First thing you need to remember before visiting Hong Kong is to always be mentally prepared with the fact that you’re about to visit one of the most populous cities in the world – it can be an exercise in trying to tame the infinite. There’s also one constant in Hong Kong – its fast-changing environment. Hong Kong is hypnotizing, a unique city where East meets West with old meets new facades all thanks to its idiosyncratic location and history.
Culture. A very sophisticated and cosmopolitan culture; blending the fractions of Asia and Europe. This Fragrant Harbour has plenty of disconnected and misunderstood cultural gems to uncover. At first glance, charismatic Hong Kong is all steel and glass skyscrapers, but there are signs that Hong Kong still is, in essence, very traditionally Chinese. Most artistic endeavours have been torpedoed by commercial interests, thanks to exorbitant rents and a particularly cut-throat form of capitalism. But closer inspection reveals that historic neighborhoods crisscrossed by alleyways, teahouses and centuries-old temples still exist; drowned under the sights of modernism. Despite English being one of the two official languages, it is not widely spoken by most people (in the service sector) and only a few are fluent.
Food. From fancy dining to humble street food, Hong Kong has every exciting flavour you need. The ”culinary capital of Asia” offers thousands of restaurants with pinnacle of culinary excellence – home to more than 40 restaurants that have earned at least one coveted Michelin star. Don’t miss the roasted goose, a traditional dish of Cantonese cuisine – crisp skin, tender meat and savory bones. Hong Kong Dim Sum is undoubtedly the best in the world and some people are willing to travel to Hong Kong just for this. Rickshaw Noodle is also the most authentic noodle in Hong Kong and is particularly popular among the locals.
Where to go:
- Lamma Island
How to get there: Exit Yau Tong Station at exit A2, then take the shuttle bus No 24 and get off at the ferry wharf at Sam Kah Village. Then follow the road signs to walk about 15 minutes.
- Causeway Bay Food Street
How to get there: At Causeway Bay Station, use the exit E, then turn left and walk along the Great George Street, and turn left and walk along Paterson Street, then walk across the Kingston Street.
- Hillwood Road Dinning Street
How to get to there: Get off at Jordan Station, turn left and then take a 3-minute-walk on Nathan Road, then turn left to enter Hillwood Road
- Ashley Road
How to get there: Get off at Tsim Sha Tsui Station at Exit C1, then take a 3-minute walk on Beijing Road and then turn right to enter Ashley Road
Nightlife. The legendary nightlife zone is at Lan Kwai Fong district that offers plenty to keep the nocturnal creatures happy, known as Hong Kong’s most raucous nightlife on a little pedestrian cul-de-sac lined with innumerable bars. This part of the city looks like a horseshoe – with a diverse clientèle that includes expatriates, young English teachers from across the globe, local residents and travellers of all ages.
Can’t Miss. Today, Hong Kong is lit up by the sparks from welding torches, as the city’s ambitions to become Asia’s focal point for the arts begins to be rendered in concrete and steel. Whether you’re visiting Hong Kong for the first time or the hundredth, there are some places worth visiting again. Victoria Peak offers stunning panoramas of Hong Kong Island and the surrounding area, always a long line to wait so try to go as early as possible. Victoria Harbour at night, to watch the spectacular skyline and be blown away by the symphony of lights. There’s plenty of things to do here, you’ll never be short of adventures – dive into a festival, hike a mountain trail, catch a show, visit a temple or explore a walled village.
Hong Kong Disneyland. This is my favourite part of the Hong Kong bits! It’s the best way to relive your childhood – the happiest place on Earth. It is located at Lantau Island, Outlying Islands. Much quieter and smaller than the other Disneylands and easy to get a good place in the parades and meet the characters. I went in March, which is the low season but that doesn’t mean there’s no crowd at all, only lesser crowd and shorter waiting time. Be sure to stick around until the end, where you can witness amazing fireworks from the castle!
Shopping. Hong Kong is a very expensive city but despite that, it’s still a favorite local activity. The best buys are jewelries and pearls, and custom-made suits. Designer brands are relatively easy to locate here and many fly in to restock and update their wardrobe, as well as to shop for silk products and Chinese artwork at affordable prices. Shopping malls don’t interest me as I’ve been to many and malls are growing like mushrooms in the city I reside in, so I always find market gems that offer a lot more – culture wise and exquisite findings. No one can ever miss a trip to Kowloon when they’re in Hong Kong, the liveliest flea market to suit all tastes. It’s busy, often packed and claustrophobic, but the vibrant atmosphere makes it hard not to enjoy the chaos.
Best Shopping Markets in Hong Kong
- Kowloon Streets
- Temple Street Night Market
- Stanley Market
- Ladies Market
- Jade Market
Transportation. Hong Kong has a highly developed transport system with advanced MTR that comprises different kinds of trains.The system covers all of the major districts in Hong Kong, and is certainly one of the most efficient ways to get around. Get the Octopus card to have a more convenient trip – a rechargeable smart card that can be used on the MTR and most other public transport. It also allows you to make purchases in various shops, such as supermarkets, in the city.
Hong Kong is an asian version of New York City but with better food and better public transportation. Things to do in HK are many and varied; with a lot of tantalizing food to try, plethora of shopping malls to visit and simply the best place to experience a unique mix of ancient and modern worlds. It is one of the most expensive cities to live in but not to travel to. In other words, you should visit Hong Kong at least once because it’s fairly cheap, abundant culture, easy to move, lots of spots to visit, fantastic cuisine and mad shopping!
Accommodation: Sheraton Hong Kong
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