‘Badlands in the Heart of the City’ a headline blared in the newspaper we were handed as we boarded the plane to Hong Kong.
The article was about all the crime in Mirador Mansion. I checked our booking and sure enough, that’s where we were staying!
It should be an interesting stop!Once we were there we found that it certainly wasn’t anything we had thought of as a mansion. Rather, it was a large apartment block with small hole-in-the-wall shops and restaurants on the main floor along an elevator. Getting in the elevator involved standing in line with a huge number of people and allowed in 30 at a time.Once out on the 12th floor we nervously made our way down the hall passed this room with an open door.The entry to our hotel, the Cosmic Guest House, was surrounded by a locked gate. After a lot of buzzer pushing we were escorted into the Guest House.Fortunately it was way cleaner than the room we had passed on the way (spotless in fact), but roughly the same configuration with kitchen (with hotplate and refrigerator) / living room (with TV) / bedroom (with 5 1/2′ x 4′ bed that didn’t fit Al’s 6’3) / private bathroom crammed into a space about eight feet square.
At the time, 2007, Hong Kong was labelled the most expensive city in the world and according to what we had read, most people had to share a space like this with six others.
Another thing to note was that there wasn’t any sign of the crime mentioned in the article and we found an Indian restaurant on the main floor that was much to our liking.
Hmmm, in 2007 Hong Kong you didn’t get much mansion for $30 night!
The Cosmic Guest house is still there, and still tiny and spotless. However it looks as if they had gotten rid of the kitchen/living room portions of the rooms in favour of larger, more tourist-sized beds.