Tuesday – hot and sunny.
Lets just tell a bit about the Ovolo hotel hotel we checked into last night. Yes it’s in a sleazy area. Yes, like most Hong Kong hotels the room are that small you need to leave your shoes outside. But this place is extraordinary it’s bright and modern; very comfortable; high quality fittings throughout; it has free wifi, SDSL no less at 5 megs, simple to connect to and it works; free continental breakfast that’s got everything you could want; massive flat screen TV; Apple TV; free iPad or WII to borrow; all the toiletries you can imagine; free slippers; free mini-bar, yes it’s stocked with free beers, waters and soft drinks; free tea, coffee, cakes, biscuits and fruit all day; then after 18:00 there’s happi, happi, happi hours – note the plural – when you get free beers, wine or spirits (quality products not local cheapies). No limits, just help your self.
If Apple went into the hotel business this is how I envisaged it would be. Even down to the room miniaturisation.
Forget the sleazy area, forget the small room. It’s amazing and if I’m ever stupid enough to come back to Hong Kong this is certainly where I’ll stay.
By the way if you’re confused and think this blogs been taken over by someone else I can assure you that this is still Victor here.
Enough of the hotel advert and back to our travels.
Up early and catch the MTR into central and go for a walk around as per the guide book. Try to find the Tourist Info office but its moved and there’s not one anywhere to be seen. Apparently they’re discreetly hidden and away from the central area – common sense SNAFU strikes again.
Have a walk to Statue square as per our out of date guide book. Sorry, can’t see the square as its all boarded up getting ready for winterfest. I suppose as its not a Christian country you can forgive them for this excessive PC.
Finally find our way up to the Peak Tram. Catch it up to the peak for stunning views over HK. That’s where they subtly hide one of the tourist offices. Cash only here. Perhaps that explains why they have 1 person serving and 3 people counting the cash up. What Luddites!
Just goes to show nothing’s for ever. Up to 1888 there was a flourish trade in sedan chair carriers taking you up to the Peak. Then along came the tram and the carriers went out of business – move with the times, keep up with the technology.
Then we spot a hop on / off tour bus. Of course if there been a tourist office in central we’d have known about this and saved the cost of the tram, as the bus tour included it.
Hop on the bus and do the green tour down to the South of the Island. Stop off at Stanley – what a coincidence there’s a market there. Nice seaside resort. Break a law of retirement and have a cool, refreshing beer.
Bus tour of the south of the island is so much more pleasant and relaxing than the hustle and bustle of HK Island.
For the evening we catch the Star ferry (free tickets from the bus tour) across to Kowloon TST – don’t expect me to spell it. Have a stroll down Nathan road, the golden mile. It’s bloody awful.
Where do all these people come from? Just can’t believe how many seedy shops there are and yet there’s more Rolex shops
than there are Muslim fundamentalist at a blasphemy riot.
After about two hours we finally manage to find a Chinese restaurant. Full of locals. Have a passable authentic Chinese meal and drinks all for £14.
Visit the Temple Street night market – the objective of our visit down the Nathan Road. More tat and really not worth the effort.
Catch the MTR back. Tired and weary. Thank Dawkins for the free beers in our room.