Let's begin at the beginning

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Oh, little blog. I forgot about you. I apologise profusely.

However it's not that I neglected to remember your existence, I just got a bit caught up. A tiny bit busy; swept away on a magic carpet ride. Which I guess is a metaphor for: I kind of got lost along the way.

The last six and a bit months have been all topsy-turvy. Not exactly a rollercoaster but definitely not plain sailing either. A myriad of celebrations and hardships, the biggest of which has been occurring recently. Now, you know me. I'm a dreamer; a wayward spirit with a sense of direction but no definite path. These aforementioned paths are many and plenty, stretching out before me in their hoards with no true way of knowing where they wind. I know they all lead to the same place, it's just the not knowing of where they'll take me along the way. And there's no certainty of which will be the easier route or what will take me to dark corners and beyond. It's a game of chance; a Russian Roulette with life as the gamble. But that's just life in general, isn't it?

I realise now, reading back to everything that I hoped to achieve at the beginning of this year, that I'm barely striking it at all. I ought to feel lazy or like a failure but truth is, I don't. Whether that's because I aimed too high like I always do or whether it's because I've mellowed out with age and know better than anybody that sometimes life just happens all by itself, I don't know. But I'm okay with it. I feel almost better with the uncertainty than I did with having a definite article - because sometimes, what we're familiar and comfortable with isn't always the best for us at all. When you're 22 or 23, this freaks you the fuck out. But when you're on the cusp of 29 - that final fling of a year before you hit the next crucial decade - suddenly it doesn't seem so bad after all.

I've made Big Life Changes. There's no tl;dr version of this. That's all you need to know.

What you do need to know - and indeed what I have to tell myself as a priority - is that I'm striving to be better for the sake my own damn self. The gym thing, it didn't happen at the beginning of the year like I promised it would. In fact, it only became a main player in my life this last week just gone and while I've faced interruptions with stupid broken migraine brain drain sickness, the feeling of tighter muscles in my tummy through fierceness and not fear asserts that this is going to become a stayer in my life. The thing with fitness is, it can be hard to drag yourself out of your pit every day and dedicate yourself to the cause. But soon, after you've pushed yourself and broken barriers, however banal they are, the gloriousness of endorphins and adrenaline kick in. You feel powerful. A good friend told me that the first month is always the hardest; you question why the hell you're putting yourself through this. But after that, you need it - even when you don't realise that you do. And a wise man once said it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. This is a habit I dearly want to make. Because it's not just about the body, it's about the mind too.

Back in May, I changed jobs. I guess that was a big one for piece of mind's sake. There are some things I miss about the coffee shop life though, as it differs greatly to an office environment. The social aspect is perhaps the biggest one for me - getting to know new people, building conversations and relationships with the ones you already know, even the being on your feet all day and having to plan with a moment's notice and very little information at all. Some of these things are transferrable to an office job, especially the last two points with the company I work for. I've become even more used to just going with the flow, taking all the changes with a pinch of salt and just getting on with it. The first month here was hard, I'm not going to lie. For days at a time I didn't know whether I was coming or going, and I went from having zero workload at all in the first week to furiously working at 100mph like an octopus without an instruction manual. By the fourth week though, I got into the swing of things. I moved from a dingy office all on my own and out onto the floor with the rest of the department. I began to make connections; those important first forays into establishing working relationships. I got more confident on the phone and again within myself to take a task in my own unique direction. So far, it appears to be going down a treat. They say that office jobs make you feel like you're in a cage but I actually feel quite liberated.

Writing, perhaps my dearest love (along with travel but we'll get onto that in a minute), has unfortunately taken a bit of a backseat. Timing is always an issue - time that I never seem to find or have enough of. I'm exploding with ideas but have nowhere to put them. No, that's a lie. I have many different avenues to adoringly and furiously write myself into, but it's inexplainable what holds me back. Confidence? Wanting to feel adequate? That stupid perfectionist streak in me, the one that doesn't feel up to the task unless I know I can offer it 110%? I'll never be sure. What I do know is that it's time to stop fucking around and procrastinating, and just give it my all. The songs I want to write, the journalistic articles that may never even see the light of day, that novel that I have a thousand and one scenes playing out in my head twenty-four-seven, even this blog. It's a pleasant form of escapism that needs to be revealed.

