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Hong Kong

Curious what backpackers do in Hong Kong? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Znów mnie tam jakaś magiczna siła przyciągnęła :)
    Może że względu na piękny odrestaurowany zabytek czegoś tam. A może największe stężenie luksusowych zegarków na metr kwadratowy ;)

    Tym razem spędziłem większość czasu w Roger Dubuis. Ciekawe że ta szwajcarska marka ma tylko jeden salon w Europie (Geneva) a już NP w samym HK - trzy. Przypadek?

  • 1. Zwischenstop Abu Dhabi

    2. Zwischenstop Hongkong

    Wir hatten einen 5 stündigen Zwischenstop in Hongkong Airport. Da der Airport einen eigenen Zug hat, haben wir uns dazu entschlossen nach Hongkong fahren. Mit wir meine ich einen Schweizer, den ich auf dem Flug kennengelernt habe, und natürlich mich.

    Das verwunderliche an Hongkong ist, dass das Land sehr bergig ist und zwischendrin wahnsinnige Hochhäuser stehen.

    Man kann sich wirklich nicht vorstellen wie hoch diese Häuser sind, wenn man es nicht selbst gesehen hat.
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  • Chyba najtańszy i bardzo przyjemny sposób na podziwianie linii brzegowej Hong Kongu. 2,5 HKD czyli jakieś 1,5 PLN za ok 15 min jazdy z wyspy na wyspę. Niezbyt tłoczno, super klimat i widoki.

  • First day in Hong Kong, and we were both pretty excited to get out and explore the city. That annoyingly didn't stop us from sleeping in though, and by the time we were breakfasted and ready to roll it was nearly 11am. Our hotel has a free shuttle bus that goes around the downtown of Kowloon, so we hopped onto the 11am bus and caught it down to the waterfront.

    Our first destination was Kowloon Park, a large landscaped area in the middle of the city. It's on the site of the old notorious Kowloon Walled City, which was a densely packed (even by HK standards) slum complex where crime, prostitution and gambling were rife. It was demolished in the early 90s and is now a park, and very nice it was too.

    Next stop was the Hong Kong History Museum, which had a series of displays about Hong Kong through history, starting with the geological formation of the islands and then moving through stone age settlements, the history with China, the British conquest during the Opium Wars of the 1880s (it's worth noting that Britain fought a war in favour of opium!), the Japanese occupation during WW2, modernisation and development after WW2, up to the eventual handover to China in 1997 where the displays ended abruptly. The displays were fantastic, very immersive (there was a whole section dressed up to look like early 20th century Hong Kong, with shops, houses and so on) and with excellent detail and context. We were both very impressed; the only issue was that it was enormous! After 2 hours we'd only made it halfway, so we ducked out to find a bakery for lunch where we had some savoury buns. Lunch consumed, we went back inside and continued for another 2 hours - thankfully it was free entry!

    By the time we finished it was 4pm, so we wandered down to the Kowloon waterfront via some of the shopping centres. There's a few old heritage buildings down here, but not as much as one might expect. As it was approaching evening we waited around and watch the sun set over the Peak of Hong Kong Island across the harbour. Nice environment, and as it was Sunday evening there were lots of people about. Apparently all of the domestic "helpers" (read: servants) get Sundays off, and most of them spend it sitting around in public squares downtown.

    After nightfall it was time for dinner, so we headed back north on the MTR (the train system which definitely isn't a subway as large parts of it are above ground!) to an area called Mong Kok. This area is much older and grittier than the waterfront or clean, modern Hong Kong Island across the harbour. This area is like the classic mental picture of Hong Kong, with glitting neon signs in Chinese sprawled out above narrow streets, endless crowds of people, everywhere above you is at least 12 storeys of concrete and air conditioners. This area is also home to Hong Kong's largest street market, known as the Ladies' Market because that's traditionally where women did their shopping. It's now mostly tourist junk and fake products - I was constantly getting hassled by subcontinental gentlemen offering tailored suits and "copy watches". There were also large areas of streets blocked off where older folk were singing karaoke and dancing in the street which looked quite fun (though we didn't partake).

