Hong Kong, known as the most important port in Asia, is also one with a devastating history. Marked by its disruption between two cultures and several war settings, the city is now one of the most modern metropolises around the world. It offers everything, from museums to shopping malls, from religous buildings to skycraper views, from natural sceneries to an exciting nightlife. Hong Kong is a city where East and West meet in a way that is unknown to any other city.
Before I start with the guide, I would like to hold down the first impressions I got from that city.
Some people say, they don’t feel like they are in China when they visit Hong Kong after staying in Mainland for a few months. For me, that was not the case. To be true, I had a minor culture shock when I first arrived on Nathan Road which I neither had in Shanghai, nor in Yuyao. I tried to explain this to myself and came to the conclusion that there is a simple reason. Hong Kong shocked me that way because it is a city that combines the chinese bustle with western influences on a small space.
It is very hard to explain. To understand what I am saying, you have to experience this city yourself.
With this, I will start:
Step 1: Get lost while trying to find your hostel:
Hong Kong overwhelmed me big time. Maybe it was the fact that I first saw Nathan Road, passed Chung King Mansion and all the weird people strolling in front of that building. Or maybe it was the fact that everything was extremely cramped, crowded and colourful. The main reason might be that I had problems finding my hostel which was located right on Nathan Road. The fact that it was in a huge building complex escaped me. I didn’t know that almost every hostel in Hong Kong is inside of one of these huge buildings, in order to save space. So I ended up walking up and down the same road, desperately trying to find the hostel. In the end, I found it and was so lucky that it looked clean, since the elevator I went up with was a bit scary :’D My shock didn’t end though. I found out that I had to sleep in a mixed dorm which means not only females but also males – in my case 2 other guys. Plus, we didn’t have lockers, and the room was tiny, filled with 2 bunk beds. If you entered the room and took one step you landed on the bed already :’D There was only 1 guy in the room and he seemed to be a nice person luckily.
I ended up sleeping with my valuables under my pillow which was a good idea because another roommate entered the dorm in the early hours of the morning. He was sleeping on one of the top bunks.
Step 2: Bond with your roommates:
The next morning, I wanted to start to do some things before my flight in the late afternoon, so I woke up early. My roommate was awake as well so I asked him if he wanted to join me. That’s one of the advantages of staying in a hostel if you are travelling solo. You can always meet new, young people from all over the world.
We got ready, I packed the little things I had and we went to take the subway. It was good that he came along, because he had already been in Hong Kong for a few days, so he knew how to get around. I wanted to go up Victoria Peak and he hadn’t seen it either, so we went there. Before, we needed to get breakfast, so we stopped at a cafe.
Step 3: Go to the most amazing sight in Hong Kong, the Victoria Peak:
If the weather is clear, make sure to go up the peak. But only if it really is good weather, otherwise you will end up spending a lot of time and some money for nothing. We were super lucky with the weather. It was middle of september and Hong Kong was still very hot and humid, but the sky was clear and blue.
After breakfast, we took the tram up the peak. There are also other ways of transportation. You can walk up or take the bus, but we wanted to take the tram because the view is supposed to be great. And it really was. While driving up, all the skyscrapers looked sloping, as though the world was folding itself together like in Inception :D
Anyway, it was lucky that we woke up early, because the tram was almost empty. We didn’t know, but we should later find out that the sky terrace of the peak opened way later than we expected, but still we were able to finish early. Plus, the tram up was so crowded later in the day, we saw the queue when we went down later. It was totally insane. So if you wanna avoid the crowds, make sure to come a little bit earlier.
Even if you arrive before the peak opens, you still have great opportunities to enjoy different views. Right beneath the sky terrace there was a lion pavillion which was almost empty during that time so we managed to take some photos there.
Plus the surroundings of the peak were beautiful. We felt like somewhere in a tropical forest. Palm trees everywhere and the sound of insects and birds. It was amazing.
After we saw most parts of the peak, we relaxed at a cafe and had a refreshing drink before going up the terrace. There, we saw some beautiful dogs who went for a morning stroll with their owners.
It was becoming hotter and hotter, but we still waited and could finally enter. The view from up there was way better than from the pavillion of course. Although the place is not that big, the view is just incredible. I couldn’t stop taking photos.
|Look what they had there :’D The Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant from Forrest Gump ^^|
I would suggest to go to the peak either early in the morning to avoid the crowds, or right before dusk, so that you can see it in three different stages: Day, dusk and night with all the lights on. That’s what I’m gonna do next time I’m in Hong Kong.
Step 4: Get lost in the winding streets of Central:
On our way back from the peak to the ferry terminal, we got a little bit lost in Central, one of the districts of Hong Kong Island. It is famous for its bars, pubs and nightlife. We didn’t stay long, since we were slowly getting hungry and couldn’t find anything we wanted in Central, so we slowly headed back to Tsim Sha Tsui.
Step 5: Take the Star Ferry from Victoria Harbour:
Of course, you can take the subway anywhere you wanna go in Hong Kong, but if you plan to go to one of the islands surrounding Hong Kong, it is a more relaxing alternative to take the ferry.
We also did that since I love ferries, ships, boats, yachts and everythig that has to do with water :’D
And at this point I have to say that I love the sea in Hong Kong. The colour is one of my favourites, a bright turquoise, with splashes of white, glittering in the sun and reflecting the iron skyscrapers from the shore. So beautiful. Don’t miss out on this.
Step 6: Have lunch in a mall:
Actually, we wanted to eat some Dim Sum or something else that was Hong Kong food, so we strolled through the streets in and around Nathan Road but we couldn’t find anything that other than some noodle soup places which we didn’t really want. I found a good dim sum restaurant online which was supposed to be in a mall close where we were so we went there. Inside of the mall, we also got lost. We were already starving and I also had to hurry up to get to the plane.
We finally found the food court and discovered an Indian restaurant that was offering a lunch buffet. That was the first time I ever ate Indian food and I fell in love with it. It is now one of my favourite cuisines. Asian cuisine truly is the best.
After lunch, it was also already time for me to take the bus to the airport and say goodbye to this crazy yet colourful city. That would not be my last time here though.