Hong Kong

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June 24 - July 3, 1997

We took the train to Hong Kong, and got there on the 24th. We wanted to get there early, to make sure we got a room, because the place was going to be flooded with travelers. At the guesthouse we checked into, dorm room were $60 HK. But a sign on the wall said that, if you didn't pay up in advance by the 25th, they were going up to $270.

It was kind of nice to be in a western city again. But it's very expensive. More expensive than Canada.

Hung out in Hong Kong. Went to some museums and parks. Saw some movies. Ate at McDonald's (the only reasonably priced food in town).

Went to Macau for the day. It wasn't very interesting, unless you like to gamble, and the gambling tables have a very high minimum bet. I don't think I'll bother going back for their handover.

On the afternoon of the handover, when Yves and I were checking out the HMS Britania, we ran into Mark, one of the guys we'd come from Nepal to Tibet with. He had arrived in Hong Kong the day after we did, and was staying at a guesthouse in the same building as us.

On handover night we went down to the harbour to watch the fireworks. There were 400,000 people packed into way too small a strip along the harbour. I was getting very claustrophobic, working my way through the crowd. Then it started to rain, and everyone's umbrella's came out, and it was even worse. If things got out of control, people would be trampled.

But we finally found a spot where we could see not too badly. The fireworks were pretty good.

After the fireworks were over, we took the ferry across the harbour. As we were watching the Britania leave, I ran into Rene and Kris, the Dutch couple we'd gone to Tibet with. They were flying to Singapore the same day as me.

The next night was the Chinese fireworks. We took the tram up Victoria Peak. All the observation decks were full, so we hopped a wall, and sat on a ledge on the other side. Eventually the security guards found us, but they decided to let us stay, as long as no one else came up. The view was perfect, looking down the harbour. And the fireworks were spectacular. The Chinese went all out. However, the laser show never materialised. Apparently one of the barges caught fire.

The next day Rene and Kris checked into our guesthouse. And the next morning I flew to Singapore.

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Last updated: March 13, 2007