Me and Hong Kong got off on the wrong foot. The first 24hrs or so did not go well.
We found the hotel easily enough and went out for dinner. We inadvertently found the most expensive restaurant in the area and got stung for expensive tea we didn’t order. It was the most expensive meal of the trip so far and not one of the best. We had sugar coated chicken with crisp noodles, mushrooms, and lotus root.
Next, we got locked out of our hotel as the ridiculously sensitive keypad door malfunctioned, with the keys inside. Everyone was locked out, linen delivery guy included. It’s a common occurrence that we were informed can happen. Usually, a five minute cool down is required to reset the door before trying again. After fifteen minutes had passed without reset, we messaged the hotel operator directly as the desk is currently unmanned. A guy who volunteers there, and helped us to check in initially, which I found strange, until he produced a tip jar, told us this particular fault had never happened before. Encouraging. They text us a code to a to a different room, behind a door that was working so we had somewhere to rest, but all our luggage, and my charger were in our room.It only took an hour to fix the door. A young Chinese guy showed up armed with an assortment of batteries. The internal batteries dying is a common fault but this was different and flummoxedthe poor chap. After failing to reset it with his mobile he just walked off. About ten minutes later the incessant alarm stopped and the door popped open. The young man had returned with a fresh 9V battery that miraculously cured the lock, though I know not how.
The next problem was our room. It was a good size and the bed was comfortable, however, there was some sort of clanking noise outside the window that quickly drove us nuts. I ended up having to wear my headphones, an audio book my only salvation. I didn’t sleep much but it kept me sane and entertained.
The next day was a great improvement, we went for breakfast and had scrambled egg on toast at the Australian Dairy. We got hot milk instead of the tea and coffee we asked for. This restaurant is famous for it’s long queues, quick turn around times and bossy wait staff. It’s all part of the experience of Hong Kong and it turned out we had simply ordered a set breakfast that didn’t comewith tea or coffee, so the mistakewas ors and not theirs. We also ear marked the street for dinner as it has plenty of options and much more reasonable prices than our first outing.
Back at our hotel, we find someone has written out a list of things that can be provide and a phone number, weed and adult workers, both male and female are all on the menu. Apparently the area we are staying in is popular with prostitutes, and after hearing that, I started to occasionally notice young ladies hanging around the ground floor. I have no idea if any of them were ladies of the night and had no intention to ask.
We caught the famous tram up to The Peak and took in the best vdews of the island. Pretty awesome really. We opted to pay the extra to go right up to the top for the full 360 degree experience only to find it was included in our tram ticket. We have no idea how we missed that but it reaffirms the message ‘always read the small print’.
After, we walked the Avenue of Stars to see the Bruce Lee statue, before touring the space museum. We missed out on the planetarium show but the museum was cool, and free, on a Wednesday. I even got to dock a shuttle in space, land on the moon and jump up and down in simulated 1/6 gravity. Awesome.
We went for dinner at a Michelin guide recommended restaurant. It did good noodles. They gave H the wrong food but they replaced it without fuss. Hong Kong is famous for terrible customer service, like I said earlier. They even bring you the bill before your food arrives, cutting out the time it takes to request it at the end. We retire after a long day and have been assigned a new room. The noise that kept us awake was from a leaking A/C unit above ours. We are on the fourth floor and there are fourteen in total.The next morning we slept in to recoup from the night before. We went for more eggs, but the Australian Dairy (restaurant names are arbitrary here, it seemingly has no connection to the land down under just has like the first place we ate had ‘vegetarian’ in the name yet sold all kinds of meat), but it is closed on Thursdays. We ended up having sandwiches from good old reliable, 7 eleven.
We made our way, via the metro, to the cable cars at Ngong Ping. There, the massive Tian Tan Budda sits peacefully at the top of 250 stairs. Quite impressive, but not very old. Great views of the surroundings though. We paid extra for the cable car to get a glass bottom one, it’s worth it too. Not only do you get the added perspective of the land below but you join a different queue that saw us board before most of the people who arrived before us.
The views from the cable car were incredible but all the restaurants at the top are as over priced as you would expect. I did have a lovely mango ice cream though.
Back in the city, we went to another Michelin star restaurant, Tim Ho Wan, famous for it’s dim sum. The baked bbq pork buns were to die for and a must eat item for anyone visiting Hong Kong. We left without spending a great deal but with very full bellies.
We returned to the planetarium and caught the Touching the Stars 3D show. Charting all of the probes we have sent into space, and some planned ones too, it was a visual spectacle and informative too.
A quick trip to Starbucks on the Avenue of Stars for a latte, macha latte for H, and we find a spot to watch the largest, permanent light show in the world. The buildings opposite put on a light show set to music. The introduction tells us the show is about China’s 70th celebrations but that had not diminished its popularity. It’s a nice show, but only 10 minutes long. I imagine the planning required that 10 minutes is phenomenal though.