A few months before my contract in China was coming to an end I decided before picking up a new job or heading back home I would travel for a bit around Asia because it’s pretty cheap, and I love to travel.
So with no real plan I decided on theses destinations Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia Loas, and Thailand.
On the 13th of September after the saddest week of my life I had no idea saying Goodbye to the country as confused as it is would become my home. I made so many friends who became family, and it was tough to say Goodbye. I ripped off the band-aid and cried by the time of my departure I was all cried out and ready for the next adventure.
I took a sleeper train from Hangzhou to Shenzhen Sunday night at 9 pm. I arrived at 8 pm after packing all day. To my surprise, all the ticket counters were closed to collect my ticket. After some gestures and pointing to my phone to show I have purchased a ticket, they let me through security. Said a quick goodbye to a good friend and off I went. (no turning back China was behind and Hong Kong was in front)
The train was comfortable I could sleep pretty well and At about 5 am the hostess came to wake me up to inform me we will be arriving soon. When I arrived, I needed to figure out how to get to Hong Kong. I mentioned Hong Kong to the security guards, and they just pointed me in the direction of the metro. So off I went lugging my life in a suitcase and a really heavy backpack down the escalator. By this time, it was reaching 7 am and the peak time morning hustle was fast in effect.
Still not knowing how to get to Hong Kong I asked the information lady who pointed me in the direction of the ticket machine. So off I went lugging everything I own looking for a stop that said Hong Kong and to my prevail nothing. Now becoming quickly frustrated with the lack of English and my translator app not working I sat down for a few minutes took a few deep breaths and started again. I approached the same lady who then gave me a metro map and all I could think was why the HELL did you not do this the first time and please can I get out of this country.
So fast forward I made it Hong Kong and the hostel I booked the previous night was very easy to find thank God because carting a 20kg suitcase around is not the easiest thing to do. I arrived around 10 am and my room wasn’t ready, so I sat on these comfortable pillows and charged my phone.
Then I experienced it the greatest thing, the one thing, I was longing for, for so long Internet freedom! I could browse VPN free the WiFi was fast, and I could access all my favorite social media platforms it was amazing.
The hostel seemed very nice people were very friendly, and they could speak English what a blessing. While minding my own business bewildered by the new found freedom I just found. A friendly gentlemen walked in and offered me some tea I accepted his nice offer, and we had some tea followed with a nice chat. He was Australian and my first foreign friend on my adventure of a solo traveler.
Things escalated quickly I then met two other friends a Canadian and American they had planned to go on a mini hike and asked if I wanted to join. Not having much of plan I accepted, checked in and off I went.
It was great, nice to be outside in the sunshine and greenery. My idea of Hong Kong was just a big city like Shanghai which I love but after being exposed to it so frequently you kind of get bored of the city life seeing shops and malls everywhere reminding you of things you cannot afford gets old quickly.
We walked on this path that had no real destination got attacked by Monkeys well not me thank god lol. It was great just walking taking pictures having a laugh getting to know these three very different people all brought together by the love of travel. I was happy.
We then took a normal bus around the city pretended it was a tour bus for half the price it was a great to start to a great vacation.
The next day we went to an Island called Lamma Island it was a nice fishing village feel small quaint shops with many trinkets. We found a beach it was nice to put my feet in the actual ocean and feel the sand in my toes. Walked up to a windmill and then back down to the village center. Stopped at a bar for Tuesday $20 pints which is cheap. We spoke to this old Scottish woman who was serving the drinks. She had been on the Island for 22 years I then followed up with the inevitable how did you get around visa regulations. Her answer was the best; she asked one of her gay friends to marry her, and they have been married for 11 years lol.
I love listening to the stories of others another draw card of traveling everyone has a fascinating story to tell you just have to be open to listening.
Back on the Ferry to the mainland and we went to Mong Kong for street food and market browsing found a local soccer game sat and watched that for a bit then continued wandering the crazy lit up streets.
It’s crazy how strangers are brought together by travel I felt like I knew these guys my entire life.Sharing stories and having a laugh with old friends.
I ended up staying up most of the night. The Australian guy had an early flight the next morning, so we decided to crash on the communal couch on the 5th floor spoke to some more interesting people and watched Mad Max in French lol Luckily both of us had seen it before but this time even in French it made more sense lol. I then had to say goodbye to my first friend of the trip a little sad, but we have planned to meet up again somewhere in Asia before he goes back to Australia.
The next day we went to Macau an interesting place this is the so-called Vagas of Asia because you allowed to gamble. So many casinos everywhere beautiful 5-star Hotels too. We went to the tower where you can bungee jump watched a few crazies. Then found the church remains and museum and ended off with a very luxury buffet dinner at one of these 5-star establishments.
The next morning before my flight I managed to get to the I-store to buy a new phone that I have been saving up for and my Canadian friend accompanied me offered to help me with my luggage what a sweetheart. I grew close to him in the short four days we spent together I felt like he was a little brother I never had. His first time on a solo trip and he surely got bitten by the travel bug. We went out for breakfast said our sad goodbyes and on the airport bus I went on my way to Hanoi another long story for another day.
This is my new series of events called the Adventures of a Solo Traveler where I will hopefully post weekly travel stories photo diaries and insider tips I have learnt from others along the way. If you have any questions about anything you think I could assist with please feel free to contact me by commenting on this post or any of my social media links you can find above. I post Instagrams regularly and you can follow me on Snapchat (ID: IamThalea) for real up to date feeds on where I am and what i am doing.
Peace love and Happiness