and all get to know each other a bit better. It got daft really quickly after about 15 of us crammed into Freya and Billie’s room. Steph suggested that we play “Never Have I Ever” which was pretty fun for a change. It’s normally not a go to game of mine because I find it a bit awkward having to ask a question to the group but luckily it basically turned into a confessional for Steph so we all came away from it knowing her a little better! We stayed up quite late drinking, maybe until about 3am before we called it a night.
I’m gunna cut this post off here to give you (and me) a little break. So part 2 will go up soon. Cheerio.