Ben in Hong Kong©

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Needles and Malaria

I found myself at 3.30 pm today sitting before a doctor and explaining my travel plans. I was leaving this visit quite late and did not really want to be there. What prompted me to seek advice about vaccinations was a news programme I watched on Saturday about a new drug resistant strain of Malaria that has been found in Cambodia. My initial thought was that if there is drug resistant Malaria then there was not much point getting any immunisation for it. Then I thought about it a little more and realised that the sensible thing to do would be to go get lots of needles stuck in my arm and pay lots of money for protection against diseases with long exotic names.

The doctor went through a list of things I could catch whilst travelling which I viewed as similar to the over-the-top warning notes you see on packets of paracetamol. Then he showed me a map with areas of high risk in bright red. Everywhere I am travelling is bright red! So he listed the four injections I need and also prescribed Malaria pills called Doxycycline. I am very familiar with this medication because it's the exact same stuff I used to take for acne. He began reading out the rules for taking it and I finished his speech " No dairy products, no direct exposure to sun without high factor sun cream and beware of iron intake". "Are you a medical student?" he asked. "No, just spotty", I replied.

More impressive though was the cost of all this. Four injections and Malaria tablets for the duration of my trip costs under 50 pounds. For a country that does not have free healthcare that's really cheap!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

H1N1 Fun

I currently have more friends with Swine Flu than without. It spread through the group last weekend and it's a small miracle I don't have it. I went to the beach on Wednesday with Adrian when he was infected and the previous Saturday night I was around five people with the virus and still never caught it!

This meant that everyone was in self imposed quarantine for seven days so Nikki and I decided to calm down the drinking this weekend mostly because we had less people to go out with!

We still went out though. Some people we know just started a new band and here is a picture of them.

They were really good and I would probably say better than any band I have seen in Hong Kong so far. One of their songs was in Korean which was pretty impressive and catchy. I asked afterwards what the song was about and was told that they were basically singing "Don't eat dog", over and over again. Less impressed once I knew that.

For the two pictures in larger size click here and here

We went to Lamma Island and Shek O beach for the weekend. We have been quite lucky with the weather this past week so i'm trying to get brown so I don't look like an albino when I start backpacking.


Friday, July 24, 2009


This blog will end in one weeks time. Not sure how to end it yet.

On a lighter note, someone just sent me a video on youtube. It is exactly how i see the Wedding of Nikki to go down. Click here for the link.

click here and here for the above photos on a bigger screen,


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mango Mania

I am currently sitting in Cafe O drinking a Mango Mania because we are without internet in the Nikki Fowler residence. We are without internet because Richard has just moved out of the flat and taken the internet box with him. I don't think I would have helped him move if I had known I was assisting in causing myself such inconvenience.

Nikki also has recently had two other guests leave and Richard usually always has his girlfriend over. This means we have gone from a small three bedroom flat with 6 people to a three bedroom flat with two people... which is a welcome change! I now have Richards old room as a 'packing room', where I'm basically storing all my crap for travelling.

I have booked my flights and hostels in Malaysia now for the next two weeks. I was putting this off partly because booking them means accepting I am leaving Hong Kong. I know I will be back but it's still my excuse for delaying things till now. I also find myself busy getting other things ready too. I need China Visas, Russian Visas and a Typhoid jab (parents, please advise about the typhoid, was I jabbed with this as a child??) I also need to go to peoples leaving parties as many people are departing Hong Kong as well as organize my own party. Anyway, i'm jabbering and my battery is running out on the laptop. I leave you with some photos.

Jack, me and Jen (who I am travelling with for 6 months) at the Spring Deer Restaraunt.

Food at the amazing Spring Deer.

Jack realizing his true size.

Jack, Adrian and Jen on the skyline.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunburnt at Shek O

clicking the photos should make them bigger.


