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Wight Backpacker — Exploring Hong Kong

Hong Kong - photo by Jason Moore.

Hong Kong - photo by Jason Moore.

Monday, December 4, 2017 - 14:49

Follow former County Press employee Zoe Adler as she explores South East Asia and New Zealand with her partner, Jason Moore.
Our last goodbyes and a 13-hour flight later, we've landed in Hong Kong.
So far we have managed to get the Metro from the airport, only to get off at the wrong station and endure a half-hour walk in the humid air, trying to find our hotel.
All the way followed by a new smell, which can only be described as sickly. Think sweet bread baking next to a toilet - that sums it up. 
Early check-in at our hotel was very much welcomed. Yes, I say hotel. I know we are backpacking but after some research, this is the cheapest place I could find that didn't have a review mentioning bed bugs. Squeal. 
Convincing ourselves that we need to get out and explore, rather than nap, we made our way down to Victoria Harbour. The skyline looks incredible from here, just like a printed canvas that you see in homeware shops. The ferries went back and forth all evening to Tsim Sha Tsui. So like true Brits, we got some fish and chips from one of the stalls and sat by the harbour to eat them.
Fighting jet lag clearly didn't go to plan, as I sit writing this at 4am....
Day two, we made our way up to The Peak Tram. This is a very busy, rickety old tram that dates from 1881. After a very long wait in line, it takes you nearly vertically up the side of the tallest mountain on Hong Kong Island.  Once you reach the top, 552 metres above sea level,  the views are breath-taking. Looking down on the high-rise jungle that is Hong Kong makes you feel like a tiny ant in this huge city.
Pok Fu Lam Country Park was nearby, the trail led down to a huge reservoir that we could see from the top of the peak, so we decided to go for a wander rather than get the tram straight back. After a lovely stroll down the hill ,looking at all the different trees with winding roots, we got to the reservoir and stood for a while, dreading the hike back up. It was indeed dreadful in the midday heat, but we made it. 
We were really looking forward to the food in Hong Kong as the street food has a great reputation. However whole ducks and other various meats, which I couldn't tell you the name, hanging at the side of a busy road  made me cautious. Also I was ignorant to the fact that none of the signs would be in English. Therefore, not wanting to guess our meal, we opted for the more western options - which were plentiful. The one night that Jason did experiment and ask the waitress her recommendation, he ended up with oyster wonton's in noodle soup - risky. 
We were staying in Wan Chai which is a short metro ride from Hong Kong Centre, little did we know, until we went into the town for dinner late one evening, that this is actually the 'red light' district of Hong Kong. Maybe better research needed in future! Still, it was a nice area in the day time which suited us as we were not prepared for the jet lag! 
Used to the metro, we decided to take a trip to the other side of Victoria Harbour and visit Mong Kok. Our phone map told us that we were near the ladies market so we went to see. This is a great place to purchase fake designer bags, clothes and other souvenirs. Mong Kok in itself is just another city, they all look the same to me which did not make navigation any easier - even with a mobile phone! 
Despite feeling grubby from traffic fumes and humidity, Hong Kong surprised me with how clean it was, there's hardly any litter, and all the hotels and high rises looked polished.
However, it's been three days and we are already craving the beach, we are Islanders after all and not raised to survive in big cities!
Hong Kong Jason Moore - Victoria Harbour

Victoria Harbour - photo by Jason Moore

Jason Moore - street food

Street food in Hong Kong - photo by Jason Moore

Jason Moore - food market

Food market in Hong Kong - photo by Jason Moore

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir - photo by Jason Moore

Zoe Adler at Pok Fu Lam Reservoir - photo by Jason Moore

Hong Kong - photo by Jason Moore

Hong Kong - photo by Jason Moore

 


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