As with most of my other trips, this was a spur of the moment decision.
Ken had already been to Hong Kong and told me how nice it was and the pictures he took there looked pretty amazing.
I hadn’t seen any of Asia and really wanted to. My Seoul trip was also spur of the moment and Ken said I shouldn’t book anything else for Asia until I had been and decided whether or not I liked it. I heard what he said, but I am also impulsive.
The tickets for Hong Kong were booked on February 2nd this year. I was in 2 minds about whether I should buy them.
I have an M.O when I go to book tickets, and it goes as follows:
1. Research where to go
2. Decide where to go
3. Look for tickets
4. Select the tickets I want
5. Get right to the payment page and spend some time deciding
6. Go back and do nothing
7. Do it all again
I got to step 5 and couldn’t decide. By the time I had got to step 5, Jason was at my desk and ‘helped’ my by pressing the buy button. Yep – steps 6 and 7 were totally ignored and I jumped right to 8 thanks to Jason.
I can’t help but admit I was dead excited once he had done this. I was also apprehensive – more excited though.
Later on in the year, Jason decided he was going to tag along with me. Only fair since he pressed the purchase button, right? I thought so too.
Once we had about 2 months left before we flew out, we started a countdown in earnest.
It was probably what got us through work those couple of months.
I generally don’t count down to holidays but for some reason this was an exception (same with Seoul too). Most likely because I was going with someone and not on my own.
The way my shifts fell was also pretty good. It meant I had 21 days out of the office.
I had 4 days off before we flew out and then 4 days off once we landed. Unlike Jason who was stuck there right before and right after. I did feel bad, but also quite happy at the same time.
It was well needed to have some time off before I went back. I usually come back from holiday and go to work the very next day. It felt weird not to this time – not weird enough that I didn’t enjoy doing nothing for 4 days.
So, enough of the waffle and more of the stuff we did and the pictures!
Our first full day consisted of getting up late (2 days travelling will do that to you) and deciding what to do.
Jason said he had found some of the spots that were shown most on Instagram for Hong Kong and decided that we should go there. I was totally cool with that. I found our route there and we headed out there.
As we were going there, he was telling me what the spot was and that it also featured in a couple of movies – movies that I wouldn’t put on my list to watch. That’s cool though, I was happy with doing it.
We went from our apartment and jumped on the light rail and the MTR to where we needed to be.
We got off and were instantly surrounded by high rises and plenty of high end shops – LV, Armani, Rolex et al. We had a wander around the Central area of the city and were amazed with everything there. It was definitely sensory and people overload. We wandered around the streets to get our bearings and to see what was there.
There wasn’t anything you couldn’t get. Everything you could ever possibly need is there. We started to get a bit hungry and wanted to find some food but didn’t want stuff you could get here in England.
We headed to the tram and Jason found us somewhere to eat. He did well. The food was good and it was also cheap.
We had roast pork with rice and a fried egg. Weird combination, but it was delicious. Here it is
We sat there like numpties for a minute or so wondering where our cutlery was until a fellow diner advised us they were in a drawer at the end of the table. Haha. Crazy Brits right!
Once we were done, we carried on our route to the spot that Jason had in mind.
We got off the MTR and walked to where it was. All I can say is wow. Skyscraper galore. Not only that, but cramped skyscraper galore.
It was definitely worth a visit to see the older part of Hong Kong and how built up and cramped it is. Jason was happy that we were there and I was happy that he was happy.
Here are some of the pictures here. As you can see, Jason enjoyed it there. If you go to HK, you have to make a visit for sure.
We decided that one of the places we both wanted to go was up to Victoria Peak. We both had looked up some stuff about it and it seemed quite impressive – especially the views we would get.
The day we decided to go turned out to be a little foggy, but that was OK since we had plenty of time left.
We had read that the best way to do it was the tram. Having looked at reviews, it turns out it’s not the best since you really can’t see anything. I made an executive decision and we got the bus up to the top. It only cost £1 which is pretty good considering how long it takes – about 30 minutes.
You may decide to not do it again since it is a hair-raising, white knuckle experience – at least for those of us sat on the left and close to the edge. Jason decided he wasn’t having any of it and sat on the right hand side and refused to share the excitement (read: scary) of the journey.
We did get the tram back down though.
We spent a couple of hours at the peak and I may have had a minor coronary because of Jason. Yep, he thought we he did was pretty cool. It was worth it for the picture, but not for my sanity!
We went to the Lion’s Yard to get some views across the city – well worth it too. The views were incredible.
Jason decided that he wanted to sit on the ledge for a picture. As soon as he did it, I was nervous but took some pictures. He decided to get back over and I was way too nervous about this. My heart sank for a few seconds whilst he was getting back over.
He was a little wobbly when doing it but insisted that he was strong enough to hold on should he have fallen. How on earth do I explain that to his mother! “Oh sorry Jason’s mam, he fell off a ledge on a mountain”. Yeah, that was never gonna happen on the rest of the trip!
We carried on walking around and it got peaceful and the views were still plentiful. We were also getting hungry so decided to head to BK since it was there.
