July 2015
  • Day1

    Hong Kong

    July 31, 2015 in Hong Kong ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    This place is more than just another concrete jungle. Small country formed by interconnected islands with very nice people. If you have been to China, this is nothing like China. Its way more civilized. Don't mean to bad mouth China but that is the reality of things.

    Since you are already within the vicinity of skyscrapers, why not check out the view from up above? Sky100 is where you should go. This is 360-degree indoor observation deck on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre in West Kowloon. I went during sunset and the first picture below is what Hong Kong Harbour looks like in the golden hour. If you like watching sunrises and sunsets like me, this should definitely be on your list.

    Ok, so you saw the sunset and its dark now. Now what? Head to Victoria Peak. This is a mountain in western part of Hong Kong, also known as Mount Austin. I took the bus, but you can also use the tram or the MTR (the train). Watching the city lights illuminated from up above is nothing short of captivating. Picture 2 below.

    A Symphony of Lights. Your trip to Hong Kong is incomplete if you don't witness this light and sound show by the harbour. This dazzling performance involves around 40 buildings on both sides of the harbour, with its colourful neon lights and laser beams synchronized with music and accompanied by narration. To put it simply, the city is putting on a show. This is organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and is the 'World's Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show' by Guinness World Records. Go to Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront and be sure to be there on time as this show starts at 8pm daily and lasts about 15 minutes. Refer to Picture 3.

    If you think Hong Kong is all about the city, you are wrong. Hiking up Dragon's Back was the favourite part of my trip (Picture 4). It is a tough uphill climb (I'm not all that fit) and took about 5 hours for me. The view of the seascape (and cityscape) below was worth all the sweat and toil. It is an 8.5km trail and it ends at Shek O Beach. Its almost as if the beach at the end of the hike is a reward for your hard work.

    Cable cars! You can't hate them. Unless of course you're afraid of heights. Ngong Ping 360 offers cable cars to Lantau Island (Picture 5). If you get the Crystal Cabin, you get to see what's directly below as the floor of the cable car is transparent. I did not do that though as I had a friend who has acrophobia. Nadiah, if you are reading this, I'm referring to you. However, the standard cabin was good too. I got to see a lot. These cars move from Hong Kong and Lantau Island and back.

    Lantau Island houses a 34 meter tall bronze Buddha statue at the Po Lin Monastery (Picture 6). It can be reached after climbing a long flight of stairs. This Big Buddha statue can be seen from the cable car itself as it sits on its lotus throne atop the mountain. Its worth a visit. I mean how often do you see giant Buddha statues anyway.

    If you are into theme parks, visit Disneyland. If you don't want to be so cliche, then go to Ocean Park.

    In conclusion, Hong Kong has a nice balance of man-made and natural tourist attractions. You can never go wrong.
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