Flying from Kota Kinabalu to Hong Kong took roughly 3 hours and costed me about €50 since I booked like the day before, as I’ve done during this trip. I could probably get it cheaper if I had booked in advance, but I like the flexibility. I arrvied in the evening to Hong Kong, about 9 pm and then the immigration process and getting out from the station took maybe 30 minutes or so. It all went very smooth. I had gotten an advice from one of the other passengers on the plane to get a Octopus Card for the tube and pay with money on trams and buses. I don’t remember the reason why now but I think in the end it would save me some money. So I got myself a Octupus card and then got on the tube into central Hong Kong. First train ride was easy, it was when I changed line that things got complicated. The train from the airport was not crowded, but the new line I wanted to get on was full. So I missed the first train. No biggie, next train came just minutes later.
I managed to squeeze myself in and then ride to Wan Chai station somehow, getting up to the street level I found a McDonalds which offered free Wifi which was good. I needed to check where my hotel was, I know it was somewhere on Queens Road which is not too far away from Wan Chai station. So I managed to figure out which way to Queens Road and I started walking. Then I found Queens Road and it’s here things got messy. I started walking in the wrong direction. After having walked for a while I started to suspect I was walking in the wrong direction. Trying to find a cab proved to harder than I thought but finally I found one and he could confirm that I was walking in the wrong direction. I had almost made it to the end of Queens Road, the wrong end that is. My hotel was located in the other end.
I decided to not walk so I let the taxi take me there, he even offered to wait in case I had gotten to the wrong hotel. Turned out it was the right hotel (Cosmopolitan Hotel) so I waved at the taxi and he drove off. Checking in was quickly done, they asked if it was the first time in Hong Kong and I said yes, so they gave me a room with a view. On the 26th floor or something like that. I had a very nice view of Hong Kong by night. The next day, a friend of mine, let’s call him Howard picked me up in the lobby. He had made great plans for my first day in Hong Kong. We were to explore the hong Kong cuisine and all aspects of it. We started by walking to a nearby breakfast restaurant. There we had some tea and a pinapple bun. It was a quite noisy place despite not many people where there. Then we proceeded to another place to have fishball soup and some kind of fried bread. Next stop, a dessert restaurant and some black and white sesame soup.
Howard had thought of it very well, we only went to restaurants that didn’t have menus in English, only in cantonese which made it very hard for me to figure out what we were going to eat. Then we took the tram somewhere and into another restaurant. This time it was some kind of fast food restaurant that served noodles. Howard wrote a note for me on this place, because he said it was a good place to have lunch and with the note I could order what we had for the moment. Nice, was my thought, this was a really good lunch. But it turned out to be only a pre-lunch meal. Next restaurant we entered was a dim sum restaurant and the noise in there was immense. Howard showed me how to clean the chopsticks with the tea, and then we started to order stuff! Everything was delicious but some things was also very strange. I guess the chicken feets was the most strange.
After the dim sum restaurant we felt kind of stuffed so we decided to walk around for a while and do some sight seeing instead. We came by the college and Howard showed me the “panic flowers” that always bloomed in the end of spring semester, thus the name; panic flowers since everyone had their finals to think about! After having explored parts of Hong Kong by foot it was time to eat again. This time we aimed at another fast food place. A window in a wall that sold fried stuff mostly. My stomach didn’t like the fried stuff so much, I had a very “interesting” hour there. When things had calmed down we aimed for a more fashionable restaurant where we had Peking duck for example. And a dish with boiled cabbage and some salt pork. Also very tasty.
After that late dinner we were absolutly full. We could not squeeze down anything more so we decided it was time to round up the day. We walked down to a pier somewhere and took some pictures of Hong Kong by night and then we split up. Me going back to the hotel and Howard going back home. The following day I tried to get up early but I over slept. I skipped breakfast at the hotel and set out to a fast food restaurant, the same kind that Howard took me to the day before (where he wrote down what we had) and I walked in, happy as ever after and showed them my note from Howard, paid, sat down at a table and waited. The waitress came in with a hughe bowl of the same kind of noodle soup we had had the day before. But it was even bigger than the one we had shared. So there I am with a bowl of noodle soup for a whole family. Obviously something went wrong with my order (I called Howard afterwards and asked him, he said that probably she wasn’t so good at reading and misread the size or something).
To my rescue came a man in suit who asked if he could sit at my table, sure I said. “Have some noodle soup if you like, I seem to have ordered more than I can eat!” I replied. Sharing food with strangers is nice, you get to talk to people and learn a bit about their life. When we were done eating there was still like a 3rd of soup left but I think we did a good job! I started to move through town, I was on my way down to central pier 4 where the ferries to the nearby islands are. Howard said I should visit Lamma Island which was supposed to be very beautiful so I wanted to go there. The ferry ride didn’t take too long and soon I found myself in a very cozy place. I just walked around on Lamma Island for some hours before I started to get hungry. I found a restaurant not so far from where I had landed earlier and sat down to have something to eat. I ended up ordering fish soup which was delicious. And I had a beer to that. I was sitting in the sun and one beer quickly became 4 beers and I felt that life was generally very good.
After returning to Hong Kong and my hotel I felt I was not entierly done with my day. So I took a walk from the hotel towards the Hong Kong Jockey Club. When I arrived there it wasn’t as exciting as I first thought it was so I decided to walk in another direction. After a while I started to feel hungry again so I just walked in to the first place I found which turned out to be a sports bar. I ordered the only food they had, a hamburger with fries and a large beer. I had more or less just finished my plate when a man next to me started talking to me. “Names Kevin, I’m a flight mechanic from California!”. And then I ended up having a long conversation with a man I didn’t know about more or less everything and nothing. We decided to met again in the afternoon the next day to go and listen to some jazz music at a place called Ned Kellys Last Stand.