Ocean Park, the original Hong Kong theme park

I visited Ocean Park, the original Hong Kong theme park. This was on the recommendation of my Hong Kong colleagues who recommended that I don’t visit Hong Kong Disneyland because it’s small. They’re right though, the one in Shanghai is four times bigger. Though I’m not sure why a bigger Disneyland is better, just means more people, and further to walk.

Before going in I saw a 7-11 selling boxes of water for $9 HKD. I thought, maybe, maybe not, I was so excited, I couldn’t wait, so I just went in. Turns out, buy the water before entering, or else pay three times the price in the park.

But anyways, for $488 HKD or $88NZD-ish, you too could be there. The bottom park of the park consists of the aquarium, old Hong Kong, and all the boring exhibits. I mean let’s be real, those places only exist to soak up time. All the fun rides were up the top.

Ocean Park is split into two areas, the bottom area, and a top area. The bottom area is like Kelly Tarltons. The top area is like Rainbow’s End. They’re separated by a very big hill that has a gondola ride between the two. I waited in a long snaking line for the gondola. This was at 10.15am, the park had only opened 15 minutes earlier. When I arrived at the line it was a 30 minute wait. About 20 minutes later, it was a 45 minute wait. I can’t imagine what it would be like when the park was full.

While in line I did a little vlogging. This caused great amusement for the kids in front of me who were trying to subtly take a picture of me using their iPhone. I saw, and pulled the obvious peace sign pose. We all had a laugh. They were tall asians. I thought they were from Hong Kong. Since I was in the same gondola as them, we got to talking, and turns out they were from the Philippines and loved vlogging. I didn’t realise that the Philippines had tall people! I’m just saying, I’m 5 ft 4, and I tower over my mum.

Anyways, it was a nice open gondola ride, with open windows, which made it nice to smell the ocean, and feel the breeze. And I didn’t lose my camera out the window which was good. Since it’s not my camera. Thanks Kelvin for lending me your camera ­čśë

The top part had a few rides, including the boring ones for little kids, and the hardcore ones for people who like to be held by their shoulders and swung upside down three times. Rather than the inverted superman-style rollercoaster, I went for the water-based rides. First, there was a rapids style ride that promised you will get wet, and you may get soaked. I was like whatever, I’m not paying $8NZD for a raincoat. I got soaked. But it was cheating, they have little pipes of water squirting at you! The rapids didn’t soak me, all the water pipes did! Thankfully, I was wearing all my gym gear, short shorts, and jandals, so they all dried immediately.

All those rides take photos of you looking weird, and sell them for $20 NZD. I normally buy one, really as a reminder of being overseas, not as a reminder of me being on a wonky rapid ride. I also did a log plume ride which was pretty similar, pretty fun. I did a few tower rides, and then it was time for lunch.

Food prices in these parks are eye watering. Oh, want a Turkey drumstick? That’s $12. Or a six inch sub? $12. $12 seemed to be the default food charge for anything. Ice cream? $8. Soft drink? $6.

Thankfully, there was a McDonald’s in the park selling more normally priced food. They sell spicy wings here called McWings, four for $4.50 NZD, which I think was pretty reasonable. After a good meal, I realised I’d reached my maximum enjoyment from the themepark. It was 2pm, I’d be there four hours. That’s enough, I needed to escape. Turns out they’re so fancy, they’ve got a train going back down the hill, so you don’t have to wait for the gondola. You fancy Ocean Park.

That was it, I escaped back to the MTR station. Do I recommend it, yes. 8 out of 10, minus one for the food prices, so 7 out of 10. Well done.

Walking the hard way over Mt. Cameron in Hong Kong

One of Hong Kong’s original theme parks is Ocean Park. It’s a combination of Kelly Tarlton’s aquarium, with Rainbow’s End rides. With a new MTR station opening outside, it’s a 17 minute ride on the subway.

Or you could do it like I did, with a 2 hour walk up and over Mt. Cameron, and back down through some of the rainforests covering the hills behind Wan Chai on Hong Kong island.

From the back of Wan Chai, walk up Wan Chai Gap Road. This is steep, pretty much straight up. Thankfully, there’s grooves in the concrete so you don’t slip. Which was important to me, considering I was wearing jandals. Now I know that jandals aren’t really hill climbing gear, but when it’s 26 degrees and raining, I just didn’t want to be walking around in soggy shoes. I hate hot feet, hot sweaty feet, and making them soggy doesn’t improve that for me.

