Hong Kong in Four Days


HONG KONG: Oct. 12- Oct.15, 2014

I saw Hong Kong (HKG) featured on Food TV show as a haven for foodie lovers, and it became the driving force to move up HKG on my bucket list. I love to eat, has an adventurous palate wanting to try out everything gourmet, different, and exotic.  A stop to this city was then included during our 3-week Tour of Asia in Oct.2014, and 2nd destination after spending one week in Japan.

Excited, at the same time apprehensive of our 1st time visit to Hong Kong.

Weeks before our scheduled visit, I watched daily on TV coverage of ongoing rallies in the city and hoped they would be over by the time we get there.  On the contrary, the situation escalated as gov’t. officials refused to meet & talk with protestors, and resulted in spread of more rallies. Outbreaks of violence erupted in some areas. A number of streets  closed for safety reasons, The situation definitely affected tourists as there were fewer public transportation in operation and were re-routed, causing confusion and difficulties to get to popular tourists spots.

Mongkok market in Kowloon was our foodie destination on this trip. Its street foods and bargain shopping attracts many visitors and locals alike. It has the largest and busiest markets and a good intro to HKG’s way of life.  For safety reasons,tourists were advised to avoid this market due to ongoing rallies resulting in closure of streets to get here. What a great disappointment, but better safe than sorry.

Airport to hotel

We left Osaka Int’l airport at 10:00am and landed at HKIA at 2:30pm. The Airport Express is a fast, convenient and inexpensive transport option to get from the airport to your hotel in Kowloon or HKG Island.  Our hotel, Hyatt Regency, is in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon. The Airport Express to Kowloon station (HK$90,) takes about 25 min, runs every 10 min. From Kowloon station we took a complimentary shuttle bus (K3) which runs every 10-12 min, and dropped us off directly to our hotel.

Hyatt Regency in Tsim Sha Tsui

Love the location of our hotel; restaurants, shops, attractions and metro stations are all within 5 -15 minute walk. Our room on high floor has a full view of the harbor, and pretty spectacular esp. at night and during the Symphony of Lights show.

Spectacular view from our room window.

Spectacular view from our room window.

Spectacular night view from our room.

Spectacular night view from our room.

My Hyatt diamond status gave us free daily access to the Club Lounge which serves plenty of good food for breakfast, and during nightly cocktail & appetizers enough for dinner. This resulted in real savings to our budget for meal cost.

Appetizers served at the Club lounge during nightly cocktail hours.

Appetizers served at the Club lounge during nightly cocktail hours.

Oh by the way, their deserts are to die for! Gourmet, decadent and “no calories”.  Yeah, I wished.

Sampling of their desserts.

Sampling of their desserts.

Highlights of our trip

Star Ferry

The Star Ferry has carried passengers across the harbor between Kowloon to HKG Island since 1898. It’s a popular tourist attraction affording visitors a fantastic view of the city skyline for only HK$2.20.

The Star Ferry

The Star Ferry

Wasting no time, soon after we checked into our room we ventured out to the Star Ferry terminal (10-15 min walk) from the hotel.

Hong Kong Island as we approach riding  the Star Ferry.

Hong Kong Island as we approach riding the Star Ferry

 Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront (Kowloon)

Locals and tourist flock here to stroll and watch the spectacular sunset on the harbor with the skyline of  HKG island as the backdrop, amazing view!

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The Promenade for best viewing of Hong Kong Island.

The Promenade for best viewing of Hong Kong Island.

Watch fascinating junk boats cruising the harbor.

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It’s a great place to meet up with friends, rest your weary feet and people-watched.

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Newly weds come here for photos, as well as models. It is truly a fun, exciting place to hang out.

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This is a good spot to watch a light show every night at 8pm, called the “Symphony of Light”.  But watched it in comforts from our hotel room.

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We continued walking and reached the “Avenue of Stars“, Hong Kong’s answer to the Hollywood “Walk of Fame” where you can see the stars of Chinese and Western actors alike.

