First blog of this site and it needed to be about a special place… and it does not get any better than Hong Kong..
Well, maybe it does, but this is what I am going with… Suck it, if you have a problem with it !
Hong Kong is much more than just skyscrapers, disneyland and good food… it is definitely the friendliest place I have been to… and that is saying something since historically, Indian and Chinese have not been getting along too well over the years…
The Walden (in excruciating detail)
When looking for a hotel to stay in Hong Kong, I think Causeway Bay is the place to be… Its a lively place and you can roam around for hours in the busy market places and shopping malls.. Its close to the extremely popular Times Square which apparently is the place to be for both tourists and locals in the evening… I decided to stay in an affordable hotel named The Walden near the Causeway Bay Metro station… Very nice place for a budget traveler with lots of shops and restaurants around… The Walden was a bit hard to find and the fact that most of the locals didn’t understand my accent didn’t help my cause… After landing in HK at around 5 pm, I was pretty sure that I would be at my hotel by 6pm to freshen up and chill… but thanks to the friendly Chinese and my lack of road sense combined with my ignorance about the cantonese language… I wandered from street to street…and yes, Hong Kong was hot and I was sweating like a pig thanks to the super heavy hiking bag I was carrying… To make matters worse, a guy told me that the hotel was inside this super fancy mall… imagine a sweaty, stinky brown man roaming around this place full of sophisticated chinese people.. it was awful and embarrassing like hell…. finally, one guy told be the exact whereabouts of The Walden… and guess what it was 5 mins from the Causeway Bay Station… why didn’t I find it? THE NAME OF THE HOTEL WAS WRITTEN IN CANTONESE !!!! I WAS LIKE . “ARE YOU F****NG KIDDING ME!”..(I think they switched to english now)
It was 7.30 or something by the time I actually found the place… The hotel was absolutely amazing… the staff were helpful and friendly even though they asked for a HKD 500 as security deposit which was not mentioned in the booking… I had booked a single room on the 16th floor, and it overlooked the busy street outside, which I liked..Also, if you looked closely, you can see what was happening in the Hong Kong households nearby (yes I looked into their homes and invaded their privacy)… a guy was watching TV and another guy was eating some noodles… (I guess none of them were getting lucky that night! )
The room was nice and cozy..it had a bathtub and an LCD TV which was pretty fancy for the price that I was paying them.. the safety locker didn’t work but it was repaired by the old maintenance guy who could not understand a word of English.. I just pointed him to the locker and he knew what needed to be done!
All in All, a really nice hotel with an amazing location ! Recommended for all!
Times Square, Disney Land, and Night Markets
After a well deserved shower and a change.. I went out to the reception to ask about the nearby places.. the geeky looking receptionist recommended Times Square.. It was 15 mins walk from my hotel.. the city was so busy.. people were in a rush to be somewhere.. you can see great fast food stalls selling all sorts of food, there were big screens on the nearby building endorsing all sorts of products, the buses were so colorful, it was as if a kid designed the city…
Times Square was nice… I decided to watch a movie (X Men) at one of the multiplexes and thanks to the awesome seat, air conditioning and my exhaustion, I fell asleep…yes, I drooled too! I think the couple sitting next to me were passing judgement…
Next day, visited Disney Land… took the train all the way to the park.. loved every moment of that awesome place… met Winnie the Pooh ( he kept touching me in my special places :P), Pluto, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy and loads of other characters… Had my first sushi experience at the restaurant.. Micky Sushi!! Disney land were having a parade that day, which was fun… (almost poked someones eye out with my umbrella when I say the characters from the Toy Story).. The Lion King and Musical Micky events were also superb… The closing ceremony was truly magical!
After Disneyland, I decided to take a train to Mongkok which was awesome…lots of great street stalls and market.. amazing food.. Chinese food is actually nothing like the Chinese food that we find in India… its different to say the least.. The night markets around Mongkok, Charles Edwards, Causeway bay has lots to offer to every type of tourists… you can find clothes, souvenirs, electronic gadgets, travel gear, birds, fishes, EVERYTHING that you can possibly need!
It was a tiring day… After exploring the sights and sound of Hong Kong, I went into this restaurant at around 2 am for some hot meal… the restaurant, by the look of it, seem to attract a lot of locals, which is always a good sign if you want to taste the authentic local cuisine.. Had a bowl of spicy noodles with lots of vegges, chicken, beef and meat balls… all for HKD 6.. the owner was extremely friendly and we talked a bit about the places to visit and the local culture… Her restaurant was established in the 1970s and was apparently extremely popular with the tourists as well… She saw I was having a hard time with the chopsticks (I should have done my homework before coming to Hongkong), so she brought me a fork… Too bad I forgot her name !
Victoria Peak, Madame Tussaud s and Star Ferry
A trip to Hong Kong is incomplete without a trip to the Victoria Peak. One can take the very famous peak train to get to the Peak and take a lift to the top of the peak to soak in the amazing view.
The Peak also has a Madame Tussaud s museum where you can get up close and personal with the biggest celebrities from around the world. Victoria Peak is definitely a must see if you are in the city.
At night, I took the star ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui which was both easy on the pocket and an exciting ride.