As you might have suspected already, another Youtube Video is ready to be shared here. I wished I had managed to edit them at the same time as I was writing the blog posts, but I just recently found out how to edit videos.
Once again, I have finished editing the next video. In this one, I am taking the Star Ferry to Lantau Island, visit the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery, and take the Crystal Cable Car back down.
Now that I’ve been absent on my blog in August quite a lot, I am now coming back almost every day with a new video :D
Staying at home has some positive effects after all!
This is one of my favourite videos until now, although it is only around 6 minutes. But I think that the music is quite on point this time! And, I just love Hong Kong! I love the landing at the airport because in my opinion, it is the most amazing landing I have ever seen in any city every!
Then, there is the peak! Again, breathtaking views! Hong Kong is just incredible!
Check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me!
As always, thanks for reading and watching!
P.S.: I have a huge announcement tomorrow evening! So stick around for that!
Having layoverscan be hard for many people, but if you look at the bright side of life, you can get a whole new experience out of it.
I had quite a few layovers on my travels so far, and most of the time, it was very interesting to explore yet another different airport.
Every airport is different, and the smaller ones don’t really have much to offer, still you can prepare to kill time before your connecting flight, be it at a tiny or huge airport. Here is how:
1. Freshen up
This is probably the most important thing to do after stepping out of the plane. For this, make sure you always carry around lotion, brush/comb, and a little bit of make-up in your hand-luggage. Body Wipes or roll-on deodorants can also be handy if you feel super disgusting. Some airports even have shower rooms, but I am not sure if they are free or not. Another good idea is to carry extra clothes in your hand luggage. If you were sweating too much, or just wanna feel more comfortable, it’s gonna save your life.
2. Get your gate information
Many times, the gate and time won’t be announced yet, by the time you land. This is pretty common when you have connecting flights, so you would have to make sure to keep yourself updated in front of the departues boards. It’s more relaxing if you have 3 or 4 hours until your flight, but if it’s only 1 or 2 hours, and your gate is still not being announced, make sure to ask someone at the information desk when to expect the announcement. They will be able to tell you more.
Not only gates, but sometimes, you might even have to get your ticket during a layover as well. That happened to us in March when we were flying back from Dubai to Stuttgart with Turkish Airlines. We had to get our connecting tickets at a counter right after landing, and we only had around 1 hour in total until our flight’s departure. That was very stressful, and I’d prefer airlines not doing this at all.
3. Social Networking
Posting your location on Facebook or an Instagram picture of your flight is almost mandatory when travelling. Of course, not only for entertainment, but also to inform your family and friends back home and let them know you’ve landed and are safe and sound.
For this, always make sure to have your battery fully loaded or plug it in at one of the charging stations at the airport. If there is none, take a portable battery with you and make sure that it is fully loaded as well.
In January, during my flight from Taipei to Shanghai, my phone’s battery was so low that I couldn’t text my parents after landing, because I needed to show the address to the taxi driver. My parents were extremely worried by the time I finally got to my hotel. It was already midnight and they thought that something happened. After that hassle, I will make sure in the future to keep my phone fully loaded.
4. Food and Drinks
Sometimes, the food you get on the plane won’t be satisfactory to many of us. How lucky we are that there are food courts even in the smallest airports in the world. It’s nearly impossible to starve on your layover. The higher possibility is that you’ll spend an infinity on deciding where and what to eat. If you don’t wanna opt for fast food on your travels (which I wouldn’t suggest), then there are many beautiful restaurants with great food options as well.
Other than a hot meal, there are lots of cafes, bakeries and shops to get some snacks and drinks for the flight. I personally love to sit in cafes and have a cup of coffee with something sweet to keep me energized.
Some people actually buy a lot of things in those shops at airports since it’s duty free and you can find almost every brand at one place. Especially the cosmetics sections are very popular, and even I stroll through those venues every time I’m having a layover. It’s a nice way to kill some time, but also get freshened up with high-end perfumes (I am looking at you YSL). I even bought a MAC lipstick once on my 6-hour layover in Hong Kong, one that I have been searching for a longer time. And I also bought presents for my cousin’s two kids at the Disney Store at Hong Kong Airport. Usually, I buy magazines or books at airports, but that one time in Hong Kong, I just did some last-minute shopping since I still had some money left :’D
6. Extra Activities
The biggest airports in the world have more to offer than just shopping and food. If you are lucky, you can actually kill some time in an airport cinema (Changi Airport in Singapore, Hong Kong Airport, Schiphool Airport in Amsterdam,…). I would love to try that out once if I have another +4h layover somewhere, but I would think about doing No. 10 instead.
