Nyarth in Hong Kong 2010 – Day 0/1

I finally posted it.

Please note that this is my first travel/overseas post and while having viewed and read a few blogs which frequently consist about them (DannychooFabriceNecro’s…etc), I seem to have a little experience with them. And also I’m splitting my posts into days due to the large batches of photos I want to show. I tried abridging them but I did the best I could, and got it down from an average of 237 per day to around 100. I’ll post the ones I left out I deemed unimportant some place else in the near future.

Obligatory slideshow.

But anyway lets get this show under way.

Intro

My time in Hong Kong started on the 27th July and all the way to the 31st, I know too short to stay in a country that’s 3/4 around the world! Hate to break it to you but in more detail I actually spent pretty much on the 27th and the 28th on the friggin’ plane flying to HK. However due to a certain violent thunderstorm taking place in HK at the time the pilot of the plane had to fly all over the place above Hong Kong International Airport to ensure landing was safe as hell, which the time above air was quite choppy than usual that made 17% of the passengers on-board yack’d out all the crappy air plane food, including me :<

A fairly accurate diagram of the flight imo.

Just so you know, the air plane crew me and my folks went on was Cathay Airlines, Economy Class.

So yeah, after “safely landing” to HK another obstacle risen. Since the said thunderstorm was still going on, it was apparently stated that driving to the parking space for the air plane was too dangerous as it could be struck with lightning. So naturally the plane was literally stranded right where we landed and rolled to for 3 long hours only when the thunderstorm settled down and we were able to get out, which was right in the middle of the take-off and destination grounds. So we had to wait for another half hour for buses to arrive at the scene to pick us up and drive us all to the airport, but on the bright side we got the chance to walk down the stairs you usually see Obama or any celebrity or your nation’s Football/Soccer team looking victorious or defeated walk up or down on/off the plane. The stairs were actually quite steep so it’d took more time for the elderly since they needed support. Sucks for the disabled since they had to wait for everyone to get off so that they get a special way to get off.

Obligatory air plane pics;

Luckily at Heathrow airport there were dozens of Duty Free shops open to passengers waiting for their flights, which was also a good way to kill some time before taking off.

Never there was a Harrods in Heathrow o_O

Now the question is, WHO would buy a £1652.10 life-size bear just before going abroad??

Reminds me of a certain railgun…

Place had a electronics store (Dixons) which offered Macs to play on, sadly no internet access for the Macs…

Though they did had internet access for the iPads/iPhones :D

Ah, my flight.

Watched the finale of the Liar Game Movie for my 8-hour long flight, sadly after I was too tired and fatigued to do anything on the monitors…

Airport food was rather average. Perhaps the preservation on board was crap.

Looking-out-of-the-window pics!! I was above Russia..? when I took this.

This was when I was above China. Reminds me of Flyff and Final Fantasy XII with the open fields…

Many currencies of money. (WASN’T TOO SURE WHY I HAD 100 Euros…

But anyhow that was the ever-so-interesting story of my first time arriving to Hong Kong, and that was only the start.

tl;dr – So basically I had 3 full days (29th-31st), a half day (28th) and a morning (1st August) when I was leaving for Vietnam.

It was also my first birthday-day to be totally ignored :<

With that aside lets get on with the meaty part of this post!

So first things first, where I actually trolled around HK, well here’s an overall map of where I set foot on…

Statistics show that I visited 37% of the mini country, INEXCUSABLE!!

In a overall summary which I shall talk into detail soon;

– Day 0 was basically travelling from the Hong Kong International Airport (which was a whole island on and of itself) all the way to Mong Kok, the “headquarters” if you will, where I mainly stayed.
– Day 1 (first whole day) me and my folks frolicked around the streets of Mong Kok.
– Day 2 we pretty much the same thing but went to another area and got to ride the subway.
– Day 3 was rather different as we leave the hustle and bustle of the big city for Lantau Island where we met the Big Buddha.

Day 0

First thing I had in HK, ICED Coffee.

Also my first HK traditional Roast Port and Char Siu. Roasted pork was rather too brittle compared to the pork in the UK and the Char Siu was delicious.

The stuff my folks had.

On the 28th (which I call day zero) we only literally walked on HK grounds at around 6pm. That evening me and my folks met up with my mothers old friend who lives in HK, which he was basically our tour guide for the whole stay. We simply just had dinner in some extremely narrow Chinese restaurant in Mong Kok after getting out of the Airport. The tables and seats were narrow as well but at least they had some fancy ornaments on the walls ^^

After which we took a quick walk in the streets of Mong Kok, I believe there was a certain street where it all consisted of selling Pets, Fishes and Animals and many things for them. Also quite surprised at how dark it got despite being Summer and 7pm-8pm-ish, if it were in the UK it’ll still be light out until 10pm!

