We’ve just spent a week in Hong Kong at my cousin Louise’s house. It was a markedly different experience from the trip thus far, a lovely apartment with a powerful, hot shower, internet, aircon and tv – and somewhat outside the main city centre and the reach of major public transport. As a result, this was a much more chilled out portion of the trip – with locals able to direct our excursions.
We spent the first day after arrival on a boat with Louise and her husband Simon as they were acting as Race Officers for a local regatta. Amy and I have been getting more into sailing the past few years, and I really enjoyed the experience – getting to see the tactics and skills from small two-man boats all the way up to a massive near 80 foot professional racing yacht. It really gave me a taste to get back out on the water some point in this trip – hopefully we’ll get a chance in Vietnam!
Other than this we alternated between some classic tourist trips (Peak Tram, Star Ferry, Museums), some slacking off at Louise and Simon’s (there’s a whole channel dedicated just to rugby!) and some exploration of the local area to their apartment – Sai Kung. We took a small boat out to one of the local islands and found a lovely little beach there in Hap Mun Bay. It was quiet, but the water was warm and was a genuinely lovely way to pass an afternoon. Definitely in my highlights so far!
The weather in HK was markedly different from trip thus far, we’d experienced low-30s temperatures before, but never with this much humidity. Aircon is almost always on full blast here, with shop doors often open. This makes a walk down the street an interesting temperature experience, and you often go from the warm sweaty blanket of outdoors to ice-cold goose pimples indoors. This was a useful blast to the senses, as we plan to spend most of November and December in SE Asia.
On the trip we’ve tried to keep what we carry down to a bare minimum whereever possible (I’ve got 12kgs in a 35l bag, Amy’s even lighter) – this sometimes means we don’t have quite the right clothes for the temperature. I binned my only pair of shorts in Berlin and hadn’t missed them at all… until we got here. Even light weight trekking trousers are something of a burden. Up in Nepal, we’ll need some heavier stuff for the mountains, but even Kathmandu will likely be 30 degrees so it’s tough to get the right balance. We’ll rent jackets and sleeping bags most likely, and then probably have to invest in some cheap shorts for schlepping around Vietnam and Cambodia. Of course, the major weight for me is camera, lenses and tablet. Those are sticking with me!