A stop over in Hong Kong and NYC on the way to the Dominican Rep
09.01.2011 - 16.01.2011 0 °C
Hong Kong is my last new country on my list of places that I wanted to visit on my round the world trip. It is a bit sad really, this trip has been the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life – some people said I was crazy for giving up everything but I feel I did it just at the right time – I needed to do this. I don’t think I will ever get over the travelling bug – Im not sure many people do but as I arrive in to my final new country I realize that Im ready for a bit of stability , not having to pack and unpack my bag every couple of days becomes such a choir lol.
Not that this is the end of my travels – I am going back to Dominican Republic until May to be with Katherine. I met Katherine at the start of my trip in America and I never thought almost 2 years later I would be heading back to be with her. That’s what love does to you I suppose.
Anyway back to Hong Kong. It was only a short trip of 2 and half days but I really wanted to meet back up with Fion who I met in the states last summer.
I booked a room in the Chungking Mansions – it’s a place that used to be famous for drugs, gangs and generally not a nice place to be. It has changed now to shops and lots of cheap guest houses. But it still keeps the feel of a dodgy place to be in keeping with its history. I was staying in Kowloon just a short ferry ride over from Hong Kong Island. Fion met me when I arrived and we went to see the light show at the harbor – It’s the skyline that I have seen in hundreds of films and it was pretty impressive. Although it was freezing – me just in flip flops looked like a bit of an idiot…
We went for some food and drinks and I had a pretty early night – the price of the drinks dictated that – it was expensive! But hey no surprises there. The next day I decided to do all the touristy stuff. I went on the star ferry over to Hong Kong Island and took the tram up to Victoria Peak, it was pretty poor weather so the photos don’t really do it justice but it was still worth the ride up on the tram.
I spent the rest of the day exploring Hong Kong Island and it was pretty cool – the kind of place you could live but nothing spectacular to point out. I met a few guys and went for some drinks the following night but it was a pretty quiet day – I met up with Fion the evening before I flew out to say bye and we went for some dessert. I was very lucky to get my flight to New York the following day as it was snowing hard and flights the day before were cancelled.
I arrived in New York in Flip flops – yes flip flops and shorts! I was totally unprepared for this weather, there was like a foot of snow and people looked at me like I was crazy! I went o stay with Vanessa and Bryce again up in White Plains – it was nice of them to put me up – Its like a home from home New York – I think I have found a place that I would like to settle. On the Friday I went shopping to Woodbury Common – being as I was going to be in one place for a while I thought id better add to my suitcase. Woodbury Common is ridiculously cheap for designer clothes – I came out with as many clothes as I could carry. Ok I spent around 500 bucks – but for all designer brand clothing it was a bargin. That night Bryce had arranged a poker game – there were 6 of us and the pot was $240 – sadly I came third – could of done with that money after my shopping trip as well, lol. I did a last minute shop in White plains before heading to DR the following day.
This wont be my last installment as technically I am still travelling and I am away until October so I will keep this blog updated (maybe not as frequent). Thanks for everyone that has kept up with my travels – I hope it may have inspired a few people.
As I probably will not be visiting that many new places I am going to answer a question that I get asked frequently on a daily basis… “What is your favorite country in the world?”
Now usually I come up with the same answer ‘’it is impossible to say as they are all so different” and that is true – everywhere is different and it is not always the country that makes the biggest impression on you it is the people you meet.
First of all I started this trip thinking what is wrong with people that do not want to travel – I thought it was like living in a goldfish bowl – all these amazing places and cultures to see and people are staying put in the same place. But now I realize that not everyone has the same interests and that is fine for me – if everyone wanted to travel it would take something away from the experience. I really have met some amazing people whilst travelling – some have just been in passing – maybe someone that I met on one of the many long bus journeys - some people I have travelled with for weeks – it doesn’t matter all have them have had an influence on my travels, a positive one I might add. I have made friends for life on this trip, it sounds crazy but you get to know some people so well and even if they live on the other side of the world I know I will see them again.
One last thing I might add – living somewhere like England gives you prejudices against certain people and cultures –I wouldn’t go so far as saying it is racism but when people don’t understand a culture or way of life they can assume that it is bad just because its different. Having travelled through a lot of countries and stayed with locals in quite a few it gives you a better understanding about the cultures of others . Its funny as they have the their own views on stereotypes – for example everyone in Brazil started calling me a football hooligan once they found out I was English. I do have to chuckle – I found a very funny quote whilst reading the other day which I will share with you:
Heaven is where the cooks are French, the police are British, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and everything is organized by the Swiss.
Hell is where the cooks are British, the police are German, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and everything is organized by the Italians.
I did have a laugh over this. Right I started this off with the question of what my favorite country was?? A year ago when I finished Central and South America my top three were Panama, Brazil and Colombia. To be honest not a lot has changed… looking back at things Bolivia probably should have been in there and Indonesia was awesome in Asia so I suppose I have a to five – I know it doesn’t strictly answer the question but that’s as good as your going to get I m afraid!
Chris’ top 5 Countries (in no particular order and Im excluding the USA)
Until Next time...