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West meets east

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Despite the cost Hong Kong was a great decision, it was a gentle introduction into China with its bilingual signs and super efficient underground system. I was prepared for anything in HK and the city didn't dissapoint. The mixture of cultures was a big surpirise the majority of faces where Chinese on the underground but as I entered the HK streets for the first time in kowloon (the other side of the water from Hong Kong central) it was west african and central asian faces and voices everywhere. We (Helen Jamie and I) where staying in Chungking mansions a bizzare, scruffy building that once inside resembled some sort of space port market thing, its hard to explain but all the bussel was exciting, being gently harrased for cheap suits and fake watches every time you entered and exited just added to the charm.
You would think this sort of establishment would be cheap and i suppose by Hing Kong standards it was but by asian standards it certainly wasn't $15 to the pound, our room was 80 each for the smallest triple i had ever seen. Even fruit from the market downstairs was dear.
I was in the city for 4 days most of the time spent with H & J and they kept me busy whizzing us around to the sights. We went up the monorail to the Victoria peak viewpoint which was spectacular despite the persistant haze. The walk back was also great HK is surprisingly green in places despite the enormous towers which seem to crop up impossibly from the tiny island.
Other trips involved trawling through colourful markets mostly full of tat and a boat trip to Lantou Island, a strange place 3 times the size of HK island and much less developed it was here we visited the sitting brass buddah.
Downtown Hong Kong is spectacular, having not been to a city with highrises before i was taken a back by the awesome office blocks and financial buildings. Sadly i was still cameraless at this stage so missed a few good photo ops.
Its when your in the central area of Hong Kong that the true reason for this city reveals itself, the place is like a financial hub with the other bits a similarly important financial city would have missing. Its clear that the British rule HK was under and lack of restraints it then gained molded this city onto an abnormal place in comparrison to the rest of Asia. Its hear that your wallet takes the biggent beating too especially if you want to have a drink with alcohol a minimum of $50 a bottle in bars, often up to twice that.
H & J flew home wednesday evening, i was sorry to see them go as the last year without them back in britain had been strange. I then paid $120 for my single room and prepaired myself for my lone trip to the mainland.

permalink written by  Dan on March 12, 2008 from Hong Kong, Hong Kong
from the travel blog: Been there, Dan that!
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Made it!

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

So I got to HK safe and sound and met H and J too which was ace, we've been bombing it around for the past couple of days which has been good cos it got me knackered so I haven't suffered too much with Jet Lag.
Got my Chinese visa yesterday shortly after visiting the worlds biggest sitting down brass outdoor Buddha which was good despite all the conditions to its fame!
I also bought a camera, proper nice one for 90 quid including a 1 gig card which is rather excellent, the ridiculous amount of high tech shops here is somewhat daunting and you haggle almost everywhere even in the department stores. However Hong Kong is EXPENSIVE, it's like I never left home, its a pretty cool place and the high rises are impressive but I couldn't stay here for much longer than 3 or 4 days there's not a massive amount you can do on a budget so I'm getting a train to the mainland tomorrow to immerse myself in the ridiculously cheapness of China.
Helen and Jamie fly home tonight so I'm properly on my own from here on out, pretty exciting actually!

Will upload some photos when I've taken some...

permalink written by  Dan on March 9, 2008 from Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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leaving soon!

Sheffield, United Kingdom

I'm not there yet but i'm hopefully meeting Helen in HK this sunday,
no photos yet either cos my camera is broken, how fortunate that i'm about to travel somewhere that has cool technical stuff that aint all that expensive...
My flight is tomorrow and i haven't packed yet so i'm off!

permalink written by  Dan on March 7, 2008 from Sheffield, United Kingdom
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