If you are travelling to South East Asia from Europe, chances are you may fly into some of the big hub cities such as Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong.
Our three week honeymoon tour of South East Asia started off in Hong Kong. We flew here as it offered the best flight prices.
Rather than fly in, and get on a connecting flight, we decided that we would get over our jetlag and explore the city for a few days. Hong Kong is a vast metropolis and offers a range of experiences for any kind of traveller. In my opinion, it feels more authentic than other large asian cities such as Singapore.
If you are visiting for a short time, here are a few things you can get up to:
Victoria Peak is a mountain in Western half of Hong Kong Island. Also known as Mt Austin, it has an elevation of 552m. You can access the top of it via the tramway, or it is possible on foot, via a public walkway.
The peak is known to have some of the most expensive properties in the World, and is home to some notable and political residents.
From the top of Victoria peak, you will get incredible panoramic views over the city, giving you a feel of how wonderfully vast it is.
Sky terrace 428 is at the top of the peak, and this is where you can view the city from an elevated platform. There are a number of restaurants and entertainment options. We happened to have some incredible food at Lu Feng, just before getting the tram back down.
We walked up to the top of the peak, and got the tram down. As an advisory note, you will have to use cash to pay for the tram, and the sky terrace ticket.
Tian Tan Buddha (The Big Buddha)
Situated on Lantau Island, not too far from the international airport, is the Tian Tan Buddha. Also known as the big Buddha, it is the largest seated bronze Buddha in the World, standing at 34m tall.
The Buddha is free to visit, you’ll just need to grab a bus from Tung Chung station (next to the cable car station), or you can board the cable car to get there a little quicker.
The cable car costs HK$265 or HK$233 (online) per adult, whereas the bus costs HK$17.20.
Once there, there are a number of steep steps to climb, but it offers a great view over Lantau Island, and of nearby Po lin monastery.
The area has been heavily developed, as is a busy tourist attraction. There is a small village within the complex, with a number of cafes (including a subway and starbucks), and shops, which made it feel less authentic for me.
Hong Kong is home to a number of Piers, which have a variety of destinations including Lantau Island, and Macau.
The west district public cargo depot situated in Sai Wan is now known as Instagram Pier, after the photo sharing app has increased its popularity. It has become a great place to snap a photo of the city, and the industrial background.
Kowloon is an urban area located across from Victoria Harbour. It is heavily populated and full of local markets and busy streets.
Amongst them is Kowloon park, which is a tranquil oasis you can escape to.
The park is home to the avenue of comic stars, named after the avenue of stars in the city, which has been closed for repairs for some years now.
If you are in the city at night, then you should stick around for the symphony of lights show, which happens at 8pm daily.
I won’t lie, it isn’t spectacular, but if you’re on the correct side of the harbour then check it out.
Tips for travelling in Hong Kong
Some things we found when in Hong Kong, that may be useful to note:
- – If you are there for more than a few days and will be using the transport system a lot, but an octupus card (similar to an Oyster card in London)
- – You can only pay by cash for the metro and buses. Buses and ferries do not give you change (so carry small change).
- – The train line out to the airport starts at 6am, so if you have an earlier flight, you may want to stay nearer to the airport and get a taxi.
I loved discovering Hong Kong for the first time, it is a destination I’d return to again. Is there anywhere else you’d reccomend seeing for my next trip there?