    Lots of street food stalls around as well, which we decided to nibble at for dinner. I couldn't find anywhere selling genuine Cantonese street food, so first settled for a huge Korean-style fried chicken. This was basically just a large piece of chicken schnitzel, though it had a few bones at one end which was a little surprising and startling. Later on I found a shop selling takoyaki (Japanese octopus balls) and fries with topping, so I had a bowl of fries with cheese and bolognaise. Interesting combo but very tasty!

    Last stop for the night was the nearby Goldfish Market, which is a well-known local highlight. It's exactly what the name suggests - a market for the selling of goldfish. Everything basically happens in side alleys which makes it feel rather shady, though I suppose it's at least reasonably above board. All the fish are sold in little plastic bags, and there are hundreds of these bags hanging off the walls in each stall. Not a great life for the fish, but one hopes they weren't there for too long as lots of the stores were quite busy. A few other marine creatures for sale too, including crabs, turtles, cold water and warm water fish. Even saw a Nemo (clownfish) in one tank, though it was very expensive!

    Finally once we'd finished here it was back to the hotel around 10pm after an exhausting day of exploring with lots of walking. I have a feeling we're going to do a lot of walking this week!
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  • Some first impressions - night and day - bustling city mingling western and eastern culture. Did the "peak" by cablecar and walked around the top on Lugard Road, a nice walk far away from town. In the evening had an excellent dinner with friends at "Wooloomooloo" restaurant (also the name of a quarter in Sydney - situated south of Harbour bridge) with a stunning and spectacular view of Victoria Harbour including Laser show.Read more

  • Last full day in Hong Kong today. One of the things that has really surprised us about Hong Kong is that it's far larger than either of us expected. Although you tend to think of Hong Kong in the same breath as Singapore (both small city state island nations in SEA), but Hong Kong is actually 2800 square km in area, while Singapore is only 700 square km. The difference is that most of Hong Kong's population is crammed into Kowloon peninsula and the northern coast of Hong Kong island, but it's still very surprising to find that huge areas of Hong Kong are ruggedly mountainous and very undeveloped.

    So today we decided to explore one of the much less developed islands - Lantau. Another late start for us, leaving the hotel around 11am though not on the shuttle this time. We walked over to Olympic station and grabbed a train out to Tung Chung, end of the line and close to the airport and Disneyland. From here you can get a cable car up to the top of Lantau island where there's a beautiful monastery and a large Buddha statue. This was to be our outing for the day.

    After disembarking the train and sorting out our water and bathroom situations, we walked over to the cable car station only to discover an hour long queue for the ticket office. Sigh. Again we weren't up to paying the double-price for skipping the line, so queue we did. At least we'd brought some supermarket sushi that we intended to eat in the parkland up top of the mountains - it didn't last through the line!

    Finally we bought our tickets, rounded the corner and joined the 30 minute wait to actually get in a cable car! I guess we should have expected something like this as it's the second-most popular attraction in Hong Kong (behind the Peak tram), but it was still a bit disheartening.

    Eventually we boarded and climbed into the mountains where we had a great view, though the weather was a little hazy and overcast. It was nearly 2pm by the time we got to the top, so it had already been a long day to this point! At the top I was a little disappointed - there was a very fake looking Chinese village, essentially a theme park version of what you might expect to find in Chinese mountains. I'm guessing the authentic versions wouldn't hold Subway, 7-11 and fancy souvenir shops though.

    Walked over to the Big Buddha, which although looking very classic and regal was actually only built in the 1970s. It was definitely big, probably 15-20 metres high, and imposing on a hilltop that required 250 steps to reach the pedestal. We had a good look around and I filmed some hyperlapse footage while I'll get around to compiling one of these days.

    Back down the Buddha steps and we went over to nearby Po Lin Monastery, which was actually old and authentic. This was the highlight of the day for me - the buildings were beautifully preserved and maintained, brilliant colours shining in the sun and monks inside chanting away. It was exactly the mental picture I had of a monastery that isn't in the Himalaya or something.

    As the afternoon had mostly gone we decided it was time to head back down. Another 20 minute wait for a cable car and off we went. There are walking trails all over the island (Lantau itself is almost as big as Hong Kong island) - you can even walk up to the Monastery yourself if you felt so inclined. There looked like some great places to discover out here, but they'll have to wait for our next visit to Hong Kong.

