travel tales


It’s rather windy at sea

When I first arrived in Hong Kong the air smelled sweet with a salty tang. Today the sky was overcast and the air tasted thick with toxins. Faint from the fumes I fled the city, heading for the Sai Kung peninsula.

I had some vague plans but as my trip was but a reaction to asphyxiation I had not researched at all. For this reason I haven’t really done anything today… but I had a nice time and at least I could breathe.

Also, it has proved (as if I didn’t know already) that Tuesday is the worst day of the week. Wherever in the world I am.

My guidebook describes Sai Kung town as “a leafy suburb” of Kowloon. With this description in mind I’m sure you would be as disappointed by the place as I was. It’s not bad, really. It’s just not particularly leafy. What it does have is fresh air, the sea and a jolly fine Hong Kong style bakery. I bought a wonderful bun for breakfast – ham and mushroom wrapped up in a sort of brioche. Yum

I quickly realised that I would not be strolling the shady avenues of Sai Kung so decided to move on. I headed further along the peninsula to the gloriously monikered Pak Tam Chung. I hoped to visit the Sheung Yiu Folk Museum contained within a renovated walled village. After having a pleasant stroll along the Pak Tam Chung Nature Trail I arrived at the museum. It bore a sign upon its shut and bolted door: Closed on Tuesdays.

It was at this point I realised why my day had been so rubbish. Until then I hadn’t been conscious of what day it was. My already shaky concept of time has been utterly annihilated by jetlag. I wander blindly in a haze of ‘now’. All time is the same to me. All, that is, except Tuesday. The dastardly day has foiled me again.

Oh well. Moving on to vague plan number three I returned to Sai Kung town. There are a number of little islands scattered in the sea around Sai Kung. The guidebook suggests that small boats called kaido (sort of mini ferries) ply their way among these islands and I could catch one for a few dollars.  I could not.  I gathered, after discussion with several by-standers, that – if these boats exist at all – they only do so in the summer. My only option was to catch the ferry to the golf club on the island of Kai Sai Chau and hope I could walk round the rest of the island before coming back. I had no map of Kai Sai Chau so asked the people at the golf club for help. No help was forthcoming. In fact, I have just checked online and discovered that they actually lied to me! The girl told me there was nothing on the island but the golf course. I doubted that rather but thought she should know better than me. B!tch. At least I got a boat trip and a sheltered spot to sit and read for a while (I found a bit of a hut by the 18th tee – complete with table and chairs and a lovely, buffety breeze).

So that’s about it. I missed a bus while I went for change but otherwise got back to Kowloon without mishap. When I write it all down it seems like a dreadfully sad and useless day but, as I said, I quite enjoyed myself.
Perhaps I wouldn’t be so jolly if I hadn’t dined in the glorious restaurant Crystal Jade when i got back. It was busy but not unpleasantly so.  The staff were super efficient and pretty friendly (by the standards of their profession).  And the food was spectacular. I won’t attempt to describe the flavours because I wouldn’t do it justice – suffice to say: YUM. If you get a chance to eat at one of their restaurants (and you enjoy asian food) you probably should. Did I say?  YUM!

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