After Shanghai and saying good bye to my mum I was off to Hong Kong. Luckily I got a direct train, 19 hours overnight without any stops! (Number Z99 which goes only each second day from Shanghai, about 50€) Additionally the train was a bit nicer than the others before because each 6-bed compartment was a bit more separated from the others and I met friendly people. It is so different when you travel alone again – everyone wants to talk to you, gives you food (especially young girl haha – maybe because they think my mama is far away) and are interested in your travel. So I met a very nice woman from Shanghai who could speak good English and we had dinner in the train.
Arrived in Hong Kong I was quite exhausted from the train ride because it got cold in the night and I slept next to the window and maybe I took a bit of the cold of my mum. I made my way to the hostel. It is so funny in Hong Kong because most of the backpackers all stay in the same building called “Chungking Mansion” on Nathan Road. It is in the middle of the centre of Kowloon, the part of Hong Kong which is on mainland, the other part is on Hong Kong Island where a ferry and the metro go to. Actually the hostel was quite shitty because the rooms where very simple, there was no lounge or public area to chill or a kitchen. It is the fact that there is absolutely no space in Hong Kong, each square meter costs a lot and everything is built in height. But the great fact is that I met nice people in the hostel, a French girl, an English guy and a Canadian girl and the staff from India was nice as well.
Definitely the place with too many people on too less room I have ever seen!
The first night I went to the harbor and met with two guys from Couchsurfing, one Indian, one Mexican. We had an amazing view on the skyline from there. I could not see the end of it – so impressing. I think that is the biggest skyline in the world!
We went on a Couchsurfing event afterwards and ended up in two bars on Hong Kong Island. When you walk through the streets there, the city seems so cosmopolitan and futuristic because of all the high and modern buildings. It was a great first night but I was still so tired and felt a bit sick. Next day I met a German-Dutch girl who is studying in Hong Kong. I got her contact through because I met her dean of university on the Great Wall – so cool how easy it is too meet new people! We went to Kowloon Park together, did a bit shopping in Ladies market in Mong Kok (crazy area with many little crowded streets, market and restaurants) and visited the Botanical garden on Hong Kong Island.
In the afternoon I met with the people from my hostel and the Mexican guy from last evening. We went to “the Peak” together – great place on the top of Hong Kong Island to have a view over the city. We took the bus around 4.30pm so we saw it still by day and night. Afterwards we went to another Couchsurfing event – a big dinner party for good price all you can eat. I haven’t mentioned the most important fact about Hong Kong. It is so expensive compared to rest of China. Only the hostel was about 25€ for one night and no food under 10€. They have also another currency – Hong Kong Dollar but the exchange rate is quite the same (HK$ 8 = 1€). We really enjoyed the dinner because we were so hungry and had great talks to all the different people. Because I was still feeling sick I didn’t go out that night but I planned it for the next one – my last night actually.
On Saturday I met with Rebecca from Couchsurfing (CS) to go to Lantau Island. I took the metro to get there I saw the different islands on the way. It is impressive how much nature there is in Hong Kong, there are a lot of possibilities to hike and relax. We wanted to do a bit hike to the Buddha but after half an hour we decided to go back because it was the worst storm I have ever seen. I thought that day will be good weather because the day before was quite warm and a bit sunny but this day was just really cloudy and in the evening it rained heavily. So in the end we took the bus to the fishing village “Tai O” and I tried the fish balls, famous for Cantonese food – the province where HK belongs to. We even got to the beach, yeah!
In the evening we had some local Cantonese dinner and thought it is different and maybe delicious but I just don’t come along with the Chinese food. I had very thin fried noodles with the special shrimp sauce but that one was more like sand with the taste of fish. Next to it some meatballs which tasted a bit more like plastic – same like the fish balls. Anyways I was really happy to get to know the local food with a local girl. In the night I went out with the people from my hostel and other from the CS dinner event. How special: we went to “The China Bar” in the party district on HK Island and danced until 2 (video on Instagram).
The next day I took the plane to Hanoi, Vietnam – finally a bit of sunshine! I am soo looking forward to Vietnam!