We have got a double entry visa for China with 30 days for each stay, which means that we had to leave the country after one month and re-enter it once again. Hong Kong seemed like a nice option for this short break. Especially because it is visa free for most of the European countries and so there is no time pressure at the back of your head that you have to leave soon. In theory we could stay up to three months…
There are a couple of possibilities to cross the border between Hong Kong and the mainland of China – either by ferry or by using one of the several bridges. We planned to take the land route and decided to cycle one of the bridges but unfortunately it turned out that it is a highway and bicycles are not allowed. We even tried to make up a story, that our bikes have a small engine and therefore could be defined as motorcycles – but our Chinese was not good enough and neither were our abilities of body language to convince the local traffic police to let us through. A little bit frustrated we ended up in one of the shuttle buses with some pedestrians going to Hong Kong.
All of a sudden a lot of things had changed in Hong Kong:
We could communicate in English and did not have to use our picture dictionary or Chinese translator on the phone – it is so much easier to order food when people can understand you. We realized that our mirror on the handlebar is on the wrong side as it is left side traffic in Hong Kong. Almost everything is twice as expensive as in mainland China and the currency changed from Yuan to the Hong Kong dollar.
Anyway we wanted to go with the flow and jump into the big city life with all its advantages and disadvantages.
A nice surprise for us was to meet our Belgian cycling friends Tim and Claire in this new surroundings – we already have had said Goodbye after some cycling and hiking days spent together in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Hong Kong´s big city life made us quite tired after a while and this is why we decided to escape from the rush and enjoy some nature. The New Territories peninsula has a huge natural reserve area with several hiking paths. We decided to do a 100 km hiking trip on MacLehose Trail crossing the island from the west to the east.
Before we arrived to Hong Kong we thought of it as a very urbanized part of the world. In fact most of its territory is covered by a dense, tropical forest full of wildlife!
Besides a huge variety of the landscape we could also observe some fascinating creatures in their natural surrounding.
The weather was not really good, some rain and a lot of clouds made it impossible to admire the view on the city and after three days and 50 km of hiking we came back to …
… unpack the package we have been waiting for a very long time for- it was sent from Germany two MONTHS ago. It felt like celebrating birthday and Christmas at the same time! Thank you mama, tata, Justin and Tas!!!