Hong Kong. I think we landed 10 years to the day that I’d last been there. I just remember wanting Chinese food and not finding anything good, so the city left a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended). This time though we had locals to show us around, and C. has been about 8 times, so I was in good hands and had the best of everything.
We stayed on Park Island, which was cool to get away from the city itself and see how people in Hong Kong really live. Plus, commuting into the city entailed a ferry ride, which was super exotic.
I could go on and on about our time in Hong Kong, but instead I’ve picked 5 must do’s while there.
1- Tim Ho Wan + Bubble Tea: Tim Ho Wan is inexpensive (probably the world’s most inexpensive, but I don’t know that for sure), and makes AMAZING dim sums. There are a ton of locations in Hong Kong, but get to one early- they fill up fast. I even tried chicken feet at Tim Ho Wan, mostly because…I mean, when in Rome.
Bubble tea is also something you must have- I did, every day. Not only is it super refreshing in the heat (which seems prevalent everywhere, all the time), it is just so darn good. Addictively good. I’m kind of glad it isn’t so widely available here in London, or else I’d be in trouble and turn in to a bubble tea.
2- Kowloon and Mong Kok. No trip to HK would be complete without seeing Kowloon- this reminds me of “downtown” in American cities, or “central” if you’re in Europe. Very busy, lots going on. In Kowloon is Mong Kok, which is a street market that is massive, and has everything that you could ever want, from new computers to knock off bags to magnets and children’s fake food, Asian style (which I was greatly amused by).
3- A few days in Shenzhen. To be fair, we had an amazing tour guide in the form of C.’s sister in law, who is a local, and I’m not sure how it would be if you’re English speaking without a tour guide, but I really liked it. It is such a developing city, so much to see and really not very western at all- so it was a big adventure every time we stepped out of the hotel.
My favorite place there was a cafe called Half Two, which was in a skyscraper that kind of looked like it should have just been floors and floors of offices. There was a ball pit and loads of fun things to do in this cafe. I also really loved all the funny translations and life advice that I saw.
And of course, the dim sum.
4- Ngong Ping cable car to Tian Tan Buddha, and Tai O fisher village. Pretty standard HK tourist fare, the Tian Tan Buddha is accessible by a gorgeous ride in a cable car. C. doesn’t love heights, but we took the glass bottomed one to enjoy the views.
Tian Tan was as beautiful as I remembered it- being one of the only things I remember from HK last time. I didn’t remember, however, how crowded it was there. It was the single most crowded place I visited all year! I didn’t love that.
The Tai O village was a new place for me. It seems quite small still, although there were quite a few tourists there. You can get there by taking a taxi from the top of Tian Tan, so it is slightly less accessible, but that didn’t seem to stop many people from going. You can walk around the village and take a boat tour, as well.
5- Panorama View of Hong Kong. I forgot how hilly the city is, so there are lots of places you can go for great views. And, of course, there’s just the possibility to walk around and look at the cool architecture and pop in to random malls to get foot massages and do some serious shopping.