My second place to stay during my weeks in Hong Kong is along what has become a highway. Connaught Road West may sound as colonial as the term “Crown Colony,” but that time has passed. I will be in an old building overlooking heavy traffic, but it is after all a mere 29 USD a night. All reviews say that the room is clean, and it does have its own water closet, Chungking Mansions style, or Casa Hotel for that matter, in which the shower does much to clean the toilet.
I’ve done this often in my Hong Kong visits, where luxury is never a keynote. But this is the first time that I’ll be sleeping in one of the island’s old buildings, without wifi.
If I ever lived in this city, this would be the only sort of domicile I would be able to afford, so my final eleven days of my five week stay will be an exercise in local living as I’ve never done it before. Even Chungking Mansions had internet, and so did my house on Monkey Mountain.
Before I booked it, I checked for that water closet and for a window, both essential to my sanity. Airbnb is very protective of addresses so I had no idea about the highway setting, but since it wasn’t mentioned in any of the reviews, apparently that was outweighed for other travelers by the stunningly low price.
It has four windows and good water pressure. The water closet is actually pretty with new fixtures and the bed looks very Ikea. There’s both a fan and air conditioning, an iron, and a hot pot for morning coffee. There’s maid service with bedding changed weekly. The building has been described as clean and safe. What more would I need?
As long as there is no vermin or junkies lurking in the hallway, I’ll be fine with this. It’s centrally located and I won’t be spending much time in my room during the day. I’m sure I’ll feel nostalgic for my North Point room with its bathtub and washing machine and gigantic windows surrounding the bed but contrasts are what make life worth living. The Connaught Road place is something I’ve never done before, and never thought I would have a chance to do. Viva la vida loca!