You’ll then reach a park. I saw people doing exercise which was pretty cute. I thought, thankfully, I’d made it. Turns out, I’d made it about 20% up the hill! This was a little disheartening. On the plus side, my body was getting a workout that I hadn’t had in ages! Onwards up the hill.

At the end of Wan Chai Gap Road is where the mist started. You’re now up so high that you’re in the clouds. I didn’t mind, the heat got a little less hot, the air a little less sticky, and walking conditions got better.

From here, it’s the start of Middle Gap Road. This is the road where some of the most expensive houses in Hong Kong exist. You may be wondering – surely how much could a place cost? Well, a five bedroom house costs $157K NZD. In rent. Per month. That’s only a cool $1.9M NZD per year to rent.

Ironically, because of this, all the houses were surrounded by vast barbed wire fences, and guards. It made me feel like they were very expensive prisons.

At the end of Middle Gap Road was the start of Hong Kong Sec Trail 4. This was a pretty rural area, there was just no one around. It was kinda scary really, in the sense that in Hong Kong there’s everyone everywhere. Someone’s always in your grill, and you just kinda get used to it. So when you’re the only person on a trail going down the side of a mountain, it makes you wonder, why isn’t anyone else around? Oh yeah, signs saying, watch out, Dengue Fever’s a thing, so wear long clothing. I’m wearing a t-shirt and shorts, and jandals. Should have bought some DEET.

Turns out, that was one of the nicer trail bits I was on! At the bottom of that was the start of Lady Clementi’s Ride. This makes it sound fancier than it was, which was basically a water canal on the side of a mountain. No fences, if you fell in the canal, there’s 2m of sloped concrete to try and scramble out of. Oh, and still no one around.

I dutifully followed Google Map’s instructions. Put on the headphones. Listened to Future Island’s Ran. It was pretty pleasant, saw some interesting butterflies. Reached the turnoff in Google Maps. It was straight into a bush down a hill! I was not amused. That was not a turn off. So then I decided to keep walking along Lady Clementi’s Ride until I saw another track. I turned off which then turned into a steep scramble down the side of a hill, then into dense bush, that turned into denser bush. My spider senses were tingling saying, hmm, this doesn’t seem like the normal way to get to Ocean Park.

So I turned around, went back up the hill, back to the main path / water canal, and walked along that until the end, where I saw a tunnel. Oh, so that’s where death lives. Thankfully, it was also near the road, which I had never been so thankful to see. A quick walk down the hill, and back to civilisation of BMWs and Mercedes Benz and Teslas driving by.

Wan Chai and Novotel Century Hong Kong Review

From Hong Kong International Arrivals, there’s three key things to do – get a sim card, get an Airport Express ticket, and get an Octopus card.

Getting a sim card is easy, I recommend the China Mobile stand between Arrival Hall A and B. There’s a pack that costs $88 HKD, and then allows you to register for 10 days of unlimited 3G (384kbit/sec) data for $40 HKD or so. That leaves some money for a couple of phone calls as well!

You can buy the Airport Express ticket to Hong Kong┬ástation for $100 HKD. They accept credit card, so that’s useful. If you want an Octopus card for the MTR, you can get that here as well, but you can only pay in cash, which is well, unhelpful. I’m used to New Zealand where cards and EFTPOS is king, carrying cash is a pain!

24 minutes later, and you’ll be at Hong Kong station. There’s also a free shuttle bus to a bunch of hotels, including the Novotel Century in Wan Chai which is where I’m staying, so that was super helpful.

Check in was super smooth, and being air conditioned meant I didn’t have to sweat any more than necessary. Through some credit card shuffling, I was a member of the hotel’s top status tier which offered the perks of free breakfasts, afternoon teas, and cocktails and nibbles, as well as a gym / pool, internet, etc.

The room itself was big and spacious, but plain. I did enjoy the free orange and apple provided. That was nice. When I left the room and came back, I saw that there was a turndown service. This is where someone prepares the bed for you, opens the blankets a little, and provides you with slippers. I guess it’s nice, it just feels a bit weird that someone’s been in your room after you’ve left. I use the bed as a storage space, so don’t judge me hotel person!

I did a bit of walking from Sheung Wan to Wan Chai, about 3km, and took about an hour. Walking through Wan Chai starts with ladies bars, which is not bars just for ladies, but bars that have ladies that dance in them. Well, not normal bars with ladies who dance, but ladies who dance for money. You know what I mean. This then turned into British pubs, that were full of what I assume were British men. The football was on, the pints were flowing, it was like I was in London. Then finally, Wan Chai turned into a bathroom supply store. Just shops and shops of marble, light fixtures, locks, it was so bizarre. I guess what amused me was how distinct each little area was. It was like 6 ladies bars, 6 English pubs, 6 marble stores, 6 lock stores. However, that’s probably better than if they were all jumbled together.

