Taxis’

 

We had our first Taxi ride last night. Well technically I guess it was this morning, after all we danced the night away at LKF.

If you are wondering there are tax’s everywhere, in LKF at any rate. Finding taxi’s in other areas may not be nearly as easy. So be prepared for some patience and learning the different buses!

Grabbing a taxi was relatively easy actually. Giving directions was a little trickier, I gave the address that we needed but my very drunk roomie A kept trying to give the exact address which was no use to the driver. So the poor guy was getting super confused with me trying to get her to keep quiet and S laughing at the whole situation, while trying to tell him the street address. To be fair at this stage I was confused as to what exactly I had told him so gave him the MTR station instead. As we got closer I remembered the street name we needed and I gave that to the driver.

The total fare from LKF to Mong Kok was about HKD 110 split 3 ways which was not too bad.

The driver spoke broken English, drove fast but I didn’t feel like I was going to die, which was a bonus 🙂 I will probably use a taxi again, but with friends as it was pricey if you just pay for yourself.

Something to note, try give them the street names and area. This seems to help a lot and tell them to take the cheapest route. Often that involves going through the tunnel so they will add on the tunnel charge to the end total on the metre.

For more info on the Taxi’s have a look here:
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/plan-your-trip/traveller-info/transport/getting-around/taxi.jsp

 

 

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Lan Kwai Fong

 

 

So I’ve been in Hong Kong just over a week now and I am seeing so much that I had never seen before.

Last night we went out to the Party central for foreigners and I guess locals alike. We took the MTR from Mong Kok, took the red line to central and walked the short distance to the bars. My Roomies (S and A) and I were going to meet a friend, Dani, from the centre where S and I are training.

We got all dressed up, listening to some awesome music and having a drink or two. We did the usual thing that us girls love to do when making an effort. Tried on different outfits and did our hair. Well I’m not 100% sure why we bothered with our hair! The humidity just ruins ones hair in minutes so there really was no point. S straitened her pink and blonde hair so nicely, A blow dried hers and I just left mine to curl nicely. Within the 5 minute walk to the MTR Ss’ hair had already started to crink and we were already getting all gross and hot from the temperature.

The MTR was at the quietest I’ve seen it yet. There were like 5 of us in our car and the wind from the train was lovely! That’s the great thing, when on the train they have air ducts which let in the lovely cold air so we could cool down before getting to LKF.

There is a lovely hill to climb up with bars and restaurants on all sides. The strangest thing though happens to be the 7 elevens. Now back home you can’t drink on the street and buying alcohol after a certain time doesn’t really happen unless you get to a Shabeen.

In Hong Kong and LKF in particular it seems that drinking in the street is the way to go! Buy cheap drink at the 7Eleven, drink in the street and go dance in the bars. There we go all sorted for a cheap night out, except that we met Dani at a bar and grabbed a drink there first. Ouch my pocket! 

The drinks are so incredibly expensive, HKD140 for 1 single vodka and coke with a vodka jelly shot. We had a great time there and then decided it was time to go explore. We walked up the hill some more and bobbed into several other bars to see what the vibe was. Now my friend Dani is hilarious, she got it in her head that A needed to meet a man and made that her mission for the night.

So after exploring the bars in the main street Dani and Han decided to take us to a different bar/club. We went up like 4 flights of steps to Solas, an awesome place. Lovely dance floor, no drinking on the dance floor allowed, keep the bags off the floor and staff mopping up any spills constantly.

The drinks here were absolutely insane, shots of tequila are about HKD 40 or so and long drinks over HKD 100.The music here was better that the other places, mostly after Han went and asked for a song. The Dj changed the music and it got pretty good. Everyone started dancing and we had a great spot for our bags.

The Hong Kong Rugby team was in Solas that night, yeah I know you can’t imagine it either. The guys were mostly foreigners though, very fun guys I must say. They were drinking and dancing and having a blast with us, unfortunately Dani picked up a puppy who was really into her. It was cute, but seeing as she was sort of in a relationship the poor guy w1888980_10152790017680248_1359110052602282398_oasn’t getting anywhere. We seemed to keep bumping into him as we were walking through the different bars and dancing. It was hilarious though, Dani kept trying to be the wing woman to A, but she wasn’t picking the best guys nor saying the best things. Needless to say A wasn’t actually interested and they were both gloriously tipsy while S and I were incredibly sober.

While in Solas A and Dani kept going off to the bar and disappearing for ages on end while we just kept dancing. After about 2 hours then went down those flights of stairs again to another bar and walked around the street for a bit looking for a new place to dance. We had no luck so Dani and A ran up the stairs again and then decided nope Solas was no longer appealing and off we all went down the stairs again. This time we found a great bar to dance in and cooled down a little.

