After travelling overland from Singapore to Bangkok it was time to catch our next flight to Hong Kong. We had chosen to stay on Nathan Street, right in the heart of Hong Kong in Kowloon. Now, HK is very different to other busy places we have visited around the world! It takes busy to a whole new level. You have to think three dimensionally. For example, just because a building is a department store it doesn't mean it cannot have several other functions as well. Something we realised after about 2 hours of trying to find our guesthouse. What seems to be a restaurant, is actually a laundry along with a internet cafe, jewellery store all intermingled with people's apartments.
Our guesthouse turned out to be on the 12th floor of a building called Maridor Mansion, mansion my ar**. It was a Chinese Faulty Towers. It took three people and about an hour to check in. "I have a nice room for you" owner's words!! NICE!! Only if the definition of nice is a room 6 square feet with the only bathroom in the world where you can have a poo whilst cleaning your teeth and having a shower at the same time. Anyway, it was home for the next three nights.
Hong Kong is all about it's skyline and it certainly delivered. We spent most of our time in and around the harbour where the views where at their best, just a 5 minute walk from the 'mansion'. On our first day we caught a ferry over to Hong Kong Island, where we travelled on the world's longest covered escalator and saw amazing sights from the 'Peak' (the highest point on the island). In the evening we watched the Hong Kong island laser show from Kowloon, a real special moment, right up there with the fountains outside the Bellagio Casino in Vegas and the Grand Canyon.
Hong Kong, probably the shopping capital of the world. Millions of designer shops, sparkling in the winter sun, Lucy was in heaven (or she would have been if she had any money!!!). However, it does have another side. You cannot walk down the road without hearing "copy watch, copy hangbag, come and see my shop". They seemed to spot us from miles away. Hong Kong was a lovely city, it was so clean but so expensive we seemed to spend hours trying to find somehwere affordable to eat...McDonalds was cheap!!!
It is definately a city enjoyed by the weathly. So when in Rome!
Location - the skylounge in the 5 star Sheraton Hotel, Dress - smart (Steve wearing his last pair of clean pants) and Atmosphere - expensive!! They even have a spending limit which we were so kindly reminded of at our entrance to the lounge, as if we looked out of place? So we decided to show them! Not only did we have a drink but cheese and biscuits as well. We may not look like much but this is where we belong. Big mistake! Second mortgage anyone?
We had a lovely evening and the views will remain with us forever, as will the sting from the bill!
Three days in Hong Kong was plenty. We soon needed to get away from the madness and found Macau to be the perfect place. It just happens to be the Las Vegas of the East. We caught a ferry to the island to be met by our own private bus to take us to the hotel. We had decided to treat ourselves for one night. The Royal Hotel was just what we needed. We had afternoon tea in the lobby and gambled the night away in the Grand Lisboa and MGM Casino's. It felt really quiet when compared to HK and we wanted to stay another night. Unfortunately, hotels triple their room prices of the weekend so we were back on the road. Next stop mainland China.