I understand why Singapore’s Changi Airport is the best!

Before I talk about Changi, I want to talk about airline seats. In my previous blog I mentioned I was in row 31. This is a great row because you get about 5 feet of leg room. The reason why? That’s where the bassinet goes. And what goes in bassinets? Babies. My first flight was sans-baby, and so I had heaps of relaxing. This flight was the first flight for a new baby, and that baby was not a happy chappy. However, you can’t complain. That space exists for families with kids. It’s a tradeoff. You want the legroom? You might get someone screaming at you. Don’t want the legroom? Head to the back for peace and quiet.

Anyways, it’s not hard to see why Singapore’s Changi Airport is rated best in the world. All airports are unfamiliar and familiar at the same time. They have the same sorts of signs, the same sorts of directions. But yet, their layouts are different, their procedures are different, their shops and languages are different.

Landing at Changi, there were big electronic signs at my arrival gate in the B area, telling me what gate my next flight was from. Helpfully, signs also tell you how far away that is by walking – in my case walking to gate A3, up to 20 minutes away. Considering I only had an hour stopover in Singapore, I got my powerwalk on.

Turns out, Powerwalked too much, and was there with like an hour to spare. I guess my arrival flight was super early. There’s a big gate lounge that allows entry into 5 or so gates, and that’s also where security was. There’s also nothing in the gate lounge except water, a small drink store, and toilets, so there’s no need to rush into the gate lounge.

Instead there’s a few interesting things to see that aren’t just another Rolex store. Like the Koi Carp pond, a relaxing space unless you hate fish. Like a certain person I know. But where I derived my most joy and pleasure from was the free foot massager machines. Since it was 5.30am and no one was around, I was on that machine for about 30 minutes straight. And it was fantastic. After a long flight, my feet always swell up a little, and they look like they’ve been stung by a bee. It’s not an attractive look. So there’s no better way to calm a sensitive foot than a wee foot massage.

There’s all your other normal things you’d expect in an airport, including a Dunkin’ Donuts, and a Carlsberg Sports Bar. While it’s always tempting to have a wee chug-a-lug at 6am in the morning, restraint got the better of me and instead I settled for a walk around the airport.

And all of this was just at one Terminal – Terminal 3. There’s another two terminals! I think it just goes to show how massive this place is, or maybe how small Wellington is.

Commuting through Canberra – worth it?

I’m sitting in a transit lounge in Canberra Australia writing this, so here’s my trip experience.

Singapore Airlines have a Capital Express flight from Wellington New Zealand, via Canberra Australia, to Singapore. It’s flying one of their well-worn Boeing 777-200 planes, which is the largest regular plane flying to Wellington.

The boarding experience was a little confusing, which was surprising, considering it was the only international flight leaving Wellington Airport at that time. The gate staff seemed flustered, which was also surprising, since it was still the only flight. Maybe they just don’t get a lot of practice.

What I don’t understand is, why do people crowd around waiting to jump onto the plane? These days everyone boards in groups, and normally you don’t board until your group is called. Except for those people who pretend like they don’t understand how groups or numbers work, and turn up straight away to board, regardless of any process.

Anyways, onboard the plane, it’s really spacious. Before I flew I checked out Seatguru for Singapore’s 772 plane. For Economy, it recommended row 31 since there’s lots of legroom. Turns out there’s massive amounts of legroom. With my legs fully outstretched, there was still another foot or so before touching the wall in front. Just amazing. And the seats were a good width too.

However, you could see that the plane was old when you used the In Flight Entertainment System. The screen was no bigger than my outstretched hand, was not a touch screen, and oh yeah, the back of the controller was a portable telephone. A telephone! When I viewed the Flight Information, it looked like I was watching an old VHS video tape recording of Flight Information that had been dubbed off a mate, and copied onto this tape. It was woeful. As was the sound system, the mids were really loud, but there was no bass or treble, which makes Meghan Trainor sad.

What made me happy was the food. Peanuts to start with, then pulled pork as a starter, followed by lamb stew with fresh peas, carrots, and potatoes. I don’t even like peas and I liked these ones!

Here’s a pro tip – you can ask for cocktails on board. The signature one is a Singapore Sling. It’s pretty strong, and awfully red.

