So our journey begins with an unplanned visit to Hong Kong. With the Air Canada strike due to begin the day we were to fly into Bangkok we took advantage of the no-charge flight change option “Strike Sale” and added two days in Hong Kong. Besides, it’s hard to get your complimentary Pretzel Sticks when 6800 flight attendants take the day off.
Hong Kong is a city full of life, which does not sleep. Each section of the city is distinct from the other which means in a short time we really got to experience different vibes, from trendy upscale to busy street markets. It’s amazing to see the vibes working together, where right off of Queen’s Central Rd. (upscale business people types) there is the Graham St Market, where each side of the road is packed with market style vendors selling fruits, veggies, fish and meats of all kinds – pigs head seemed to be the crowd favorite. Salted duck eggs were also neat to see, but on day one of the trip we thought it best not to jump TOO DEEP into local delicacies. Sitting on a toilet for three days is no way to see Hong Kong! We did eat at McDonald’s one day, which I can still call a cultural experience since it was my first McDee’s with leather chairs…
If I had to describe the city vibe, I would say layered. At one point we counted three metro levels under a busy metropolis, where buildings took over the skyline. Our hostel was located in Mong Kok, which boasts the most people per square kilometer in the world at 130,000!!
But with so many people you think you would always feel crushed. The HKK Metro (MTR) is amazingly run and immaculately clean, the streets are busy but the patches of green space add sanity to the chaos. “Octopus Cards” act as quick tap and go, transactions for anything from subway rides to a bag of chips. Once we figured out the MTR it is amazingly easy to get around the city as well as to and from the Airport.
Being a developed city, things can get pricey but our hostel (glorified closet) was in a great location right off of Nathan Rd. in Kowloon and about $16 CAD a night. The best part was, the shower was literally a hand held shower head which hung on the wall right above the toilet. Our toilet paper had a little plastic bag over it so when you showered you wouldn’t soak your TP AND you cleaned the bathroom at the same time, brilliant!