At the end of last year, I embarked and rolled off of the trip of my lifetime in just five short weeks. It was the first time I'd ever experienced true solo travel without the security of a group or even a concrete itinerary. I just went with the flow, seeing where each day took me, sometimes even changing my routes or destinations at a moment's notice. It drove my parents crazy and it drove me crazy too, yet in completely different ways. I was totally in my element and those furtive little feelings I had about being over and done with it all was the biggest lie I could have ever told myself. I will always want to see the world and there will always be corners to explore. I still dearly want to do 30 countries by the time I am 30, which means I have five flags to collect in the next year and two days. It's not impossible, or at least it shouldn't feel like it is.

So what now? After blabbing about a majority of the last six months in one little text box, what do I envision for the next six and a bit? I can't say. I'd love to tell you what my plans are or what may occur but truth be told, I have absolutely no bloody idea at all. And you know what? I kind of like it that way. It's redeeming. It's not aimless to have no expectations, oh no. In fact, isn't it just the total opposite? For expecting nothing means that everything else is an unconditional bonus. And when you feel like you're on the floor, well, every little magical perk counts.

It should go without saying. But I'm going to say it anyway. Because that's what I'm here to do.

2016 will be better, I swear

Monday, 4 January 2016

It was another typical New Year's Day of waking up with a stinging hangover and a familiar sense of dread. We've all been there, right? Stuck in that mystical fog that extends much further than the initial 'I don't know what I did last night'. In addition, you kind of wonder what exactly you are doing with your life; where you have been, emotionally and physically, and just exactly where you are going. On New Year's Eve I had a good ol' classic cry about not having done much with my life at all, while another poor human soul - who, really, was just trying to have a good party - had to resign themselves to squeezing my hand and reminding me of all the little things I have achieved over the past year alone. Sometimes in all these black holes of self-doubt that are definitely not helped by the darker mornings and evenings, I forget all of these milestones. I became more assertive in my working life and my personal life. I moved halfway across the country and saved a ton of money in the process. I nurtured a long-distance relationship into everyday happiness to be shared with somebody else. I travelled solo on the other side of the world, booking flights and hostels with a days' notice. I lost weight and felt more settled within my own skin. I tried to be better to myself, inside and out, and it began to pay off.

The turn of the year always makes you stop and think, though. It causes you to yearn and plan and strive for more. It gets you reflecting on how far you've come in just 365 short days, and how different you'll be this time next year. Resolutions, I feel, are a world totally lost on me. It's not that I can't hit them goals, but more like I'm setting myself up for failure every time I say I will do this or that or the other. Maybe I spend so much time in my working life being organised and hitting targets earlier than I ever need to, that I'm kind of burnt out when it comes down to the personal side of life. This year, it's all about finding the long-term balance. I'm getting too old to still be waking up and not knowing about what I want to be when I grow up. So, rather than resolutions, instead I've just made a list of things that I would adore to be able to stand tall on December 31st and say, "Yes, I did that." With not a tear in sight.

01. Read more books. Probably the top of my list all year, every year. Last year I managed to read more books that I've read since I was a teenager, definitely aided by being a solo traveller. I've plunged back into the loving arms of my Kindle and rediscovered a love for getting lost in a literal world. Not only is it a great way to clear the mind but I also find reading hella inspirational. If I could read 30 books this year, I think I'd be a very happy bunny indeed.

02. Write more fiction. Procrastination is my enemy number one. The truth is, I feel like I've had the skeleton of a story trapped in the cage of my brain for the best part of a decade now. When I had a lot of free time in Asia this winter, I started attending to this and before I could even make sense of anything, it was as if a novella was pouring out of my fingertips to be burned onto the memory of my laptop. While I wiled away hours tip-tap-typing, I felt like I was birthing an entirely new tale. I wish I would have taken part in NaNoWriMo last year in order to get this new-found lust well on the road to success, but this is all about looking forward. I can't begin to measure how successful I would like to be by the end of the year, but I'll leave it at that I would have like to at least finished one story and started the next one.

03. Reconnect with the remainder of my creative side. Just before Christmas I fixed the beloved acoustic guitar of mine that had laid dormant, dusty and somewhat broken for about three years. It was the best thing I had done in ages; as soon as I had it working again I played it until my fingertips bled and my heart sang. I want to get good again - as in, I don't want to immediately feel my cheeks go hot and red whenever anybody inquires about my musical talents. This goes for everything: I'm shy about my photography, but I'm not half bad and I bloody love doing it. I adore cooking and baking but rarely take my cakes to anybody else for fear of ridicule. Practice won't make perfect for me but practice will certainly make me proud.