The Best Peking Duck

Reviews on TripAdvisor claim China restaurant serves one of the best, if not the best Peking duck in Hong Kong.  Its located near the ferry terminal, and planned to come back for dinner the next day. They don’t allow half-order of the duck so we ended up ordering a whole duck, which was huge.  Our verdict, it was just OK. Perhaps what contributed to our disappointment was we only had one entrée, and got overwhelmed by it.

The restaurant with view of Hong Kong Island skyline.

The restaurant with view of Hong Kong Island skyline.

Our duck being sliced in front of us.

Our duck being sliced in front of us.

A huge plate of Peking Duck.

A huge plate of Peking Duck.

Ride 360 Ngong Ping Cable

This cable car runs a little over 3.5 miles, spanning from Tung Chung across the bay towards the airport and then on to Lantau Island. The cable car gives a panoramic view of the airport, harbor, and city before it travels through the surrounding mountains. The ride lasts about 25 minutes and takes you to Lantau Island,

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The cable car ride over waters and surrounding hills initially made me nervous and scared, but once I got used to the height I started enjoying the amazing views that surround us.

Lantau Island: is the largest of Hong Kong’s islands dominated by dramatic hills and peaks and spectacular scenery, picturesque coastline with some excellent beaches, temples, monasteries, traditional fishing villages and wonderful hiking trails. It features the Po Lin Monastery and its vegetarian restaurant, as well as the 85-foot (26 m)high bronze Tian Tan Buddha statue, also known as “Giant Buddha”. The Giant Buddha is visible at a far distance as we approached the island.

The Giant Buddha as seen from a distance from our cable car.

The Giant Buddha as seen from a distance from our cable car

Ngong Ping Village

Is set on Lantau Island, next to Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal and the Tian Tan Buddha Statue. It’s a culturally themed village designed and landscaped to show the cultural and spiritual integrity of the Ngong Ping area. It’s rather touristy with an array of retail, dining and entertainment.

Entrance to Ngong Ping Village.

Entrance to Ngong Ping Village.

The Ngong Ping Village

The Ngong Ping Villa

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My husband underwent total replacement surgeries on his left hip (Apr. 2013) and right knee (Mar 2014).  Amazingly, he endured long day walks and even managed to climb more than 200 steps to the top of the Giant Buddha without  problems.

My hubby with backpack climibing up to the top of the Giant Buddha statue.

Climb up to the top of the Giant Buddha statue.

Tai O Fishing Village:

The Tai O Fishing Village in the Western coast of Lantau Island is a quaint and picturesque village, with the traditional stilt houses typical of the old Southern Chinese fishing villages. This is one of the few remaining places where you can still see them in Hong Kong. With its pretty setting on the coast framed by the mountains, and all the activity surrounding the harbor, traditional seafood market, and daily life in the stilt houses, it is a photographers dream and definitely worth the trip from Hong Kong.

During a 20-min boat ,we saw interesting stilt houses. Some are dilapidated, some nice-looking ones, and some well maintained with small garden on their front.

We took the boat tour of stilt houses.

We took the boat tour of stilt houses.

A dilapidated stilt house.

A dilapidated stilt house.

A stilt house with garden on the front.

A stilt house with garden on the front.

One of the many stilt houses of the fishing village.

One of the many stilt houses of the fishing village.

After the boat ride we went to the market dominated by stalls selling all kinds of dried fish, including a stingray. Meandering through the narrow alleys, we saw other food items, fruits & vegetables, and souvenirs being sold.

Many dried items like this hang from many stalls.

Many dried items like this hang from many stalls.

This one has a dried sting ray hanging.

This one has a dried sting ray hanging.

What caught our eyes, and got us excited was the smell of gigantic shrimps being grilled. This we got to try! Which ones to order? Definitely, the giant grilled prawns, scallops baked in garlic , stuffed oysters & some type of clams, I could not remember the name. Delish and the best seafood we’ve eaten during our trip in Hong Kong. Fresh, moist, sweet & tasty. 