Some airports offer a cultural exhibition. There will be a small section with utensils being exhibited, almost like in a museum. Or even performances to keep the travellers entertained.
In many muslim countries’ airports, there will be prayer rooms offered for free. And I am sure that many more airports around the world will have individual activity programs designated to each airport.
This might be one of the most popular things to do during a layover, since most of the time you won’t be able to strech out on a flight. Plus, if the jetlag hasn’t reached you at your layover airport yet, it will definitely kick in after landing at your destination, so sleeping off during a layover might be the smartest idea.
If you haven’t already packed an exciting read in your hand luggage, then you might as well check out the books at your layover airport. If you are not so much into books, you can also get one or two magazines.
I personally love browsing through bookstores at airports, and I even got myself a great book once at the Taipei International Airport (“Crazy Rich Asians”). I don’t always buy a book, though, since I try to bring my own.
9. People Watching
At an airport, there will be people from all over the world. People you might never ever see again. People who look differently, and talk in different languages. And this is one of the reasons I love airports so much. They are the places where people from almost all nations worldwide meet. I personally love people watching; guessing about their lives, where they are going to, where they are coming from, what language they are talking. I love making stories in my head for just a few minutes.
10. Explore the City
Most of the times, your layover might be around 3 hours maximum, but sometimes, you will have extremely long layovers where a short trip to the city might be actually worth it. Many big airports will have airport expresses which will take you to the city centre in less than an hour (Hong Kong, London,…). Also, airlines like Turkish Airlines will offer a free city tour in Istanbul when you have +5h until your next flight.
Until now, I only had 2 very long layovers, one 6 hours in Hong Kong and one 3 hours in Dubai. The one in Hong Kong passed by almost immediately. I did almost all activities stated above except for Nos 6, 7, and 10. I could have actually gone to the city as well, but I have already been to Hong Kong several times, and I didn’t want to be more stressed than I already was. In Dubai, I had a layover of 3 hours which made it impossible to take a trip downtown, so I just wandered around the airport and looked around most of the time.
What about you guys? What are the things you love to do at airports during a layover? Let me know in the comments below.
The first two times I had less than 24 hours in this cosmopolitan city. The last time I had slightly over 24 hours. This time I had less than 24 hours again.
I stayed at Hop Inn Mody Hostel again which is located in Tsim Sha Tsui. It’s very central, spacious and affordable. I would recommend this hostel, and I would definitely stay here again.
As the posts before, I will list all the things you could do in one day in Hong Kong.
So here we go:
1. Breakfast in a cafe near your hostel:
Most chinese cities, especially Hong Kong, have plenty of different cafes at every corner that serve delicious pastry, sandwiches, and coffee, all fitting the taste buds of any westerner. Coming from Germany, the country known for its variety of bread, I approve of the cafes in Hong Kong.
2. Visit the museums:
Hong Kong has some interesting and unique museums to offer, especially close to Tsim Sha Tsui in the harbour area. I visited two museums which are in the same building. The Hong Kong Museum of History, and the Science Museum.
Here are some small reviews of the two museums I visited.
I had the feeling that this museum was directed more towards kids. There was a lot of information about the human body, for example, that should be known to adults. Still, I liked how interactive the museum was. There were different activites involved with obtaining the information. It’s definitely worth a visit, even for adults.
So if you have seen everything you wanted to see in Hong Kong, go ahead and have a look inside the science museum. It doesn’t take too much time to walk through it, especially as an adult.
There was also a nail bed where visitors were allowed to lie down on it, and a professional advised what to do. I did it as well, and it didn’t hurt at all. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of that. But it was an interesting experience.
Hong Kong Museum of History:
This is in the same building, but you need a different ticket for this. I heard of my friend Josie that it was a highly interesting museum about the dramatic history of today’s Hong Kong. With that I mean the outcome of Hong Kong as a city it is now. It has so many influences from different cultures that make the city so unique like no other in the world. The museum explains how Hong Kong has developped to the city it is today. It shows the ecological development, the unique appearance of ecosystems and animals in this city, and then, finally shows the influence of its chinese origin, the british opium war and the effects of the japanese occupation. All of these incidents are reflected in the city’s unique culture, and have shaped Hong Kong into today’s modern, cosmopolitan city. Hong Kong might be the most unique city I have visited. You can neither compare it to other chinese cities, nor western countries.
There were so much more beautiful photo opportunities. These are the most beautiful snaps I took though.
I am usually not a big fan of museums, but this one was pretty cool. It reminded me of the Story of Berlin museum a little bit.