Landing in at Canberra 4 hours later, it’s not a long flight. It’s long enough that I started to get tired, but considering it departs again at 11pm Canberra time, there’s really not much point to sleeping on board this stop. Next stop is Singapore, 8 hours. But would I fly this way again? Yes! I think it’s a good way to break up a long trip.

A Window of the World in Shenzhen China

Here’s a travel tip – use Google Translate, and download the offline translation. Then, you can press the camera button, and it’ll translate Chinese into English, and overlay lay it on top of the view you’re looking at. It’s amazing, and very helpful.

Anyways, the Shenzhen Metro is pretty straightforward with English signs and announcements. We caught Line 1 from Luohu Station towards Window of the World Station.

Our whole goal for Shenzhen was to go to Window of the World. This is a Chinese theme park dedicated to the world. Once you’ve gone here, you no longer have to actually visit the world. Probably.

But first, it was time for some Chinese KFC. I ordered a couple of bits of Chicken, as well as some Green Pepper Breast, and some Sticky Chicken wings. I didn’t eat it all, but I did taste it, and my reviews were mixed. Everything tasted a little weird. The Green Pepper Chicken Breast was the nicest, and was like a Wicked Wing chicken breast. But still, it didn’t taste as nice as New Zealand. Don’t even get me started on the ethical treatment of these chickens, I don’t imagine they had the happiest lives.

Anyways, back to this weird theme park. It has a one third scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, and there’s hundreds of miniature world attractions within the park.

The real attraction however, is the Chinese quality within the park. All of the exhibits are ‘close-enough’ to being nice, but aren’t actually nice. I mean, the maintenance is just woeful. We went past a miniature Buddhist temple in Asia, and one of the little monk people didn’t have a head! He was headless in a temple! Seriously. Probably worse was seeing the Manhattan skyline and the two World Trade Centers. I’m not sure if news travels slow in Shenzhen, but ever since September 2011, this exhibit has been culturally wrong. Heck, some of the buildings on faux-Manhattan were rusting, didn’t have sides, super dirty. It was like if Manhattan had been abandoned by humans, and this is what was left 300 years later.

For $30, we rented this luxury golf cart to go around the the theme park. It’s pretty large, going at 5kmh, it took 40 minutes to go around the park, without looking at any exhibits. This was the most fun we’d had in ages, in our golf cart, looking at fake attractions around the world, I don’t think I’ve ever had a more modern Chinese experience.


Getting stuck at the border in Shenzhen China

Shenzhen China is about an hour away on the subway from Hong Kong, so we arranged for a tour guide to meet us there and show us around the city.

I didn’t realise that Hong Kong (and I’m guessing Shenzhen) doesn’t really start until 11am, so when I planned this at home, I decided 9am at the Lo Wo Border crossing would be a good time. Turns out it’s super early. We walked to Prince Edward MTR station, and then connected through to the MTR East Rail Line, which goes directly to Lo Wo. It’s a 40 minute train ride, pretty uneventful, though with beautiful views of the tree-covered hills and mountains of the New Territories of Hong Kong.

I’d done a bunch of reading about how to do the border crossing to China, and the process is a bit tricky. If you’re from New Zealand, you need a visa to enter China. Normally, you apply for one while you’re in New Zealand, send your passport in the mail, pay the $140 NZD, and then get your passport back with a visa in it. However, Shenzhen is a special economic area, which offers a five day visa at the land border, for a cost of 168 RMB, or $34 NZD.

First, exit the MTR station. Next, do currency exchange. The Chinese Renminbi or RMB is the currency of China, so exchange your Hong Kong Dollars here. The ratio is close enough to one-to-one (technically 1 RMB = 1.13 HKD). Now, go through Hong Kong Border Security. This next bit is so important, it gets its own paragraph.

Grab your Hong Kong entry slip. You can’t get a Chinese visa without it.

So, as you can imagine, we didn’t grab these. Now, we had our NZ Passports with no record of ever being in Hong Kong. If all of that seems weird, Hong Kong (and Macau) don’t stamp your passport with entry or exit stamps. Instead, you get a little slip of paper with your name printed on it which counts as your permission to be in the country. When we left Macao Kathryn didn’t have her slip after Border Control. We thought that Hong Kong might be bothered, but turns out they don’t care.

Turns out the Chinese Border cares heaps! So anyways, we walk from Hong Kong across the Lo Wu Bridge. There’s a handful of duty free stores. Next, there’s a sign for Foreigners. Follow that, then swing a hard left, and go up these random escalators. Then fill in a little form, press a button, and wait to get your five day port visa.

