Getting from the airport to the mainland is really straightforward. There’s an airport train that runs from the airport through to Hong Kong Island, stopping off at Kowloon on the way, where our hotel, The Day and Night hotel, is located.
At this time, 8am, the streets of Kowloon were still pretty quiet, which was confusing for us, because of our jet lag making us believe it was much later. The Day and Night hotel is situated on a very lively Nathan Road, in a tower block full of other hotels and hostels. Nathan road is a great location to be in, as it’s walking distance to pretty much wherever you will want to go. Outside on the ground floor are rows and rows of small little shops, guarded by vulture salesmen that swarm in on you one after the other, trying to convince you to buy their bags or watches or street food. Smells of curries and ocean water fill the air.
We cracked up when we realised our hotel room was nothing like it has been advertised. We spent the first couple of hours taking it in turns to open our bags as there wasn’t enough room for both and kept having to move around each other to get past. It hasn’t bothered us in the slightest though- it’s been hilarious and things like this are all part of the experience; as long as we have somewhere to rest our heads it doesn’t really matter.
Despite barely being able to keep our eyes open we decided to go and explore the city. We spoke in silence, overwhelmed as we floated past huge skyscrapers and apartment blocks, too big for your eyes to take in. We walked through subways and traffic and past all kinds of stores from upmarket clothing brands to handmade goods.
We reached the end of a pier, by the Avenue of Stars, facing Hong Kong Island and it was such a nice sight. It was blatant that the city ahead had purposely been designed to face in our direction; its advertisements staring straight at us. It didn’t look real, it was like a giant cardboard cut-out. The foggy atmosphere gave it a misty tone like an Instagram filter.
One thing that had really helped us out, especially when getting around, is that almost EVERYTHING has English translation underneath the Cantonese/ Mandarin. So if that is something you would be concerned about, then there’s nothing to worry about.
After returning to our hotel for a nap (our jet lag got the best of us and everything started to feel really surreal), we headed back out to get some food.
It’s crazy what a difference the time had made to the previously quiet streets, which were now hustling and bustling with locals and tourists, workers and shoppers. The vibe had gone from being slightly eerie, to buzzing. With its high number of buses, busy streets and tall buildings, Hong Kong has a lot in common with London, yet the sensation is completely different.
We pondered about different restaurants until we came across a 24hr place called ‘Uncle 4’, where we ate traditional Asian food- Udon seafood noodles for me and Satay beef noodles for Jen. Both of us had a cold Budweiser on the side. The staff were friendly and we had a lovely window seat where we could watch the world go by.
Following this, we stopped back off at the Pier to admire the light show from across the water. I cannot get over how amazing Hong Kong looks when lit up. The lights from the buildings collectively resembles glitter from a distance.