Hong Kong is an incredible place, full of iconic views and strong contrasts between the urban jungle and the remote areas offering a short break from the overwhelming buzz. Let me share with you a list of ten places in Hong Kong that include a mix of top attractions and lesser-known but very interesting spots that you might want to explore.
1. Victoria Peak
A trip up to the Peak is a must. Looking down at the Victoria Harbour from this famous vantage point is a great experience and lets you snap that famous panorama of Hong Kong. You can take the Peak Tram that departs from its terminus on Garden Road or opt for a cheaper and quicker option of taking a bus from Central (Exchange Square). Either way the views are spectacular. (Nearest MTR: Central)
Victoria Harbour, a view from the Peak
2. Avenue of Stars
The Avenue of Stars in Kowloon pays tribute to Bruce Lee and other big names from the Hong Kong’s film industry. Feel the Hollywood of the East vibe and do not be surprised by the crowds of tourists wanting to take a selfie with their favourite actors or directors. (Nearest MTR: East Tsim Sha Tsui)
The Avenue of Stars
3. Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
Just round the corner from the Avenue of Stars, Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade is a perfect place to walk along the waterfront and enjoy a great view of the city. (Nearest MTR: East Tsim Sha Tsui)
Wan Chai, a view from Victoria Harbour
My 2014 long-haul travel destinations
Not at her desk in 2014. Well… where do I start? Firstly I did not expect last year that I will get a chance to go to Asia twice this year. Nepal, and my solo travel plans were on the cards very early on in the year but my second trip was a bit more unexpected. A seed was planted by my friend. To be fair with you she did not need a lot of time to convince me that it was a great idea. Going to Hong Kong and later joining her to travel to Southern China and visiting our mutual friend along the way? I was in!
Secondly it took some saving, planning and preparations but it was worth it and it turned out to be an incredible year. So out with the dresses and shoes that I do not actually need and in with breathable t-shirts for hiking and other bits and pieces for trekking and backpacking!
A dusty capital of Nepal with amazing temples, stupas and captivating everyday spirituality.
Sadhus at the Pashupatinath Temple
The Swayambhunath stupa
Away from the buzz
Exploring the outlying islands is chance to catch a glimpse of Hong Kong’s village life. A shift from urban to rural landscape brings out its contrasts again and surprises with a wide range of attractions and places to discover.
As the largest outlying island, Lantau Island is a very popular tourist spot but it also has some more quiet and reclusive areas. Although it is possible to reach the island by MTR and then a cable car I opted for a ferry ride from Central. Getting around by ferries was my thing while in Hong Kong so I was just swiping in and out my Octopus card (a bit like London’s Oyster card) and hopping from one place to another.
The Big Buddha
A visual mix
British influence on the urban landscape of Hong Kong is hardly surprising and saying that it reminded me a lot of London is probably like stating the obvious but I cannot run away from this comparison. Sorry! Left-hand side traffic, double-decker buses, some familiar signage mixed with bilingual typography and Asian design. Whenever I was walking down Nathan Road it felt like if I was on Oxford Street. Despite occasional glancing at few shopping displays I was still moving faster than any bus out there. Sounds familiar?
At the heart of it all
As soon as I booked my plane ticket to Hong Kong I decided that Kowloon will be the place where I would start looking for accommodation. It was my second big trip this year and my budget was far from the one that could let me stay at any fancy hotel or anywhere decent on Hong Kong Island.
Once I refined my search to Kowloon, I was actually overwhelmed by a high number of hostels and guesthouses available. Both options are great if you are traveling on a budget but it is very important to check if there any reviews available as some online listings sound too good to be true.
Staying at a fairly basic but clean and comfortable guesthouse on Nathan Road meant that I was at the heart of Kowloon. At the same time not too far away from the waterfront and the ferries to explore the islands. A convenient location was a plus and the authenticity of the place provided an amazing insight into the everyday Kowloon.
Neon lights in Kowloon