One of the most unique Asian cities I have visited, Hong Kong will thrill you senses with it’s mix of exoticism and oriental industrialism. With its’ dual island architecture, immense water way, gloriously lush mountains, bustling culture, Hong Kong will satisfy everyone’s travel palette. Occasionally overwhelming to the weak, Hong Kong is a very meticulous, well-organized, and delightful city. Be open to all that Hong Kong has to offer, take in the surge of culture and explore this electrifying city.
If coming from the states, it’s likely that you will arrive in Hong Kong very early in the morning. This is the perfect time to take in the calm before the storm. As the city begins to awaken you can wander the streets, stroll through various parks, and watch the locals greet the sun with their Tai Chi. Such a traditional and wonderful way of life, the Hong Kong locals are spectacular. While the morning fog slowly begins to dissipate it’s time to delve into all that Hong Kong has to offer. Take the beautiful red tram up to the peak. This slow, yet newly renovated tram will creep 1,200 feet up a 45 degree angle, behind the city to the top of the peak. Here, you will be able to see Hong Kong in all it’s glory. Looking down you can see Kowloon Harbor, the incredible skyscrapers, and ever inch of the city. While your ‘on top of the world’ stop and have brunch at The Peak Lookout. You can sit indoors or outdoors, in this very European- style restaurant, enjoying mimosas as you stare into the abyss that is Hong Kong.
[Above: the tram to the peak]
Another great morning activity, is wandering the food markets. Fish, meat, and produce markets are bustling in the wee hours of the morning. It sounds strange to most, to explore food markets while on vacation, but it’s a wonderful peek into a country’s culture and local routine. Stanley market, located on Hong Kong Island, is a wonderful glimpse into the daily life of a Hong Kong native. After you wander the markets, hop on the Star Ferry linking Honk Kong to Kowloon. One of the most scenic ferry rides you’ll ever experience, with spectacular views of the cities harbors, this activity is a must. Only costing about $3-4 hop on the star ferry from the main pier, and enjoy the cool harbor mist. Another must- see in this glorious city, is Tian Tan Buddha. Known as the big buddha, this enormous bronze statue symbolizes the harmonious connection between man and nature, and people and religion.
Shopping in Hong Kong, like most Asian cities, is very diverse. From glitzy malls, to local stores, to side-walk stalls, to exclusive boutiques, the variety of shopping options are endless. The street markets vary in size and quality, each with their own quirky charm and hidden treasures. Check out Ladies Market in Tung Choi Street for knick-knacks, clothing, and very cheap accessories. For a great night market, go to Temple Street. Bright stalls overflowing with everything you can imagine, captivating performances by Chinese Opera Enthusiasts, and at the very end visit the cluster of Fortune-Tellers waiting to unveil your life’s meaning. If you want to visit high-end boutiques, Hong Kong has a plethora of options from massive moguls like Chanel and Chloe’ to Louis Vuitton.
There is a phenomenal variety of lodging in Hong Kong. You can resort to the famous and outstanding Peninsula or Oriental Hotels, where the ambience is impeccable. Even just to stop there for dinner or brunch, these hotels are stunning. If you want more of a charming boutique-esque hotel, try Lanson Place Hotel. A wonderful location, reasonable price, with a very private and posh atmosphere, this hotel is lovely.
[Above 2 Photos: The Lanson Hotel]
Known as the culinary capital of Asia, Hong Kong contains over 11,000 restaurants, all spread out throughout various food districts. As expected, Chinese restaurants are plentiful in Hong Kong, with dishes from all over the country. Cantonese, Chiu Chow, Peking, Shanghainese, Szechuan, and Hunan are all varieties of Chinese cuisine that can be found in Hong Kong. I find that as you wander the city and explore, it’s best to just pop into little ma & pop restaurants, where you will always find some of the most authentically superb food. If you want more of an idea about where to go for a night out I would recommend Bo Innovation. An incredible restaurant, overflowing with decadent chinese food and some Asian fusion options, and a hip modern vibe, Bo innovation is perfect for a fun night out.
With a myriad of exploring options, one of the most diverse cities in the world, Hong Kong is a cultural kaleidoscope ready to be explored and enjoyed.
HIGHLIGHTS OF HONG KONG:
- Victoria Park | http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/attractions/green-victoria-park.html |
- Kowloon Harbor
-Tram to the Peak | http://www.thepeak.com.hk/en/home.asp |
- The Peak Lookout | http://www.peaklookout.com.hk |
- Stanley Food Market | http://www.hk-stanley-market.com |
- Star Ferry | http:// starferry.com.hk |
- Tian Tan Buddha
- Ladies Market
-Peninsula Hotel | http://www.peninsula.com/hong_kong/en/default.aspx |
- Lanson Place Hotel | http://www.lansonplace.com/hk_welcome.php |
-Bo Innovation Restaurant | http://boinnovation.com |