Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong, China (3/16-19/2014)
Pat Dunlap Enjoying Wonderful Hong Kong china
Beautiful Pat Enjoying 
Wonderful Hong Kong

We loved our visit to Hong Kong – what a wonderful city! Navigating the forest of high-rise buildings reveal many interesting and fun things to do. Many people here work, eat, play, swim, and live their lives high above the ground. We spent most our time wandering around Hong Kong’s best streets, parks, and attractions that we include in this blog post.
Busy Hong Kong Street in Kowloon china
Busy Hong Kong Street in Kowloon

The main area of Hong Kong is divided by Hong Kong Harbor into two regions – Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Don’t worry about getting around because Hong Kong has an excellent public transportation system that is safe, clean, efficient, easy-to-use, and relatively cheap. 90% of the trips in Hong Kong are done by public transportation. See more below about buying an Octopus card for easy use.
Hong Kong Park  LIPPO Centre Building china
Hong Kong Park & LIPPO Centre Building
Lan Kwai Fong Teahouse in Hong Kong Park china
Lan Kwai Fong Teahouse in Hong Kong Park
Travel tip: There are many interesting neighborhood to explore. If you want to get a great introduction to Hong Kong, try the hop-on hop-off Big Bus. We normally pass on the city tour buses but this is good one. It seems a bit pricy (HF$400 - $52US), but it’s a pretty good deal. They offer three different routes through Hong Kong, one in Kowloon and two on Hong Kong Island including round trip fares on the Star Ferry, Peak tram, a Sampan ride in Aberdeen Harbor. We did all 3 routes as well as all three of the optional trips. We found it great fun and a wonderful experience in Hong Kong. On a nice day, you can ride on the open-air top deck. If there are sites you want to visit, just hop-off and get back on the next bus. 

Wayne Dunlap Peak Tram  Hong Kong china
Wayne on Peak Tram - Hong Kong
Among many of the places in Hong Kong to explore, here are some interesting ones (many can be accessed from the Big Bus tours):

Star Ferry from Kowloon Hong Kong
Don’t miss a ride on Hong Kong’s iconic Star Ferry offering wonderful views of Hong Kong’s skyline. It is a great and cheap way to get across to the harbor and never much of a wait. If you are on the Big Bus tours, connect to “Central” to Hong Kong Island. You can book a Star Ferry ride to witness the Symphony of Lights Laser Show.

Star Ferry from Kowloon Hong Kong china
Symphony of Lights Laser Show
Make sure you include watching the Symphony of Lights Laser Show that happens every night at 8PM and is simulcast to music. It is in the Guinness Book of world records. We watched it on the Aqua Luna junk boat harbor cruise for the 7:30PM sailing. It is a nice way to do it and you get one drink. Dress warm if it is cool and book online.

Hong Kong High Rises from Victoria Peak
Hong Kong High Rises from Victoria Peak
Dinner at Restaurant at Peak Hong Kong china
Dinner at Restaurant at Peak - Hong Kong
The 125-year-old Peak Tram on Hong Kong Island is a not-to-be-missed experience. The views of Hong Kong from the top at Victoria Peak are spectacular (see photo). Don’t miss going up to the upper observation deck where the views are the best and there is interesting commentary about Hong Kong. For hikers, there are some beautiful paths to explore. There are also view restaurants if you want to have lunch or dinner with amazing Hong Kong scenery below you.
Beautiful Hong Kong Park china
Beautiful Hong Kong Park

Next to the Peak Tram on Hong Kong Island, a beautiful retreat from the bustling Hong Kong streets can be found at Hong Kong Park (see photos). There is a lovely lake and garden. The walk up to the conservatory is worth it and definitely do not miss the Edward Youde Aviary (see photo) that is home to more than 600 birds. We enjoyed our elegant vegetarian dim sum lunch at the Lock Cha Tea Shop.
Pat dunlap Aviary Hong Kong Park china
Pat at Aviary in Hong Kong Park

For the adventurous, the Temple Street & Tung Choi Street (Ladies) Night Markets in Kowloon are good fun and great for people watching. It is interesting to see what they sell. You may want to pick up a few items or have your palm read next to the Tim Hau Temple. Both markets are open at night when they are best to visit to take in the famous Chinese neon signs. The small bird market isn't to exciting unless you are really into birds. The Flower market directly adjacent is nice.

Pat at Aviary in Hong Kong Park china
Man Mo Temple on Hong Kong Island
If you like temples, check out the Taoist Man Mo Temple (see photo) on Hong Kong Island. It is one of Hong Kong’s oldest temples and we found it interesting. You can have your fortune told here by shaking a canister to produce a stick that can be interpreted for the fortuneteller.

Children in Hong Kong china
Children in Hong Kong
The Man Mo Temple a great place to start exploring the Hollywood Road & Soho area with its interesting art galleries, shops, and restaurants. We liked this neighborhood very much. Stroll the art galleries and shops along Hollywood Road. If you decide you are up for a wild night or at least willing to observe, head out to LKF (Lan Kwai Fong) that is near this area. You can have a taxi drop you at the LKF Hotel on Wyndham Street and you will be right in the heart of it. Everyone is there to party and there are numerous bars and restaurants.

Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant china
Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant
Living in Aberdeen Harbor - Hong Kong Island china
Living in Aberdeen Harbor - Hong Kong Island
Wayne Dunlap 1000-Year-Old-Egg Hong Kong china
Wayne Having 1000-Year-Old-Egg - Hong Kong
On south Hong Kong Island, we liked the half-hour Sampan Tours of the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter where you can see people living the old way on their boats in the shadows of modern high rise condos (see photo). We stopped for lunch at the touristic Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant - a bit pricy (what isn’t in Hong Kong) but fun. Wayne tried the 1000-year-old egg (see photo). Actually the process to make it takes several weeks to month depending of the method. The yolk becomes dark green to grey with a creamy consistency with a taste more complex than regular egg.

Repluse Bay & Lilly Hotel Hong Kong Island china
Repluse Bay & Lilly Hotel - Hong Kong Island
kowloon park hong kong china
Kowloon Park
You may want to consider a visit to the famous Stanley Market while on the south side of Hong Kong Island. It is a nice place to sit outside on the water for lunch and watch the day go by.

View of Hong Kong from Victoria Par
View of Hong Kong from Victoria Park
Remember to negotiate at the market. For the temple lovers, you will also get to see the Tin Hau Temple. For amusement theme park lovers, check out Ocean Park with its rides, world’s largest aquarium, and cable-car ride. During the warmer Summer month, Hong Kong’s south island beaches are popular – see the photo of Repulse Bay and the ‘Lilly’ hotel.

Peninsula Hotel  Kowloon Hong Kong china
Peninsula Hotel - Kowloon Hong Kong
Hong Kong Island High Rises at Night china
Hong Kong Island High Rises at Night
There is so much shopping to be done all around Hong Kong. People in Hong Kong love to display their success. The Tsim Sha Tsui area north of the Star Ferry pier in Kowloon is famous for its upscale shopping. Near here you can visit the beautiful Peninsula Hotel (see photo). Just north we liked the Kowloon Park (see photo).

Upscale Shopping in Taim Sha Tsui Hong Kong china
Upscale Shopping in Taim Sha Tsui - Hong Kong
Also in Taim Sha Tsui in Kowloon is the Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade along the Avenue of the Stars (like the one in Hollywood USA but with Hong Kong movie stars). It is an excellent place to view the beautiful Hong Kong skylight during the day or lit at night. You can also watch the nighty laser show from here. It is one of the best places to stroll day or night.
Typical Street in Tsim Sha Tsui Kowloon china
Typical Street in Tsim Sha Tsui Kowloon
On the Hong Kong Island side, you can ride the Central-Midlevels Escalator, one of the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator systems in the world. It is fun to ride and watch the neighborhoods below. Near here you can visit one of the most expensive and amazing buildings in the world (HSBC Building) famous for its unique Fung Shui design.

We enjoyed our day trip to Macau. It is reasonably easy to do in a day from Hong Kong by taking the ferry.

Signs on Street on Hong Kong Island china
Signs on Street on Hong Kong Island
Before our visit to Hong Kong on the beautiful island of Boracay in the Philippines, we had the pleasure to meet Danielle & Burt Baptiste, a wonderful couple who live in Hong Kong. Danielle was so kind to write to us about some fun things to do in Kong Hong. We took many of her suggestions and they were great. Here are some of her additional comments:

ICC Tallest Building hong kong china
ICC - Tallest Building
- Best view of Hong Kong on a clear night is the top of the ICC building (see photo of building) at Ritz Carlton's Ozone bar on the 118th floor. 

- Happy Racetrack Wednesday night at the Happy Valley Race Course. It's super cheap to get in to watch from the beer garden... and you usually end up right on the rail watching the horses. It's a fun evening out and I've never seen such an unusual view from a racecourse... tall, glowing buildings surround you.

- Nan Lian Garden, near diamond hill. You can take a bus or taxi here. It's not far from the markets in Kowloon, so good to bundle those two trips if it works.

Is Pat Picking Out Dinner?
- Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha on Lantau Island) & Po Lin Monastery. I usually take the MTR metro to the cable car. Buy tickets online the day before and have your hotel print out the tickets. This will save you tons of time completely skipping the line.  

1881 Heritage in Kowloon Hong Kong china
1881 Heritage in Kowloon Hong Kong
- Jade Market on Kowloon side. Don't pay more than $75US for a carved jade bracelet. There are some beauties and they go for far more other places. They tried to charge my mom $2000 but I got them down to $75. Mine was $60 from my fav guy and I trust what he tells me.

Aqua Luna Sampan Night Cruise hong kong china
Aqua Luna Sampan Night Cruise
- Other funny stuff - Near Times Square (yup, it's really called that) bring a picture or write down the name of someone or something who is really wreaking havoc on your life. The folks there will beat it out and put curse on them. You'll find them under the overpass adjacent to Tiffany's. I haven't messed with karma on this one. 

Tian Tan Buddha Lantau Island Hong Kong China
Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island - Hong Kong.
- There's a million hikes to do and many are fully paved. There are ferries to many other small islands which I haven't yet explored Ie Lamma Island. I hear there's a great hike followed by a seafood lunch to be had.

Travel tip: Octopus card! – Be sure to pick one up at the airport. You can use it on the MTR metro, buses, trams, Star Ferry, etc. It is great because you don’t have to worry about purchasing tickets and it figures out how much to charge depending on your trip. You can also charge the airport bus on it. Any left over balance and the deposit is refunded to you at the airport when you leave.

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  2. I think you took the trip I SHOULD have taken.....20 years ago. I went to Hong Kong for just a week and was disappointed. I found it too westernized and guess I wanted a more "chinese", authentic experience. Thanks for sharing some of the more interesting areas. Guess i'll have to go back.

  3. Great post,I'm a foodie so I just love to visit places where I can find different dishes, China is one of them.I recommend Dubai city bus tour deals


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