This is where it went wrong for us. We didn’t have our Hong Kong entry slip, so the lady shooed us away. We were then told to go to immigration person. We explained what happened, and the lady took our passports. It was about now that Kathryn had a pretty uneasy look on her face. She doesn’t feel happy when she’s at a border without her passport. I had a fatalistic attitude. I mean, what could we do? We’re stuck between Hong Kong and China, with no passport. Can’t really do much!

What had happened was the Chinese immigration person had sent the passports back to the Hong Kong side to get the Hong Kong entry slip. Unfortunately, they only grabbed Kathryn’s one, and so, we had to walk back to the Hong Kong side. There’s a border guard to stop people doing this, so we had to show our passports to him. On the Hong Kong side we explained what happened, and a border guard printed a new copy of my entry slip, without having to enter the border. Now, with both slips, we walked back to the visa office, with our forms, slips, and 168 RMB.

10 minutes later, we had our visa! We crossed through the border, and that was it, we were in Shenzhen China. Unfortunately, this took about an hour, and we were 20 minutes late to the meeting point with our private tour guide. She was nowhere to be found. We did email her, but alas. So we were exploring Shenzhen on our own.


Walking Kowloon, catching the bus to Stanley, and feeling ill – Hong Kong

Kathryn and I decided to go on a walking tour, so we headed towards Mong Kok station and then walked south along Nathan Road towards Tsim Sha Tsui.

While there’s MTR stations nearly everywhere, Hong Kong isn’t that big in size, especially towards Kowloon Peninsula. The walk from Mong Kok to Tsim Sha Tsui is only 2.5km, and took about 45 minutes. On the journey we saw a few different neighbourhoods, from the grittiness of Mong Kok, to the scamminess of Tsim Sha Tsui.

But before all that, it was time for a coffee. Following the theory that cool shops cluster together, I figured that counts for coffee shops as well. So we headed to Knockbox Coffee Company for a flat white, and I got an affogato. Here’s a tip – Hong Kong opens late. This place only opened at 11am, so don’t arrive too early! The coffees were nice, though not as good as Wellington Kathryn tells me.

We kept on walking, past Jordan, to Tsim Sha Tsui. I’m always a bit weary around there, since it’s a bit of a ghetto part of Hong Kong. This was the only part of Hong Kong where I’ve seen touts approach you trying to sell you lunches or suits. Still, I think it’s safe, I just don’t like it as much as other places.

Instead we caught the subway to Hong Kong island, and then caught the 6X bus from Central towards Stanley. Stanley is a beachside resort on the other side of Hong Kong island. Stanley was pretty relaxing and quiet, mainly because it was winter, oh, and raining and windy. Not the best day for the beach, but nice to get away from the crowds.

We then had lunch at a place on the water. In the pub was only white people. I’m not even joking, there were two or three other groups, all white people. Kathryn ordered the fish and chips. We were all white people in a pub eating fish and chips. The Chinese culture wasn’t strong in that pub. I had a roast chicken sandwich.

Afterwards I felt really ill. Kathryn thinks it’s the tap water – I thought it was the food. Either way, I was feeling about a six out of ten. We then caught the 973 bus from Stanley towards Tsim Sha Tsui, going via Aberdeen and around Hong Kong island. This is a very scenic route, and I recommend it.

We got off the bus, and caught a tram towards another hipster park of town, a place called Poho, or Po Hing Fong road. Bordering Blake Garden, all these little side streets have cute art stores. One place was selling only computer-generated art. Another place sold the┬ác├┤te&ciel Isar Rucksack in Coated Canvas. Sure it’s $340USD or $474NZD, but it’s really really nice.

We then kept walking along Hong Kong’s first street, Hollywood street, which is full of tourists and Chinese antique stores. We walked so far that we ended up back at the Mid Level Escalators at the middle, a place called Soho. From there, we headed back home in the rain.

Silvermine Bay Beach, Ngong Ping 360 fail, and an expensive mall dinner – Hong Kong

Today was our explorer day, where we started the day heading from our local MTR stop of Olympic towards Central on Hong Kong Island. From there we walked towards Pier 6, which is where the fast ferry to Mui Wo on Lantau Island departs.

Lantau Island is where Hong Kong airport is based, but it’s also a super scenic island that’s relatively under-developed. You can catch a high speed ferry there for $30 HKD, which is around $6 NZD. 30 minutes later, you’re there.

