We flew directly from Hanoi to Hong Kong, it only took about 1hr 45 minutes, which is mad when you think how far away it is on a map.
When we got to the airport, we immediately bought an Octopus card, basically an oyster card for most types of transport but you can also use it in some shops. Then we made our way to the bus terminal. Apparently a taxi would have cost us about $250 (Hong Kong dollars) whereas the bus was only $33. The journey took about 50 minutes but was really easy, it dropped us off about 100m from Chungking Mansions in Kowloon. We had read loads of bad reviews about this place. Basically, it’s a huge block and when you go inside, the ground floor is full of market and food stalls and random men offering you rooms in hostels and drugs etc. There are about 6 internal lifts which take you up to the different hostels, you have to have your wits about you as lots of the men want to ‘help’ so it’s best to know exactly which lift and floor you need so you can bypass the randoms…we made our way up to the twelfth floor of block E and checked into Maple Leaf Guesthouse.
This was our room…
I knew this would happen.
But it was very clean and the owner told us that a twin room would be available the next night if we wanted to switch.
We had a cramped night’s sleep, literally… I got cramp in my leg and discovered one good thing about being able to touch the wall with my feet – cramp relief!
The next day, we headed out to explore. Our first stop was the Star Ferry, which would take us to Hong Kong island. We casually swiped our Octopus cards and made our way aboard. It only took about 5 minutes to cross Victoria harbour and the view of the skyline was great!
We weren’t really sure where to go so we wandered along the elevated walkway before heading down to ground level. The shops were much more upmarket than the ones in Kowloon, lots of designer ones. We were quite hungry so decided to make our way to SoHo and ride the escalator.
It’s so hilly in HK! We rode this all the way to the top. This area is apparently very popular with ex-pats and it’s easy to see why, loads of choice! Including the following…
After lunch, we made our way to The Peak tram. We had to queue for quite a while but it was worth it! The steep ride has amazing views over HK and is well worth the trip!
There is a shopping centre and even a Madame Tussaud’s at the top! After riding the tram back down, we took the bus back to the Star Ferry terminal and made our way back across to Kowloon. We then went for a walk along the Avenue of Stars, we hadn’t heard of many except these ones…
Every night at 8pm there is a free light display called Symphony of Light along the Hong Kong island skyline so we got ourselves a Starbucks and headed back to the pier to find a good spot. It was a lovely way to end our first day in HK.
Before we headed back to the coffin, I mean room… we went and topped up our Octopus cards so that we’d have enough for the next day when we were going to DISNEYLAND!
So, we woke up really early the next day and took the MTR to Disneyland.
This is the train for the Disneyland Resort Line!
As you can see from this picture, we were the first into the park!
We thought we’d embrace the trend for doing the peace sign whilst in Asia!
As it was close to Halloween, there were lots of extra things on, which was fun!
Here are a few pictures of our Disney day:
Best waffles ever!
Caption competition anyone? My offering is…”it’s fun to stay at the…Y-”
We spent the whole day there and were absolutely shattered by the time we got back to the hostel. We had changed rooms in the morning so we had two beds and no wall at the end – win!
The next day we had decided to seek out a dim sum place called One Dim Sum, we’d heard it gets really busy and we were lucky to get a table. We were the only tourists in there! Although we made a couple of bad menu choices, we really liked the Char Siu Bao (BBQ pork buns) and rice steamed in a lotus leaf with pork, chicken and egg.
Then we headed to Kimberley Street (for obvious reasons…)
And then walked to the Kowloon Park, which is an amazing space! There is an outdoor pool complex which would rival most hotel pools, a maze, an aviary, pond with turtles and fish, McDonalds, sculpture walk, loads of activities! It was also really quiet so we could see it would be a great escape from the hustle and bustle of HK.
We decided to go on the ferry again so we skiddaddled over for a spot of shopping (mainly window…) and some dinner. We then took the MTR back (during rush hour – yes, we were those people…) and went to a shop that we kept seeing everywhere – Sasa. It’s a cosmetic/beauty shop with loads of quirky things in as well as some cracking bargains. We bought a few bits before heading back to the room to pack.
Next stop: Bali!