OK, so first of all, my story of getting to Hong Kong.
Traveling alone probably wasn’t the best idea. Neither was flying into Shenzhen (深圳) to save money. Yes, I saved about US$150 but between my flight being delayed over an hour and not knowing what to do when I got there, I could have easily gotten stuck. Luckily I got out of it. Here’s how things worked out:
I got to Shenzhen airport much later than I expected, and when I tried to take a bus into Hong Kong, the map I got was not helpful — again, travelling alone to a place you’ve never been can be an issue. I tried to call Hong Kong only to discover that my Chinese cell phone can’t call Hong Kong, and though I specifically asked the woman I bought a phone card from if it could call HK (the pay phones in the Shenzhen airport do not take coins), it did not. I did manage to roust up one HK friend on MSN via airport WiFi, but he couldn’t help besides tell me to take a train. So what did I do? First, I got a taxi:
Me: 地铁站 (Subway station)
Driver: 什么地铁？ (Which one?) <list of place names I didn’t understand>
Me: 最近的地铁。(The closest subway.)
That got me to the Shenzhen subway system. From there I was able to find the route to 罗湖 (Luohu) station which is one of the entrance points into Hong Kong, go through customs and immigration (which were apparently in the middle of a big shopping center, was lucky in that I could follow the signs saying “to Hong Kong”) and eventually got onto a train and navigated to Fortress Hill (炮台山) station, which I remembered was close to the hostel I had reserved.
All in all it took me about five hours longer to get into Hong Kong than I had planned, and I missed meeting one of my friends, but now I’m here for a few days, may as well enjoy things. I’ll do another post later on my impressions of the city.