My first night, I met this Danish guy, and a local girl Fiona. Both over 30 and both experienced travelers.
These were the only two at the couchsurfing meeting when I arrived with my bag at 11:30pm – my host had never shown up. And according to Peter, all hostels were booked.
However, travel experience reveals the “one door closes and another opens” to be true. We went around and explored the nooks and crannies of Hong Kong Island (specifically, Central district) with my two new travel buddies until getting to sleep in a box room (literally) on the floor of a 35 usd dollar room (the cheapest available in Mong Kok) at 6am.
[On a side note: Mong Kok is one of the most densely populated urban area in the world. It is so much fun to just walk around and move with the flow of people. Especially at night. I fell in love with it. The closeness, the lights, it all meshes together to form such a unique experience. I spent so much time absorbing, I hardly took any pictures. Most are on my friend’s Peter’s camera]
I spent the next morning going up all 14 floors of this insane complex. On the second floor was a cafe. On the 3rd floor, a muay thai fighting center. On the 4th floor, a dry cleaners, apartment, and dental office. The mixmash continued upward from there. Hostel and hotels mixed in between- all inside the same building.
A courtyard in the middle of it helped allow the building to breathe, and I felt quite at home there once I got a hostel (ironically, the only available room in the entire complex).
With my Danish friend Peter, we had many nights/days exploring/partying around the mammoth skyscrapers- from the Filipino madness of Wan Chai. To my independent search of a music scene (Yumla- for electronic music. Gecko- jazz). After a while, I became thoroughly exhausted of it all.
On this hike I met an amazing host named Sook, a Korean women who worked as a flight attendant. We got talking about Korea, and within the day she asked me to be her first couchsurfer to stay at her place. (Tall women on the right side of the photo)
She had a very peaceful, organized life, and really emphasized the need for balance. I’ve rarely felt like I’ve had a “guru” “mentor” or “guide” in any sense of the word, but Sook felt that way for me during that time. She was so peaceful, and her attitude toward life so fully positive. She also supplied an incredible dinner of wine and cheese (brie cheese from Italy along with two other types, and wine from who knows where).
PIC OF DINNER ON THE IPOD TOUCH.
Eventually, my partying/going out needed to come to an end. After a week in Hong Kong, I had purchased a 1 month Chinese visa on my British Passport (100 USD than if I had done it with my American), an Ipod Touch (a lifesaver), and way too many beers at all the 7-Elevens.