At 9:40am on Saturday 21st September, we arrived at Hong Kong International Airport after a surprisingly straightforward 24hour journey from Heathrow, via Mumbai . We were immediately confronted by news reports of a grade 8 typhoon heading straight for us. After quickly updating our bucket list to include ‘dancing naked in storm’ we set off to the bus stop.
Hong Kong is a busy place to say the very least, packed with impressive sky scrapers and with roads filled with buses and trams, it’s a bustling and incredibly efficient city. The bus took us to the Yesinn at Fortress Hill, our first hostel, which offered a simple room with 2-beds on the 15th floor of a skyscraper.
Later that evening, we headed out exploring. Within moments we were delighted to find that geeky shoes are perfectly acceptable here and that tomorrow we could appear in public in our walking sandals without embarrassment. We took the Star ferry from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon with the intention of having traditional Chinese food for dinner. This ‘traditional food’ took the form of a Chinese chicken and rice McWrap.
The following morning we put on our suncream, shorts, t-shirts and walking sandals and left our windowless room to find it was pouring down. Ironically, we were later informed there was excellent weather in Yorkshire. With the typhoon getting closer we made the sensible choice of going up the funicular at Victoria Peak, which is a Peak Tram leading up to the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong (552metres high and the first funicular railway in Asia). We stared at the black clouds whilst the wind blew warm rain mercilessly into our jet lagged faces. Few restaurants were open up there, so we were forced to sample the Chinese Big Mac. As more and more rain fell, more places closed and we decided to go back down.
We spent the next 10 hours wondering around and hopping on and off the MTR (Hong Kong’s Underground) until Katie’s feet were literally bleeding from the geeky walking sandals. Numerous Chinese people shook their heads in disgust and muttered something about wearing socks. We arrived back at the hostel at around 11pm looking like two drowned rats. We had a few beers and played cards.