It has almost been two years since my visit and although I have spoken about my trip before, it hasn’t been in much detail. Arriving in HK isn’t anything special, an airport like every other and with thick cloud or smog ( whatever you actually want to call it) you can’t see too much. It’s only when you start your drive into the city and see everything loom above you, you start to realise you have entered another world. This of course only applies if most of your travels previously have been in the western world. Hong Kong offers a lot more than what you can see, in fact it triggers on all of your senses. The air is thick and the weather is humid, it has a smell, which although isn’t offensive isn’t exactly pleasant and it’s loud, very loud. Furthermore it is crammed full of locals and tourists meandering their way around the island.
I don’t want to tell you what to do, but this is what you should.
- Visit Victoria Peek
- If you are a fan of views this is defintely not somthing too miss. As well as stunning views it gives you an amazing perspective of the city. The quickest and most convenient way to visit is by a rather steep tram. This can be bought in conjunction with a sky pass offering you the views at the top from the Sky Terrace. The Peek Tram itself dates as far back as 1888 where it contained three classes and could sit 30 passengers. It is often regarded as the most scenic ( as well as quickest ) way to reach the top. It’s seen wars and even had calls from Hollywood. The Sky Terrace stands 428m above sea level and offfers a 360 view to be enjoyed both day and night.
- Visit the Chi Lin Nunnery
HK is so busy, its a must to get away from it all sometimes. The Chi Lin Nunnery and Gardens is a perfect place to find your calm amongst the hustle and bustle. I have no idea why its called a ‘Nunnery’. I always thought a nunnery was where they buried nuns, surely it should be called a convent?… anyway.. I personally really like this place for one reason. Built in 1934 its style is based on the Tang Dynasty, it’s like its own little world, but behind it looms a backdrop of skyscrapers and puffy clouds. The contrast is incredible. Added bonus is that it’s free to walk around and explore.
- Visit Hong Kong Park
If you’re still wanting to get a bit of peace and not travel all too far, this park is your place. It is a pure oasis of green complete with waterfalls, fish ponds, fountains and even an aviary ( the home to around 80 species of birds)
- Visit Lantau Island
…and get the cable car. It’s rather long and a little scary as the drop below seems a little more than extreme, however well worth it. The island is home to Ngong Ping Village, which although a complete tourist trap is quite an endearing little place. The village, which I can only compare to a section of a theme park of sorts hosts lots of souvenirs and a flurry of restaurants serving up both local and western cuisine. After walking through the village, its time to get up close and personal with the Tian Tan Buddha, a gigantic bronze statue. If you are pushed for time, you can’t be picky with what day you go, but I promise it’s best on a clear day. – Although a light mist does make things a little magical.
- Visit Discovery Bay
Perhaps only do this if you crave a beach of sorts, I say this because its very westernised, home to several nice hotels and world cuisine. Visiting the Bay does however give you the excuse to ride the star ferry back to the main harbour at HK. If you eat at one of the many restaurants on the beach front you’ll get to ride the ferry for free. Bargain.
- Visit The Avenue of the Stars
An avenue on the waterfront, offering up statues of Eastern Stars featuring Jackie Chan as well as Bruce Lee. If you’re not really into the Hollywood of the East you should take a visit at night. regular as clockwork and everyday is a pretty snazzy light show which takes over the whole harbour. It’s extremely busy and to be honest you would think it only happened once a month or something. Set to music, its pretty phenomenal.The show starts promptly at 8pm daily.
- Visit Lan Kwai Fong for drinks, dancing and a bit of fun. No travel experience can be complete without having a few cocktails and dancing till 5:30am. Lan Kwai Fong is the best place for this. Not only is the the home to many deliciously themed bars offering exotic and fresh fruit drinks along with sparklers and shisha . It’s also the home to a few clubs, the most famous being ‘Levels’, a club full of locals dancing along to western tunes. If you’re lucky enough, maybe you’ll bump into a Chinese millionaire who will buy you Moet for the whole night. I would recommend to end your night at MacDonalds.
- Visit MongKok and get ‘wanderfully’ lost
During my visit, I actually stayed in Mongkok in Kowloon, which for an authentic experience I would recommend. Katie and I stayed at the Dragon Hostel, located in a huge apartment block. (I’ll link it below). I would definitely recommend but be warned, if you’re a fan of luxuries I wouldn’t… Anyway, regardless of this, Mongkok is magical, it’s actually exactly what I thought Hong Kong would be like. Bright lights, crowded streets, dubious street food, the odd cockroach. Oh, and you will get lost.
Hong Kong is a magical place, many fly in and out everyday not even leaving the airport heading to Europe or Australia. I would more than definitely spending a few days here. Although the gateway to so many places, Hong Kong is a superb destination in its own right.
to follow my journey:
Filmed with Canon G7X, Canon 60D & Iphone6