    We got back on a train fairly quickly, and hopped out at Olympic around 6pm. On her way back home earlier in the week, Shandos had discovered the local pub street, so we figured we should head there and celebrate the end of a successful week in Hong Kong. One of the bars served local craft brews on tap, so we shared a few pints and a big bag of free peanuts. Then while tipsy we discovered the giant burgers restaurant a few doors down, even though I was hoping to find some char siew (honey glazed) pork. Burgers won out, and they were very good too. Topped off the evening with some Portuguese egg tarts from the bakery opposite the hotel, before crashing out fairly early by this week's standards.
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  • Nice day walking round HK. Walked from North Point down to Wan Chai and Cental, then took the Star Ferry over to Kowloon (20.5k on the fitbit today work folks) and back again. Still quite hazy over here, so the pics aren't great but hey ho. Mexican for dinner tonight, as you do in Asia! Picture of our arrival on Kowloon attached. Always fly in where we can. Avoids the peasants.

  • Finally time to leave the Philippines after almost three weeks here! We had a bit of a sleep in followed by a hotel breakfast, then a bit of stuffing around online in the room. Our flight to Hong Kong wasn't until 3pm, but even though I could probably hit the terminal with a golf ball from our hotel room window, Manila traffic meant that we had to leave by midday if we were going to make it.

    So we checked out at 12pm (didn't quite manage to fit in a visit to the rooftop pool unfortunately) and crawled in traffic over to the terminal. Made it with plenty of time, which we needed because a huge group of 10 was checking in at the sole check-in desk interminably slowly. Very unusual for us to be using a check-in desk - normally AirAsia have self check-in machines which only take a couple of minutes, but apparently this technology hasn't made it to Manila yet.

    Security and emigration were pretty quick, then we spent an hour or so sitting around waiting for the flight. Not much to report from the flight itself, though we circled Hong Kong before coming in to land and had a great view of sunset. No signs of the typhoon that had gone through the day previous!

    It's a huge airport and took us ages to get out, but having organised systems is such a nice change from the Philippines. Caught the airport train into the city to our hotel on Kowloon (the mainland side of Hong Kong). 10 minutes walk from the station not too bad, and on arrival we were given an upgrade which was very nice! The room is still very small (it's Hong Kong!), but larger than some we've been in and we're on the 26th floor with a good local view.

    After dropping our stuff off we wandered around the local neighbourhood to find some dinner. Shandos was still feeling unwell so we just picked a random noodle place and ordered via pointing. Although this is still in many ways a very British city, they've had a huge influx of migrants from the mainland since 1997 and English is nowhere near as widely spoken as it used to be. It's certainly nothing like Singapore, at least from what we've seen so far. Our noodles were delicious at any rate, so we did well there.

    After dinner we went back to the hotel - it had been a fairly long day at this point and neither of us were particularly inclined to have a night out or anything like that. We had a brief look at the rooftop bar on level 30 (nice, but much the same view as our room) before turning in for the night. We've only got limited time here so I'm expecting to have a very busy few days!
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  • Slept in a bit after our late night last night. After another hotel breakfast and lazy morning, we only made it out again in time for the 11am shuttle bus downtown! So we hopped on that and jumped out at the same stop - China HK City shopping mall, where the ferries between Kowloon and Hong Kong Harbour depart. After a bit of wandering around we made it onto a ferry for the brief trip across to Hong Kong Island.

    This side is very different to Kowloon - it's much cleaner, newer, shinier and clearly wealthier. Most of the large corporations in Hong Kong have their headquarters here, and it rather felt like Sydney's finance district around Martin Place and Bridge Street. We wandered aimlessly at first, not really knowing what we wanted to see, and indeed there aren't many historic sites left on this side. After 30 minutes or so of wandering and looking at shops, we hopped on a tram with no destination in mind. The trams are fairly classic, well-maintained double-decker 70s relics, and we sat upstairs rolling slowly through the city. Stops are frequent and they seem very well utilised, so progress was a bit frustratingly slow. Eventually we got sick of it and hopped off near an MTR station.