04. Get back to my previous full fitness. Almost a laughing matter. In short, back in 2011 I was without a doubt the fittest I have ever been. I wasn't in any way professional and also not in any way obsessed with being skinny, but I undertook exercise for the sake of pure enjoyment. I hauled myself to the gym 3 times a week, attended pilates classes, cycled to work and ran. Boy, I ran for days. If I remember correctly, I completed two 10k races, two half marathons and a plethora of 5k Parkruns across the south-east. I felt so strong and then suddenly, I just stopped. It's an easy cop-out to blame personal circumstances but that's what it boiled down to: moving house, gaining a promotion, losing a relationship and running pretty much straight into another. Since then, I've never quite got back on the wagon but this year it's all about to change. I guess there are a few sub-clauses to this and they are as follows:
A. I'm rejoining a gym. This is the key that unlocks the crystal ball, in my mind. For one, I absolutely hate paying for things that I am not getting maximum use out of. I also adore the challenge. The gym I'm eyeing up is about a 10 minute bike ride from my house and is pretty cheap too. Throw in the fact that a few of my friends go there already and my boyfriend Phil is up for joining at the same time as me tells me that this is nothing but a good idea indeed.
B. I'm doing a triathlon in July. Don't laugh. For starters, it's kind of like a mini triathlon - a "sprint" tri, at professionals would say. The distances are a 750m swim (about 30 lengths), a 20k bike ride and a 5k run. The good thing is that these are all distances I can already do, albeit not as comfortably anymore, the mission will be stringing them all together and getting better at them. The swim will be open water too so that will be an entirely new thing for me. However, the upside is that the tri will be in the Lake District in the middle of summer so it'll be beautiful or warm or hopefully a mixture of the two.

05. Be generally nicer to myself. Physically and emotionally. I'm my own worst enemy; but aren't we all? I guess this comes full circle to not being proud of my achievements when I bloody well should be. I'm such a classical do-gooder as well, always wanting to make a song and dance for other people while totally neglecting myself. 2016 is about looking after myself a whole lot more and while I want to feel better on the outside, I believe that this is only possibly is you ultimately look after yourself from the inside. Being healthy, getting into a good routine, sleeping the proper amount of sleep every night... that's just the beginning of it. I'm trying to have a really well-behaved month of clean eating and no drinking or other naughty things, and mentally getting into a good mindset, ready for the year ahead. Yes, plans will be broken because this is just a fact of life, but there's no point beating myself up about it. Isn't that just a waste of time? I'll always be looking forward from now on.

06. DOCUMENT THIS ENTIRE YEAR. I'm the worst half-arsed blogger you've ever met. In fact, I feel like even titling myself as a 'blogger' sets me up for a downfall from the get go. Give me a topic, I've been there, I've tried it all. I even thought it would be a good idea to begin travel blogging at the end of last year as a means of documentation but more for the greedy sense of 'perhaps I can make a bit of money off the back of this'. I managed it for a few weeks before I realised it felt oh-so wrong and very un-me. The truth is, I don't need an audience. I'm happy collecting snippets of shiny days and keeping them all to my very self. And because of this I rarely Facebook anymore, I Instagram whatever the hell I want but a whole lot less, and I turned my Twitter to friends-only which is probably the greatest thing I've ever done as now I can warble as much tripe as I like without fear of unwanted beady eyes. Seeing my friends write about the things that they are passionate about, like real-life pals Gracie and Mel, gives me so much gusto, and following the across-the-pond YouTube adventures of my besties Bee & Nick gets me wanting to throw videos into my repertoire. I might want to shoot a few clips of my amazing day hiking, or a few photos of some surprise vegan snacks I found, or I might just want to babble about general thoughts and feelings. Basically, if I like it and if it makes me happy - and probably if it doesn't make me happy too - this year, I'm going to channel it into this little space of the world wide web. Because what wouldn't be a greater feeling than having all of this to look back on in the future and thinking, "Wow. 2016 really was my year."

The top image is from weheartit.com; the lyric in the image is from the Death Cab For Cutie song "The New Year" and aren't those words just so apt?

Taiwan, the underdog of Asia

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Passport control, Taipei International Airport, 4am. I was stood before a facemask-clad female immigration official who, while pawing through my passport, was sternly asking me exactly what I planned to do in Taiwan.

