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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.
  • We zijn op de laatste bestemming van onze reis beland en brrr het is hier frisjes! Na drie maanden 30° voelt 13° wel heel koud aan.

    Vandaag deden we een free walking tour over de geschiedenis van Hong Kong Island. Leuk en interessant, en tijdens het wandelen genoten we van het impressionante uitzicht van de stad. Hoge gebouwen met creatieve architectuur staan naast oudere appartementsblokken.

    Deze stad is in eerste instantie erg overweldigend: overal mensen, overal winkels met lichtreclame, en alles moet snel en efficiënt gebeuren. Na drie maanden in ongeorganiseerd "de bus komt wanneer ze komt" Zuidoost-Azië, is dit een heel verschil. Ineens moet alles weer snel gaan, in plaats van op je dooie gemak.

    Na de tour hebben we wat rondgewandeld en geshopt. Shoppen kan je hier echt goed. Van H&M en M&S tot Gucci en Versace, ze hebben hier elke winkel die je maar kan bedenken.

    Nu rusten we even uit op de kamer, want straks gaan we een Hong Kong delicacy tour doen. Een gratis tour waar we kennis gaan maken met het day to day food van de locals. Ik ben benieuwd (en een beetje terughoudend, ik heb al veel rare dingen op de menu's zien staan).
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  • Vandaag was het in de voormiddag een beetje regenachtig, dus na wat rondwandelen in Kowloon Park, waar je onder andere een doolhof en standbeelden van comics vindt, besloten we om naar het Science Museum te gaan.

    Dit was dolle pret. Dit museum is een Technopolis², veel wetenschap op een leuke manier gebracht. Er is momenteel virtual reality dino exhibition. Je houdt een tablet omhoog en ziet dino's rond je wandelen terwijl je uitleg krijgt. Leerrijke ochtend 👌😁

    Daarna gingen we richting de wijk Mongkok. We hebben hier veel rondgewandeld en de tempel Tin Hau bezocht. Daar was zoveel wierrook dat het soms moeilijk ademen was!

    Vandaag was een dag vol wandelen en voelen van de vibe van deze grootstad. Morgen gaan we terug naar Hong Kong island, richting de peak.
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  • Our final full day in HK. I allowed us to have a lie in until 9.30 seeing as we weren't at the first planned activity until 11. I must learn to be a hippy traveller at some point in these 77 days and 'stop living by the clock, man'. Said activity was a walking tour with HK Free Walk around the area we're staying in, TST. Our 'ambassador' was Stella. She was every so slightly nuts which made for an entertaining few hours learning about the history of HK, the feng shui of the sky line and that the number 4 is bad luck cause it brings death (something like that anyway.) Plus I ate street food fish balls so maybe I am beginning to take some risks. I'll be getting a tattoo from a man in the back of a van next (jokes mum). It was one of those tours when in theory it's free but the tour guides work for tips and some cheapskate always buggers off 10 minutes before the tour finishes to avoid handing any of their cash over. If that's you shame on you.

    After the information overload, most of which I've already forgotten, we caught the Star Ferry for the 600th time this trip and went to Soho to ride the mid levels escalators and eat huge burgers. Then we walked around the harbour front and went to my home away from home hotel bar Sugar at the East hotel (where I go with work) for a spectacular harbour view and a glass of time or two.

    We attempted to watch the nightly Symphony of Lights show but couldn't even get close to a view so went to Caliente for Mexican food and beers. Highlights included free tequila and a drunk woman spilling a drink just after the previous one she had got wiped up from her clumsy hands. That makes it sound like a lame night but it very much wasn't.

    It was a less blog exciting, more consumption heavy day if I'm honest and to top it off Matt's found a channel showing the Man U game... Fun stat, we've walked 56.6km since we got to HK which has maybe burnt off one dinner. Maybe.
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  • We're here! Day one sees us in Hong Kong. My 2nd city (though that still doesn't mean I have a sense of direction around here). After a smooth flight we taxi'd to our AirBNB. We're staying in Tsim Sha Tsui and for central HK it's a pretty standard size studio apartment and it did bring me my first comedy sign of the trip (see photos, no casual pissing please).

    When you're the partner of a horse racing nut you get used to being 'dragged' to any track in a 20 mile radius of a romantic trip even when you've been travelling for the best part of 24 hours and as Wednesday night is 'Happy Wednesday' race night it was a quick change and off to Happy Valley.

    The atmosphere at HV is amazing and I can't imagine there's many other tracks with sky scrapers as the backdrop so even as a non-better it's a fun place to check out. They also wear far jazzier silks - or as I prefer to call them, aprons. After some charades and pointing Matt managed to find the race card vending machine and after almost buying the version in Chinese was set to study form to decide (*cough* guess *cough*) who he should bet on. My preferred method is to watch the horses parade and look for the feisty ones. Sadly we had no winners and for the sake of our holiday fund called it betting quits after a couple of races and spent money on beer and dirty hot dogs instead. The hot dog at least had some greenery hidden under the suspicious cheese sauce. I'm hoping the food gets better/slightly more authentic from here...
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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

  • New lesson of the day. When you're two 'English Roses' you shouldn't wait to ask 'am I getting pink?' Before putting sun cream and a cap on even if it's shady. Especially if one of you is bald.

