Arriving in Hong Kong, we applied for our China visas and spent a couple of weeks enjoying Chinese New Year, the year of the Ox.
Stand by for our list of 10 favourite HK experiences.
10: dodgy accomodation in the Chungking Manions
For our first few nights we stayed at this infamous high rise full of cheap hostels, touts, and criminals. There are only a few slow old lifts, sure to have a queue of inhabitants waiting to get to or from their level.
After a few days in our window-less room (30aud/night), we adjusted and were quite happy here, but we moved to stay with friend James (a HK local).
Not exactly a favourite experience, but this place deserved to be right on the bottom of -some- list.
(the place has a wikipedia entry, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chungking_Mansions)
9: kowloon park
We accidentally stumbled on this park, which was full of happy chinese new year revellers. After watching a dragon show, we got lost in the maze for a while.
hugh consults the map
lim tries it blindfolded
8: Clubbing at LKF
Lan Kwai Fong is the main night spot for HK. Its literally a block of awesome clubs and bars.
Cheap Australian wine lines the shelves of every super market and 7-11. We started the night with a couple of Jacob Creeks over dinner, before joining the boys in some of their favourite members only clubs.
7: Hot Pot With Friends
We went with friends to a quality all you can eat hot pot* dinner. With the efficacy of a couple of hungry back packers, we gorged ourselves and could barely eat again for a day.
- Chinese hot pot consists of a communal boiling pot full of water, stock, and spices. Everyone self cooks the meat, veggies, tofu, and dumplings whilst (hopefully) enjoying each others company.
6: domestic bliss at James' place
We stayed at James' home for most of the visit. James and his sister live with a live-in maid a stone's throw from their parents. We settled in to enjoy domestication, and Genie, their toy poodle.
We also got to cook a few meals of our own - its amazing how much you can miss home cooking.
5: HK's public transport system
The metro, ferries, and trams in HK make it one of the world's most convenient cities to get around. Public transport is clearly a key factor for what makes a city great.
This is made possible by a wealthy population living in high density. Consider:
HK has 7 million people living in only 1,000 KM^2, with a GDP per capita of $33,000USD.
Sydney has 4.5 million people living in 12,000 KM^2, with a GDP per capita at $39,000USD.
4: chinese new year festivities
Many people advise against visiting china during CNY celebrations because everything shuts. This didn't bother us because we have time to kill. Several days we saw excellent shows on the street.
On lunar new years eve itself we stood in a crowd of perhaps a 100,000 people to watch the fireworks
James and Mikie took us through a fair with another un-imaginably big crowd slowly pushing thier way across a couple of city blocks.
3: star ferry tour
We took the star ferry for a tour to see the city from water level. In this shot you can see the density of sky scrapers in HK.
2: chive dumplings
Most Hong Kong food is great, however (at least for Lim), these street-side chive dumplings topped the list. Yum!
1: sunset at HK's peak
HK city is built on a mountainous island. we went up to the peak to catch both sunset, accompanied with a couple of refreshing beers, and the lights of HK at night. Definately a list topper.