3. Visit Mammy Pancake – Again:
I had to get some of these delicious treats again, before leaving China for good. This time I got sweet potato (the purple one) and Sesame. The sesame one was a bit disappointing. I thought they’d fill it with black sesame paste, but it was just sprinkled with light sesame. Sweet potato was the bomb though. Nothing compared to green tea chocolate though :)
4. Stroll along the promenade:
When I walked towards the promenade at Tsim Sha Tsui, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was heavy fog hanging above the skyline making it look like some sick special effect of a science fiction movie. It looked so beautiful, with the boats sailing in the harbour, and the sun slowly setting into the white curtains of the sky.
The weather was really nice. It wasn’t too hot, so you could comfortably walk around in short clothes. Unfortunately, I just had a sweatshirt, so I was sweating like crazy.
Still, I had to say goodbye to beautiful Hong Kong for good. Of course, it has always been a bit stressful to just visit this amazing city more of less for 24 hours, but the more often I visited, the more I appreciated it. I had a last view on Hong Kong, and then headed to the airport already.
My flight was in the evening, and I would be back in Yuyao in the evening, early enough to take a shower and find some good night’s rest. The next day, I had one more trip left which was to Shanghai with the laowais (Ana, Josie and Alessandro).
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have ever been to Hong Kong, feel free to recommend me some more places to visit for next time :)
I woke up super early on my last day in Xi’An which was a Friday, and I had to be super fit, because it should be a day where I would be in 5 different cities on ONE DAY!!! How is that possible, you might ask. Read on to find out.
It takes around half an hour to 45 minutes to the airport, and during the ride, my taxi driver kept on talking to me. He was the same age as me as I found out, but he could only speak chinese. I understood most of it, until he tried asking me if I had a son. That was weird :’D At first I wasn’t sure if I understood him correctly, but it turned out that I did. Next thing, he wanted to talk about money and how much money german people were earning. It was an interesting cab ride, but I was glad when I reached the airport. I really liked the Xi’An airport. It’s not that big, but everything is easy to find and it has all the important shops you need before a flight.
I arrived in Shanghai at around noon, and then had quite some time until my train ride back to Yuyao, where my boss picked me up.
Here is why he picked me up. Shortly before my trip, I was told that I still had to go to Hong Kong for one last time because my visa had to be renewed for only a few days. So I had to look for a hostel last minute and buy a bus ticket to Ningbo Airport. If they had told me earlier, I could have just made them book a flight from Xi’An to Hong Kong, or at least, from Shanghai to Hong Kong. But I had already bought my train ticket ages ago.
Well, it was still manageable. I put all the important stuff in my backpack and left my suitcase with my boss. In the late afternoon, I made it to the bus and in the early evening, I was already at Ningbo airportfor the 4th time now. So the next post will be another Hong-Kong-in-less-than-24-hours post.
I spent another night at that amazing hostel from last time which was also very central. This time, I met a Korean girl from London who was a fashion buyer but wanted to start a career as a fashion designer in Asia, so she started to check out the market in Hong Kong. She admitted that it was a tough job but it was her dream.
This is one of the most amazing things about Hong Kong. You can meet all different types of people from all around the world here. I have already met a Canadian who was a malay, indian, and chinese mix, I met two german girls, I met a Thai girl who I am still in contact with today, and this time I met this Korean girl from London.
After talking to her, I went to bed and fell asleep with the thoughts for the next day’s plans in my mind.
For the next post, you can look forward to more Hong Kong related stuff, but it’s also gonna be the last post about that gorgeous city.
So for me, I was in 5 cities on that day: Xi’An, Shanghai, Yuyao, Ningbo, and Hong Kong. That was a record for me.
What about you guys? What was the highest amount of citites you have travelled through/visited on one day?
As I have already posted here and here about how to spend less than 24 hours in Hong Kong, I will now tell you what I did during my longest, and probably most interesting stay at this amazing city.
My flight was too early in the morning, at around 7 am something, so I had to wake up at 5 am and take the bus at 6 am. I have only slept for like 4 hours because we had the New Year’s Dinner the evening before.
I wasn’t super tired though, but as soon as I landed in Hong Kong, I realized that I was extremely hungry and was slowly getting more and more tired.
Step 1: Shopping Spree
Upon arriving at my hostel, Hop Inn Mody which was a very central hostel at east tsim sha tsui, I found a mall which was located one street further and immediately had a sandwich for brunch. It was really yummy, but a bit expensive as well, just like most things in Hong Kong. At the same mall I found a Q&A book which I have been searching for ages already and it was in english.