Sunday, July 19, 2009


It's been a typhoon level 9 warning last night but this did not deter us from going out and getting quite drunk to celebrate a friends birthday. The wind is never that much of an issue in the city because we are surrounded by buildings but the rain still soaks you to the bone. I got home about 5am and was woken up by Nikki and two other friends at 7am eating kebabs and chatting on my bed! I admit that I am currently staying on the sofa but that is besides the point.

It is now a typhoon level 3 and I am bored in the flat. It's too wet, hot and horrible to bother stepping outside the building so we are not trying. This means that I am bored so thought I would share a view of the flat and a view outside Nikki's window.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

My first panoramic attempt

Just testing out a new nerdy photo thing on my camera

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I'm moving out of my flat this morning after two years of living here. Moving out has been quite a good way of getting rid of some of the crap I have accumulated over the past two years. Things like books and kitchen items I am leaving for friends or with the company to give to employees next year, everything else I am throwing away.

The problem I am having is that the items I am throwing away are not staying that way for very long. My neighbours are going through all my rubbish bags looking for things that are useful that they can keep. They are not even hiding the fact that they are doing it, two ladies were waiting in the stairwell for my rubbish bags yesterday as I was throwing things away.

I had a little bit of fun yesterday night when I found my halloween costume from last year. I placed the fake fingers and other bloody limbs in my rubbish bag and left it in my stairwell. I did not stick around for the reaction.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Skyline shots

And finally...

"If you aint got a ticket, your not going to the island".


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Crab Attack

Some photos from yesterday with Jack.

And no, he is not eating the crab in the last two pictures.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Going well till ...

Kayaking was great fun till Jack spotted a crab in the water. He chased it and then in the space of 5 minutes the following happened.

  • Jack stood on a piece of coral and cut his foot
  • He grabbed the crab but it also grabbed him and made him bleed
  • He took his good sunglasses off and I used them to open the crabs claws
  • I put the sunglasses on Jacks kayak and he then got in the kayak
  • He fell out of the kayak and the sunglasses fell into the sea
  • He looked for the sunglasses and stabbed his hand on a sea urchin

Surprisingly he was in quite a good mood about it all!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Jacks first full day in HK

The day Jack landed in Hong Kong we went to the Bridge pub, the Hay Hay restaurant and then the cinema. Jack was not very tired because he had slept on the plane however I gave him one of my allergy tablets and it had the effect of an elephant tranquilizer on him.

The next day we went to the revolving restaraunt and then Shek O Beach and the weather was amazing and really unusual for a month that typically has the highest rainfall.

We also went to the local arcades for a while too. Nikki said she has never felt like such a nerd.

Today (Friday) we are having Dim Sum and then going kayaking in Sai Kung.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


My little brother has arrived in Hong Kong and the weather looks good for his short 5 day stay!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

My travel plans are....



A good friend of mine called Mariel has recently left Hong Kong to go to law school. She has a Chinese boyfriend and if you want to see Mariel and Chinese boyfriend posing and pouting then click here.

As Mariel packed her bags and cleaned her flat we all sat watching her and wondered what it will be like to pack our own bags and leave Hong Kong. We asked various questions, one of which was what the final dinner was like with the Chinese boyfriends family.

"Well it was really nice", she replied. "There was no weird shit on the table this time and everyone was really friendly. His mum gave me a cashmere shawl as a gift and I gave her some dried scallops to say thanks".

That's right, in Hong Kong the best gift you can get someone to say thanks are dried scallops.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Multiple Markets

Pictures from my trip to the flower, bird and fish markets in Hong Kong.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tuesday night fun

Tuesday night seemed like a good evening to collect our travel documents and board a boat to Macau which is basically a very extravagant country sized gambling den.

After spending the whole night gambling, Nikki and I returned to Hong Kong at 6am and this is what Kowloon looks like at 6am from the ferry port.

I decided very early on in the evening that I was not feeling lucky, so I did not gamble more than 200HKD the whole evening.