    Grabbed some more baked goods for lunch (savoury bakeries are everywhere - think of the hot dogs buns or pork floss buns at BreadTop and you're pretty close) before heading back to Central on the MTR. We also wandered around a district called Wan Chai which is apparently hipster central these days in Hong Kong, with fancy eateries and trendy bars - most of which were of course closed at 2pm on a Monday!

    Since we were over on Hong Kong Island we figured we should visit The Peak - a furnicular ride up to the peak of Hong Kong Island's main mountain (about 480 metres high). We'd been advised not to do it on Sunday as it would be crowded, so hopefully Monday would be okay, right? Wrong! There was an enormous queue for tickets, probably 45 minutes long, and once you've waited in that queue there's a second queue to actually get on the furnicular! It's fairly well organised at least, but man it was a lot of queuing. You can pay extra to skip the ticket line, but you don't get to retire at 35 by paying extra for impatience.

    Finally after about 70 minutes, we arrived up at the Peak. It's very touristy, a large multi-level shopping centre with fancy shops, food and drink, a tacky 3D art gallery, and finally after many escalators you can get out on the roof and enjoy the view. It's a pretty magnificent view too, with Hong Kong Island below you, the harbour spread out, and Kowloon glittering across the water. Since it had taken so long to ascend, it was once again approaching evening, meaning that we could watch the sun set and the city lights start illuminating, this time from the opposite side. I took a nice couple of time lapses, and we had a drink in one of the crappy coffee chain places.

    Had a quick go through the "free" tacky 3D art gallery, where you can take goofy photos from forced perspectives. But of course the best set-ups are reserved for their cameras only, and then you get the absurd hard sell of a $50 glossy 6x8" picture featuring you and your wife "falling off a building". Definitely one for the album! We declined under much duress.

    As it was now dark we headed back down into the city (after a thankfully brief wait for the return furnicular). I'd arranged to have after-dinner drinks with someone I vaguely knew from the internet, so Shandos and I had dinner at a new-school dim sum place I managed to find. This place featured lots of dumplings etc with cutesy faces on them. Very different from the serious waiters and chicken feet of Sydney's trolley-based yum cha!

    Shandos headed home on the MTR while I waited for my friend to finish work. We had a good night out - first at a craft beer bar in Wan Chai, then hopped on the metro to another craft beer place in Mong Kok back on Kowloon side. After a few drinks he needed food (he's Asian so can't drink heavily), so we caught a taxi to a random noodle house that he knew down an alleyway in Olympic district. This was the kind of place where you had to know Cantonese to get by - that's all the waiters could speak, and the menu was entirely in Cantonese too. I let Abe do the ordering! Nothing quite like a bowl of steaming hot wonton noodles post beers at midnight.

    Exhausted and a little tipsy, we called it a night. He was heading back to his place on Hong Kong Island so dropped me off on the way in an Uber. And when our UberX car turned up - a BMW X1. Nice! Pretty late one for me, I don't think I've been out at 12:30am for a long time! And it's going to be another long exhausting day tomorrow.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hongkong, Hong Kong, ሆንግ ኮንግ, هونغ كونغ, Honk Konq, Гон-Конг, Хонконг, হংকং, ཧོང་ཀོང༌།, Hong Kong S.A.R., Tseina, ཧོང་ཀོང, Hɔng Kɔng nutome, Χονγκ Κονγκ, هنگ‌کنگ, Hong Cong, હોંગ કોંગ, הונג קונג, हाँग काँग, 香港, ჰონგ კონგი, Гонконг (арнайы әкімшілік аймақ), ហុងកុង, ಹಾಂಗ್ ಕಾಂಗ್, 홍콩, ຮ່ອງກົງ, Honkongas, Honkonga, Хонг Конг, ഹോങ് കോങ്, हाँगकाँग, Ħong Kong, ဟောင်ကောင်, हङकङ, ହଂକଂ ବିଶେଷ ପ୍ରଶାସନିକ କ୍ଷେତ୍ର ଚୀନ୍, Regiun d'administraziun speziala da Hongkong, China, Гонконг, හොංකොං, ஹாங்காங், హాంగ్ కాంగ్, ฮ่องกง, Hongi Kongi, Гонконґ, ہانگ کانگ, Hồng Kông, i-Hong Kong