Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Mt. Davis Youth Hostel 

Mt. Davis Youth Hostel. Last time I came to Hong Kong, I stayed at the YWAM base at the invitation of a friend. But I don't know anyone there, so I was not surprised when they did not answer my inquiry (especially since I told them I was from Beijing). I wasn't worried, because Hong Kong does have a pretty good youth hostel network, and I had been in touch with the Mt. Davis youth hostel a few times before, since I had considered staying there on my first trip a couple years ago.

The Mt. Davis Youth Hostel is located in Sheung Wan, on the western end of the Island Line. It is convenient in one sense, because it is only one stop from Central. But it is inconvenient in another sense, because it is right near the top of Mt. Davis, so you would have to walk quite a ways to get there. Fortunately, they have a shuttle that picks up at the Shun Tak center right by the MTR station in Sheung Wan. The shuttle doesn't run all day, but it makes several trips in the morning, and several trips in the evening, so it is enough to get the job done.

When I first got to the youth hostel yesterday evening, the place seemed deserted. I am sure this was partly because it was in the middle of the week, but also perhaps because the Hong Kong youth hostel network is slowly expanding, so many backpackers are opting for the youth hostels more removed from the center of the city. For me, though, this hostel is really a convenient place to stay, because it is more like home for me than most of the other places I have stayed. Since I moved out to the western hills of Beijing, I have become accustomed to climbing up to a little pavilion in the early morning for a time of meditation before I start the day. I had figured I would have to forgo that for a week or two while I was on the road, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that this youth hostel is situated near the top of the mountain, and it is just a ten minute hike to the peak, which is an old abandoned World War II fortress. It's not developed (fortunately). There is no tourist site up there. No one taking tickets. Just an old abandoned gun site. Sorta like the World War II bomb shelter in the back yard of our house in Sakata. But quite a bit bigger, of course. As an added benefit, even though my cell phone doesn't work in Hong Kong, I discovered this morning when I was sitting on the top of one of the old battlements having my devotions, that I could get my text messages. That's about the right balance for me. Text messages once a day, otherwise no phone calls.

The Mt. Davis Youth Hostel has a very well equipped kitchen area. It is on top of the mountain, so there are no restaurants nearby, but there are many near the Shun Tak Center where the shuttle picks up and drops off. Youth hostels in China do not always have good kitchen facilities, but they often have a small eatery of some kind where you can buy cheap meals. And some of them will let you eat with the staff for 5 kuai, so that works out good for me, because I'm not much of a cook. But in terms of the way traditional hosteling is supposed to work--where you buy groceries at a local market and do your own cooking--this place is pretty well equipped.

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