I actually needed some boots for our Chinese New Year’s Holidays in Jiuzhaigou, so I went on a little shopping spree. Most of the shops I walked past were designer stores like LV or Chanel, but I also found an Esprit store and found some nice, comfortable looking boots for around 500 HKD (~50 €). Before I returned to the hostel, I also saw an Origins Store and remembered my sister telling me about this brand and its products, especially one mask called ‘Out of Trouble’ which was supposed to be really good. I went in and bought it.
Step 2.3: Bond with your dorm mates
So after this short but intense shopping, I felt really tired, so I napped in my dorm a little bit. It was mostly empty, until I was waken up by a girl who just arrived with her luggage. Her bed was right in front of mine so we started chatting. Soon we agreed upon walking to the harbour to watch the laser show in the evening.
Step 3: Hong Kong at night:
The laser show was a disappointment, but if you are interested to see that, you can do it. It starts every evening from 8pm and lasts until around 11pm. We weren’t too bummed out for waiting for the laser show, since we could have this epic view on the Hong Kong skyline and we got to know each other better. We were chatting and taking photos all the time. Plus, this has been the first time that I had seen the Hong Kong skyline although it was my third time in this city already :’D
Step 4: Indulge in some Cantonese Food
When we were slowly getting hungry, we went to the city to find something to eat. We wanted to have a cantonese dish, and while strolling through Tsim Sha Tsui, we saw a Mammy Pancake shop, a small one. What’s that you ask? It is a very popular shop for Hong Kong Waffles. They are different from our waffles, and soooo delicious.
We tried not to eat everything at once, since we still wanted to have dinner. We found a cheap little noodle shop and were seated on a table with strangers. So this was very typical cantonese :’D
After our food break we went back to the hostel, since we both had plans for the morning.
January 18th 2016:
Step 5: Tradition vs Modernism
I woke up in the morning, took all my things and checked out. I had planned to visit the Nan Lian Garden which was around a 20-minute metro ride away from Tsim Sha Tsui.
I spent my morning there, strolling around that beautiful parc, taking snaps and buying souvenirs.
This was my third time in Hong Kong and it was another epic time here. There is always a lot to do in this beautiful city, so you can be sure that you will never run out of activities.
This was still not my last Hong Kong Post. There is yet one to come. But before you can read that, I will write about how I spent Chinese New Year in my upcoming post.
As you could already read about my first micro-trip to Hong Kong last year in September, you already know how much you can do in such a well-connected city like Hong Kong. As I have promised, that was not the last time I visited that vibrant city.
Here you can read about a different view on Hong Kong:
Step 1: Find a better hostel this time
In the first part you can read about my struggle to find the hostel that I had booked and how it turned out to be really crammed. For this time, I did a better research and booked 9-people dorm, only female. It had WINDOWS! and although the bunk beds hat 3 stories, it was very comfortable and the room offered a lot of space for your stuff. It had lockers as well. And the owners of the hostel were so friendly and open. They had a lot of recommendations about what to do nearby at what time of the day. This was probably one of my most favourite hostels I have stayed at in general. You can find the website here: http://www.hohohostel.com/
Hong Kong can be really expensive, and if you don’t mind sharing a room with strangers for booking a cheap accomodation, this is your go-to.
Step 2: Take the ferry to Lantau Island
Just as last time, the ferry is an excellent way to get around in Hong Kong, since it consists of many islands, and due to its warm and humid weather, taking the ferry is a more refreshening option than taking the stuffy metro.
Anyway, this time, the ferry ride took quite a bit longer than last time. I was on the ferry for about half an hour. The island I was heading to, Lantau Island, is also the one where the airport is located. But I wasn’t going to the airport already. I had a different plan…
Step 3: Visit the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island
My destination was the Big Buddha, known as Tian Tan Buddha. It is the world’s biggest Buddha in sitting position. It is quite new though, so nothing ancient, but the area it is located at is very beautiful, surrounded by lush greenery you can have a view of when you climb up the Buddha :)
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Step 4: Admire the bright colours of the Po Lin Monastery
This monastery is only 5 walking minutes away from the Buddha. If you follow the path to the monastery, you can already spot some cows that are walking around freely. And soon, the smell of incense will fill your lungs, and that’s when you will be able to see the colourful building of the monastery.
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Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to go inside the monastery. I only snapped some photos and headed back, since my flight was in the afternoon.
Step 5: Take the Cable Car at Ngongping
I took the bus up to the Buddha, but when I headed back, I wanted to take the cable car. I head about the crystal cable car which has a glass bottom and I was intrigued by that. I walked through a little constructed valley that was filled with souvenir shops and some 3D-cardboards before I arrived at the cable car station.
