Time has passed so quickly that I feel like my three week stay in Hong Kong never actually happened. This is the first time since I posted at New Year where I have things to note down and share as well as having the free time to do it!
The trip to Hong Kong ended on a high. I had ordered an aircast off amazon and this transformed my recovery dramatically in the last week of my stay. By the end of it I was able to walk a little without the assistance of crutches if I wanted to grab a drink or go to the bathroom. I cannot express how amazing it was not having to negotiate using crutches and trying to carry a drink simultaneously! On the last Thursday (26th February) the three girls from Nottingham arrived in Hong Kong to spend a few days there too and they came in to meet me in Central on Hong Kong Island. After having quite a delicious western style lunch for one in a cafe, I stood outside in the warm temperature until the three appeared in the distance – it was good to see them! As I had only had the company of chaotic children or chilled adults, I was especially excited to be amongst friends again.
We walked along the streets of Hong Kong towards the Peak Tram sharing what we had got up to since we parted ways in Ningbo. Even though the queue to get on the tram was packed, our decision to go back down into the main part of central was a good one. We ended up having a couple of dimsum in one of the big shopping centres – the IFC – where we also spent a little while stood on a large balcony looking out over the estuary at the Kowloon side. It was a bit like a movie moment where the main character starts to see their life fall back into place and the momentum of the plot starts to pick up. After that we went our respective ways and planned to meet the next day to do some more sightseeing!
On Friday I ended up meeting them at Pizza Express in the massive shopping mall that is full of the expensive brands called Times Square. It was a lovely lunch that I was definitely craving. After that we caught the bus to Stanley Market which is a half an hour journey to the southeast side of Hong Kong Island from Central. Despite the weather being quite misty and cloudy, we had a nice time bargaining for a few bits and bobs. I was on the hunt for a backpack and sunglasses, I succeeded at finding and buying the latter. There were quite a few fake brand bag stores – especially mulberry – which we visited. Juliet and Beana bought a few little make up bags that were impressively similar to the real ones. Eventually we emerged from the long market happy with our purchases and feeling peckish. We nipped into a McDonald’s for a quick ice cream then went back out to get the bus. This time we caught a bus that would take us across the river to Kowloon side in search of Mong Kok Ladies Market as there we ladies were not finished shopping yet!
Kowloon side is fantastic. It is vibrant, slightly chaotic and completely lit up with colourful neon signs. The market goes down one very long pedestrianised street is has more tacky things than a poundland but it was really fun. It was just enjoyable walking from stall to stall looking at the bits and comparing prices. I spoke a little cantonese such as “how much is it?” etc like a true laowai (foreigner) but they understand so 😀
I ended up cheekily buying a Michael Kors bag. I adore it. Yes it is bright pink but ❤
It still proudly sits on my shelf in my flat in Ningbo because I just can’t bear it to get dirty! I am awful I know! And bright pink is definitely a summer colour so I feel the sun needs to be out all the time for me to start using it… I also managed to find a backpack at the last minute. I originally was going to get a fake brand leather one but when I saw the Michael Kors I couldn’t justify spending all my money just on bags… so in the end I caught eye of some jansport and more “for school” backpacks that were perfect. It is great for travelling!
Anyway, enough about my bags and I!
We didn’t end up heading back from Kowloon until around half past midnight. By that point my foot and I were shattered. The others planned to go have a few drinks in Lai Kwan Fong. I was tempted but when I saw many young westerners like ourselves flocking to this part of town I decided that going home was the better option. Every girl was a bit dolled up, the guys were in shirts and then were was me with crutches and wearing the slouchiest clothes ever… So my decision to go home was a good call!
I would love to return to Hong Kong and stay on the Kowloon side for a week or two to experience the everyday life there. You have parts of Kowloon where you feel like you’re in the middle of China, while you take the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island and feel like you’re in the cleanest, most modern city in the world.
Here’s a video of the ‘Symphony of Lights’ show that is on every night at 8pm on the river: