Welcome to the melting pot; part 2

In our (next to) last episode we were following Steffen to the elevators of the Chung King Mansion. Let’s see how the dangerous journey continues…

Chung King Mansions consists of five blocks, we’re in block E. Here’s a plan of floor 12, our floor. Our room is marked, so you can follow our way on the map, as well as on the pictures.

After we leave the elevator again, we see a surprisingly bright and neat hallway directing us to the Maple Leaf Guest House. Room 23, our room. (Hail to all our paranoid friends around the world.) So, how does it look from the inside? Let’s have a look.

That’s it? Yes, that’s it. Amazingly clean twin bedroom with a toilet/washing/shower-room (all in one). We even got a TV (mostly Chinese), three kinds of air cooling and free hot and cold water in the lobby (well, a part where the corridor is about twice as wide). Fresh towels and prolly some room cleaning every day. Quite nice in here. You just shouldn’t leave the room to destroy that impression… or open the curtains. View outside the windows coming up another time, whenever I get Hugin to stitch those photos.

What, we kept you waiting for this post two days? Well, yes. But you know, we’re in Hong Kong. Even computer freaks got better stuff to do here than hang around on the internet all day.

A Rainy Night

For two days we read, that there would be “tons of rain”, but never saw a single drop, aside those dripping from the air cons (that’s Hong Kong style rain). We were already speculating, that the rain will just fall down, dive into the damp and get assimilated there to never see the ground. Fools we were, for tonight, after watching the Symphony of Light (nice show btw) at the Avenue of Stars, the rain came down and yes, tons of rain. After finding shelter at the museum of art, I took this photo, so you can at least have a glimpse of the skyline.

PS: Yes, we wanted to continue the hostel story, but thanks to a shitty internet connection (not helped by Steffen who is backing up his photos to our server) we’ll do that some other time. But also yes, we survived another day.

Welcome to the melting pot

When Hong Kong refers to itself as “Asia’s World City” it means the well-ordered worldliness of big banks, fine hotels and a philharmonic. The local tourism board would probably prefer that you didn’t think of the worldliness of Nepalese sex workers, Bangladeshi hash dealers and Nigerian men trading used PCs by the container load.
ยป Read more at time.com

Take this little excerpt from the Time Magazine as a starter to the description of our hostel in Hong Kong, the Maple Leaf Guest House in the world-(in)famous Chung King Mansions complex. (It’s a good thing not all people @Home are fluent in English ๐Ÿ˜‰ .)

While it might sound scary, it’s not that bad. Sure, you see some strange characters here and you get “helpful” offers all the time, but aside that it’s quite nice and interesting here. But we let the images speak for themselves (if they seem small to you, just click on them and yes, I ignored all my skills for taking great photos).

The first one is from Wikipedia, a nice start.

But don’t worry, that’s not our front. Here, lemme show you where our room is from the outside view.
Now, regarding the entry, there’s a main one.

But we usually take the side entrance, which is the alley you see on the right.

Let’s follow Steffen, as he makes his way through the various shops (for example, the very first one offers sex toys among other things).
Finally, the elevators. One goes for the even floors, the other to odd floors. They are not very clever (who’s this traveling salesman anyway?) and sometimes have to be reminded to open or close the doors. On the screens you can play Big Brother with the people in the elevators.
It’s late, so this post will be continued tomorrow. Hopefully we survive long enough to do that….. if not, we didn’t manage to fight off the vermin army long enough… or you will find Steffen (The Junkie) “working” for a C8H10N4O2 dealer (dunno what the Chinese call it who offer this) and me on some foreign slave market…..

Flight to HK

or in the air tonight.

Without any real problems we got semi straight from Stuttgart to Hong Kong, with a little stop in London. There we picked up Alicia, a young medical student, to fill in the third seat in our row. It was quite an enjoyable flight, even though our mentioning of possible crashes and disasters earned us quite a few threats about her punching us into our faces.

The flight went quite smooth, so no sign of air sickness on the entire plane. To compensate for that, BA served “food”. Here’s the dinner as an example, chicken curry.

Being mostly a night flight, we couldn’t see much of stuff like in the following picture, but long intercontinental flight are a great opportunity to watch some missed, but-not-so-important movies.

Oh yeah, did we say “without any real problems”? Well, two minor one’s were that we had some food in Heathrow at the Wagamama (which is quite good), followed by a panicked run, after we found out, that we would need fifteen minutes to the gate, but only had five. The other problem was, that there was a bit of a misunderstanding regarding out train/bus tickets, leading to going all the way to the coach station twice.

Now we are save at our hostel, which will be covered another time ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

Here we are…

born to be kings, to be princes of… Asia.

As you can guess, we safely arrived in Hong Kong and also checked in into the hotel. Posts about the voyage and the place we are staying will follow. This is just a short update to assure you, that the rumors of our terrible plane crash are slightly exaggerated.

Next on the to-do list are a shower, some food and plenty of sleep.

Trip to HK/PRC/JP

We (Steffen and Oliver) will be going on a li’l trip this September. Just a quick tour ’round East Asia. Here are our stations:

  1. Hong Kong (August 31st – 6th)
  2. Beijing (September 6th – 9th)
  3. Shanghai (September 10th – 14th)
  4. Osaka (September 16th – 20th)
  5. Hiroshima (September 20th – 22nd)
  6. Kyoto (September 22nd – 25th)
  7. Tokyo (September 25th – 29th)

In between there are trains, planes and a ferry (or jetsky, according to Google Maps). Here’s a rough map.

Before and after that, we’ll be spending a few hours in London, Heathrow Airport, but I guess that doesn’t count.

Over the last months we’ve been (and actually still are) busy preparing everything for the trip and in about two weeks we’re ready to go.

Hello world!

Well, a creative and clever title for the first post, that’s for sure. This is just another travel blog which could be more or less boring for you. You can expect posts about traveling, language, culture and – of course – food. Happy reading.