It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally found the time/newfound motivation to continue my travel blogs, so here goes…
This series of blogs begins with a sad prologue: The phone that I took all my photos on while I was away has since died before I could get all the photos off it, so the visual storytelling of these posts will be reliant on Snapchat and Instagram posts, so bear with…
Day 3 and 4 (and half a day 5) in Hong Kong was a little more chill. It mainly consisted of shopping and eating with a little bit of sightseeing in between.
Day 3: Harbour City & The Peak
On our third day in Hong Kong we headed out to Harbour City Shopping Mall in Kowloon for some retail therapy. The place is huge and we spent a decent amount of time perusing stores before heading to a restaurant for yum cha. One of the great discoveries whilst shopping was Japanese chainstore Uniqlo. We don’t have Uniqlo in New Zealand (there’s stores in Australia, but the prices are almost 3 or 4 times more than what they’re priced in Hong Kong…) so it was cool to be able to find a store full of basics and LOTS of jackets and really decent prices. I snagged a leather jacket and my family members walked out with armfuls of bags filled with clothes.
As the sun set we dropped our shopping off in the car before heading down to the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade which overlooks Victoria Harbour to see the Christmas lights and decorations before hopping on the Star Ferry from Kowloon over to Hong Kong Island.
I can’t quite remember how much it was, but it was incredibly cheap – equivalent to about $1 NZD I think.
Once we reached Hong Kong Island we jumped on a bus from the Central terminal that would take us to the bottom of Victoria Peak to ride the Peak Tram up to the top. The ride is quite novel bar a little nerve-wracking if you’re afraid of heights as some parts are incredibly steep.
It was super windy and cold at the top, but it was such a beautiful view of the Hong Kong cityscape at night, with all the lights, I’ve no doubt the view would’ve been just as spectacular during the day.
The Peak have a whole lot of restaurants and stores , they even have exhibition spaces and a Madame Tussauds. After taking a few photos outside, we headed back inside for dinner – a very non-traditional choice of Bubba Gumps (only the second time I’ve been, the first time being in Santa Monica in the States) – leaving with a whole lot of Bubba Gump-themed margarita shakers (they would soon prove to be troublesome to fit into our suitcases after all of the shopping we did in HK and Vietnam).
To head back to Kowloon and then home we jumped onto the MTR (have I mentioned how much I love efficient public transport?).
Day 4: Tian Tan Buddha
On our second to last day (our final full day) in Hong Kong we headed to Lantau Island to see the Giant Buddha, aka the Tian Tan Buddha.
I’ve been before on a previous 14-hour layover in Hong Kong, but the first time around it had been incredibly cloudy, so there wasn’t much of a view when I was in the cable cars heading over to the island.
It was incredibly surreal though, as it looked like we were floating through the clouds.
We headed out early in the morning taking the MTR to the terminal where the cable cars leave.
We rode in one of the Crystal Cabins, which had a glass bottom. The best part was travelling over the island and seeing the green trees and shrubbery underfoot.
Before making the big climb to the top of the steps to see the Big Buddha up, close and personal we grabbed food vouchers from one of the booths that allowed us having a vegetarian lunch at the temple.
I’d definitely recommend heading here, the cable car ride is obviously a highlight, plus the buddha itself is incredibly impressive and architecture and decor of the temple is beautiful.
If you’re afraid of heights don’t worry, cable car isn’t the only way to get there, you can also drive or take a bus (we took a bus on the way back).
The rest of the day we just headed out to dinner and went home to pack to get ready for our flight the following day.
Day 5: Yum Cha and Vietnam
Our final day in Hong Kong also happened to be my uncle’s family’s first day in HK – they were travelling with us to Vietnam but wanted to stopover in Hong Kong too and would meet us in Vietnam a few days later.
Before our flight we met up with them for Yum Cha before grabbing some Gong Cha (I’ve made it a mission to get Gong Cha in every country/major city I visit, if they have Gong Cha, and so far have succeeded!) and then heading to the airport.
The evening flight to Ho Chi Minh City was just over two hours and it’s seriously crazy how different a two hour flight make when it comes to the climate. Walking out of the airport we hit with a wave of warm air and also overwhelmed by the crazy crowd of people standing outside vying for your attention to offer taxi rides.
We grabbed a taxi and headed to our hotel which was in Quadrant 1. It was pretty late in the evening so we were tired and headed to bed practically straight away, ready for a day of exploring in a brand new city (the city my Mum was born in) the next day.
And that’s it folks, my final post about my brief trip to Hong Kong. I really wish I had more photos to share, but alas it was not to be.
Keep your eyes peeled for some of my Vietnam adventures (all in all we were in Vietnam for about four weeks).
Have you been to Hong Kong? What were your highlights? Let me know in the comments below!