    We dragged out pink neck and nose out of bed after a better night's sleep for some early-ish morning Dim Sum at Tim Ho Wan. Other branches of this small chain have Michelin stars making them apparently the cheapest Michelin starred restaurants in the world (we're such tourists). We were near a non-starred one so went with it. It was really delicious. Their specialist BBQ porks buns are a bargain food highlight and recommended if you're ever in HK.

    After breakfast we continued ticking off our tourist info card and went up Victoria Peak on the tram. The tram line first opened in 1888 but I think they've updated the system since then (though probably not that recently). It basically is two carriages being pulled 45degrees up Victoria Peak with a feeling something could snap any minute and send you plummeting roller coaster style to the bottom (don't worry Mum, spoiler alert, that didn't happen). At the top we checked out the slightly cloudy 428m above sea level view. I'm not sure what it is about the need to see major cities from a high point but I still buy into it every time.

    We had to cut out trip to the Peak fairly short for our afternoon plans so caught the tram back down and headed to Happy Valley to meet Matt's friend Tom who'd invited him to play football with some friends and work colleagues. I played WAG and half watched the football and half watched the kites (the bird type) circling overhead.

    We headed back to Tom's place and hung out with him and his wife Angela for a while before hitting happy hour at Saint Germain. Several wines later we went to Keung Kee restaurant for more BBQ pork, noodles and duck fried rice. Yum.

    We caught the star ferry home after some MTR disruption (can't get over the 25p bargain price). It's apparently the coolest day of winter so far in HK. At least we won't get more burnt.... wear sunscreen kids. That's almost as good as the advice I got from the Drainage Services Department today. 'Do it from the heart' they say. Whilst sorting the drains.
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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.

  • So things I've learnt about the apartment we're staying in. It's somewhere in the vicinity of a late night karaoke establishment. And that this plus the time zone change does not lend itself to the best night's sleep. That being said we still made it out by 9am to get the MTR to Lantau Island and catch the bus to the Big Buddha (via Starbucks. Standard.) It was an interesting up and down through the mountains bus ride on seats ill designed for a 6 foot brick house but we made it in one piece and early enough to beat the big crowds which came later.

    When they say Big Buddha they're not exaggerating - - though I very much enjoy the large list of qualification adjectives to give it the title of 'largest outdoor sitting bronze Buddha'. It's 34 metres tall and sitting on a stone building/altar which is sitting on top of a hill. There were a lot of stairs. 268 stairs a lot. Despite the necessary exercise it's one of my favourite HK tourist spots though and interesting to learn about how it was cast and transported.

    After the much easier downstairs walk we encountered some of the local wildlife include free roaming cows stealing apples and dogs that I thought were dead but were just sun bathing. We walked about the small temples of the Po Lin monastery which housed some beautiful gold buddhas. There was incense being lit everywhere and drums being banged. Very serene and peaceful, even with Matt having a go on the drum.

    Lunch was..... ambiguous. The cafe at the monastery is vegetarian only and as everything else had fungus in the name we went for a 'mixed vegetarian.' I still could not tell you what any of the components were but it was very tasty. One thing was curry flavoured, one sweet and the other again ambiguous.

    We continued exploring the site including the Wisdom Path and an abandoned wreck of a tea garden. I even found a geocache to my great geeky delight. After the excitement of that we caught the bus to Tai O, a fishing village not far away. Man was there a lot of dried fish. And more sleeping dogs (not dried or dead). Plus some cool houses on stilts. I took us on a bit of an adventure wandering through the village with the fake confidence of someone who has no idea where they're going or if they're trespassing but luckily we made it back to the bus stop without being arrested.

    In the evening we grabbed some lunch at a cafe and took the Star Ferry across the harbour and back. Hopefully at some point Matt will learn that it's winter in Hong Kong and chilly in the evenings before Starbucks bankrupts us.
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  • Just arrived on Hong Kong Island. Flight wasn't too bad, just long. Got the MTR airport express into town. Quick and efficient, then a shuttle bus to hotel. View from our room on 27th floor isn't too bad, although hazy. Can even see the cruise terminal from up here, so will see Ovation of the Seas when she arrives on Sunday and again on Wednesday. Off out to explore now. Need to find a bar showing UTD v ARS.Read more

  • If you ever have visited our "famous" northern italian mercati and think they are exciting - forget about them; they are nothing compared to an asian market - like this one ... (I know what I am talking about - my mother was born and raised in Baveno (near Stresa) and I know by heart all the markets around that area .. :-) Here it is different, interesting, fascinating, you feel the scent of Asia.

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