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Hong Kong

Sniamh head out on their own

With packs on backs, for about the first time, Niamh and I head for the Maglev train. In anticipation of this and with a realisation that we have too much stuff we had taken an hour or so in Shanghai to implement the 25% reduction plan. Everything was laid out on the bed and 25% was culled to be sent back home (I reduced by 25%, Niamh sent back a fleece and a pair of knickers.)

Our route to the airport is the Maglev train. A modern marvel taking about 8 minutes from the centre of Shanghai to the airport travelling at 430km/h – clean, efficient and apparently losing money hand over fist.

Having spent the last of our Chinese money on mentos we board our China East plane and with an enthusiastic wave from the ground staff our plane lifts off in search of Hong Kong.

After weeks of “charter bus” with varying degrees of leg room, aircon & suspension we were delighted to find our Hong Kong transfer was a Mercedes S class and our hotel room whilst having a glass cube for a bathroom did come with Champagne and Chocolates – really the first time the honeymoon thing has had any effect.

Technically Hong Kong is part of China but as a Special Administrative Area it escapes many of the Chinese government restrictions – eg you can access facebook in HK but not China.

HK is immediately likeable and fascinating – the first sight we had was of the skyscrapers towering over the water with the mountains in the background. You can take Hong Kong out of Britain but I think it will take a whole lot longer to take the British out of Hong Kong. The whole place is a hybrid of England and China – road names and signs that could have come straight out of Oxfordshire are scattered around streets straight out of Xi’an. A 7-11 on every corner, marks and spencers, it’s just like home mate.

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As part of our honeymoon package we had a disastrous city tour that wasted the best part of a day so next we headed out on our own – taking the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island. One of the National Geographic “top 50 things to do in the world” – I can only assume that the good people at National Geographic don’t get out as much as they used to but it did afford some lovely views of the island and skyscrapers.

On HK island we rode the midlevel escalators, a network of escalators and travelators which run about 800m across the island rising (or falling) 135m in height to the main business areas, after morning rush hour they change direction and run up the hill. Niamh managed to fall on her backside when paying too much attention to a man hanging off a building and not enough to when the travelator comes to an end - but no serious harm done. Having reached the end we walked back and we took a similar tram journey riding to the end of the line then jumping on the tram in the opposite direction to return to where we started.

Deciding that we should actually go somewhere rather than bounding backwards and forwards on public transport we boarded a bus to Stanley and had lunch and drinks on the beach front whilst at least 4 brides and grooms turned up to have their pre-wedding photoshoots done – fully decked out in wedding dress accompanied by an entourage of photographers, assistants, hair stylists etc etc.

After just a couple of days it’s off to Thailand and Bangkok.

Reluctant Tourist Tally:

- McDonalds: 4
- Pizza Hut: 2
- Pizza Express: 1
- Subway: 2
- Costa Coffee: 1
- Starbucks: 3
- Pret: 1

Posted by steve1000 06:11 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged ferry star escalator Comments (1)

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