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Friday, February 08, 2008

Hong Kong!

I've just put a bunch of photos up over on Flickr of our stopover in Hong Kong. Go see!

As an initial destination on our trip, HK was great: somewhere fairly different from our normal day-to-day life, with lots to see and do for the three days we were there.

I'm sorry to say that, contrary to my expectations, my anxieties about flying have not eased after more than 50 hours in the air over the course of this trip, let alone on the first flight to HK (and my first flight in over a year). So by the time we arrived I was in a slightly dazed state of exhaustion, something which stayed largely true throughout our stay. In fact, it's a state I am currently revisiting, not helped by the fact that the UK has seen fit to slap me with some kind of bloody head cold upon arrival.

But Hong Kong...

It was great. Very busy, very colourful and very much a financial hub. Though the latter doesn't wash as much character out of the place as it does in, say, Singapore. The remnants of it's colonial history are still in evidence, but are fast disappearing under the weight of it's modern role as the financial jewel in China's crown, although presumably thanks to that it is still largely bilingual. It's also obviously a top Chinese tourist spot, the waterfront teeming with tour groups.

Things of Note:
- It's very heavily regulated. I don't know if that's China's influence coming in, but there are signs everywhere telling you what to do and what will happen if you don't, and on several occasions we saw people being stopped and having their papers checked.

- On the other hand there were many open protests against Chinese rule which I assume you wouldn't see on the mainland.
- Lots of markets selling every bloody thing you could hope to find.

- Downtown Tsim Sha Tsui at night is like daytime. I swear, you never saw so much neon in your life.
- Claudia and Morgan were there for a day or so while we were! So we met up for dinner and a wander through one of the night markets.
- Our hotel room was very nice.
- Oh, and we took Fish, our stuffed Gorilla, with us.

Blah, my head is gummy. I'll stop there. In summation: Hong Kong is well worth seeing. We had a great time there, and didn't even really take advantage of the shopping, which appears to be excellent. Go and see the photos!

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