"Errrr..." came my instant, hesitant reply. "I don't really know to be honest. I decided to come here for a few days after reading about your wonderful country." There. I thought, as I stared deep into her serious eyes. That'll butter it up a bit.

She looked back at me and for a few seconds, the air was tense. Then, she laughed and I could suddenly see a smile peek beyond the boundaries of her mask. "Ohhh!" She marvelled. "You will love it here! I am so happy you came to my country! I am very proud! Please enjoy yourself and don't be afraid to ask anybody for help!"

My passport was returned to me with a stamp and with that, I was on my merry way.

When I first even thought about Taiwan as a travel destination, I remember exactly where it came from. I'd just discovered Lauren's wonderful blog Never Ending Footsteps and read her rave reviews of this wonderful island destination way out there in Eastern Asia. For her, it was her gateway into a brand-new continent near the beginning of her long term travels, and I soaked up every last morsel of her posts with wide-eyed wonder. I thought to myself, "Tai-wanna be startin' something?"

...I didn't really but I had to shoehorn that in somewhere!

I originally wanted to spend way more time in Taiwan, making my way across the whole island from the slicker cities of the north and east coasts to the tropical forests that lay more inland. When my first itinerary came out at 7 weeks, around 10 days of that were solely dedicated to Taiwan. In the end I cut down my trip to a square month and in a last minute booking frenzy, I chucked three full days in Taipei in there. I couldn't not, really. Flights in and out were costing no more than £30 in total and I was addicted to the mere notion of going to Taiwan, knowing no-one who had personally be there. I had the hunger to be a pioneer.

Firstly, I am totally glad I squished in some Taipei time. On the other hand I am completely gutted that it was so short. What was I thinking? I ended up with even less time as at this point I was still getting over jetlag (I'd been away a whole week, do I win any records here?) and one of my Taipei days was spent, again, in bed until 4pm. I was totally unprepared for how much I'd like it, more or less falling head-over-heels in love almost instantly.

I say "almost" because from the moment I landed, I just wasn't sure I'd made the right choice after all. After landing from Macau at 3:30am and with nowhere really to go at that point, I decided to wait in the airport until a more reasonable hour, fuelling myself with coffees from 7/11. 8am finally rolled around and I headed to the bus station to make my way into the centre of the city. This was all a bit frantic, as after buying a cheap ticket I was ferried onto a local bus that smelt of smoke and hosted a driver with an interesting approach to driving (although now I'm in Thailand, I'd go back to that bus in a heartbeat!) The journey into Taipei took about half an hour and you get dropped off at the main station, a central hub for all buses, trains and MRT services, that sprawls out as far as the eye can see. I stepped off the bus, looked around at the uninspiring landscape that surrounded me... and I just wasn't sold.

After struggling with Google Maps a bit in trying to find the best route to my hostel, I resigned my desire to walk everywhere to failure. It was 30 degree heat and I was wearing skinny jeans for crying out loud. I decided to take my first MRT journey of the trip so far, having avoided it in Hong Kong previously. I felt like I'd given up - I didn't want to be hidden away underground, missing all the sights. I wanted to be a proper savvy traveller, soaking it all in and wasting no time at all. But I told myself that I could literally sweat no more and just wanted to dump my 9kg backpack at my hostel and chill the eff out. MRT it was. I suppose this is the perfect time to say that cities like London have a lot to learn from the MRT systems of Asia. Taipei's, I feel, is a force to be reckoned with in the most positive way. Here we have a transport system that is on time, sparkling clean, everybody is polite and totally unpushy, and it costs circa 40p a journey pretty much anywhere on the network. Once I'd got through the initial attempt to buy a ticket without a hitch and had found a seat on the next service, I suddenly felt pretty serene.

The stop closest to my hostel was Ximen and as soon as I peaked at the escalator, I breathed in a sigh of awe: this was more like the Taipei that I had imagined. It felt like Hong Kong but without the crowds and way more vivid. It also smelt just as interesting, but totally different. As I walked down the street lugging my backpack with a map in hand, looking every bit the backpacker, I didn't feel vulnerable at all but instead totally welcome. Locals would smile earnestly at me, sometimes offering a wave, and a couple even stopped when I was probably looking around in a tad of confusion to ask if they could help at all. That's one of the greatest things going for Taiwan, is how friendly everybody is. They are really happy to see tourists in their country - and in return, I was finally incredibly happy to be there.