Once we had our food, we went to the tram and headed back towards the flat (It took us roughly 70 minutes from downtown to get back to our apartment).
Here is a video showing how steep the ride is from the top of the Peak to the bottom.
Here are some pictures from our visit here
View all Victoria Peak pictures here
Whilst speaking to Ken and also doing some research, the Buddha was something we both decided we wanted to do.
I had read that the queues get quite long and it was advisable to either get there early or pre-book tickets,
I opted for the latter and got them online the night before. It turns out it isn’t fast track all the way to the cable car, but fast track to the collection window. I’d say we had about a 60-90 minute wait time from once we got to the Klook queue to getting on the cable car.
The journey from our apartment in the New Territories to Tung Chung MTR on Lantau Island took about 150 minutes (2.5 hours in old English).
Ken had warned me that the cable car was a 25 minute ride from start to finish. I did believe him, but I don’t think I prepared myself for just how long those 25 minutes would be. It was like time was going at half the speed for the journey.
We got on and instantly I was not OK with it. My stomach started to churn and I could feel that I needed to use the bathroom. I was super nervous. I did warn Jason, but I don’t think he realised how nervous I meant until he was there with me. He was totally fine with it and I think enjoyed it – definitely way more than I did that’s for sure.
It helped that I was facing forward. It also helped that I could look round and focus on the airport and not the 90,000 mile drop below.
It was totally worth the trip to the Buddha though. Jason asked if I would do it if I was there alone and I said I would. I said I still wouldn’t like it but would do it for the experience.
Ken told me that when he was there, dogs and cows roamed around and weren’t scared of people. We only saw cows. He also warned me that the stairs right up to the Buddha were plentiful and he wasn’t wrong. Jason powered on up them and I was several flights behind him. I couldn’t walk up as fast as he could that’s for sure.
He patiently waited at the top for me which was nice of him. We were really high up that’s for sure.
We wandered around inside and Jason kindly paid for a ticket to go into the exhibition below the Buddha. I’m pretty sure he’ll agree in saying it was probably not worth the money since you couldn’t really see anything or take any pictures.
We then headed back down and had a look at the monastery there before heading back to the cable car (read: scary journey) to head back to the apartment.
Below is a video showing how high up we were and me focusing on the airport to help
Below are some of the pictures from here
View all Ngong Ping and Tian Tan Buddha pictures here
As part of our trip here, we did the Big Bus sightseeing bus tours and this included a ticket for a harbour ride and also a Sampan ride.
We got to see so much doing this. So much that it’s hard to put into words and find the right pictures.
Some of the highlights were a ride to Stanley and the scenery as we did. A Sampan ride. A boat ride around the harbour. The Sky100 observation deck.
At the harbour boat ride Jason said he wanted to sit on the edge of the boat and I told him he wasn’t allowed. Not that I am his boss, but I couldn’t be doing with the sinking heart again like!
I can’t articulate properly how awesome it was so I am just going to put some pictures and state that we had an awesome time despite not always going in the right direction and waiting ages for a bus.
I was in a bad mood one of these days and I don’t even know why. I said to Jason that I was in HK so I shouldn’t be in a bad mood and should be happy that I am here. I also assured him I wasn’t in a mood with him.
Jason loved it when we went to Stanley and to the market as there were a crap ton of dogs and he is a dog person. I did state to him that it made me feel safe that he loved dogs because there was probably no chance he would murder me. Haha.
Below are some pictures from the ride to Stanley and the Sampan Boat Ride
Below are some pictures from the Sky100 Observation Deck
Below are some pictures from the Kowloon/Hong Kong harbour boat ride
View all Hong Kong pictures here
Jason said he had read stuff about the markets here and that he would like to go to them.
For those of you that know me, you can imagine how hard I was screaming inside. Markets mean people and confined spaces.
The reality was pretty much exactly that but well worth a visit though.
The markets we went to were the Ladies Market and Temple Street Night Market.
The Ladies market is a couple of blocks long with a huge amount of stalls selling pretty much the same tat throughout.
We found a power bank for Jason and I got them down to just about half of what they were asking for it. Jason did the same for a t-shirt he got. I also bartered for a better price on some of the things I bought.
We went to find him a carry on bag too and the lady said I had good bargaining skills. We got Jason a carry on bag from 360 dollars to 200 dollars. I was pretty proud of myself if i’m honest.
We also went to the Temple Street Night Market after doing a night tour on the Big Bus.
We got there and it was like a block long and pretty much nothing there. I told him it was like the time Jamie and I went to Aachen for the christmas market – finding just a few stalls.
We then walked around and found the real market – tons of stalls going on for a couple of blocks. I said this is what happened in Aachen. We turned a corner and there were all the stalls we had hoped for.
I took some pictures of the markets and they are below
All in all I had an amazing trip to Hong Kong. Jason assured me he enjoyed it too.
It makes me happy to hear that. I just hope I did a good job of taking care of him since we were so far away from home.
He was kind to an old man and made sure I was looked after too.
Hong Kong is definitely somewhere that should be on a bucket list if you like architecture, markets, great scenery and cheap prices.