We have arrived in Hong Kong! And it’s humid and misty and smells like Jackfruit and cheap fuel. The skyscrapers are lanky and the ocean is grey.
Getting from the airport to the mainland is really straightforward. There’s an airport train that runs from the airport through to Hong Kong Island, stopping off at Kowloon on the way, where our hotel, The Day and Night hotel, is located.
At this time, 8am, the streets of Kowloon were still pretty quiet, which was confusing for us, because of our jet lag making us feel like it was much later. The Day and Night hotel is situated on a very lively Nathan Road, in a tower block full of other hotels and hostels. Nathan road is a great location to be in, as it’s walking distance to pretty much wherever you will want to go. Outside on the ground floor are rows and rows of small little shops, guarded by vulture salesmen that take turns swarming in on you, trying to convince you to buy their fake branded bags, watches or street food. There’s smells of curries and ocean water.
Our hotel room was nothing like it had been advertised. Being the princesses we are, we visualised a large double bed with a golden duvet, two pillows each and a marble bathroom with free toiletries, a photoshop- like view of the city… What we got was nothing short of a depressing Eastern European hospital room. Come on, who uses poo-ey brown bed sheets?!! We spent the first couple of hours taking it in turns to open our bags as there wasn’t enough room for both and kept having to move around each other to get past to the horrendous wet room of a bathroom. It’s been pretty hilarious. As long as we have somewhere to rest our heads it doesn’t really matter. I just wish I could see my sister try and last in a place like this for more than five minutes.
Despite barely being able to keep our eyes open we decided to go and explore the city. We spoke in silence, overwhelmed as we floated through our new environment- so different to anywhere I have ever been in my life. We walked through subways and traffic and past all kinds of stores from upmarket clothing brands to handmade goods.
We reached the end of a pier, by the Avenue of Stars, facing Hong Kong Island and it was such a nice sight. It was blatant that the city ahead had purposely been designed to face in our direction; its advertisements looking straight at us like a giant cardboard cut-out. Everything looked like it had been edited with a hazey Instagram filter.
Heading back out later that evening, when the rest of the city had woken up, it was crazy to see what a difference the time had made to the previously eerie streets, which were now energetic with locals and tourists, workers and shoppers. With its high number of buses, busy streets and tall buildings, Hong Kong has a lot in common with London, yet the vibe is completely different.
After some authentic Chinese seafood noodles and a couple of cold beers we stopped back off at the Pier to admire the light show from across the water. I cannot get over how amazing Hong Kong looks when lit up. The lights from the buildings collectively look like glitter from a distance.