Well my last stop of this trip is now done, I’m waiting in Hong Kong airport for my flight back to New Zealand. I’ve spent most of my time here exploring the city, eating delicious food and hiding from the sun inside mercifully air conditioned shops. It’s a busy city in most places, but it’s not without little areas scattered throughout in which you can escape the hustle and bustle of the streets.
For my first meal in Hong Kong I went with a group from my hostel down to Tim Ho Wans, which is the cheapest Michelin Star restaurant in the world. Definitely a really great start to my dimsum experience here, we had quite the breakfast feast including BBQ pork buns, dumplings, spring rolls and sponge cake. The general consensus was that the baked pork buns were a favorite, crispy dough on the outside with a tasty BBQ pork filling. That was the best of my two experiences with dimsum, which a Chinese cuisine similar to tapas in that you get a lot of small dishes and share them throughout the table. My body clock has been really messed up here so I’ve just been eating whenever I get hungry, so most of my food has been from street vendors or small restaurants I find wherever I am (usually with no English menu).
I spent a night wandering around the brightly lit neon streets, even when it was 11 at night the temperatures were still in the mid 20s. I came across the Temple Street Night Market, a full street of stalls containing all sorts of clothing, toys, souvenirs and more. Quite a cool place to walk through at night as its all lit up and usually really busy.
I caught a ferry from the mainland area of Kowloon where I was staying over to Hong Kong Island to have a look around. A true forest of skyscrapers, and some really uniquely designed ones as well. After wandering these streets under the massive buildings I found Hong Kong Park, a lush green paradise tucked away in the middle of this city. There was quite a lot to see in this park from fountains and a waterfall, to artificial lakes with fish and turtles in them. As this area of the city looked to be the big business and banking part, it seemed quite a few people came down to the park at lunch time to escape the feel of the city.
Not far from Hong Kong Park is the Peak Tram, a funicular which I took up to Victoria Peak. It’s quite a steep climb with parts of it at 27 degrees, there’s a funny optical illusion that happens when you look at the buildings you pass on the way up, they seem to be leaning over away from you. Once I got to the top and navigated through the multi story mini shopping mall I got up to the Sky View lookout platform which has great 360 degree views of Hong Kong and the surrounding areas. The view of the city is completely different from anything I’ve seen on this trip, instead of beautiful mountain ranges or the roofs and rivers of any European city I was able to look down on this vast forest of skyscrapers. Across Victoria Harbour from Hong Kong Island I could see Kowloon and the rest of the city, with the mountain range called the Nine Dragons in the distance. Really a great sight to see on my last full day of this trip, I would have stayed up there for a lot longer but the scorching sun had other ideas. So after taking some photos and admiring the view for a bit I retreated back to the air conditioned mall.
That night I went with a group from the hostel down to the Happy Valley Racecourse where we spent the night watching and betting on horse racing (which apparently is quite a big thing here in Hong Kong). We managed to get a spot right near the racetrack so we could watch the horses pass by just a few metres from where we stood. Since the races are of differing lengths we even managed to see a couple of starts right in front of us, very neat. I somehow managed to lose every single bet I made, even the ones which were supposed to be sure things, but it was a fun night hanging out, drinking a few overpriced beers and (unsuccessfully) cheering on my horses.
My flight out of Hong Kong isn’t until 7pm, so I used the great service of being able to check in while still in the middle of the city. After dropping my big bag off there I caught the subway over to the Wong Tai Sin Temple. I had a walk through the main areas and had a look around before finding a nice spot underneath a tree to sit down and people watch. As far as I could work out, people come to the temple in order to have their wish fulfilled. Which happens through buying a stick to burn, praying in front of the temple and then going to a fortune teller. Throughout the temple grounds there are many beautiful trees and the bright colors of the temple make this another place which feels entirety different from the city such surrounds it.
And here’s a gallery of photos that didn’t really fit into any of the above paragraphs. Hong Kong is a pretty cool city, and one that I do want to visit again (Although probably when it’s a bit cooler). There are lots of different areas of the city to explore and heaps of different things to do.