• hannahkirsop

Hong Kong

Whether we want to pick a favourite travel destination or not it inevitably happens. For me Hong Kong was my favourite travel destination of my five-week trip in Summer 2019. When asked where was my favourite was by other travellers at the airport or by family, instantly Hong Kong sprang out of my mouth without any thought. After thinking about it, it made so much sense as to why I would say this place. Hong Kong was full of adventure. It is made up of spectacular islands, the bright city, and the blend of culture. It is a fantastic place.

Finding the accommodation was a task and a half. I had read that accommodation was hard to find when reading other travel blogs and they were so correct. Hidden in little narrow side streets or on the third or fifth floor of a tall building. It took a little longer than expected but after checking in and dropping off our heavy bags, I instantly wanted to go out and explore despite the crazy jet lag and long flights.

This enthusiasm led us to the harbour. The sky scrapers towering over the water was incredible. We walked along the pier, finding the right port and took the ferry to Kowloon. The high towers beaming in bright colours with the reflections glowing in the water. The little ferry ride cost next to nothing and it allowed us to see the city alive. Traditional dragon boats rode the waters, combining traditional aspects of Hong Kong along with the modern skyline. Both sides of the river shone bright and it felt like the place wasn't real and it was my imagination. I knew it was real because my imagination was not this creative.

The destination of the ferry arrived at Kowloon. A walk along the pier was refreshing and allowed you to take in the surrounding views. Walking along the streets, it was filled with high end shops with glamorous windows. After walking for a bit longer we reached Temple Street night market, giving a busy, bustling vibe. The market contained traditional items and a range of modern gifts and souvenirs. Around the market there were bright signs lighting up the streets.

One of my favourite things to do was visit Lantau island. We got the metro to Tung Chung. The original aim was to get the cable car up to Ngong Ping Village to see the Tian Tan Buddha. Unfortunately, due to the bad weather (it was monsoon season after all) we had to get a bus up the village. The little village was modern but radiated tradition, it was filled with tourist shops and places to eat food and towards the back of the village the cable car station was placed. Looking up you could see the Tian Tan Buddha in the surroundings. Walking up the hundred or so steps to the Buddha when it was so warm was a little uncomfortable but it was definitely manageable. The views from up there were incredible. You could see the mist coming from the green hills with the coast in the background. It was beautiful to just stand there and take it all in. Large Buddha statues surrounded the Giant Buddha which was placed in the middle. Further along there was the Po Lin Monetary, containing several golden Buddha’s. The art work and architecture of the temples were extraordinary. The small intricate details on the building were admirable.

Monument next to the Tian Tan Buddha

Luckily, the weather had cleared up and we were able to get the cable cars on the way back to Hong Kong island. The views were spectacular, passing through the green hills, with the coast to the side, and the big city emerging closer. It was definitely a highlight of visiting Hong Kong. There was also easy access to the Tai O Fishing village, but unfortunately, we had run out of time and needed to catch the cable car back to the island.

After a quick metro ride to central station from our hotel, we arrived at the Pier and got a ferry to Lamma Island. The pier had the potential for so much adventure with ferries travelling to different islands surrounding Hong Kong Island. Although it was a choppy ride to the Island, it only lasted about 15 minutes. When we stepped off the ferry, it felt as if we had travelled back in time. The island was a fishing village with plenty of boats in the harbour and seafood restaurants serving fresh fish. The island was beautiful with large butterflies fluttering around us. It felt tropical and the air that we breathed was fresh. It was very basic in comparison to the large skyscrapers, making it a nice break from the busy city. It was great to just to walk around and see what the island had to offer although we did nearly get chased by some local dogs when we went near the beach.

When researching the best places to visit in Hong Kong, the most popular suggestion was definitely the Peak, claiming to show the best views of the city. This statement was not wrong. Unfortunately, the tram to the Peak was out of service so we had to get a taxi to the top, but it was definitely worth it. I didn’t realise how high up the peak actually was it but it allowed you to see every building in the city. We arrived at the most perfect time, taking in the views during the day, seeing the sunset and watching the city come alive at night. It was perfect. We did go to a viewing point that was crowded with people mesmerised with the view, but being in awe it was easy to block out the crowds. I loved just taking in the views of this incredible place.

Is it a bold statement to say everyone loves Disney? Well everyone may not but I definitely do have a soft spot for the place and everything that is Disney. I grew up watching all of the films. So, when we were aware that Hong Kong had its own Disneyland, it was part of our itinerary. It was such a great day, watching the shows and walking around the park was cute. We had decided to visit because we thought that getting the opportunity to visit Disney in Hong Kong probably wasn’t going to come around any time soon or if at all again.

A quick trip to art lane was definitely a great location to take photos. It was a quick metro journey away and I had heard about the bright murals that were painted on walls and stairs of a street on Hong Kong Island. The paintings on the wall summed up the vibe of the city. The paintings consisted of skyscrapers, bright flowers, rainbow stairs.

These are some of the main things that I had experienced in the city. But the place has so much more to offer, the list is truly endless. Although I spent a good amount of time there, I felt like I could have stayed longer, hopping island to island, exploring what each place has to offer. The city was bustling and was full of exciting places, you could travel a little further and the atmosphere and scenery would be completely different. It made a fantastic travel destination.

I had fell in love with Hong Kong and I couldn't recommend visiting this place anymore in the future. I felt like we had done so much whilst we were there but I know that we probably didn't even touch the surface as the city had so much to offer. Sadly after we left the riots had started and this saddened us greatly, hoping that everyone in Hong Kong was safe. I pray that they come to an end and everyone is well. In the future I would love to revisit and hope that others will discover this fantastic travel location!

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