Alone at Last……

Alrighty!  So, I’ve been in Japan for two weeks and I’m finally getting around to writing a post about my time in Hong Kong!  I hope you find my exploits entertaining. =D

So, like all adventures (at least the big ones) my Hong Kong adventure began at the airport (unfortunately…).  After a 12-hour flight from Vancouver….(yeah, that’s all I need to say about that….) I arrived alone at the airport in Hong Kong.

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Everything went remarkably well considering that this was the first time I had traveled by myself; I didn’t lose anything, forget anything, or get lost (much).  After picking up my luggage, I got on the bus to my hostel….but I don’t really know how buses work…and all the signs were mostly in Chinese, so this really nice man from Singapore (who saw the terrified and confused expression on my face when I thought I had missed my stop), kindly explained to me where we were on the map that I had with me and so I got off at the right stop and everything was good; I found my hostel right away and passed out to prepare myself for the following days of sightseeing.

So, day 1:

Since by this point, my body had no idea what time it was, I woke up at the ungodly hour of 6am (anyone who has met me more than once knows that I’m a “wake up at the crack of noon” kinda girl…) so I got dressed and headed out into the city. By this point, it was about 7:30 and I was trying to find a place to have breakfast.  I had looked up a couple of places on google maps that I was trying to find, but I couldn’t find any of those, so I kinda wandered into a small shop that had its breakfast menu displayed on the street.  Inside were about 6 tables and a little middle-aged lady who looked at me and just pointed at one of the tables near the wall.  She gave me a menu (which had just a little English on it) and said I could order anything in the right column, so when she came back I pointed at what I thought I wanted (I wasn’t sure what it was…), but she said, “no, you have this one,” pointing to the one a couple items up from the one I chose.  Without waiting for me to say anything, she took my menu and walked away. O.o

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(It was delicious, but I still don’t know what it was exactly….)

Anyway, after breakfast, I headed out to find the botanical gardens since they were the closest on the map I had made for myself (I should probably mention that this map wasn’t very detailed….).  On the way there, I ran into Hong Kong Park and explored around for a bit; it was so beautiful and green (and humid…).

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After that, I headed toward the botanical gardens.  I thought I was on the right path, but about an hour later when I still hadn’t found it, I began to wonder.  The path I was on was steeper than I had thought that it would be, but I just thought the gardens must be on one of the higher levels.

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I had only brought 1 bottle of water with me and it was horrifically hot and humid, so I was already exhausted and sweating a ton.  I stopped another tourist to ask where we were and he said that I was almost halfway up Victoria Peak. O.O  Oops.  By this point, I figured I should just keep going, since I had wanted to go there anyway.  Every once in a while, I would see the tram that went up the peak go by…the torture.  After about another hour and a half, I made it to the top dehydrated, dizzy, and incredibly overheated.

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Aaaand then I had a huge cup of iced chocolate (essentially chocolate milk) and two scoops of ice cream because I felt like I had earned it. xP

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After that, I was so tired and hot that I just rode the tram back down the mountain and walked back to my hostel to pass out until the next morning.

Day 2:

In the morning, I woke up early again to go find breakfast and again, I couldn’t find the places I’d seen on google maps, so I just ducked into a little diner that was really crowded for 7am, hoping that that meant the food was pretty good.  Unfortunately (and also fortunately, because it was pretty interesting), this is what I found inside:

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And on closer inspection:

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O.O

Well, let’s just say that after a brief game of charades with the owner of the shop, he just shrugged and went to get me whatever the thing I pointed to on the menu was.

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Even after I ate it, I’m still not entirely sure what all I ate, but it was pretty good in any case.

After that, I left to head toward Man Mo Temple.  Again it was hot and all uphill (somehow), but eventually I found the temple.  To be honest, (especially after being in Japan for a couple of weeks and seeing a dozen just like it) I could have skipped going to this temple.  It was pretty, but didn’t really justify my hour-long trek in the heat and humidity to get to it.

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So, it was nice, but I quickly moved on and started towards the docks to take the star ferry to Kowloon.  Up until now, I’d been staying on Hong Kong island, but that day I wanted to see the main part of the city in Kowloon.  I hopped on the ferry (my first time ever on a real boat =D):

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The ferry was $HK2.50 (which equals out to about 27 cents…Woo!).  And since I took it at around two in the afternoon, it was mostly empty and quiet on the ride over which took about five or so minutes.

Once I was in Kowloon, I needed to find a bus to take me to Kowloon Walled City Park, but I wanted to grab lunch first, so I went to one of the shops near the bus station and picked up a sandwich (basically), a dessert, and a drink (I’d just like to point out that the drink cost over twice as much as the other two items put together).

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The drink was an anko-flavored smoothie, which was deeelicious (anko is an iconic Japanese sweet red bean paste).

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So, I sat and had lunch, but while I was eating, a couple of Indian women came up to me and one of them said that her friend wanted to take a picture with me.  I said okay, but why, and they said that they wanted to prove to their friends back home that they’d made an American friend.  Well, o.O, weird, but okay.

After they had both taken a picture with me, I finished my lunch and got on the bus.  Buuuut, I’m apparently really bad at buses since I don’t really ride them at home, so I panicked and got off six stops too early.  Oops.

It wasn’t too big of a deal though, I just waited there for another bus and while I was waiting, I saw this gem:

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Which was right next to “Piss Bar,” xD but I didn’t get a good picture of that sign.

Once I was back on the right bus, I made it to the Walled City Park.  It was huge and hot and humid and green and full of old buildings.  It was so cool and I’m so glad I went.  I have a pretty long view of it as a video up on youtube, but here are a few pictures, too:

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So I walked around the park for about an hour and a half or so, then I got back on the bus to go see the light show from the Avenue of Stars which started at 8pm.  I had to wait for a long while, so I just talked to the tourists around me when I got there, but then the light show started and it had all the buildings over on Hong Kong island sending up lights to the sky in sync with this pretty awesome music.  Again, there is video footage up on my youtube channel, but here are some pictures (as well as the featured image of this post) of the light show and city at night:

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When the show was over, I hopped back on the ferry over to my hostel and took a few more pictures of the city on my way:

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In Hong Kong (and Japan as well), they have these covered walkways that connect buildings over the roads, so in shopping districts, usually there are several buildings across from one another that make up a mall, and all the open-air shops are on the outer edges of the buildings facing these walkways.  It’s super convenient and awesome (we need these in America, seriously).

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And so I made it back to my hostel and woke up the next morning to get on the plane to Japan. Wooo!

That was the end of my adventure in Hong Kong.  While I was a little confused and disoriented the whole time, I had a blast and now my adventure continues in Japan.  I’ll write some posts on Japan soon, too.  Until then, I hope everyone is having a great year!  ❤

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