Posts Tagged With: Hong Kong

Moving on, goodbye China

We are sat in Hong Kong International Airport, waiting for our flight to Hanoi. Leaving HK and China feels like the end of the second leg of our trip. Before we left, a lot of people said that China would be the hardest part of our journey – no longer with the Vodkatrain group, and in a country that isn’t as used to backpackers. Whilst it’s been hard work at times, as you’d expect from such a massive country, it has been a truly amazing experience; from the scorching heat of the Great Wall to walking around Victoria Peak in the aftermath of a typhoon and everything in between.

Typhoony

Some things:
1. Chinese people are (generally) very nice – people were usually helpful and seemed to appreciate the effort we made with the language.
2. Hocking and spitting is a national pastime, wherever you are. No matter the city / street / building / cultural icon / train, people will be spitting.
3. Having a horn on your vehicle means you must use it at all times (even when driving around a cage on a stage).

Crazy drivers everywhere

4. Back home, we look down on pot noodles. In China, they are so common and popular that most public places have a hot tap.
5. Tourist attractions are expensive, but getting around, eating and drinking is not too bad.
6. Chinese food is amazing! All of our meals would have 4 or 5 dishes at least, and would cost about £5 – £6. Unfortunately they haven’t made us sick, just fat.

Food

7. You can get used to the crowds, but try and escape to the country a bit.
8. China is huge – have a good idea of what you want to do when you go, and give yourself more time in less places, not the other way around.
9. Allow a good amount of time for a simple task – our trip to the post office to send some stuff home took a while.
10. When planning 3 days of beaching, island hopping, climbing and sightseeing in Hong Kong, double check that there isn’t a typhoon on the way.

Glorious HK weather

Categories: China | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Yangshuo to Hong Kong – amazing scenery and a typhoon

We’re currently sat in our tiny Hong Kong room, taking shelter from Typhoon Usagi. It is being described as potentially the biggest typhoon to hit the city in over 30 years, so it’s nice to be here for that! Really it isn’t that bad – we’ve had a pretty good day being touristy and are just taking a break from the rain.

Usagi

After leaving Guilin, we travelled down the Li River by bamboo raft (as you do) on the way to Yangshuo. Despite the river being quite busy with other tourists, it was a really nice journey and the scenery is just amazing – the giant karst limestone peaks shoot up on all sides. We even saw the spot that is famous for being on the back of the 20 yuan note.

Bamboo boat

Yangshuo

We arrived at a small town called Xingping, from where we had to catch a bus to Yangshuo. The journey was something of an experience, with the driver determined to pack as many people onto the bus as possible. Without anywhere to put our bags, this was interesting. And when we did arrive at Yangshuo, it was so nice to be able to stretch our legs that I decided the 2.5k walk to the hostel would be infinitely preferable to a taxi. It was, however, so damn hot!

image

Our hostel was amazing, more like a hotel, about 20 minutes outside of the town in a tiny village. Yangshuo itself is a real tourist town, so being outside it was nice. Whilst we didn’t do a huge amount in Yangshuo, we didn’t really need to; the landscape is beautiful wherever you look, and the town and the river make wandering around and chilling out the ideal pastime. We did hire bikes one day, which is a great way to get and see more countryside, as well as to work up a sweat in the 34 degree heat! We also took a cooking class, but Mrs H wants to write more about that…

Cormorant fishing, Yangshuo

We left Yangshuo on Friday, to catch the sleeper bus to Shenzhen on the Hong Kong border. It was, quite simply, the worst journey I’ve ever been on. Considering we’ve spent a lot of nights on trains so far on this trip, I wasn’t prepared for this bus! Instead of seats, there were 3 rows of bunk beds across the bus. It was packed and we were last on, so Law ended at the very back on the ground, on what was essentially one big bed for 5, sharing with three Belgian guys and an Israeli! I was the level up on the side in a bunk designed by a twisted sadist. It was like they knew how tall and wide I was, so made the thing about a foot too small in every way. Too short to stretch out, but with a shelf over my legs so I couldn’t bend my knees; too narrow to lie down without one side either over the edge or against the window.

Night bus to Hong Kong

When we got to Shenzhen and left China to cross over to Hong Kong I did feel pretty wrecked, but whilst our room in the infamous Chunking Mansions is tiny, the bed is amazing! So, we will sit here while the typhoon does its thing, safe in the knowledge that we won’t run out of supplies thanks the ground floor of this place being like Mos Eisley space port – you can buy anything.

Chungking Mansion

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