A Travellerspoint blog

Hong Kong

sleep at airport

leave Bali for Hong Kong

overcast 17 °C
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Sunday 10th March 1985
4.30 am. lights on and activity as several large tour groups turn up for the flight. Long delays checking in as computer not working. Spend last rupiahs in airport, cup of coffee - 700! Change planes at Jakarta for a 747 and have five seats to myself. Good laugh at “The Woman in Red” movie. shave and change shirt. Hong Kong customs men all look like British policemen except wearing shorts and Chinese faces.
 Met by Deborah. It’s cold. Hong Kong has a very exciting airport, sea on both sides of the runway, and an approach run between the skyscrapers with large cargo boats and international liners steaming besides the runway. Roast lamb dinner with parsnips and bread and butter pudding. Bliss.

Posted by 1985 trip 12:55 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

touring Hong Kong

cold, need more clothes

overcast 13 °C
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Monday 11th March.
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Commonwealth day so Deborah has day off. Steve goes to work dealing on foreign exchange markets. I have £300 left. Fortunately my credit card has arrived as I’m going to need some warm clothes, it only gets to 13 degrees during the day and northern China will be colder. Spend the day seeing Hong Kong and Kowloon with Deborah using all the different means of public transport. Hong Kong is very mountainous, with a thin rim of mostly reclaimed land facing Kowloon which is soaring with smart skyscrapers. Have tea on YMCA’s roof garden.

Posted by 1985 trip 12:57 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

fast food Chinese style

overcast 14 °C
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Tuesday 12th March.
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In Hong Kong as guests of Stephen and Deborah. Explored central Wanchai and Ca..s..y bay districts mostly on foot. Eating beef and noodles in the day for 5$HK. seen the bustling street markets towered over by architectural striking skyscrapers. See Chinese pawn shops where the pawnbroker sits beside metal grill 8 feet off the ground. Dried goods shops, old Chinese medicines: ground pearl, teal essence etc. Fish shops where the fishmongers wear 3 inch platform soles. Chinese restaurants, surely these people invented fast food.

Posted by 1985 trip 13:07 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

phone home at last

+ first letter from Mum

overcast 15 °C
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Wednesday 13th March

Buy smart designer watch with credit card for £100. Probably not a bargain considering the current rate of exchange. Stephen transfers £100 out from England at more favourable exchange rate and with no commission. Speak to Mum on the telephone, she and Elaine have been having anxious words together, it seems I’m not writing enough letters, but got mothers first letter this week!! Asked Dad to credit Stevens account in London.

Posted by 1985 trip 13:09 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

try agar agar to eat

don't like it

overcast 14 °C
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Thursday 14th March 1985
Get verbally murdered by 20 old Chinese crones in the market where they huddled over their baskets picking the bean sprouts. I had tried to take their photograph. DSC0000168.jpg Generally I eat out with Deborah and Steve most evenings, this is embarrassing as I can’t afford it and they insist on buying extra for me. Eat Mexican, Italian, and English pub grub. Also have excellent seafood meal in the street. Try a lump of chewy brown agar agar from a street vendor. It was a popular stand, but having tried it cannot comprehend why.
 $HK. 8.3 = £1

Posted by 1985 trip 13:11 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

send a parcel home

baby talk


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Friday 15th March

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Still no news of Mikhail address. Write to Tim. Elaine has changed hospitals within Leicester and is pleased with new lot of SHO’s. Send her a Bali Tee shirt. Send a parcel of other goods and unwanted effects home. Eat at Andy and Nicky’s, talk about babies all evening but worth it for the excellent apple crumble.

Posted by 1985 trip 13:16 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

out to the New Territories


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Saturday 16th March

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On Sunday we visit Deborah and Steven’s remote cottage in a dying fishing hamlet in a national park on the New Territories. The barest of facilities, but beautiful setting, rather like Scotland. Walk miles. Stephen spots a few birds. Round every corner loud groups of locals drink Coca-Cola and play transistor radios. The Chinese cannot be quiet even in a national park. They thin out as we trek further over the hills to a village.

Posted by 1985 trip 12:25 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

Ocean City and cerebral palsy


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Sunday 17th March

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Spend a day with Stella, the chinese friend of Deborah’s who was in China. We visit 2000 year old brick tomb in Kowloon, a little boring, nobody about and all very tidy. Looks as though it is swept clean every day. Spend another day pushing children with cerebral palsy around Ocean City. See massive tropical reef, sealion, from under the water. American diving team and performing sealions, woman swaying on very long flagpoles, children’s Zoo, cable car ride. The kids are great fun lurching about wildly, demanding to be pushed at breakneck speed down the paths.

