That Time In Hong Kong When We Got Off The Bus. Far Too Early…

Nathan Road in Hong Kong is really quite long…

I knew this before we even arrived in the Asian super city on the first stop of our Asia adventure. Having booked a room in Hop Inn on Carnarvon Road towards the bottom end of Nathan Road – near the water, if you like – it should have just been a simple bus journey from the airport. Or so I thought…

See the instructions on how to reach the Hop Inn were really good – Maps, text and a picture of the building in which they were hiding, all clearly laid out on their website. But I thought Hong Kong bus stops had their stop number clearly on them. It seems I was mistaken.

Arriving in Hong Kong airport after our 11 and a half hour flight from Heathrow, we were hit by that uber-warm wave of humidity that lets you know you’re in Asia! Tired and aching from all that time in a plane seat, we wanted to get straight to our hostel and chill out. Upon walking into Arrivals, for some reason the bus option caught my eye, so we hopped on the A21 Airport Bus and readied our eyes to try and find our bus stop.

One sticky bus… (Photo credit: ZYX2005 – http://sgforums.com/forums/1279/topics/326130)

We were already wishing we’d thought ahead at this point, as it was a damn sticky day in HK, and I was already beginning to hate jeans. But it was our first moments in Asia, so some naivety was allowed. The bus rumbled on for a fair while before we reached Kowloon, but I was already getting worried that none of the bus stops seemed to have numbers on. Then we turned onto Nathan Road…

Taking responsibility

At this point I had no idea which direction we were heading down the street, and whereabouts we were on it. Now as this was Chelcie’s first moments as a traveller, and I had a bit of travelling experience before (in a country where I could speak the language mind!) I figured I had to make the call here and decide what we were gonna do.

“We should get off here. I think…”

Bad idea.

It’s SO long… (Image Credit: http://imagelive.co.uk “Image By Stephen Gibson”)

So with our stocked backpacks already weighing us down and making our backs nice and sticky, we stepped out onto Nathan Road and got walking. And walked. And walked. And walked some more…

It turned out that we got off the bus right at the Northern end of Nathan Road. And we were heading almost all the way to the South end, looking for Cameron Road, and then Carnarvon Road. As such, our first day of exploring Asia was to begin with us walking over 2 miles in extreme humidity with full backpacks and no water on us, whilst wearing no suncream. The next hour was not a fun one.

We eventually arrived at the Hop Inn over an hour after the time I told them we would, and looking like we’d just stepped out of a sauna. Our trousers – yeah, we both made that mistake – were a rather darker shade than when we’d initially put them on. It wasn’t the greatest first impression we could have made, but I guess those of us from cooler climates really can’t prepare for the Asian humidity until you first experience it.

Sweet, chilled bliss. And shorts. (Image credit: Chelcie Pilbrow)

It’s safe to say that the chilled room and awesome shower seemed like a godsend that afternoon. I think I just sat in a cool shower for a long long time once my bag was hurled off my back and onto the floor.

So what did I take from this experience? Well that’s easy! Don’t take the bus when you arrive tired and jetlagged in Hong Kong! Just take the relaxing, air conditioned and wi-fi equipped Airport Express train and Metro. So, so much easier…

Have you ever had any transport tribulations upon arriving in a new place? Or you have you made any similar mistakes?

(Post thumbnail image by Eckhard Pecher. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kowloon_Nathan_Road_2007.JPG)

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12 responses to “That Time In Hong Kong When We Got Off The Bus. Far Too Early…

  1. I have done exactly this! I studied in Hong Kong for a semester and on the third day a group of us thought we would go and see the light show. Got off way too early and ended up running for at least half an hour!

    • Haha yeah it’s an epically long walk isn’t it! Really wasn’t the ideal start to our stay in Hong Kong. We were already shattered from the flight, and this was just the knockout blow to our first day in Asia! Thankfully it got better 🙂

      I’m glad to know it’s not just me that’s made that mistake though haha! But yeah I’m sticking to the metro next time…

      Thanks muchly for your comment, it’s hugely appreciated!

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  4. I did this. I was on my own, with a mega-backpack strapped to myself. That road is loooong…. Luckily I wasn’t jet-lagged and it wasn’t too hot. Still, needed a shower by the time I reached Chungking Mansions (yeah… I stayed there…).

    • I’m glad it’s not just us that’s done it then haha!

      Oh how was your experience of the Chungking Mansions? We didn’t get time to explore it…

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  6. That would be a hell of a long, bothersome walk on a hot day! First time arrival anyplace is always so disorienting and bound to lead to mistakes that are terribly annoying at the time, but awfully funny in retrospect.

    Happy travels from hot and humid Hong Kong,
    ~Jen
    (I can so relate to the picture of you dripping with sweat in your second Hong Kong post.)

    • Haha yeah it was a bit of a cock up! Still next time I know to take the Airport Express 🙂

      And yeah the HK humidity definitely takes some getting used to for a first time visitor from Europe. Still I can’t wait to get back, I’ll just be making it a bit earlier in the year ha!

  7. I can be considered a Hong Kong local by now and I still have trouble with Nathan Road. It’s hard to even figure out whether you’re heading north or south!

    • Yeah it’s a long stretch isn’t it. We didn’t really head too far north up it again after our first epic encounter with that street haha!

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