To be honest while LKF is fun I really don’t see what the big hoopla is. Everyone was talking about it as if it was the greatest party place ever. The bars are small and hot and expensive and while the music is good at times the Dj’s really don’t know how to keep a crowd going. Yes we had a good night and I will most probably go again but next time I shall 7Eleven it for sure! However we did dance the night away even though we all had flu, which meant that by the time we wanted to go home we needed a ride. So all in all a good night out. 🙂

I shall write a post about the ‘ride’ we got home and how we have found taxis’ in general tomorrow. 🙂

For more info on what to find here:
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/hongkong/island/lan-kwai-fong.htm

 

 

 

Finding Home

 

Here I am, in Hong Kong at long last.


I got myself a sim card and some data so tha\t I would be able to use the map functions on my ipad, but my battery was so flat that I actually couldn’t use it. I couldn’t find exact directions to the airport shuttle but then I realised why I was confused and shuffled my way to the correct bus. I think the people in line wanted to kill me because I now had my massive suitcase and all my hand luggage. I tried to pick up my bag and almost died because I tried using only one arm. Ouch! I needed a hand getting it up the massive step, there was a really nice man who gave me that hand. It was a really lovely trip into Mong Kok, though I was worried that I would take the wrong bus stop. So the whole way I was double checking the different maps I had downloaded and finally settled on what I assumed was the correct stop to get off at.

I took the correct stop, mostly out of sheer luck, but had no idea where I actually was in relation to where I was supposed to be. I thought I was in the correct spot and completely forgot that I had data on my phone and some battery left, needless to say I didn’t pull out my navigator which would have saved me several km’s of walking. I had many maps on my tablet, I knew where I had to go and had the directions from the MTR stop, but I had taken the bus instead so I was a little turned around. I walked down Nathan Road which I thought was Soy Street. Then I walked across the street and couldn’t find a proper street sign.

The shop people were not much help as they couldn’t figure out where they were on the map so I headed over to the first bank I found, A Bank of China. This was much more helpful and I eventually headed in the right direction, back all the way I had come and further. I got into Soy Street at long last. Which had been a short walk from where the bus had dropped me originally. Oh how I wish I had just listened to my gut!

I headed along Soy towards Tung Choi but I eventually just needed a break. I was exhausted, my feet were sore, my arms were sore from pulling my luggage and I just needed my Wi-Fi to work on my tablet. I found some stairs moved all my luggage in front of me and just sat down; luckily I had some aircon blowing onto me. I think I sat there for a good 20mins just cooling off and taking a break. I think the sight of a foreigner carrying so much baggage was hilarious though, because I caught several locals just looking and laughing. After the break and my consultation with the address for my apartment I got up and continued along to Tung Choi, IPad map in hand.

I reached Tung Choi Street at long last with the scores of people milling about and made my way down the middle of Ladies market. I didn’t realise that there was an easier way at the time, but boy do I now avoid it unless I’m actually looking for something in the market. I must have gone about a third of the way down, dragging my bags and stuff behind me until I found the building I was looking for on the left side of the street. I had to go through a stall to get to the building but luckily they were really nice and moved their fans out-of-the-way.

I must have had at least an hour left to wait before our building manager Rory met me so I plonked my bags and just sat down, the weird gweilo sitting on the floor again. Rory showed up, thankfully on time and he took me up to the flat, he helped with my bags and up we went to the third floor in a slightly dodgy elevator. I got inside the flat and from the grungy exterior I was expecting the worst but I was pleasantly surprised by the flat.

The lounge is a good size with nice TV (no English channels though) the kitchen and bathroom are as tiny as I thought they would be but hey they work, then there are 3 bedrooms, the middle one is larger than the other two are. My roommate A has the smallest room, she can fit a single bed in it and that’s about it. My other roomy Simone had arrived before us so she got to choose first and took the bigger room, also the higher rent. Each room costs a different amount, so I’m pretty happy with my medium room.

S had a really rough time of it as well as a result she was out cold when I arrived but as Rory was showing me around she woke up and wandered out. Awesomely enough she is also South African and comes from JHB so yayness. She is pretty chilled, a bit older than me which is nice because I’m used to living with my older sisters and I wasn’t looking forward to having young roomies. I always end up having to look after them. She has this blonde hair with awesome shocking pink in it and some stunning tatts. We sat and chatted a bit, I didn’t feel like unpacking nor moving my bags at all! A then arrived, later than she had anticipated and we all got to know each other a bit. We then unpacked a little and went looking for food.