Prawns and oysters.

Prawns and oysters.

Scallops in garlic butter sauce.

Scallops in garlic butter sauce.

Client comments posted on the board.

Client comments posted on the board.

The Peak Tram

The tram takes you to the top of the Peak, Hong Kong Island’s largest mountain, at 1700 feet. You ride a funicular to the top where you enjoy spectacular 180 degree views of the skyscrapers of Victoria Harbor, Kowloon, and the surrounding hills. It’s the best view of the city.

The Tram we rode up to the Peak, then took the bus down.

The Tram we rode up to the Peak, then took the bus down.

The Peak (Victoria Peak)

The highest point and one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong. Its cityscape is the best in the world. At day time, you see the most impressive skyscrapers and Victoria Harbour all the way to the green hills of the New Territories.  Imagine watching sunset from up here, when cloud turns into hues of pink and orange; and galaxy of lights illuminate the buildings at nighttime….must be spectacular and breathtaking!. If you only have time to see one attraction, this is it!

The iconic view from Victoria Peak.

The iconic view from Victoria Peak.

View up here is amazing.

View up here is amazing.

More views from the Peak.

More views from the Peak.

Stanley Market

Less than an hour bus ride from Central in HKG island, it’s a popular day out to escape the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong proper. The market is in the quaint village of Stanley on HKG Island’s south coast and popular for good food and shopping. You’ll find reasonable prices here for clothing, accessories, souvenirs, etc. You will be expected to bargain here, so honed in your bargaining skills.

We boarded a double-decker bus, sat on top for better viewing as we went thru winding roads. It was a scenic ride and had great views of the Repulse Bay, where the Stanley Cup is held.

View of the Repulse Bay.

View of the Repulse Bay.

We came here just to visit, NOT to shop as we were intent on having only carry on luggage for the rest of our tour of Asia.

Samples of stall in Stanley market.

We then walked through the promenade, but the scorching heat was becoming unbearable.

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Found relief by having lunch at this restaurant with cooling fan. Lunch was actually very good, and glad it accepted credit card for we were running low on HKG dollars.

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The blowing fan from the restaurant provided a much-needed relief from scorching heat.   Hubby ordered steak and I ordered an Indonesian dish, and enjoyed our lunch.

Before we knew it our stay in Hong Kong was over. We had a great time, and look forward to our next destination, Bali, Indonesia.

UDPDATE: My husband and I will have an opportunity to visit Hong Kong again in October of 2015, and hopefully this time will get the chance to satisfy the foodie in us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Hong Kong in Four Days

  1. Really enjoyed reading your blog. My husband and I are staying five nights in Hong Kong in Feb 2016. It is on the way back from New Zealand after visiting our son. We come from Scotland. We are so looking forward to it. Your blog with your amazing photographs have given us great food for thought. Loved the photograph of the Buddha. Will most certainly be visiting that.

    Thank you. Sandra and Tony.

    Like

    • Hi Sandra & Tony,
      Thank you for your comments and happy to hear my blog inspire and help you plan your trip to Hong Kong. It is a fun city and we’ll be back just for 2 days in October to visit Mongkok & a day trip to Macau.
      Happy Travels.

      Like

  2. This brought back memories of my overnight stay in Hong Kong with Millet on our way to San Francisco, 44 years ago. Rodger, a friend from U.P. took us to lunch, window-shopped, rode a double decker bus for a city tour and a cable car ride to Victoria Peak.It was a very short and yet a memorable stay. There is so much more to see and I’ll definitely save your blog in our travel file and maybe someday add it to our Asia trip. Regards to Mon.
    Evse

    Like

    • Hi Eves,
      I’m Happy my blog brought back nostalgic memories of your visit, 44 years ago! I’m really impressed by your sharp memory that has not eroded (unlike some of us). Definitely, time to re-visit this time with Cris. Best Regards.

      Like

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