1233hrs: Same day Hong Kong Airport Express return ticket to Kowloon station cost 90HKD. Not too bad value. Finally, found an ATM that takes Chinese Unionpay cards. Now I can charge this adventure to my chinese bank. Train takes about 25 mins to get to Kowloon. Planning my trip with copied and pasted addresses and GPS coords on my palm TH55. I have approximately 4 hours to roam and iPod fully charged.
1253hrs: Just arrived at Kowloon station. Looks like free shuttle bus K3 will bring me close to Tsimtsatsui MTR station. Got my octopus card ready to be topped up at the closest metro station… The picture up above is one of my favourite place in Hong Kong: ChungKing Mansion on Nathan Road. I like it because its like a city inside a building. Been to a not-so-bad indian curry house inside, but if you ask me to go look for it again I dont think I can find it! Its a maze inside and it looks terrible outside, but I like it!!
1402hrs: First stop, the shops around Carnavon St where a couple of camera shops are. First stopped over at All Friends Camera to have a look at the old cameras, Leicas and a few other obscure rangefinders litter the store, then its to Tin Cheung camera near exit d2 Tsimtsatsui MTR station. This camera store is probably a little like Singapore’s Cathay, bright and well stocked. Too bad the Voightlander lens I wanted is 50% above my budget. Another shop in the area selling a used Epson R1Ds for 15kHKD, again too expensive compared to Tokyo. So this time its just window shopping. On to Mongkok then.
1449hrs: Sitting in a local restaurant waiting for my beef horfun. Not in the foreigners menu so had to summon up whatever cantonese I remember to make the order. Bought a Pantone Huey colour correction tool at Wing Shing Camera in Mongkok. Nicest price in this part of the world. Paid 499HKD for it when other shops are charging 800 at least. That shop is packed with tourists. Actually I think this might be the Cathay of Hong Kong, but I still find Tin Cheung better stocked with other less mainstream gears and equipment. After lunch its time to shop for clothes at Supreme Co at Park-in center next to the hospital in Mongkok… Hmm… Somehow they make horfun better in this city better than anywhere else. That was a nice meal for 33HKD.
1644hrs: Crowd at Mongkok building up. Think I’d better get going. Bought a 5.11 TDU black pants with knee guard and a TruSpec beanie hat. Whats good enough for the military is good enough for me. I just like the stuff at Supreme Co. Tenpted to get a desert camo pants but too tacky. Then at a chain phone shop bought 8 of those new GP Recycko rechargeable batteries at a reasonable 69HKD. But its coming quite close to 5pm now and I’d better start going back to the Peninsular Hotel with my loot to catch the HK airport express shuttle bus. Need to be back at the airport in 1 hrs time.
1715hrs: Back in bus number K3. Since its going to be going around tsimtsatsui, might take some time to get to the station. One interesting thing here is that just like Shanghai there are plenty of people on the streets with dinghy trollies hauling goods and empty cardboard boxes. Only big difference is that in Shanghai the wheels are usually bare, and you do hear the metal on concrete as it roll along. In HK its proper wheels with enough rubber to keep it silent. So looks like I’ll return this trip without and photo gear, but nice to be able to see some really old cameras. There a ww2 leica made with wood trim and a swastika on the lens cap. Looks very fake. Theres no price but it was sitting to standard Leica IIIs.
1740hrs: In the train bound for HKIA. Overall nice day trip here in Hong Kong. Too bad theres a fog over the city so even if I skipped the shopping trip I would barely be able to see the dense cluster of buildings on HK Island, capped by OneIFC. Quite thirsty but no vending machines in sight. Made me miss Tokyo a little, every corner you’ll see a vending machine. In Taipei thats a 7eleven that you will see around every corner. Damn airport train, why won’t you let me clock your speed with my Garmin? Funny, I’m less tired than this morning. I slept through the flight take off at Chiang Khai Shek airport. Will continue this post when I reach the airport.
1848hrs: Just had dinner at the airport. Flight delayed a couple of minutes. Made it in time. Starting to feel tired. Maybe I should post this as soon as possible while I’m promised free internet at this airport. Will know in a while if PCCW is really giving away free internet or ‘free’ internet. Will be in Shanghai tonight and then Beijing tomorrow! More adventure coming up!
Update: The flight to Shanghai was supposed to leave at 1915hrs that night, but was delayed to 2145hrs. We sat in the plane for a little more than 1 hour while the captain updated us about some parts that required fixing. At the end it was supposed to be a engine fire sensor that was not working and the couldn’t get it to work even with replacement units, so we had to switched to a spare Airbus A330. We were all given a meal voucher but since we had only 30mins to get from gate 3 to gate 45 (if you know HKIA you’ll know it takes about 10-15mins to get to the new gate since its at the other end of the termina!) By the time I got back to Shanghai it was already 1am, and I have a 8am flight to catch to Beijing!!!