I realize I'm late writing this, but I'm going to catch you up on last week's Hong Kong adventures while riding the bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo (note: not all Japanese cities are anagrams of Tokyo).

On Tuesday morning Robbie and I started in Mong Kok, an area in Kowloon. I didn't explain yesterday that Hong Kong is comprised of two main areas, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, which is just north of the island. Clearly stereotyping, HK Island's Central is primarily business-driven while Kowloon is more about shopping. That being said, Hong Kong is generally a shopping mecca. Don't expect to hit up a lot of, if any, museums when you visit. Aside from taking in the flavor of the city, the most culture I had was seeing a couple movies. But I digress.

While in Mong Kok, we walked from shop to shop, focusing mostly on the gaming and camera stores. I didn't really buy anything, but canvasing the area proved entertaining. My other success of the afternoon was eating fried rice for lunch. It was incredibly light, nothing like chinese food in the States. Stupid Americans always seem to be bastardizing good food. Our travels on foot also took us through Jordan and Yau Ma Tei, the neighborhoods between Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui.

After Robbie left me for class, I boarded the tram for the Peak. The Peak is, as you might guess, a large hill that overlooks the city. Unfortunately the viewing tower was closed along with the restaurant I planned to visit, but I made the best of it and took some photos before heading down.

When I disembarked in Central, I found a restaurant called Noodle Box that serverd cheap noodle dishes from around Asia. This reminds me how food in HK was generally very cheap, especially compared to prices I'm now paying in Japan. A decent lunch could be $5 American. Aside from my dorm costs, I spent around $250 during the entire week.

After dinner I met Robbie back home and we finished the day with awful reruns on the english language channel, Star. Have you heard of the show "Welcome to the Kelleys?" I hadn't either. Although Star has a few big-name shows, most of them are the cheapest syndication available. What's worse is they play the commercials for these shows over and over and over. It was painful.

Wednesday was devoted to areas east of Central, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay. Keith had given me the heads up on his favorite computer and gaming malls. It was store after store of people selling memory cards, digital cameras, laptops and video games. Amazing for price shopping and utterly mesmerizing. There were only a few places to get bootleg software and they were going for HK$30 per CD or HK$50 per DVD. I didn't get anything, but it would have been a nice price cut for Adobe's Creative Suite.

Once again, Robbie had class and I was left to wander alone. I found my way to Times Square Mall, which was huge -- nine floors of shops plus a floor of restaurants. Robbie warned me, but it finally clicked that Hong Kong is virtually all shopping and eating and there are about a bajillion malls.

After resting my feet for a bit, I walked down to the most sacred place of worship in Hong Kong: Happy Valley Race Course. Hong Kongers lover horse racing and this is their mecca. The place was crowded and I wasted no time placing a bet. The local favorite is a quintella, which is where you pick the first and second horse but not the specific order. I studied the odds and chose two horses. Beginner's luck turned my HK$20 into HK$238. I proceeded to lose every other race, but I still came out ahead.

The next installment will cover my last two days in Hong Kong. It'll be shorter, I promise.