The furthest into Asia I have ever been is Bodrum in Turkey which is still felt too European for me so I was excited when my second stop on my way to Australia is Hong Kong, located in Southern China.
When the plane touched down I was nervous I wouldn’t find my connecting flight – Hong Kong is one of the busiest cities on the planet and the airport is so big, it’s on its own island.
To my surprise it was all too easy to find the transfer gate which led to what can only be described as a shopping mall on steroids.
All I wanted was to sit down and have a drink, I could almost smell coffee because I wanted to see a Starbucks so badly. However, neither I or the friend I’d met on the plane could find a single coffee shop – or an empty chair. We were in a giant maze of shops selling perfume or watches more expensive than our plane tickets.
Finally, we found some empty stools and then realised we didn’t have any Chinese currency, (which is yuan, google says). There was the option of having sloppy pasta which had endured the flight from London but that didn’t seem like a good idea to either of us.
I only had couple of hours in Hong Kong and I’m kicking myself for not buying a connecting plane ticket for the next day so I could go out and experience China. The airport had brought some of the culture inside but it wasn’t enough. I was stuck staring out the window watching trains go by and wishing I was on one.
My temporary companion and I were waiting for our gates to open, he was leaving for Sydney and I Melbourne. But of course the airline decided to switch my gate at the last minute to one on the other side of the airport – 20 minutes walking distance away.
So we said our goodbyes and I got settled in my new departure lounge where I was sitting next to a group of monks. (Chinese monks and the boy band Blue… I really have the most interesting travelling buddies..)
For the flight to Australia I’d booked myself a window seat and was secretly happy when the person who was meant to be sitting next to me obviously hadn’t made it to the plane on time. This allowed me to get out to use the bathroom without the awkward, but compulsory if you’re British, “Sorry” “Excuse me” “Sorry” “Can I just – thanks”.
I could also marvel the beauty that is Hong Kong at night in peace.
Next stop: Melbourne.