Thursday, October 21, 2004

China, Part I

I'm going to tell a few tales about my time in China, this is Part I. I'll try and add a few pics here and there.

Arriving in Hong Kong is always a great start to any holiday, at least it is for me...I love the place, especially areas like Kowloon with its barrage of neon lights, night markets and good little places to eat. And as for the gorgeous Chinese women strutting around town...

So there we were, me and M, stranded in Hong Kong for the night as we had just missed a flight to the mainland and would have to wait for the next flight in the morning. As you probably know, Hong Kong is very expensive, so we decided to save some money and ended up staying in the rather pitiful Chungking Mansions building in Nathan Road, in a place called, rather botanically, the New Garden Guest House, high up on the 12th floor. Our room was a rather rank double room, about the size of a tuna tin. There were no windows; the only access to natural light was a 1cm gap in the wall above the ill-fitted air conditioner.

That meant a night on the town, starting with a little shopping expedition down Nathan Road. As hunger kicked in, we were soon tipped off about a local restaurant that is the place to be, so off we went. The place was huge, hidden away on the second floor of a fairly anonymous building, the kind of place you'd never find as a tourist...and we were, of course, the only Westerners there, amid some 100 diners. Politely turning down the offer to eat the metre long fish displayed in the giant fish tanks, we went safe and had sweet and sour pork. Accompanied by giant bottles of beer - 650ml - we were soon enjoying the experience, while trying to fathom out just what the tables alongside us were eating...

As the beers flowed, we decided to finish the night off in style at the Peninsula Hotel, one of HK's finest, for a wee cup of coffee. They have a very splendid bar on the top floor, very splendid prices too...but the view over HK harbour is pretty spectacular. However, the icing on the cake was the WC. You feel like you're peeing on the city as you look out across the lights and buildings via a very large window...worth checking out just for the hell of it!