None of us wanted to try the Asian food in our street so we went on an exploration to see what we could find. Lucky us there was a Pizza Hut nearby so we went there. Now, after everything one always hears about Pizza Hut I was seriously underwhelmed. The Pizzas at the time were fabulous but, then we were famished and so anything could have tasted good, now I can say that I have had far better and tastier Pizzas for a better price back home.

Keep an eye out for the pics of what our little home looks like and please do ignore the mess… 

 

 

 

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Moving to Hong Kong and all it entailed

 

I moved to Hong Kong recently, I’ve been here for just under two weeks. And as one of my dearest friends suggested I am writing about it.

I’m a little worry wart when it comes to travelling. I really hate having too much luggage. Every time I get on a plane I always seem to have too much hand luggage. So this time for my move to Hong Kong I was determined to try keep my luggage to my laptop backpack. Of course that plan didn’t work out the way I had planned. My suitcase was at 34 kg and I needed to lose 4 Kg, so yes it went into a separate bag and added to my hand luggage.

Now I had my huge backpack that must have weighed at least 10kg and a messenger bag chocka block full of random useless items. Of course I thought that there was my one thing that would go wrong, I didn’t have to worry too much now and could get on the plane for Johannesburg. Boy was I wrong; due to fog my plane was delayed by an hour which meant that I would only have a two-hour gap between flights at O.R Tambo. I had to courier an item to a friend from the airport and collect my Hong Kong Dollars at Bidvest because FNB was being a pain.

It was tight but I wasn’t too worried, I found a table and sat down to wait out an extra hour. Then my flight was delayed again, and then, the plane I was supposed to be on was sent to East London on a detour. It was now 11 am and I had an Emirates flight to catch at 13:20. Travelstart hadn’t sorted anything out yet on how to fix my flight problems and I was now stressed. Luckily I was sitting with a really interesting guy whose cousin worked for BA and she sent me to the ticket counter to see what BA could do for me, they were super helpful! I ended up walking back and forth between the ticket counter, security and my seat at my gate about 10 times. BA changed my flight from Emirates to SAA and I had a few hours gap between the time I would land in JHB and take off for HK. Thank goodness for a helpful BA, I have always preferred to fly BA and now and I didn’t have to worry about my luggage weight.

Eventually our plane arrived and they had us board the plane while they multi-tasked to try get us all in JHB as soon as possible. I now had four hours until I needed to get to my next gate and thought it would be simple enough. But no, it wasn’t too be. I ended up helping a lady with her bags and got my skirt caught in the escalator, luckily I grabbed it immediately and it just has some black tracks on the bottom of it. I grabbed my heavy suitcase and then headed to the post office. I took one look at the queue and cringed inside. Luckily Bidvest was around the corner so I went there first. It took about 40 minutes to finally get helped and a further 15 just to get my money from them. The Post Office was even worse; they didn’t have their own envelopes so I had to go all the way to CNA which was a floor above me. By the time I had sent the parcel and got my money I only had 2 and a half hours left. Plenty of time right?

Nope, I went to check in at international departures and was sent across the airport to domestic departures, they then sent me to the SAA ticket desks and then I had to go back to the SAA departures at domestic. SAA sent me all the way back across to international departures to go through the security there and it took about 25 minutes to get to the gate. My feet were killing me, I was hot and gross and just needed something ice-cold and somewhere to put my feet up. I found a restaurant right by my gate and spent the next 30 minutes cooling down.

I got lucky and didn’t have someone sit next to me on the plane, which was great but not nearly as comfortable as I had thought it would be. I got cold and ended up with a neck crick, ate some pretty good plane food and got to rest my feet. The biggest downside though was that I was sitting right at the back near the bathrooms. Ughy!

About 15 hours later we started our descent and it was absolutely stunning. I wish I had taken some photo’s as we descended but I didn’t so I will have to make sure to take photo’s the next time. You are still so far from the water that it looks as if you are staring at a blue sheet. It took a while to realise that I was looking at the ocean, I only figured it out when I saw a little dot that ended up being a ship. It looked like a tiny drawing on a large sheet of paper.

The airport is very interesting, you need to follow a lot of directions and there is a lot of walking involved. You have to take a train to the main part of the airport where you then get to customs. Maybe it’s just because I am used to smaller airports but I found it to be huge, really huge. There are several rows of customs and it is all very organised, the signs have English on them and they give pretty clear instructions.

As soon as I got my baggage and headed out I got myself an Octopus card then spent some time on the free internet finding the right route to my apartment. Also, to be honest, my feet needed the break, actually my legs did. I felt like I had walked a marathon!

More on the Octopus card later on 🙂 have a peep through my Hong Kong page at a later date 🙂