Type : City Break,Cultural
Best Date : October – December
Expense : Medium – Expensive
Things to do : Sightseeing, Shopping
Points of Interest: Victoria Peak, Temple Street, Disney Land, Tian Tan Buddha, Ocean Park, Avenue of the Stars, Ngong Ping 360 ect
Hong Kong is a small country which is independently governed, however owned by their motherland China. It is part of what they call the “one country, two systems” where mainland China allows Hong Kong to manage its own laws, a little bit like the United Kingdom with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A previous territory of the United Kingdom, used as an area for trade, much of its British teachings and culture still remains.
Hong Kong is a very interesting place culturally. It is a city that has both Chinese and British virtues. It is famous for its high buildings (light show’s), harbours, foods, markets and many more. Firstly in my opinion the more famous past time in Hong Kong whether a tourist or local is the famous night markets within Kowloon. Between two MTR stations ‘Yua Ma Tei’ and ‘Mong Kwok’ ‘Temple street Market’ starts at around 18:00 -19:00. However there is no formal time of when the stalls open as its up to the individual stalls into when they are ready. Complete with Food stalls often used by tourism, karaoke café, Tarot card readers, psychics, clothes stalls, toy stalls, souvenir, antiques, adult products and many more the market is desirable for all. The markets are very good as you get to haggle for prices, some enjoy this as it cant be done in other nations, however whether you get to haggle or not all products are considerably cheap anyway.
Apart from the many night markets , Hong Kong has plenty of other areas for shopping, one of the most notable is at Central Hong Kong, which has all the class and luxury shops. Central includes branded outlets like Ralph Lauren, Armani, Prada and many alike. The area is also home to the many of the landmark high rise buildings such as the Bank of china which is iconic around the world. Furthermore Central is also walking distance from the tourist attraction ‘The peak tram’ which climbs the scenic route to the ‘Victoria Peak’ which is itself one of the most best attraction in Hong Kong.
Across ‘Victoria Harbour’ is Tsim Sha Tsui where the ‘Avenue of the Star’ is situated. This bay side attraction mimics the Hollywood walk of fame and has plenty of visitors visiting. Tsim Sha Tsui also has the ‘Hong Kong space museum’ the ‘ Art Museum’ and many more.
Disneyland and Ocean Park is also very popular amongst the younger tourists. I haven’t been to Ocean Park, however Disneyland always proves to be amazing. Like all Disneylands all over the world Hong Kong’s attraction has plenty to keep families busy for the whole day. Their famous daily parade and firework display is somewhat special to the Disneyland brand. However the theme park is highly aimed at the younger visitors, when I was there at 2013 all the rides where predominantly for the children and no bigger thrill rides for young adults. Anyhow this is a family theme park and there are few attractions for the adult as the 4d cinema, fireworks and a little more.
Overall Hong Kong is a fine place to visit, it is a small place but with big intentions in the tourism industry. There is more to visit in Hong Kong and ill be sure to be back for the other attractions I have yet to visit such as the Ngong Ping 360 and the Tian Tan Buddha. Furthermore Macau is also a popular visit from Hong Kong even if its just for a full day, a 1 hour Jetty ride is needed to go to Macau. (For more information on Macau Click here)
There are various ways to get to Hong Kong with many different carriers from many different locations. Hong Kong’s main Airline is Cathay Pacific and it offers routes to and from many locations around the world. Cathay Pacific has flights to and from both Manila and London, the carrier offers 7 flights to and from Manila daily, 5 flights to and from London Heathrow and also a single flight from Gatwick daily. Getting to Hong Kong from Manila is also possible using carriers such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Airasia all varying in prices. Carriers British Airways and Virgin Atlantic also goes to Hong Kong with British Airways flying twice a day. However Hong Kong is very accessible from any region around the world.
Flying to Hong Kong from Manila is approximately 1 hour. Flying to Hong Kong from London is approximately 13 hours.
In Hong Kong
I have been to Hong Kong twice now, I used a tour bus majority of the time on my first visit, however my second time was more independent to travel around.
Hong Kong is a modern city with the most up to date transports just like other large cities around the world. The city includes undergrounds, trains, busses and taxis, most often used was the MTR which serves stations very near to all the points of interests in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s rail, subway service or “MTR” serves various routes within Hong Kong and even across mainline china, it also offers connections to and from the international airport (airport express). The MTR is just the same as using the London underground, connections, modes of payments and tickets. Just like London Underground’s Oyster card, Hong Kong has the Octopus Card, and you can use this to top up value to use on journeys from one place to another. MTR offers Tourist Octopus Card which can be bought at any station, and if there is value still left on the card, the remaining value can be refunded at the airport.
Other modes of transport are buses and also taxis, however I wasn’t able to use them on my trip. However I was advised that the octopus card was able to be used on buses as well and even the tram to the Victoria peak.
As Hong Kong was also a territory of Britain in the past, driving is also on the left. So renting a car wouldn’t be very difficult to do.