I’ve arrived in Hong Kong and even though I’ve been here less than an hour I’m already impressed with the city. Everything just seems to work so fast and efficient compared to other places I’ve been in Asia and it’s a whole world away from Thailand where I started the day.
As my flight from Phuket to Hong Kong wasn’t until this evening I decided to have another day of exploring so after breakfast on the roof terrace I was straight out into the city to do some more exploring. I decided I was going to start the day at Monkey Hill which is just north of my hotel and is a hill overlooking the city which is home to hordes of monkeys. I thought this could be an interesting experience but the main reason I wanted to go here was to see the view due to the disappointment on Rang Hill yesterday. Unfortunately there was more disappointment as I just couldn’t find the entrance to the road leading up to the hill no matter how hard I tried looking online and at maps. Maybe the view from the hotel is the best one I will get of Phuket Town.
I decided not to let this spoil the day and decided to divert back towards the city centre to check out some more sights. My first port of call was the Chinpracha House which is the last remaining colonial mansion in Phuket that is open to the public. I passed it yesterday while walking towards Rang Hill and the guide book said it was worth a visit if you’re in the area. I would agree with that description as it was worth seeing but I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit again. It was nice to see a mansion set up how it was back in the colonial era but other than few rooms with a pond and a lot of china there wasn’t much to see, although it was cheap to visit so I can’t really complain.
As the Chinpracha House was just down the road from the great little cafe I had lunch at yesterday I decided to head there again for another great meal. I had the same as last time, stewed pork on a bed of leaves with various sides such as hot sauce and soup, but I really liked it so didn’t see the need to change.
There wasn’t much time left by this point so I decided to head back the hotel, via the memorial gardens to the Queen of Thailand and a few temples, to catch up on my reading before heading to the airport in my prebooked taxi. When I arrived I was told that even though I was an hour early there was a taxi available and so I decided to head to the airport straight away to allow for holdups, after changing into my travelling clothes. I could have delayed until my prebooked time and visited one of the other museums in the area or grabbed a coffee but decided there wasn’t much point and I would. rather just get there.
The journey to the airport was quick and I arrived an hour before check-in opened so relaxed outside reading a book and watching the world go by before checking in. The check-in process was fairly slow but the people themselves couldn’t be more helpful. As I’m only spending tonight in Hong Kong I asked if there would be a way to check my bags all the way through to maximise the time I had to look around and they were able to do this for me which was great. This way there was no waiting for luggage when I arrived in Hong Kong and no worrying about checking in on the way back as I’m checked all the way through.
The flight was on time and uneventful and I arrived in Hong Kong at 11pm which meant there was hardly anybody around. This was good with me as I wanted to get an early night and then rise early tomorrow in time to explore. The arrivals process in Hong Kong was very quick, due to the fact that they now issue slips of paper rather than stamps in the passport, and I was soon through to the Airport Express train which whisked me into the city in 20 minutes. From here I grabbed a taxi at a rank which was run with military precision and was soon at my hotel for the night, the Island Pacific Hotel. In total I landed less than an hour ago so I can’t believe I’m at the hotel already.
I decided to stay at this hotel as it is right on the waterfront and offers rooms on a high floor with a great view of the harbour. I thought this was perfect so upgraded to one of the expensive harbour view rooms on a high floor. However when I arrived I saw that the city was shrouded in thick fog so I couldn’t see a thing except the buildings next to the hotel and the ground below. Hopefully it’ll clear up by tomorrow so that I can make the most of my time in Hong Kong.