The queue for the crystal car was very short since it was also a bit more expensive. But I wanted to take that one and together with my limited time it fit perfectly. I shared a cable car with two other girls. They were both taking many photos of each other and I also asked them to snap some photos of me. It was the most amazing cable car ride, not only because of the glass bottom, but also because you could watch the planes take off and land.
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So these were the main things that I did. Of course, I also had something to eat, but unfortunately, I can’t remember what I ate :’D I think I might have eaten on the plane. Anyway, when I got out of the cable car, I took a bus to the airport.
It was a nice stay this time. I had less stress and a nice stay at the hostel.
I hope you guys enjoyed it.
Have you guys ever been to Hong Kong? What was on your to-see list?
It is almost like a coincidence that “Phantastic Beasts and where to find them” is being released on my blogging anniversary. Plus, it is really scary that from all of the days, it is today that I had the feeling of updating my blog, almost as though I knew it. Of course I don’t remember which day I exactly started blogging, it is quite a while ago. I can only remember that it was around the time of the chocolate festival in my old university town (Which is end of November). It was a nice surprise to see the notification and that’s why I decided on a Travel Q&A.
I wouldn’t consider myself as a travel pro, but I did gain some experience in that field, and it has turned into a new hobby and interest, so strongly, I would like to do it as a job.
So here I collected some Questions from Q&A Tags I found on the internet and will answer them:
10 Questions to ask a traveller
1. What was your favourite city? – This is such a hard question. There were so many beautiful cities I have seen just this year. I really have to say that Cappadocia has left a special mark on my heart that I can never erase. I can’t compare that city with another one. Then again, Shanghai is another city that never gets boring and is definitely one of my favourite cities I have visited.
2. What was your favourite country? – There are only 3 countries that I have seen many cities from and they are Germany, Turkey and China. From those 3 countries I’ve gotta say that Turkey is my favourite because it has everything from beach sites to megacities. It is also the home of my heart.
3. What was your longest flight? – 12 hours, from Frankfurt to Hong Kong with Lufthansa.
4. What was the scariest moment? – It was just recently when we were in Paris. We were still in the gardens of Versaille after it went dark and we wanted to leave but the main entrance had already closed earlier on. So we had to leave from the back exit, and it was completely dark and there was no one except for a couple with a young child. They helped us get out and even took us to the train station with their car. But at the beginning, it was really scary.
5. When was the most heart-warming moment you had with locals? – Definitely that one time in Jiuzhaigou village in Sichuan Province in China. It was in February during Chinese New Year Festival when my friend Ana and me went on a holiday to Sichuan. When we arrived at the village, we got lost and couldn’t find out hotel and there were barely any people who could speak english. We then entered another random hotel and found a family living upstairs and having dinner. Their 2 younger nieces helped us and their aunt pushed two bowls of rice and veggies into our hands and told us to sit down and eat. We didn’t know them, they didn’t know us, but they were smiling at us, sharing their food with us. I had tears in my eyes during that incident and I will never ever in my entire life forget the kind face of that woman.
6. Did you find any sights or activities a bit off the beaten track? Beyond the tourist traps? – Yes, last year in March when we went to Barcelona, I found out about a labyrinth garden, a little outside of the city centre, close to the university faculties. We went there, and we even got a free entry. The park was stunning and there were almost no tourists and very few visitors anyway. A lot better than the Parc Güell.
7. What was your favourite meal? – I am a huge fan of the chinese cuisine by now and I am still dreaming of the food I ate there. One of the dishes was Peking Duck of course, but the most unforgettable meal I had was after our 3-hour-trek up and down a part of the Great Wall. We had an organized lunch after that and it was the yummiest meal I can remember, because I had never been so exhausted before in my life.
8. What was the strangest thing you ate? – Definitely, Stinky Tofu in Shanghai. It smells like boiled shit, tastes like nothing but the consistency is like you just bit into a raw egg. The after-taste is exactly like the boiling-poo smell though. I needed gum after that.
9. What was the funniest/strangest/most insightful thing a local said? – In Paris, a lot of french locals flirted with us and on our first day, when we walked back from the Eiffel Tower, two guys walked past us and one of them turned around and said to my sister and me: “you are the most beautiful girls I saw” in that cute french accent :’D
10. Where would you revisit? Would you ever move to any of those cities? – Hong Kong and Paris. I’d love to live in Paris I have to admit. It is a very beautiful city that I had not expected to be that nice. I can truly understand all the hype. And the people are just so nice there. I will write a blog post about that trip soon :)
I hope you enjoyed the post about my travel experiences so far. There were still some cities that I didn’t include, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t like them.
I hope to be continueing blogging the next few years (or even forever), especially about more awesome places I will visit in the future :)
What about you guys? How would you have answered these questions?