Finally at 9pm-ish we went to book our hospitality at the Metro Park Hotel in Mong Kok. The place appears to be 3 stars from what I heard and the suites are surprisingly rather decent. If any of you readers are planning to go to HK then I would in a way suggest Metro Park as your recommended Hotel, that is if you like rather sturdy beds and if you have quite a lot of money in your pockets. Standard stay per night in a standard twin room starts at around HK$1280 (that’s $165/£105).

Nice conventional TV with cable along with a large ass mirror that seems to be staring at me each night.

Unpacking, realised how much crap I didn’t really need I’d brought along…

The suite offered some bottled drinks costing HK$10. Unfortunately an obvious rip-off since you could easily get bigger bottles of this same brand over at 7Eleven (which is across the street of the hotel) for only HK$7. Oh tourism…

The 7Eleven in question, takin from 7 stories above.

The hallway, was rather silent than rowdy.. But you could hear some quiet light piano music coming from the unoccupied rooms, waste of electricity in my opinion…

The toilet, clean all, but hate the fact that the water in the basin is 3/4 full, which is a pain if you want to take a dump since… well I’ll just let you think of the consequences…

Watchin’ sum cable TV…

Looking outside out suite’s window, btw the window was completely tinted making it impossible to see what’s outside and you can’t even open it, despite being handles for it. Though there was a little patch at the bottom left un-tinted letting you see through, I can see why they did that.

The beds. Rock hard as hell.

Day 1

Now you may have realised since I’m from the UK (+0GMT) and now that I’ve travelled to HK (+8GMT) that I haven’t shown any signs of jetlag. Well, it DID happen. The first night we stayed in the hotel. I literally didn’t get any second of sleep while lying on the bed. With the TV on to kill a bit of my boredom. I tried many positions on the bed to at least get an hours of sleep. I failed miserably. The time in HK was 2am in the morning, the time was 6pm in my body clock.

As I realised, it was already 5am and I was still wide awake, so what better to do than to stroll down to 7Eleven at 4:46am in the morning and buy some cup ramen and a few drinks such as CC Lemon for breakfast? Yeah me too… how jet lag can make you do crazy things eh…

I also got to see the new series of Chibi Maruko-chan airing on TVB (of course, it was dubbed into Cantonese) which bring back a bit of nostalgia to me since I used to watch Maruko-chan when I was a lad, though back then it was the original first series…

Episode was about Maruko and her friends talking about taking baths and how Maruko was still like a kid since she still takes them with her dad. Oh Maruko-chan!

Also quite surprised to see a scene (above) where it fully shown Maruko-chan in the nude. Though the art is drawn in a skeptical way, isn’t this considered CP to a certain activist group…?

Well here’s a video I took of the opening sequence, conveniently they did a remastering of one of the popular known Maruko opening song.

Bibara birara~ oh good times…

Now getting outside of the hustle and bustle of the big (not big-big, but big) city of Mong Kok, there several things I realised which were anew to me and how it impacted on myself.

1. The HEAT (and HUMIDITY)

Once I stepped outside at 9am in the morning on the first day, I literally shook from how freakin’ hot the temperature was outside! Heck, even at 4-5am when I went out to 7Eleven as hot (and also HUMID) as it was in the morning! Looking at the weather, I realised how hot 32-35 degrees Celsius really was. In the UK the hottest weather I remember peaked at 30 degrees, but that was only for a day and I didn’t really get to fully feel it. Even so it felt like I was about to suffocate due to the intense humidity and heat. Oh pollution in HK… I wonder how the air quality in HK really is.

2. The SMELL

Pretty much the same as the heat and humidity, around EVERY CORNER and street, I realised it will always have some kind of strong odour and smell that just makes it even harder for me to breathe. Of course, it appears it has no effect on the people that live in HK since they’ve been accustomed to it for a long time, but for tourist and visitors like me, well…you guess. Even after three days I came to understand that each area and street has it’s own distinct smell, but I shall not go into further detail into that, as it’ll get rather unrelated to this post.