Posted by 1985 trip 12:31 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

chairman Mao jacket


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Monday 18th March 1985
Buy silk padded blue Chinese chairman Mao jacket £25 and smart leather sport shoe £20. These will do for China, where it will be cold, and Australia. Deborah gives me a pair of trousers. See off a civil engineering friend of Deborah and Stevens. I have to sleep elsewhere, actually in Jane’s Flat 5 floors up. The civil engineer had previously booked Deborah’s spare bed.

Posted by 1985 trip 12:37 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

Chung-King mansions


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Tuesday 19th March
 1985
Hang around the iniquitous Chung-King mansions, but gather little useful information. Dormitory beds $HK.20. Get quoted several different dates for the ferry out of Shanghai.
Stevens tropical fish keep dying. Due to the cold weather the canaries eggs fail to hatch. Sighs of relief. The canaries may also have been disturbed by the raucous attentions of a large red parrot who comes to vandalise the balcony from time to time. The pound seems a little stronger.

Posted by 1985 trip 12:40 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

prepare for China in 1985


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Wednesday 20th March. Day 99.
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My last day in Hong Kong. I have Chinese visa. Make repairs to padded jacket, the popper fixings on the front were not very well fixed. Do washing and ironing, borrow a pair of chopsticks, as the communal ones in chinese restaurants are rumoured not to be too wholesome. Read guidebooks, worry about money, China seems very daunting now, wonder how I am going to get about.

Posted by 1985 trip 12:41 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

recuperation in Hong Kong


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Monday 22nd April
The autobiography of Aisin Gioro “From Emperor to Citizen” was a fascinating account of a lost lifestyle.
Dock at 10 am., bus stop, and cabbies refused to say which bus to the star ferry. Get on one to Nathan Road, buy razor, toothbrush and paste. Star ferry and home. Post paintings and calligraphy. Meet up with Louise, ex-Middlesex hospital physiotherapist, who is staying at Deborah and Steve’s too. Pop out to an Italian restaurant in the evening. Have an enormous pizza, delicious luxury. Sleep very well on the living-room floor.

Posted by 1985 trip 16:00 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

windsurfing in Hong Kong

sort of

sunny 25 °C
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Tuesday 23rd of April
day 132
Spend the day with Louise, Nicky and Lucy. Nicky and Lucy ( aged 1) live out here with Andrew. Nicky is a physiotherapist and Andrew is a civil engineer. Enjoy a Chinese meal at which Lucy makes a great mess, but no one takes any notice of the explosion of rice and squid that surrounds a. It’s great eating out in the East, you can really make a mess. Lucy’s blonde hair and blue eyes are great attraction.
Spend the afternoon on the beach, the sea studded with exotic islands as far as the horizon. Mess around on a wind surfer. Lucy paddles and plays with the seaweed. Andrew is an A1 wind surfer, they are off to China soon as honoured guests for windsurfing meet.

Posted by 1985 trip 16:00 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

The Jockey Club


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Wednesday 24th of April
Write letters. Visit bank etc.
The Matilda hospital have a club room of the racecourse. We are invited, slap up dinner, as the flat races go on outside. Very special evening, floodlit in happy Valley in the middle of Kowloon. Lose tend Hong Kong dollars, Steve bets on 3:1 to win in most races and breaks even at the end of the evening. Horse racing is the only legal form of gambling available to the Chinese in Hong Kong. The nearest casinos are in Macao. £5 million are placed by the punters this evening. The jockey club is one of the largest benefactors in Hong Kong. Sing rugby songs at the soccer club afterwards.

Posted by 1985 trip 16:00 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

Popeye bar


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Friday 26 of April
Spend the day shopping for Walkman, shirts, present for mine hosts, and Australian dollars. By a small Toshiba Walkman for £48 a couple of shirts and a coffee table book about India. We had plans to go to Ocean Park in the evening but find it closed at 6 p.m. go to smart Korean restaurant instead, hot Korean barbecue in the centre of the table, very tasty. Visit the infamous Popeye bar afterwards to satisfy my and Louise’s curiosity. Sullen and disinterested staff, some topless. Leave for work in Australia soon.

Posted by 1985 trip 16:00 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

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