First Time Travel to Hong Kong
Aug 26, 2018 - Diane China Travel
I love Hong Kong; its food, its language, and all the places that appeared in old Hong Kong movies! I had always been fascinated by this place. The combination of both western and eastern culture has created a truly one of a kind place on our planet!
I was told by my friend in Hong Kong that because the city hosts lots of meetings every year, I needed to book my hotel as soon as I fired up my travel plan, otherwise the price might just skyrocket overnight. I took his advice religiously and booked a popular family hotel near the Jordan metro station. From my room, I could overlook the nearby busy streets. All my neighbors were local residents instilling a feeling of actually living in Hong Kong that immersed me in their daily local life in an almost surreal way.
“Xiao Ye” which means midnight snack has been a great deal in Hong Kong people’s daily life. For that, I was quite lucky to be close to one of the most famous night streets: Miao Jie. Hong Kong people’s passion towards food truly amazed me! I was overwhelmed by the number of choices presented in front of me. My personal favorites were Pineapple bun, Fish balls, and Beef offal. However, one of the things I was really looking forward to was Hong Kong roast! Li Qiang Restaurant was highly rated by local people because it was a small shop just like in the movies. The taste was beyond my expectation. If you ever visit Miao Jie, definitely give it a try.
Lantau Island is the largest island in Hong Kong, located at the mouth of the Pearl River. Buddhist architecture, long sandy beaches, and shopping outlets — Lantau Island has it all. The Ngong Ping 360 cable car is the most popular way to get to Lantau Island and you will most probably run into a long queue. Although I had ordered my ticket online pre-arrival, I still stood in line for almost 2 hours to get on. I could see the Big Buddha from the cable car every far away. It is the world's largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha, peacefully situated on the mountain peak, overlooking the entirety of Lantau Island and its residents. After visiting the Giant Buddha and the center of Buddhism, Po Lin Monastery, I spent my afternoon in the quaint and picturesque village of Tai O and enjoyed a relaxing sampan ride around the stilt houses.
I dedicated my second day to Victoria Peak and the Central Mid-Levels Escalator. Victoria Peak is one of the most popular tourist destinations and also Hong Kong’s landmark. The view was stunning both day and night, although the night view was my personal favorite. I hiked up and took the tram while coming down. Luckily, the weather was good and not too windy. The reason I decided to visit the Mid-Levels Escalator was not only because it is the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world, but more importantly, it appeared so many times in old Hong Kong movies and I was deeply drawn to it. On my way this day, I came across “the Cheapest Michelin Restaurant” rated by local people: Tim Ho Wan, the Dim-Sum Specialists. The food was absolutely mouthwatering and definitely well worth the money I had spent!
The longer time I spent in Hong Kong, the longer I wanted to stay. It is such a vibrant and multi-cultured city. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to spare on this trip. I planned my last day to do some light shopping for my family and friends in Tsim Sha Tsui – a giant world bazaar, and take a cruise tour at sea as my final farewell ritual to this amazing city.
I don’t know when will I be able to revisit Hong Kong, but what I do know is I will definitely come back again. Everything about this city fascinates me; the streets, the people, the food, and the lifestyle. I'll definitely make sure I have more time to spare on my next visit.