One word to describe Hong Kong; Amazing.
This isn’t my first trip over to China, so safe to say I was well prepared. I was geared up for adventure and decided to start somewhere I’m familiar with, and so it began. This time round I did things differently. No lavish nor luxurious transport, no expensive shopping, no limousine waiting at the airport, no lavish hotels waiting for my check-in, no butlers, no room service. I stay grounded this time, and this is truly one of the best experience in my life.
Making Your Way Around
It is really easy to navigate your way round town. The road signs are so vague and clear, you don’t even have the opportunity to get lost. Streets are plenty, but don’t worry, there’s usually a humongous map to assist your whereabouts at the corner. Phone booths are also a very common sight, but I’d recommend you get a prepaid card while you’re there, for security reasons. #Get PCCW Mobile prepaid – they’ve got tourist discounts off attraction sights!! Another note here would be Pay Attention! Be cautious and don’t try to outsmart the signs. Because if you do, you will definitely get lost. Why? Because there’s multiple exits from the station. Some of the stations have up to like 10 exits! Like example, A1/A2/B3/B4, something like that. And every exit is DIFFERENT! It brings you to different places, so unless you’re up for some exploring and you know where you want to go, the choice is yours, otherwise just be obedient and follow the signs.
Believe it or not, I only took the cab twice the whole time I was there. Subways are all within walking distance so it wasn’t much of a hassle. Besides I bought an Octopus Card (For Tourists) costing about HK 220 which gave me a one-way express train ride to city from airport and unlimited 3 days usage of the MTR. It is really worth it, but it depends, if you think you’re much comfortable with cabbing, cab fares are cheap, cheaper than the ones in Singapore. Most of the tourist sightings are walking distance from the subway, thus cab rides are really not necessary. Besides, you are after all exploring a foreign land, no? Get out from that shell of yours and experience what it’s like! Most of the MTR stations have travellators and its so cool! The only ones in Singapore’s in Changi Airport!
I’m not really a shopaholic. But in general, girls / ladies / women would go crazy shopping over here. Little shops line the streets with really attractive clothing and designs you never thought of. I’m not talking about those top notch boutiques like Louis Vuitton, Burberry, etcetera. But rather those streets that come alive by night! There are really cheap steals and you can spend hours walking yet shamelessly declare, it’s not enough. Some of the much well known night markets are Temple Street, Ladies Market, Bird Market, Flower Market, Jade Market, etcetera. Souvenirs are definitely hands down much cheaper than the ones you find over at the attraction sites.
I did not manage to gobble down the way I expected myself to. All because most of the shops weren’t Halal certified, heck they don’t even know what’s Halal -.- Instead, I bought vegetables from the market and cooked my meals for dinner!
That was before I manage to find a few Halal stalls of course but it was a touch and go, bumped into one, quickly have a small meal and dash off for other activities. So in this aspect I’m not really your best guide. But I do know one place that I love oh-so-much. Its Masjid Ammar & Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre, tucked in between a swimming complex and neighbourhood school. The canteen sells really good dumplings, all the food’s halal certified and they serve in generous amount. Price wise? VERY CHEAP! I had a few dishes and I only fork out barely $10 including a drink! Good stuff!
One of the MUST GO would be Victoria’s Peak. If you love sceneries, you love cold weather, you love heights, and you appreciate nature, this is good enough. Here’s another tip though.
Up at The Peak, there’s this new mall called The Peak Galleria, if you’re on a tight budget, you may just want to grab the tickets without the Sky Terrace. It offers the same views just that at a lower height, but believe me it is as good. And it is not as crowded compared to the Sky Terrace.
For both the Sky Terrace & The Tram Pass - HK 65 (S$10) // The Tram – HK 40 (S$6.40). You don’t have to worry about food, there’s plenty of restaurants while you’re up there. Like Starbucks, Delifrance, Burger King, etcetera. The temperature up there is as cold too, but it’d be nice with that kind of weather, you stroll down with a cup of hot drink. You can actually walk down, if you don’t mind wasting time and just appreciate your surroundings.
Another place you might want to explore would be the Avenue Of Stars. It’s a long stretch by the bay overlooking the city. I went round 6, just in time to catch the Symphony of Lights by the harbour at 8.
And one of the most beautiful sight I encounter, would be to watch as the sun set and the buildings start to light up. You will see how everyone will crowd round as near as they can to the waters and wait patiently for the show to commence! As for the show itself, in my opinion it wasn’t as WOW-tastic. It’s basically lights dancing to the music being played. Besides its Free, what more can you expect, no? :p
Central is also one of the places I’d recommend you to go. Its something like Clarke Quay in Singapore. Loads of pubs and nightlife here is great!
I was over at Central for my last night to catch Take Out Comedy, rated No. #1 Entertainment in Hong Kong. I had to see it for myself. Stand up comedy live was exhausting, why? Because they have really talented comedians who cracks the most unthinkable jokes! It was a good laughing therapy, best way to wrap up my trip to Hong Kong.
All in all, I really enjoyed my stay over at Hong Kong. It’s such a bustling city and as I mentioned before, it’s very similar to Singapore. Walking around is no problemo and even if you’re a newbie to solo travelling, Hong Kong is the best place to start. Sway your way down streets and shop to your heart’s content. Hold your confidence together and bring home the best life experience you never thought you’d get.
But in my case, this was just the beginning……..watch out for my post to Macau, the Las Vegas of Asia!!