Hongkong and Macao – a piece of Europe in Asia

When I arrived in Hongkong, a former british colony, it was raining heavily, but  fortunately the exit from the subway was very close to the entrance of the building where my hostel was. It was the famous Chungking Mansion in Nathan Road, the Broadway of Hongkong.

My first impression of the building was quite weird. There were lots of hawkers standing in the main entrance, trying to sell some beds in the different hostels in this big building. Finally I managed to find my hostel, checked in and went to bed quite tired.

The next day I was walking down to the star ferry pier and had some breakfast next to the sea with a perfect view over the skyline of Hongkong. This was one of the moments I’ve been waiting for on this trip: sitting in the sun next to the sea. 🙂

After breakfast I took the famous starferry from Kowloon to Central on Hongkong Island and was walking there. Finally I visited the Hongkong Park with its great Aviary, where many different birds where living. The park seemed a bit weird in the middle of all the skyscrapers, but nevertheless it was good to see some green in the middle of the city. It was time then to get back to my hostel, because I was supposed to meet with Daniel, the IT manager of my old company in Hongkong there.

At 2pm we were meeting in front of the Chungking Mansion and he also brought his wife and his son to see his friend from Austria. We were walking back to the star ferry pier and then along the Star Avenue next to the seaside. All the stars were dedicated to chinese actors and directors. The only two I knew were Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, who also had a statue there. I was talking with Daniel about my trip and he explained me some things about Hongkong and told me, what we’re gonna do this afternoon. We should drive to the Northern Territories and visit the village of Sai Kung. Walking next to the promenade was great: clear water and a great view to the outlying islands. Just next to the promenade there were lots small boats from the fishermen selling their fresh seafood. Quite funny to watch the whole scenery. At the end of the promenade, there were some seafood restaurants. In one of them we had lobster, oyster, crab and some other great animals with sidedishes.

After this great afternoon, it was time to say goodbye to Daniel, but it was good seeing him again.

Back in the hostel I had a short nap and visited the Temple Street Night Market, where different retailers sold their (fake) products. Also there was one sidestreet, full of fortune tellers, but it was not too much going on there. The market itself was great. Lots of colours and different things and people to watch.

After a good sleep in a way to short bed, I took the ferry to Lamma Island, one of the outlying islands, the next day. What I’ve read so far, it has the most beautiful beaches in Hongkong and some good hiking trails. The ferry brought me in 30 minutes to the island. The first impression was quite shocking. I landed in a small fishing village full of shops and restaurants, almost as touristic as the Emei mountain in Sichuan. But after walking for a while, most people stayed at the first beach, I head great views to the sea and found finally a quite nice and quiet beach with hardly any people. In the beginning the water quality was great, but after two hours there was a change of tides and wind and all the garbage from the sea was put on the beach. Nevertheless I was happy to have a great afternoon on the beach. Before going back to the city, I had some seafood at the harbour of one of the villages for dinner. Quite expensive, but it tasted great and the beer was served on ice. Back in Central I walked to the Peak tram, queuing with one million Chinese guys, to get on Victoria Peak. Finally I arrived there and the view down into the city by night I liked a lot. Although I would have had a return ticket for the tram, I decided to walk back down, because of the amount of people waiting in front of the entrance. Most of the trail was in the woods with no or hardly any lights. Nevertheless I made it back home safely and fell asleep soon.

The next day I took the ferry to Macau, a former portuguese colony, just one hour by boat away from Hongkong. Although almost all signs were still in portuguese, I heared nobody speaking portoguese in the city. Some English, but most of it Cantonese. The city itself was funny to visit. A good mixture of former portuguese buildings, lots of Casinos (gambling is legal in Macau) and a good portion of “normal” chinese cities.  The most famous sight of Macau are the ruins of St Paul church, where only the front wall remains. Walking around for more then half a day was enough and I took the ferry back to Hongkong.

On my last day in Hongkong, I was thinking of visiting the Buddha on Lantau Island, or some village at the south shore of Hongkong Island. As I was already quite lazy, I visited Wan Chai, a part of the “old” Hongkong, where I could find many old shops, including sellers for dried seafood, herbals and some chinese medicine. After that I took the midscale elevator up to Soho and then went finally back to the hostel.



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