We began the day with a very long walk from the eastern end of Wan Chai to the star pier at the northern part of central before taking the ferry over to Kowloon. We loved Kowloon park with it’s little Aviary and it’s ponds and fountains and the viewing cone and we got a nice lunch from a bakery in Mong Kok but ultimately didn’t find much else to love in Kowloon but we had fun finding that out. We caught the ferry back to Hong Kong and went exploring west of central. We headed down numerous streets filled with markets and “antiques” stores and eventually made it to Cat Street as everyone was closing up with enough time for a quick peek. We spent an age trying to decide on somewhere to eat in Soho and eventually gave up and found the name of Cafe Too in some book or online or something. Cafe Too was listed as “Pacific Place level seven” but when we got to Pacific Place, a mall, we climbed the escalators and then the stairs to find ourselves in a banyan tree garden on the roof, level six. After being frightened by the garden’s mannequin inhabitants and taking some time to ease our throbbing feet while absorbing the view we looked through our books and found Cafe Too referred to somewhere as “Cafe Too at Shangrila Island”. Having seen a sign for Shangrila Island on level five we followed it down a hallway to find ourselves on the base level of the Shangrila Island hotel. It was the most opulent building I’ve been in, ever. The chandeliers were so dense I have no idea what was in the middle of them, there was a live pianist and flautist. The bathrooms were all marble and gold and had actual mini towels to dry your hands after washing them. Already feeling out of place in this grandiose establishment we headed up two floors (seventh floor for the mathematically challenged) and were told that it was a buffet costing 580 Hong Kong dollars each (80ish Aud) which was roughly twelve times what we’d payed for all our other meals for the day combined. Having seen the buffet with it’s ice lobster cabinet and it’s dessert island and the chefs turning out sushi like card tricks we opted for “fuck it, we’ll eat everything” and proceeded to enjoy two full courses of mains and three increasingly small courses of dessert before deciding that to expose our stomachs to any more of this sort of nonsense would make them spoiled and not want to hang out with other regular stomachs in the playground. We slowly and regretfully escaped the red carpetted, marble everythinged, gold trimmed hotel and began the walk home which was only briefly interrupted by getting lost in an underground construction site complete with ventilation fan tubes as big as men and little black boxes everywhere simply labelled “danger!”, all coated in a fine layer of cement dust. By the time we made it back to the hotel we were exhausted both mentally and feetsically.

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