It was so exciting to get the chance to travel to the vibrant and busy city of Hong Kong. I last visited Hong Kong when I was a 10 year old child so my memory of the city was very different from the reality of modern Hong Kong!
Luckily, we had Angela, our lovely Homestay Student, living with us and her home town was Hong Kong. Angela was here in Perth to study marketing at the University of Western Australia and she provided us with lots of great insider information about exactly what to do in Hong Kong.
Angela set up a private Facebook Group which she updated with all manner of research and information about places she felt we should see. As I did my own research and added options I had read about, Angela let me know which things should not be a priority for us.
Where We Stayed:
This was an all expenses paid trip and the accommodation was super high end – grateful!. We stayed at the Shangri-La which is priced around $750 per night and is a stunning hotel with beautiful food. We had a Harbour View Room which had a stunning view of the promenade below and Victoria Harbour.
The Breakfast Menu:
The breakfast was one of the best I had seen and included foods from every culture along with waffles and ice cream which Jeff found irresistible. Every. Single. Day! The hotel has a wonderful tea menu including the most delicious Ginger Tea I had ever tasted.
The Best Transport System:
There are many choices of things to do in Hong Kong and I was very grateful for all the advice that Angela had given me. The public transport system is truly amazing with the subway system easy to navigate provided you remember which letter of the alphabet you entered from! The local transport card, the “Octopus Card”, can also be used at convenience stores and coffee shops. We had $200 loaded onto it and used it a lot.
Remember to Keep to the Right:
Everything moves super fast in the subway including the travelators and the escalators. You feel like you will get whiplash from the fast descent but the Hong Kongers seem to be completely oblivious to the speed as they focus on their phones. Just make sure you keep to the right to enable the fast movers to get past you. I have read that MTR Transport have now deployed safety officers in red shirts who try to prevent people from walking on the escalators to improve safety and I am curious whether that is working!
With so many choices of awesome things to do and see, I have simplified my list down to 5 to make it a good basis to build your Hong Kong experience from.
5 Things to do in Hong Kong:
1 Visit the highest bar in the world.
The Ozone Bar at the top of the Ritz Carlton Hotel is currently ranked as the highest bar in the world. It sits at level 118! The views over Hong Kong Harbour are beautiful. They serve delicious and very different snacks too so wear something nice because they have some rules about dress code.
2 Take in the view from the Peak.
Catch the tram up to the Peak to capture the views of some of the most expensive real estate on the planet. The tram has been transporting people up and down the mountain for over 100 years and the ascent is so steep you feel like the buildings and trees are all leaning too. There are some restaurants and souvenir shops at the top. You can even pay a photographer to capture your picture with the city in the background (we took our own). Arrive early to avoid the massive queue that forms to purchase tram tickets.
3 High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel.
This spectacular colonial style hotel serves High Tea daily to the sound of a quartet playing classical music from the upstairs balcony. The food is scrumptious and plentiful and the tea and coffee are bottomless. We went with a large group and waited in a very long queue despite arriving prior to the opening time however the service was impeccable making it such a treat to enjoy a silver service afternoon tea.
4 Lunch in Soho via the mid levels escalator.
Soho (South of Hollywood Road) is the trendy restaurant area and the place to go to enjoy many food choices and lots of antique shops to browse through. The mid levels escalator, which is the longest in the world, is cleverly switched to accommodate the pedestrian’s working hours. We rode the escalator for miles and made the mistake of staying on all the way to the top when the down side was switched off. It would have been a really long hike back if we hadn’t hailed a taxi to take us back down to Central.
5 Ferry trip and tour.
Angela did not put this tour on her list of things for us to do but the ferry trip and tour was fun and we did learn a lot about Hong Kong and it’s history. The Star Ferry took us across Hong Kong Harbour to our double decker bus with open top and audio guide. Then we caught a traditional junk ride to view the floating restaurant, saw the old houseboats and travelled by bus through to Repulse Bay where we decided to make our own way back. Stanley Markets was nearby for some very critical handbag shopping followed by a lovely lunch and drinks at one of the beach front cafes.
Dining and the Weather:
The food in Hong Kong is absolutely beautiful. The locals use apps to book some hidden gems and you can enjoy some really unique dining experiences. Just about every restaurant has free wifi.
Our trip to Hong Kong was in November and the weather was lovely. The pollution level causes a visual haziness and the “light pollution” from the bright city lights prevents you from seeing any stars in the night sky.
Hong Kong is a great destination for those looking for a fast paced and exciting destination.
A couple of extra tips:
- Download the MTR App to assist you to easily figure out how to get around the city.
- The supermarkets present their produce beautifully and the quality is really high.
- Leave plenty of time to get to the airport.
- Check your bags in at Hong Kong or Kowloon stations and travel to the airport bag free.
- Make sure you try the Pineapple Buns.