19.10.2011 - 21.10.2011 28 °C
When the captain announced the decent for Hong Kong airport we looked out the window and were mildly disappointed at the threat of rain as the plane passed through cloud... then we realised the weather was fine and we were actually passing through smog! However, as we attempted to navigate our way to our accommodation we were pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness of the city, and super friendliness of the people. This was actually our first real backpacking moment, walking through the streets with a map, our far too heavy packs on our backs, and not knowing where we are and where we are meant to be. We eventually made it there and the struggle was all worth it as the view from our room was immediately uplifting.
Given that we only had two nights in HK, we decided to harden up and head straight out to experience the nightlife. We figured out the place to be was around Soho so jumped on a bizarre looking double-decker tram despite not knowing the ticketing system which we figured out soon enough and was pretty simple – drop the exact change into some contraption on your way out or you don’t get off. We checked our pockets and had nothing and by this point our stop was fast approaching. Luckily the lady opposite us figured out our predicament from our look of panic and confusion and the occasional pointing at the sign. She helped us with half our fare and translated to a few other people for the rest.
Soho was going off despite it being a Wednesday. There were plenty of interesting bars and places to eat and prices were cheap. We found a place with the equivalent of $5 cocktails that put any Thailand cocktail to shame.
We spent the rest of our short time in HK checking out markets in Stanley (a small coastal town), caught the Peak Tram for some sight-seeing, ate some extremely cheap and delicious real Chinese from a street stall (pretty sure there were chicken livers in there somewhere) with the locals, and watched an awesome night light show - which involved watching the city landscape across the harbour with lasers and lights flash from building tops and different coloured projections on various buildings all in time with music.
After a short but sweet stop in Hong Kong, we were off to Tokyo.