Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hong Kong

I totally lag, I know I said I was going to get this blog going much sooner but Hong Kong just had so much to do and try and see that by the time I got back to my hostel every night I was so tired I just went to bed. It also took me a while to find a blog that would allow ads... yes, ads... please click them if you see something you like to help me get enough money to buy ramen.

Here's my room at Dragon Hostel in the Kowloon part of Hong Kong. It's tiny, but quite nice. It cost me about $26 USD per night. There's no window, but there's AC. The bathroom was shared and the bed was very hard. By western standards that's a very bad bed, but by eastern standards that's a good thing. Personally I prefer hard beds because it helps my back not feel stiff in the mornings.

Ladies Market

Fa Yuen Market

Right outside is the Ladies Market, Goldfish market, and the Flower Alley. I never made it to the flower alley. The Ladies Market specializes in goods for... well, duh, ladies. The Goldfish market specializes in all sorts of fish for pets. I went in the early morning so most shops were not open. I heard though that there are exotic fish for sale there. I only saw little goldfish from the one store that was open. There's also the Fa Yuen street market which have virtually no tourists. That means things are dirt cheap here... of course the quality of most clothing isn't great, but the food sure looked yummy.

Most of the younger locals I talked to were fairly friendly and quite helpful when I was lost. However since most people thought I was chinese the old people had no problem yelling at me an in general being rude before realizing I wasn't chinese. I think that's just part of the culture of the people in the region. For example I was lost while walking around Kowloon and asked how to walk to a certain region. i was told I was stupid and should take the metro... but of course walking is half the fun. That's how you get to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the city.

Oh speaking of which Hong Kong has fantastic public transportation. Their subway is fast, reliable, and runs late. Their buses are not bad either. They also have what they call an "octopus card" (if you will be there for a few days get an MTR pass... same thing but 250 hk dollars for unlimited rides for 3 days i think) which you put money on. Anytime you ride the subway or bus you just pass your card over the sensor which deducts the amount for you. No more carrying change around. You can even use it at convenience stores like 7-11 to buy things. Oh and 7-11 in asia is not like 7-11 at home. It has almost everything you need AND it's REALLY CLEAN. While the subway system is nice, the "lines" are not. I use "lines" loosely because people would stand around the sides of the door and start pushing in as people that needed to leave would push out the middle. It's a little chaotic but no where bad a beijing.

Wierd Funny Stuff

A sign I found at a sitting area in the north part of Kowloon.

This sign was in the elevator of my hostel.

Ochirly shirt for sale on Reclamation St. Why does Ochirly look so familiar?

Tin Hua Temple

Tin Hua Temple

Outside Tin Hua Temple

Old people playing games behind the temple.

Jade Market

jade market entrance

jade market stalls

jade figures

The Peninsula

It is one of the older and probably the fanciest hotel in hong kong. when you walk in you are bathed in live classical music. Tea is served in the afternoon.

View of Hong Kong Island from Kowloon.

You can take the Star Ferry from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island which will give you views like this. Too bad I can't hold my camera level.

The Peak

Peak view during the day

Peak view at sunset

Peak view at night

No trip to Hong Kong is complete without going to the peak. You can take a cable car to the top and enjoy the view of the city. The best time to go is about 5:30 on a clear day so you can see it during the day and at night.


Midway Escalators

The midway escalators... a series of escalators designed to help transport the many hong kong island residents to work in the morning. In the evening the escalators change to the other direction so that they may go home.

Stanley Beach

Stanley Beach is quite a nice place to visit. The beaches there are beautiful, there's lots of shopping of course but the highlight for me was the bus ride. The bus ride there will have you fearing for your life. The roads are narrow and wind along side a mountain. The bus literally hits trees as it zooms along a very high speeds for such a winding road. I would highly encourage people to take this bus ride. Here's a video... listen as tree branches snap against the bus. If you go, get a seat on the top level in the very front.

Graphite at Stanley Beach... almost all of it is in English. ????

Sky Tram to Ngong Ping Village and Giant Buddha
Your sky tram ride.

Ngong Ping Village Tea House... they have tea ceremonies here. I skipped the ceremonies.
Bus entrance to the Sky Tram.... the "girl" on the very far right is a Thai ladyboy....
Giant Buddha (i'm not Buddhist)
View from the Giant Buddha.
Giant Buhda from the Ngong Ping Monastery.

Of course I also went to see the giant buddha statue. It's impressive looking, but for me the thing that stole the show was the view of the mountains from the buddha. I'd also encourage people to take the sky tram to the buddha as it offers a spectacular view of the city, ocean, and of course the giant buddha.

Computer / Electronics Lovers Paradise

For computer stuff head to Sham Sui Po. I just wrote a whole bunch of crap and clicked the wrong button and lost everything.... including my pictures. what a pain in the ass. so to sum up what i said, prices are low compared to best buy but about the the same as shopping on or when fry's has a sale. It's easier to just shop at home online, however you can bargin in hong kong where as you cannot back home.

Lan Kwai Fang

Lan Kwai Fong is known as the foreigners district. It's filled with pubs and quite active at night. It's not my thing but I thuoght I'd pass through to see what it's like. If you're a young foreigner and like to party, then this is your spot.


Mark said...

Please share to us what was purchased at the "Ladies Market"!

Vagabond Vince said...

Just that thing you requested I get for you.... =P