Hong Kong Siri-style

Our colleague Siri has just returned from 2 weeks enjoying Hong Kong, and we asked her to sum up her experience and the best places to go. Here’s what she came up with:

 

Hong Kong can be described as the perfect mix between East and West. Greatly influenced by its role in British history, the city has an equally strong Chinese heritage and all buildings have to be built according to traditional Feng Shui rules.

Although almost half the size of London, there is always something to do in Hong Kong and you’ll never have to be bored.

An ideal day for me in Hong Kong would start with breakfast of congee; sort of a Chinese porridge made with rice, which is available from many restaurants and street vendors and very inexpensive. Eating out in Hong Kong in general can be done even on a low budget; it’s not difficult to grab a street lunch for less than 10 HKD (80 pence).

Temple Street Night Market

Temple Street Night Market can satisfy your shopping urges

After breakfast, take the MTR (metro) to Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon peninsula and visit the Hong Kong Museum of History or the Hong Kong Museum of Art.  Then, make your way onto the shopping areas around Nathan Road, where there is something for every price tag, from international designer goods to their counterfeit  look-alikes. Further up Nathan Road, towards Yau Ma Tei station, markets like Temple Street Night Market  and the Jade Market  can further satisfy any shopping urges.

View from Victoria Peak

The view from Victoria Peak over Hong Kong is breathtaking

After lunch, head back to Hong Kong Island and take the historic peak tram to Victoria Peak for unrivalled views of the city.

Evenings in Hong Kong are best spent near the harbour, where a pyrotechnic fireworks show is displayed every night (subject to clear weather) at 8pm. Recommended dining has to be the traditional Cantonese Dim Sum.  I ate at Din Tai Fung in Tsim Sha Tsui, where both the food and the service were exceptional.

Later in the evening, Lan Kwai Fong is the place to be for late night bars and clubs. If you are the kind of person who likes belting out 80’s ballads until the early hours of the morning, Wan Chai has plenty of karaoke bars where live bands act as the backing track.

I was surprised how much nature Hong Kong is surrounded by and you don’t have to travel far out of the city centre to reach beautiful leafy forests, sandy white beaches or quaint fishing villages.

Giant Buddha Lantau Island

Find the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island

If you have the time, a day trip to Lantau Island is highly recommended.  Apart from being a popular destination for both tourists and locals for swimming and hiking, Lantau is also where you can find the Tian Tan Buddha, a 34 metre tall bronze Buddha statue, which can be reached by bus or – if you don’t mind heights – cable car. The newest addition to the island is Hong Kong Disneyland which is smaller than its American versions and more suitable for younger children.

Hong Kong can be visited all year round, but September to February has the most stable weather forecasts.

There are plenty of hotels in Hong Kong, ranging from YMCA-like hostels to international luxury chains. I stayed at the Harbour Plaza North Point, a nice 4 star hotel with great transport links and a lovely swimming pool which came in handy on hot days.


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