For our trip to South East Asia in March 2015 we tried to make the most out of the region. On the way to Vietnam we had a stopover in Hongkong, on the way back in Beijing.
Hongkong welcomed us with its typical misty weather. Not really bad, but not really nice and sunny. Whenever we have been to China so far we experienced a lot of smog…but well not very surprising. We took a cab from the airport to our hotel. Before getting into any cab, you need to be aware of the different colors. Every color serves another area of the city. Our trip to the hotel was 15€, so that was ok. It’s a lot cheaper to use public transport, but it takes about 2 to 3 times as long (we used public transport on our way back to the airport, which worked fine and was only about 2€ for each of us).
I do have to admit that whenever it comes to travelling I get a little (or more) obsessed with the weather and the weather forecast. I know that the weather doesn’t care about our travel plans, it cannot be changed and it is also hard to forecast. Nevertheless I like to collect information from any available source to be able to plan as best as I can and to not go into a museum if the forecast says sunny conditions.
Hongkongs main areas for tourists are Kowloon and Hongkong Island. Most sights and interesting places can be found there. There is a lot more, but with only a few days to explore there is only so much you can manage.
Hongkongs main areas for tourists are Kowloon and Hongkong Island. Most sights and interesting places can be found there. Many malls can be found there as well (if you want to go Shopping, which is a good idea in Hongkong, as there a sooo many shops everywhere). There is a lot more, but with only a few days to explore there is only so much you can manage.
One of Hongkongs main sights is Victoria Peak, or to be more precise, the view from there. Victoria Peak can either be reached by Taxi, via one of the endless sightseeing bus tours or with the historical Peak Tram. A return fare including entrance to the Sky Terrace is about 88HK$ ( ca. 12€). Its well spend money. If the weather is nice or at least clear, the view is fantastic. Our view was a bit misty as you can see with the pictures, but hey, we took what we got.
As usual with an observation deck it makes sense to invest a little more time up front and try to find out about the sunset times. When visiting the observation deck you can see everything while its light out as well in the dark.
Another highlight of the city is the Promenade with the walk of stars in Kowloon. Who is staying on Hongkong Island, like we did, you can either take the subway or the ferry to get to Kowloon. A clear YES to the ferry for this one. The view of the harbor and the skyline is awesome and the trip is only a few HK$. Victoria harbor is nicest from the
The walk of stars is fun eventhough we did only know Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee and not any of the Asian/Chinese Superstars. Walking along the promenade offers a great view of all the skyscrapers of Hongkong Island. Every night there is cool light and laser show, called Symphony of lights.
After having admired the symphony of lights, a trip to temple street night market is worth a small detour. it is probably not the most wonderful night market ever, but its nice for a stroll along the stalls and you can do some good and cheap souvenir Shopping.
A trip with the tram on Hongkong Island can also be recommended. One trip is only about 3HK$ and its totally cool to cruise along the skyscrapers and to watch the thousands pedestrians. It does take much longer than any other form of transport but its an experience you do not want to miss.
If you take the tram towards Victoria Peak you will eventually reach Cochrane Street. From there you have access to the longest existing escalator. The escalator is covered so its a nice option for a rainy day. It is also pretty handy as you cover a lot of elevation in a short time…imagine having to walk all of this. Try to avoid rush hours, cause the escalator is used by many locals who live uphill to get to and from work. It can get really busy and crowded. Some sidetrips into little streets and allys are worth it, you can find nice shops and restaurants. There is simply a lot to discover.
If you want to see some temples and a chinese garden right in the middle of the city, the Nan Lian Garden in Kowloon is a good address. You can stroll around and its an oasis of quiet admist the noise of the city.
Kowloon is home of one of the biggest temples in Hongkong, Wong Tai Sin temple. Again the setting is amazing. If you like Bonsai trees, its the place to be. There are hundreds and more.
Overall Hongkong is a good stopover destination on the way further south to Australia, New Zealand, the rest of China or South East Asia. One can probably easily spend more than 3 days in Hongkong because the city has a lot to offer and is a special place due to its history as a British colony until 1999. English is well understood and spoken. The octopus Card (a card that is used for public transport but can also be used for payments etc.) is great and we highly recommend to get one (it makes life so much easier while being in Hongkong).