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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Disco Inferno

Where to stay amongst the glitse, the glamour and the marble tiled underground people ways of Hong Kong? Given that the Y.M.C.A. is sixty bucks a night we needed something a little lower market, something like, oh I don't know, the Ballymun Flats perhaps? Enter Chungking and Mirador Mansions (either our first experience of Chinglish or used in the loosest possible sense)! Offering the finest in air conduit views from a blackened window on the twelfth floor we knew we'd found home!

Although at only twenty U.S. dollars a night (by far the most expensive and smallest accommodation so far) we couldn't complain too much and settled in to spend a couple of days relaxing and wandering while organising the Chinese leg of our journey.

The mansions are not actually on Hong Kong island itself, but lie on the tip of the peninsula touching it, in a place called Kowloon. Despite hearing tales of the marvels and splendours of the island, I think that Kowloon is actually a little more fancy smancy. The only way to describe it is as one massive harbour-wide Brown Thomas store, complete with subterranean interconnecting passage-ways.

If you find yourself in Hong Kong with nothing to do around 7:59 any night of the week mosey on over the harbour front on the Kowloon side to see the spectacular light show. Before arriving there we had pictured a sort of mini-fireworks display from the tops of the island buildings; we were wrong. Instead the buildings themselves are lined with L.E.D.s, lights, lasers and all manner of flashing and strobing gizmos!

At times it's hard to appreciate the scale of the choreographed light presentation - it's not a Sony! The only thing I could see missing was an option to play a game of Tetris on a building guarded by a massive King (or Donkey) Kong!

We also managed to nab three geocaches hidden amongst the hills and parks (my Chiang Mai Fakenstock sandals only just up to the job!). A big thanks to Mairead for introducing us to this funky game! As a bonus we discovered two special items (one with a giant iguana attached) which are tracked on www.geocaching.com so we could find out how they arrived in China! Hopefully we'll be able to drop them off somewhere interesting.

A glass of milk and before I knew it we were passing through emigration at a Ferry Terminal to continue on to the airport to catch a flight to Chengdu to watch some B&W versus Red Panda wrestling action ...


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