smokey skies and dizzy heights

Wow I must have been really out of it when I arrived here because I dont even remember writing that last diary entry. slightly worrying seeing as I then wandered the streets of Hong Kong on my own. Well, Im still here! I got over the jet lag fairly quickly and have spent the last few days cramming in all the sights.
On day one I slowly sauntered down Nathan Road, the ‘Golden Mile’ although its more appropriately referred to as ‘The neon mile’ in all the guide books due to all the neon signs that make Hong Kong what it is. I thought trying to navigate down Oxford Street was bad enough but thats nothing compared to trying to weave through all the touts on Nathan Road, ‘Copy watch Mam’, ‘ladies suit’? First stop of the day was the star ferry across to Hong Kong Island. It costs about 20p and you get amazing views of Kowloon and the Island and it takes about 10 minutes to get across. I cant believe how easy it is to get around everywhere. On the first day I made the mistake of walking everywhere not realising how steep the roads are. I Soon learnt how to jump on a bus/tram but my legs are still recovering.

On Hong Kong Island I trekked up a very long hill to get to the Zoological Gardens and it was well worth the struggle. At the very top was a jaguar enclosure with sleeping jags. Other animals I saw includes turtles, flamingos, the ugliest white faced monkeys I’ve ever seen and some gibbons that make the most horrific noise. Sounds like some one sneezing, but very very loudly

I also took a ride on the escalators. Nothing like the escalators you find on the underground stations. This one is 2598 ft long! The problem is that it only goes up hill so I had to walk all the way down hill. No wonder the legs hurt.

On day two I went back over to the main Island with Sherie, an Australin girl in my dorm. She was on her way home back to Perth after travelling Europe for 16 months. We decided to take a bus up to ‘The Peak’ the highest point in Hong Kong where the views are supposed to be amazing. It was a bit hazy but the clearest day so far so we thought, why not. We found ourselves on a bus that drove us to the top along very narrow windy roads. How the bus managed not to topple of the cliff I dont know but we made it even if there were a few branches coming in through the windows. The views really were amazing, we could see the whole of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. To get down again we took the tram. It was a good idea of ours to eat when we got to the bottom because the tram takes a short cut. Straight down the side of the mountain, almost vertical! Felt a bit queasy after that but it was great fun!

Last night I sat on the promenade along the harbour and watched the sky turn a smokey pink behind Hong Kong Island and eventually the mountains melted into the sky. Ah it was so romantic! I walked along the pier watching the neon lights pierce through the haze and found my self on Avenue of Stars. I learnt all about Hong Kong cinema and even stood on Jackie Chans imprinted hands.

Did you know that the first film ever shot in Hong Kong was made in 1909 and called ‘Stealing the Roast Duck’!!!

I’ve missed loads out but I promised you all I’d keep the entries short for easy reading and this is already too long so I’ll leave it there but just mention that my favourite place is Kowloon Park. great for escaping the hustle and bustle but theres loads to see. I thought that there were a few strange people at first who seemed to be walking along clapping hands and doing silly walks, but eventually realised there is a fitness trail there. yes, I did have a go, but the parallel bars were never my strong point. Think I’ve pulled something!

I’m off to Bangkok this afternoon, its only a short flight so it shouldn’t be too trraumatic this time!

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