Has anybody else been to or ever considered going to Taiwan?

Beating the crowds at Victoria Peak

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

I suppose I better come clean now and say that I never made it to Wan Chai. I've also been a pesky poor blogger, but we'll chalk that up to actually being out there and enjoying myself. As a traveller, I'm certain that it's my prerogative. However somewhere in the chaos of Phuket, I've managed to find myself some time for chillin' - time that doesn't involve simply existing or perhaps reading a book on the beach, more like sitting on the sun terrace in the bar of my hostel, sipping a sweet iced coffee - and I feel like I can just pick up where I left off. Right? Right.

I also suppose that I should admit that the little devil otherwise known as 'jetlag' well and truly beat me for at least a week. It just couldn't seem to be shaken. I'd spend one night up until 6:30am or with no sleep at all and then the next sleeping like a baby by 10pm. Every evening that I thought I'd got rid of it, it came back with a vengeance. On the morning that I headed to Victoria Peak, Hong Kong's best known viewpoint, I'd actually been wide awake the entire night. As soon at daylight hit I jumped up and into the shower, pulled on some clothes and got out that door just in time for the Pacific Coffee outlet around the corner from me to open at 7am. Ahh, Pacific Coffee - the Starbucks of East Asia. They do mighty fine americanos, I'll give them that. After two of those and a huge croissant I felt like I was sufficiently fuelled to be on my way to find the Star Ferry from Kowloon Pier over to Hong Kong Island, where my quest for Victoria Peak would begin!

Now, public transport in the whole of Asia is AWESOME. Especially those that involve either underground systems or boats. Infact, I feel like Britain's shambolic collective of delayed trains and overpriced buses are third world compared to the 40p tube journeys you can get in Taiwan, for example (and on beautiful, clean and tardy trains too!) Star Ferries are no exception, literally ferrying you across Victoria Harbour in no time at all for the equivalent of 21p a pop, and with a lovely view of the Hong Kong skyline thrown in too! The gorgeous skyscrapers still glistened even with grey clouds rolling in from behind the looming mountains. Once docked at the other side, I began to follow signs for the Peak Tram.

The Peak Tram, I guess, is essential to get to the top of Victoria Peak - unless you've got legs of steel and a whole lot of willpower. If the tram journey is anything to go by, then it's definitely the steepest ascent I've ever bore witness to. But it makes for some tantalising previews, seeing the skyscrapers suddenly make an appearance through thick foresty trees that adorn the mountain. Upon this sight, the people sat on the "wrong" side of the tram stood up to get a better look... and immediately regretted it, almost falling short to the 30% incline before they perched back on their backsides and waited patiently for the top. I'd definitely picked the right side of the trundling vehicle - and the right time to go on the tram too! At 8:20am, my tram held a total of 12 people and the queue at the ticket booth where I merrily handed over HKD$40 for my return tram (that's just £3.30 - an absolute steal!) was non-existent.

If you make it to the top this early, just be aware that while Victoria Peak is an out-and-out tourist destination with restaurants and shops and caf├ęs coming out of your ears, nothing will be open before 10am apart from the chain coffee shops. This is why I suggest that the best way to make the most out of your journey and costs is to simply soak it all up. Walk around the top, find different views, bring a book or some headphones to listen to some good tunes, and just take in the awesome view. Which, by the way, if you've ever perused photos of Hong Kong as much as I have over the years, is exactly how it looks in said images. It honestly looks like a painting!

I was enjoying the peak for about two-and-a-half hours before I made my way back down. By this time the top had begun to get overpopulated with group excursions and Chinese tourists and the peace that it had previously offered and become quite the opposite and very noisy! One super-steep journey down later and I was at the bottom once again, fighting my way through the 300-strong crowd queuing to get the tram to the top. I discreetly made rock-horns at nobody but myself, applauding my jetlag for once and being glad that I'd beaten the rush this time. Does this make me a savvy traveller or what?

Hong Kong state of mind

Thursday, 5 November 2015

There's a little something that I am desperate to get off my chest.

I am inconceivably and irreparably in love with Hong Kong.

If I'm honest, I knew it would happen. For starters, this is a nook of the world that I've wanted needed to visit for the best part of the last decade, ever since I was dazzled with tales of this magical city by a hefty influence (alright, you got me: it was a boy). I was completely mesmerised by the mere thought of it and now it's physically tickled every single one of my senses I can confirm I was right to be so obsessed all along.

