I’ll admit, Asia had never been a prominent feature on my hit list of dream destinations. But stepping off the plane into bustling Hong Kong, my mind was changed overnight. It’s colourful, it’s bright and it’s exciting.
Source: USA Today
While my peers took off to Europe on more traditional, rite-of-passage holiday ventures, I found myself immersed in the culture of the East. An epicentre for cultural fusion, innovation and experience, Hong Kong was for me.
If they say New York is the city that never sleeps, then Hong Kong is the New York of Asia. Retail stores appeared to never shut!… And I would know, as a number of purchases made during my time there can be attributed to a late night stroll back through the shopping district of Central, where fuelled by a glass (ok, bottle) of wine, I found myself browsing boutiques instead of looking for a taxi home.
As a progressive, relatively westernised city, you can enjoy a different cuisine every night of the week. From the world’s highest bar Ozone, to hidden Mexican gems down alley ways I will never know the name of, Hong Kong is a mecca of international culinary delights.
Experiencing the Chinese (or what was often deemed by the locals born and bred in Hong Kong as ‘Hongkanese’) culture, was a truly gratifying experience. You can’t go past weekly yum cha – literally pick any local Chinese restaurant you like and I promise you, you can’t go wrong. Or a trip to any one of the fresh flower and produce markets located across the city.
You can also hike the peak of Dragon’s Back for stunning city views, which concludes on the shore front of Big Wave Bay – yes, Hong Kong also boasts beaches!! But if you are in the mood for a little more excitement, make your way to Lantau Island (also the home of Hong Kong Disneyland) and visit the sacred Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery by cable car (this is a true cultural experience!). And for those keen for a fashion bargain, haggling is best done in Mong Kok.
While English is widely spoken in Hong Kong (I personally never had any trouble) it’s always nice to know a little of the local language. So here’s one to get you started on your own Hong Kong adventure:
Mm goi sai (pronounced “mm goi sigh”) means thank you, which never goes astray!
Planning a trip to Hong Kong? Here are my top tips!
Where to stay? Kowloon or Tsim Tsat Sui (known as TST) districts – try the W Hotel!
Favourite restaurant? Enoteca or Iberico & Co. in Soho – they also run the best happy hour!
Best sightseeing? The Big Buddha on Lantau Island & the view of HK from The Peak
Best shopping for brands? Harbour City in TST & Kowloon Mall in Kowloon.
Best shopping for boutiques? Midlevel and Soho in Central
Best markets for bartering? Mong kok – or make a day trip over the border into Shenzhen.
Top experience of the trip? NYE at a sky high bar overlooking Hong Kong Harbour – the fireworks above and the crowd of thousands below was a sight that can’t be forgotten.
Best time of year to visit? Chinese New Year when the city comes to life in red and gold!
Source: Where Would You Go