Saturday, 16 December 2006

Hong Kong, Cebu and Malaspacua Island. Typhoons.

After Chengdu I trained to Wuhan (again) for a week with Fen's family.


A sleeper train took me to Shenzen where I crossed the border to Hong Kong. HK is an amazing place, highly developed with prices to match (£4 a beer). I went up The Peak on a tram that ascends the hill at a 45 degree angle. This affords superb views of the HK skyline which has to be one of the greatest city-scapes on earth.

I rode the world's longest escalators 800m along and 135m up a busy section of the city. I took a night ferry to Kowloon to see HK island lit up. I chilled with a beer on Lan Kwai Fong Road watching a replay of NUFC beating Pompey in the EPL which was luxury after the rigours of China.

I flew from HK to Cebu in the Philippines. Cebu is a hot noisy polluted city full of beggars, tramps, hawkers and prostitutes - I loved it. I stayed three nights before taking a Jeepney (a small bus converted from old US army jeeps) to Maya at the northern tip of Cebu island. I had to hang on the back of the Jeepney as it was packed with people, live chickens and all manner of other crap.

A small banca (boat) conveyed me to the small paradise island of Malapascua. This place was perfect. No telephones, electricity, internet or anything! I stayed for two weeks like Robinson Crusoe in paradise. Coconuts, palm trees, banana trees, secluded tropical beaches, coral, clear warm sea, people living in small bamboo huts, tropical fish and much unidentifiable marine life. I swam, snorkeled, hiked around the island, chatted to locals, got invited to their humble huts, drank cheap local rum with the villagers and generally lived a simple life for two weeks. Cracking!



However, all's not perfect in paradise as I discovered when Typhoon Seniang swept across the island with terrifying force. It destroyed many buildings, snapped trees and generally devastated the island. I heard dozens of people died. Unbelievably, even after the warnings from locals, a Scouse bloke and I spent the night wandering through the jungle and along the beaches at the height of this furious storm. A coconut dropped between us giving us a huge scare as they'll kill you if they fall on your head. Anyway, thankfully all ended well and we gave the locals a laugh! They called us the crazy Englishmen hehe. Onward to Singapore after a weekend of partying in Cebu City.

Salamat (Philippine for Thankyou).

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