Secondly, there is nothing to not love. Even the semi-negatives have their charm, like the interesting smell that Hong Kong seems to expel - I can't describe it but if you've been to HK you'll know exactly what I mean. Well it certainly wouldn't be Hong Kong without it. And that's what this city is: a string of unique occurrences and appearances that lace together into a wonderful knit. No part of it is knotted or matted or broken; it all weaves together seamlessly.

And I am saying this having not escaped my neighbourhood of Tsim Sha Tsui as yet. Basically, I have a confession to make: I am jetlagged to fuckery. I have also used this descriptive so many times in a last hour on my mobile phone in various conversational outlets, that the non-word fuckery is now firmly planted into my device's dictionary. But jetlag for me is something entirely new. I almost snorted at it's existence up until this point, instead believing it was more of a fairytale excuse in place of admitting that you're actually one lazy mofo. I apologise profoundly and take it all back. After staying up ALL NIGHT last night because I was absolutely in no way tired, my brain frantically pulsing neurons back and forth, I finally crashed into the land of nod at around 9am. I then woke up at 5pm - which is 9am back in my homeland, the United Kingdom. If this ain't jetlag, then I'm reluctant to admit that I'm a fully-qualified lazybones. I'm jetlagged to fuckery, don't judge me.

All this fuckery though means that technically I've lost an entire day in Haytch-Kay. And to say that I am gutted is a complete understatement. Remember, I already have an undying love for this city, so this is almost heartbreaking stuff. My days here are numbered: I'm moving on to Macau on Saturday and that in itself is to enable me to move on to Taiwan (my my Macau, what a wonderful budget airport you have...) So tomorrow I need to get back on it: formulate a proper plan and stick to it. No sleeping in! I'm eager to take a trip on the cable car up to the peak to take in the awesome views and I also want to break out of Kowloon and explore Hong Kong Island, an area I've yet to set foot on yet. This is not to say that my time thus far in Hong Kong hasn't been jam-packed, oh you underestimate me. Aside from my all-day-snoozing today, yesterday was drastically different in comparison.

On Wednesday, after a rather frustrating sleep - because everybody in my hostel room was up and at 'em at 5:50am, for no apparent reason - I hauled myself out of bed and into fresh clothes and out of that door all before midday. I was a girl on a mission with no directive at all. My only plan was to wander aimlessly and see what I happened upon. After an hour or so looking for coffee (and failing miserably) I eventually came across Victoria Harbour, the body of water that sits between Kowloon on the mainland and Hong Kong Island, bordered beautifully by the double-decker promenade at Kowloon Public Pier and the sea of skyscrapers across the way. As soon as I caught glimpse of this astounding row of metal towers I was sold into just sitting there and soaking it all up. Which is exactly what I did for the next hour and I recommend everybody taking the time out to do exactly this in Hong Kong, as the scenery belittles anything you can imagine. Even London's offerings pale in comparison to this skyline. The art of just admiring and appreciating what was in my field of vision was very settling and all the nerves I'd previously had pre-boarding back in Manchester (which, believe me, were plenty) suddenly dissolved and floated away. I felt like I was home. A strange feeling for somebody that had never set foot in Asia before!

But for a London girl it's easy to spot the British influence over this small now practically autonomous region. There is never a lack of the English language in speech or in type, so there's no case of getting lost in translation or having to crack out ye olde internationale hand gestures. All of the street signs are anglicised too, with names such as Ashley Road, Bristol Avenure, Cameron Road, Granville Road, I could continue but what a waste of wordcount. You get the picture. Another thing that stands out is how diverse and multi-cultural this place is. You can stumble upon a myriad of world cuisines all lined up on the same street and be spoilt for choice. You definitely won't go hungry in Hong Kong, even if you're shy to try street food!

The rest of my day yesterday was spent non-stop walking, for about 7 hours. I think I've pretty much covered my little district in Kowloon and tomorrow I'll be ready to conquer places such as Wan Chai, HK's answer to Manchester's NQ, and all that lies around it. My alarm is set and I'm raring to go! Even if it means waking up hideously early; what can I say, with morning views like this, it's hardly horrendous.

Have you been to Hong Kong before? What did you love about it?
Also shout out any recommendations that you might have!