My previous post about Hong Kong China has everything that need to know about the city such as public transport, the airport etc. In this post, you can read about what we saw and what we did – activities in the city, that can be done over a couple of days. You can read about our visit to Ocean Park in Hong Kong China.
Upon arrival and checking in to our room, the first thing we did was to walk down to the Victoria Harbour. The harbour is a treat to watch any time of the day. In the evening, it is dazzling with all those lights. We got a picture taken and even hopped on to the Star Ferry that took us to the other side. Each journey costs HKD 2 per person on the Octopus card. There is a ferry every few minutes and the ride lasts about 10 minutes.
We tried to watch the laser show at 8 pm from Victoria Harbour, but seemed like the show was almost over so we started walking towards the hotel for dinner. There are a lot of quaint looking buildings, the YMCA, almost half of the interesting places to see in HK – museums, science centre, etc are located close to the Victoria Harbour.
You can cover most of the places by foot or use the public transport – HK is tourist friendly in the sense that there is loads of information for tourists everywhere in terms of sign boards, directions etc. Everything is written in english and chinese (probably cantonese, not sure). Roads and pavements are good, there are 7/11 stores in almost every street.
Tip – if you are visiting HK with children, ensure that they know they must hold your hands and not get lost in the crowd. Population in HK is almost double of Singapore and a similar area size, so it is more densely populated. We told this to S and she was more than happy to hold my hand and not get lost in an unknown city. Not everyone can speak english, even the average HKer cannot understand the English you speak so stay together!
It was a Saturday and we woke up to a slightly gloomy day. As planned, we decided to head to Victoria’s Peak. So after a quick breakfast at one of the “restaurants” in Chungking Mansion, it is run by a SriLankan Tamil – good idlis and dosa, crispy vada. It cost us about 85 HKD. So we took a the train from Tsim Sha Tsui station to Central. From Central, get out from the correct exit and it takes about 10-15 minutes by walk to reach the Tram station.
Tip: There are several exits for every station, there is information written everywhere. So check properly and see which exit you want to take. If you take the wrong exit, you might end up in some place else.
So, it is a bit of a walk from Central station to the Peak tram, on the way you can get to see all the important buildings of Hong Kong’s CBD (Central Business District) – the HSBC main office building, which is an engineering marvel in itself. The offices of all the main banks in HK are in this region, you might want to stroll around to have a good look at everything.
After all this sight-seeing, we reached the Peak Tram, there is some construction/roadwork going on, on the way so there may be some detour. Ask around and find your way if you think you are lost.
There will be a long queue for the tickets for the Peak Tram – if you choose to buy the combo of Madame Tussaud’s and the Tram package, you can skip the queue or if you pay using your Octopus card, you can jump it as well. We did just that. We waited for about 10-15 minutes for our turn to board the tram which is a funicular railway. Find yourself a seat, you dont want to feel like you are hanging as we go up the slope. Both sides you can see apartments, houses and slowly we move towards the “clouds” It is a 5 -7 minute ride in total.
At the Peak
When you reach the top, you cannot got the entire view of the Hong Kong skyline that you see in the adverts and everywhere, you can choose to go to the top – the Sky Terrace 428. You can either pay for the Sky Pass at the entrance below or you could pay at the Sky Terrace entrance. This could cost you about HKD 40 per person. Or you could choose to do what we did – there is another viewing point just as you exit the Tram.
It can be crowded and it might not give you a 360 degree view that the Sky Terrace promises, but it is still worth it. If it is a cloudy day, you might not get a great view from either of these places. You could choose to purchase souvenir items at the Peak and Sky Terrace. There is another mall opposite to the Sky Terrace, you can get good views of the other side of HK as well, Happy Valley as it is called. Try to go earlier in the day, mostly by noon the clouds set in and will spoil the view and also try to choose a sunny day to go to this place.
You could either take the Tram to come down or get a taxi or bus from the top. We chose to take the bus to get back home.
We began the day with a very heavy north Indian breakfast at one of the outlets in Chung King Mansions. After this, we walked down the road and reached the Avenue of the Stars. Again there is a lot of construction work going on, you might get lost. Originally, the avenue was overlooking the Victoria Harbour, but as of now it has been shifted to someplace across the road from the original spot. Keep looking for the sign boards and walk and walk.
So what is there at the Avenue of Stars? This is supposed to be inspired from Hollywood’s walk of fame. So here you can see statues of Bruce Lee to start off, Anita Mui, and also the Hong Kong Film Awards statuette. Apart from this, there are hand imprints of a lot of popular and famous stars like Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Jet Li to name a few.
So once we were done with this, we headed to Causeway Bay – we ended up doing some aimless walking. There are people everywhere in Hong Kong China, like Singapore it is densely populated (much more actually when compared to Singapore).
Some things that you can buy in Hong Kong are watches – if you notice the people of HK, you will see that EVERY one of them wears a branded watch. It is a statement of sorts. They seem to have a fascination for watches and pens, we hear. So get yourself a watch and possibly a Mont Blanc pen.
And just like any other country, when you travel in the MTR, all you can see around you is people with their faces glued to their smart phones! There was no connect with the people, we were the only ones who kept looking at everyone else. Lol! I guess it is a similar scene in Singapore or Korea or Japan. A few old citizens who travel by train, at times would smile back at us. Smiling is a habit in Malaysia, whether you know the person or not, if you make eye contact they do smile and it is infectious. This was one trip where I missed Malaysia a lot.
One more thing I forget to mention – do not be taken aback if you think people are in fact staring at you – no they are not looking at the way you are dressed up or if you are having the latest phone, they are only looking at your eyes (especially if you are Indian). Just a tip, don’t get offended or intimidated, they are only admiring you 🙂
We missed going to Lantou Island, Ngong Ping Village (Tian Tan Buddha), Kowloon Park and the National Museums. It was important that we kept our little girl in mind as well and did things that she would enjoy 🙂
We had the opportunity to spend some time with a friend and his family – we got a lot of insight into how an expat life is in Hong Kong China.
Well, so that’s it. I hope you will have a good time in Hong Kong China. If you go, be prepared to walk a lot, wear good walking shoes – your feet will thank you 😉