I went up to the travellers hostel in the evening to see if any old faces were still around and found ‘George’ still living there. George is a long term tenant of Chung King Mansions who gets very cagey whenever you ask him about his past. He told me that John the Book had died in March of this year.
The youth hostel at Mount Davis is basic but friendly, but it’s the view that you get which is priceless. I sat until late just enjoying the vista then turned in to crinkly myself to sleep on a thin plastic coated sponge mattress.
In the morning I took a bus to central and joined the throngs breakfasting in McDonalds. Afterwards I took the picture above which is why the sun is so low in the sky.
Hong Kong is my favourite place in the world. Nowehere else do you get that blend of the exotic yet with subtle reminders of home, like the fact that the little bins are the same as the litter bins in London, people speak English, the street names are in English and Chinese and have very British names like Nathan Road, The Peak etc. So it feels homey yet it’s as far away from Streatham as you can get.
I arrived in the morning when we were dumped at a bus stop in Shenzen, I thought we were being dropped off at a ferry terminal, but instead we caught a bus to the train station and hopped on a train. What surprised me was the fact that to all intents and purposes Hong Kong is still a separate country. It has it’s ownbcurrency still with many coins having good old Lizzy on the back of them. I thought they would have at least changed to the Chinese Yuan.
So we busied our way through customs and I arrived in Tsim Sha Tsui in good shape, reunited with my lovely Hong Kong.
I had to do that very Hong Kong things as soon as I arrived which is to go into McDonalds, it’s one of the few places to go where it is not a fortune for a meal and all travellers bump into each other in McStodge.
I then caught a star ferry over the harbour, something I could do over and over again like a dog fetching a stick.
All of the ferries have lovely names like ‘Solar Star’ ‘Twinkling Star’ etc. There is no ‘Freddy Star’ but that’s probably a good thing now isn’t it.
So I get a number 54 bus from Central and head on up the long walk to the YHA at Mount Davis where the view out of the window is that picture at the beginning of this post. Click on it and you’ll see it close up.
I have planned my time here to make the most use of my few days. I am going to relax today in this mountain idyll, spend tomorrow night in Chung King Mansions on Nathan road where I used to stay over 11 years ago when I first arrived in Hong Kong, then on Tuesday night I will go over to Lantau and visit a few of the places I used to know when I lived there for a year. I might even attempt a swim in the waterfall pools.
I love it here, it’s just everything you could want from a place. It is mostly national parks, it has great footpaths, cycle ways, it is civilised in a very English kind of way and the people are quirky and touchy and the food is to die for. It’s just heaven on earth.