Recently, I traveled to Hong Kong and I was stunned to see its grandeur as it has the largest number of skyscrapers of any city in the world. I had never imagined the city would feel more like Britain than China and why not because this Chinese special administrative region was under British rule till 1997 which transcends Hong Kong into the most significant financial center in the world.
My itinerary was the direct flight from Mumbai to Hong Kong via Cathay pacific which continued for 8 hours – It is essential to prefer a good airline on such a prolonged journey and Cathay was a perfect choice. My heart is set on traveling so the longer the journey the better I feel because for me it’s an opportunity to read my favorite subjects without distraction, and this time I chose Hector Gracia’s book called “IKIGAI”- It’s astonishing the way he explained the secret of long and happy life without complicating the subject. I highly recommend this book to everyone as this tiny book has power to change the way we recognize work and society. I’m glad that I picked this book and finished while traveling back.
Upon arrival, I hired a red taxi to “Ramada Hongkong Harbour View” where my husband was already staying for business purposes. The taxi ride costs me around 300 HKD which was expensive than a metro but it’s all worth it when you are totally spent and alien to an unknown country. Ramada is a decent hotel but the bathrooms were so compact and narrow that we hardly could shuffle between commode and bathtub, hence we decided to move into “Holiday Inn Golden Mile” at Tsim She Tsui area. It was spacious and comfortable than Ramada, plus we had an advantage of Tsim Sha Tsui metro station at the backside of the hotel gate which was actually a cherry on the top because we never had to board the taxi again. We purchased an octopus card and traveled everywhere through MTR and it cost less than 2000 INR per head for the whole trip excluding the airport transfer. Though Ramada rooms are small but it’s still recommendable for budget travellers, but if you’re seeking comfort over price you should totally get into Holiday Inn Golden Mile.
I didn’t plan too many things on the first day of my arrival rather I mellowed out and got familiar with the local streets and areas. We visited the Lan Kwai Fong; a small square of streets in central Hong Kong renowned for the nightlife, drinking, clubbing, and dining. This section was sassy, vibrant and filled with many luxury brands that translate the profuseness of the city. It’s a shopping haven for shopaholics, you could spot Louis Vuitton, Gucci and many other luxurious brands near Queen’s Road Central. After a frisky walk, we had a delightful carbonara dinner with a bottle of Asahi and we called it a day!
As being into the shoe industry I was keen to visit the leather market of Hong Kong and I was extremely thrilled for the next day. I realised it might not be useful for every reader so I documented the Leather market experience in the other post titled “My Leather Search In Hong Kong“.
After spending a whole day in Leather Market we went back to the hotel and planned to visit the key tourist places for the next couple of days which include- Victoria Peak through Tram Ride, Sky terrace (Sky 100), Crystal Cabin Ride to Lantau Island, Tian Tan Buddha, and Po Lin Monastery.
Tian Tan Buddha is a little far and takes a whole day to visit the island so it was obvious to visit the Victoria Peak and Sky Terrace on a single day and Tian Tan Buddha on the other.
Victoria Peak by Tram Ride: It’s a hill on the western half of Hong Kong Island. It is also known as Mount Austin, and locally as The Peak. You have to take a tram to go the peak which makes the experience a little more attractive. The peak is all about experiencing the breathtaking skyscrapers from the highest point.
The site had many options to ease out your cravings, we hopped onto Gino’s Gelato’s bubble waffle ice-cream and spotted the perfect corner to witness the beauty of Hong Kong while sipping our latte at Pacific coffee shop. We both were full and missed lunch at Gordon Ramsay Bread Street restaurant but you must try them for the whole experience.
Sky terrace or Sky 100 ( Hong Kong Observation Deck): After visiting Victoria Peak in the morning we went for Sky100, The Hong Kong Observation Deck located on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre. It’s the tallest building in West Kowloon. At 393 meters above sea level. It is the only indoor observation deck in Hong Kong offering 360-degree views of the territory and it’s famous for Victoria Harbour. It’s surreal to visit the site at night.
Crystal Cabin” ride to Ngong Ping Village: The Ngong Ping 360 is a gondola lift on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Intended to improve tourism to the area, the aerial lift was previously known as Tung Chung Cable Car Project before acquiring the Ngong Ping 360 in April 2005. They have two options of the cable car – crystal cabin and non-crystal cabin, we combined the crystal cabin while going and non-crystal cabin to return back. I was so damn nervous as I could see the height underneath the transparent glass but it was all worth it…Phew!!
Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island: Tian Tan Buddha known as Big Buddha is a large bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, completed in 1993, and located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. The statue is sited near Po Lin Monastery and symbolizes the harmonious relationship between man, nature, people and faith. It’s a gigantic statue of Buddha leading by 268 steps.
I loved the Po Lin Monastery, it was serene. we took a little time to sit back while observing the mesmerizing architecture of the temple, no doubt it’s an awe-inspiring place that fills you with the positive energy.
I would have never taken this trip if not for the leather search but I’m glad that turns out to be wonderful because Hong Kong is such a glorious place to visit for a short getaway. So If you haven’t been to this place, just pack your bag and shoot for this amazing place.
Alert: We could feel the tension of “Hong Kong protest” while returning back as police were patrolling on airport and roads so please make sure the situation before planning your trip to Hong Kong.