Asia | Hong Kong | Hong Kong – Hong Kong
From the moment I got outside the airport it was blatent that Hong Kong was not my kind of place. I personally found it ugly, overcrowded and uncomfortably hot.
We checked into a not particularly cheap (though the cheapest we could find) room where Hector could lie in bed, touch both side walls and bang his feet on the wall at the foot of the bed. You can also have a shower while sitting on the toilet and watching TV all at the same time! Marvellous!!
Hong Kong must be a great place if you have the cash to shop til you drop or have a particular passion for strip clubs and skyscrapers, but it fails to hold my interest for long.
On the second day we caught the ferry over to Hong Kong Island (we were staying in Kowloon) which really offers more of the same. Lonely Planet suggests taking the tram ride along the north of the island, describing it as ‘ridiculously picturesque’. Maybe they were being ironic, maybe not, but 20 storeys of window, neon signs and lines of traffic aren’t our idea of pretty and we jumped off the tram to do what we came to China to do – eating. Ever keen to sample the local street food, we opted for a couple of kebab type things with no idea of what we’d ordered. Never a wise choice. Mine was rubbery octopus drowned in the worst sauce imaginable, Hector’s was much much worse. I thought it might be deep fried dog skin, but he succinctly summed it up as ‘poo on a stick’!
Back at Kowloon we headed for the eating area, looking for a bargain. The problem though is this: menus written in English are invariably expensive and the waiters don’t speak English and we can’t speak Cantonese. All of the specials and bargains are written only ion Chinese characters, leaving us with 2 options: pay through the nose for a dish written in our own language and be sure we know what we’re getting, or point to something and hope for the best. We opt for the latter and end up with 2 more inedible dishes and 2 empty stomachs. We dine in McDonalds for what will be the first of many big Macs over the next few days.