we had only planned to stay 3 days in hong kong but we extended our visit by a day. it could have been 5 extra days and we wouldn't have run out of things to do. we changed our flight because one day was taken up by my visit to a doctor. i've been having trouble with my ears after flying and it was starting to freak me out.
i saw a medic in athens after the first incident which is why we took a train to istanbul instead of continuing the second leg of our flight from rhodes. he told me i risked permanent damage if i flew when my ears were red and inflamed. when we landed in dubai one of my ears plugged up and it took about 6 hours for it to feel better. when we landed in hong kong the same ear blocked again and this time i had shooting pains down the right side of my neck. not good. we called our insurance company 'world nomads' and they suggested a clinic just down the street from our hostel. i got some anti-inflammatory drops and drugs and i'm happy to report that my ear pain was almost non-existant when we landed in singapore a few days ago. yay for drugs!
so what was so nice about hong kong? it had character, it was bustling, it was alive, it was energy, it was...what a big city should be. after dubai, hong kong was a great 'welcome back' to real life! oh...and the food! the food! omg...so in love with chinese food! i can't even explain my desire for more and more choy sum...
at the advice of gadi and rebecca, our winnipeg-rtw-cyber-friends, we stayed on nathan road. we checked out some rooms in the 'mansions' that they suggested. i'm not sure what i expected from a mansion in hong kong but it definitely wasn't a dirty highrise building with dead mice and garbage in the halls! the first place we looked at was probably a flop house, rented by the hour, and not our idea of a good time. we moved on to the second 'mansion'...this time prepared for the worst. two girls were coming out of the building so i accosted them. i mean, if two young girls could stay there...how bad could it be? they directed us to mr. simon and luckily he had a room for us. luckily because this mansion really wasn't any more pleasant than the last BUT mr. simon's place was very clean. i'm attributing the cockroach that crawled under our door on the last night to the vegetarian, hole-in-the-wall, disgusting restaurant next door.
our last, extra day we spent by getting out of hong kong and exploring the town and market of stanley. it took awhile for my stomach to stop flipping around because of the rollercoaster bus ride we took through the mountainous terrain. we wandered through the famous stanley market and found a beach. if you have a passion for seaglass, like jay and i now do, this is the place to come! hoards of glass pieces are just lying there for your delight and collection.