– Heung Gong – in Cantonese, meaning Fragrant Harbour
When you think of Hong Kong, the first thing that comes to mind is skyscrapers and a global finance jungle. Hong Kong is best described as a fusion of Asia and Britain. It is one of the busiest places I have seen, just to give you an idea, Mongkok in Kowloon (one of the islands in Hong Kong) has the worlds highest population density with about 130,000 people per square kilometer. Now that is something, don’t you think.
I have to confess, when I arrived at my hotel, “Cordis Hong Kong”, I sat by the window looking out at thousands of people walking in every direction and traffic jammed up as far as my eyes could see from the 26th floor of my hotel room, I was digging deep to get as much courage as possible to get out amongst it all.
A popular tourist stopover is the Hong Kong Island, then there is Kowloon peninsula to the north of Hong Kong Island and Lantau Island – this the largest island is to the west of Hong Kong Island. The outer islands Lamma and Cheung Chau are famous for fresh local seafood, windsurfing, and beaches. As a Traveller, I love to experience the local culture and history, I was really impressed to see the locals have managed to maintain there culture, language, food and religion even after been under British rule for nearly 150 years. Cantonese is spoken by all the locals here, even the new generation.
Ten must do’s when in – Hong Kong
1. Tour of Lantan Island – best tour in my opinion 🙂 This tour includes, a hotel pick up, Ferry ride from Hong Kong Island to Lantan Island, Stop at Cheung Sha Beach, visit Tia O an old fishing village, visit Giant Buddha, visit the Po Lin Monastery with a divine vegetarian lunch and a 5.7 km open-air cable car ride back to Tung Chung.
2.Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha), is a large bronze statue of Majestic Buddha Shakyamuni, Sitting 34 meters tall on the hills of Ngong Ping. The six Devas sit in the front offering Buddha – Flower, Incense, a Lamp, Ointment, Fruit, and Music. This really is a very surreal
3. Hop On, Hop off Bus, this will give you a great insight of all the places to visit and see. There are four lines to choose from, Redline is Hong Kong Island, Blue line is Kowloon Tour, Green line is Stanley tour and a Purple line is Night tour. The night tour is a must, this place comes to life at night and the Green line was my favorite ….. less hustle and bustle, away from skyscrapers
4. Visit at least one Temple, whether you are a believer or not. Temple’s contain so much history and culture of what Hong Kong was and is. These are the popular ones to visit – Wong Tai Sin Temple, The Che Kung Temple, and Tin Hau Temple. If you are looking for purpose or some good luck why not light an incense stick and make a wish …… you have nothing to lose
5. Shopping and pampering yourself . .. this is a must, even if you just window shop. Amazing shopping available on both islands (Hong Kong Island and Kowloon). The Langham plaza offers everything from cosmetics to designer label everything! Why not end your day with a nice relaxing spa treatment at the Chuan Spa
6. Enjoy a drink at a rooftop Bar………… There is no better feeling than sitting on top of clouds, ok ok more like on top of 42 stories, yes in Hong Kong every other building is more than 30 floors tall and most of them have a rooftop Bar. When in Hong Kong a pre-dinner cocktail at a rooftop bar is a must, watch the sunset and then watch the whole city come to life as it lights up the night sky, enjoys your choice of Hong Kong style cocktails, be adventurous and try something new. If you don’t know what to try, ask the Bartender for a Hong Kong experience, he will not let you down. They know there cocktails 🙂
7. Visit the markets, Temple Street markets or Ladies market are the most popular ones, ok ok …. don’t get too excited, Ladies market is not full of men…..wouldn’t that make for interesting window shopping 🙂 … it really is just a market selling everything from food, to local produce to clothes etc
8. Take the Peak Tram, the view is magnificent, you can see the Victoria harbor to Green Hills and everything in between. When you purchase a Deluxe pass for the Big Bus Hong Kong (Hop on Hop off Bus) the ticket for the Peak Tram ride is included in that. The queue to get on the Tram is very long but it really is worth the wait.
9. Do the Symphony of lights Cruise, hop on board from either Central or Kowloon pier, the light show starts at 8pm. The cruise will take you up and down the harbour. Admire the Symphony of lights and watch beautiful Hong Kong light up as the sky darkens. Feel the wind blowing though your hair as the boat picks up speed cruising towards Lantan Island. A magical night on the water is a must, its a amazing experience
10. Must do the Kowloon Foodie adventure ….. you haven’t visited Hong Kong if you have eaten local street food. Have Hong Kong style milk tea called “Nai Cha” and a pineapple bun with a slab of chilled butter called “Boloyau” ….. this truly is a local experience.
Your Hong Kong Food culture experience is not complete till you sample some Dim Sum. Dim Sum is a Cantonese style of eating, serves are in small portions to share, this allows you to try a great variety of dishes.