There’s a really quiet white sand beach called Silvermine Bay Beach there. It’s Winter in Hong Kong, so no one was around, but it was 25 degrees. I’d swim there if I could be bothered walking around in wet board shorts!

Instead we walked back to Mui Wo. As we were walking I saw a guy reading a magazine, and another secret magazine on top. His hand was rubbing his crotch through the outside of his pants. He was having a cheeky wank in public! He should have went to the local McDonald’s toilets instead.

We instead visited the McDonald’s, and I went to the toilet. Now I could see why the guy was wanking in public. They were the most disgusting toilets I’d ever seen. I’d describe them in more detail, but just imagine the worst thing in your mind. Pretty similar.

We then caught the number 2 bus towards Ngong Ping. Catching the bus in Hong Kong is super simple, just have an Octopus card, which is the same card as the subway. Then you don’t have to worry about fare amounts and exact change. I think the cost was around $17 HKD, or $3.40 NZD. It took about an hour, and went deep inside of Lantau Island, past old villages and water reservoirs.

At the top is Ngong Ping village, a tourist village linked to Tung Chung MTR via a beautiful rope gondola. Sadly for me, and happily for Kathryn, this was closed from January until June 2017. What a fail! I was sad. Kathryn was glad. Instead we ate some overpriced food.

We then walked around the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha statue. While there was quite a few tourists, it’s really a very scenic stop. My favourite was viewing the trees surrounding the monastery, you don’t really see a lot of trees on Hong Kong island.

From here, we caught the 23 bus back to Tung Chung, which is an MTR stop, connected directly with our MTR stop of Olympic. We then had dinner in a mall restaurant that was serving Pizza and Pasta. Kathryn had the Ham and Cheese Margherita pizza, while I went for a Cabonara pasta. Add a couple of mocktails, and that was $50. Pretty expensive for mall food!

Filipinos and escalators everywhere, and the hip part of Hong Kong

There are a lot of Filipino maids and housekeepers in Hong Kong. And Sunday is their day off. Because they can’t invite people back to their place, they hang out in the city.

If you’re not a fan of crowds, then I’d avoid Central on Hong Kong Island on a Sunday. There are people everywhere. We had to fight our way through crowds of people packing boxes to send back to the Philippines. I mean, everyone was nice and polite, and it was a jovial carnival mood, but still, if you’re big on personal space, then this might freak you out a little.

The other interesting thing about Central is that this is where the really wealthy businessmen live. There’s still a big English influence, as judged by the Marks & Spencers supermarket selling fresh sandwiches imported directly from the UK by airfreight. Which is probably why one Salmon sandwich cost $12 NZD. I was kinda tempted, but realised, that’s too expensive for a sandwich!

Instead we headed to the Japanese brand Yoshinoya. There you can buy a bowl of beef and onions on rice, and a Coke, for $16. A bit expensive really compared to New Zealand. I think that’s the thing – Hong Kong is an expensive place to buy food that’s not on the street. Though, McDonalds is still good value though.

Then we caught the Mid Level Escalators up a hill. This is a series of about 10 escalators that go half way up Mt. Victoria towards Victoria Peak. The shops are on the lower part, cafes on the mid part, and apartments at the top part. ANd then you get dumped in the middle of nowhere. If you walk under like two motorways next to a flood stream, you then end up at the free Hong Kong Zoo. It’s a small zoo, but it’s free! With lots of cages. Cages at the zoo are a pretty typical Asian thing. I guess it’s to do with space, there’s not enough space for people in Hong Kong, let alone animals!

We then walked back down the hill, and went caught the Hong Kong tram. Not everything in Hong Kong is expensive, and the tram at $0.50 NZD, is the best value travel method. It’s slow, it’s tall, it’s double decker, it’s made of wood, and it’s really neat.

We stopped at the hip part of Hong Kong, Wan Chai. It’s where the Monocle store is, from the people who write the Monocle magazine. We also had coffee from the local hipster place, Elephant Grounds. Turns out they used too much milk, which is Kathryn’s common complaint.

We then headed back to Mong Kok for a beer at the local bar, Chillworks. SO EXPENSIVE. A beer, a cider, $180 HKD. That’s $32 NZD. Beer – $13. Cider – $13. A handful of peanuts – the rest of the money. Weirdly, you can buy two 500ml cans of Heineken for $4NZD from the 7-11. So that’s what we decided to do. I also ate some street meat, BBQ Pork. I didn’t get sick so that’s good!