3. The TRAFFIC (and) LIGHTS

Annoying as hell. I realised after several hours in HK how there is this ringing sound like the same sound you hear in Pac Man coming out of the traffic lights. When it rings full-on, it means that the vehicles have stopped and the pedestrians are able to cross, when the ringing goes on and off sounding like it’s about to fade, it means the vehicles are about to take off, informing the pedestrians to hurry up if their life depended on it. I also realised at how NEATLY the cars, buses and trucks park when it’s the stop light. They literally park ON the line of the pedestrian walk lined across the road ALL THE TIME, meaning anyone who walks on the passing line could get bumped on their sides from the buses or cars. Heck it almost happened to me since I was walking at the side to avoid the crown of people, I thought the bus was gonna ram me over! Back in the UK, all the drivers seem to be less neat than HK drivers as they park several 10cms away from the line, allowing people to walk on the sidelines. Honestly…

4. PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Not really made a major impact compared to the ones above, but still left an impression. I swear public transport don’t have any sense of respect towards its passengers. Case in point, when me any my parents walked up to the guy in the counter in the subway to get our transport cards (loaded with money so that we could use the underground trains) he had the most grumpy and arrogant face I’d seen in HK and didn’t really talked much to us to make anything clear. Luckily we had my mum’s friend to tell us all the details. And another point is when we took the bus, there was a sign above the bus driver that said it was an offence to HK laws to TALK to the bus driver in anyway, and that you could get a fine or even go to prison if you do. Okaay so we pay on the fair in the bus, go where we want to go and scram? No gratitude towards the bus driver? So what about if there was this suspicious person and was going all over on me (hypothetically speaking), I have no one to go to for help? Heck when we got off the last stop and got out I saw the bus driver face the opposite side and went on his phone. I just think it’s quite wrong to put a law in that it’s a offence if you make any contact to the bus driver in any way, sure I can understand if it only applies to when they’re driving, but not of they’re making a stop or if you need any help or anything. Back in the UK, we all have to say thanks to the driver of the bus for the lift, otherwise you’ll be condemned as being unrespectful and be shunned. Really though…

With all the trivial matters aside, for the first day in HK we literally just walked around the streets, shops and the cramped marketplace (including Ladies Market Street..haha) selling 100% unauthorised and unofficial AND fakes at considerably cheap prices. Also went to the “tech tower” as they say, with 4 or 5 stories selling nothing but gadgets, well they are vendor machines to quench your thirst but that’s exactly about it. Was considering to get my iTouch here, but my was worried that it might be fake and that we have to pay extra to the inspectors at the airport so we decided to but it back in England…same also goes for the WACOM I was considering to get, but it appeared to be expensive than it is back in the UK…

But anyway enough of my baffling on, here’s some pics to sooth your brain from my distraught ranting;

Had some dim-sum for breakfast at this fancy restaurant in some plaza, forgot which one though.

Some scenery of the streets of HK…

Lunch time! Simply had some of the said Melon-pan along with some Cola.

Realise the difference of Cola cans in various countries…

Notice the engrish…?

Aji Ichiban was like everywhere in HK… along with 7Eleven, Mannings and Sasa.

Waiting to cross…

And little did I knew, it was already sundown and was already getting dark… by the way it was only 5pm. At that time we decided to get back to the hotel for a but of rest.

After the first day out I brought several things from stands and the marketplace.

Everything I brought on the first day.

Hobby Japan was the most featured thing I brought as it had the Black Rock Shooter figure on the front cover. Realised at how literal HK publishing this is since its the HK version of the Hobby Japan magazine in…Japan. They simply just got rid of the Japanese text and just translated it into Chinese.

Some pages you might find interesting…

At 7pm-ish, me and my folks had some dinner at this restaurant in the Pioneer Plaza. They have a lot of plazas in HK, and also in Vietnam, whill I’ll explain when I get to it.

Again with the roast pork, still rather stale and dry in my opinion…sufficed with a few drops of soy sauce though. By the way roast pork is one of my favourite dishes :D

After dinner of which we walked around Pioneer Plaza, being so big and all that and the fact that it was so close by our hotel…

Also caught a bit of shots of night life in HK, kinda grainy quality, but that’s just my Hitachi digital camera. Appears it works well with bright lighting but no so good with dark. Got it in ’06 by the way, I need a new camera…

Shot of my hotel, tried to get it all into the frame which made me take in the most awkward position and angle one couldn’t imagine.

At 7Eleven outside our hotel, had a lot of stands outside to attract customers…

I swear U-Tokyo Magazine was everywhere, just trivia I finally got a copy in the last day, just spoiling…

And so completes my first day coverage of my visit to Hong Kong! Had a reasonably enjoyable time there (and also tiresome as I didn’t any moments of sleep) and also finally was able to sleep soundly on the second night.

Until the next post…I may say.

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