This post is thanks to Desiree Arriola, a student at Old Dominion University and a former ISA Featured Blogger. Desiree interned abroad with ISA Internships in Shanghai, China in Summer 2013.
If there’s anything I truly regret while I was studying abroad for a semester last year, it was that I hadn’t bothered to travel outside of Korea. While I’m interning in Shanghai this summer, it’s my goal to make up for lost time and travel on the weekends. This past weekend, I said hello to the beautiful city-state of Hong Kong!
I’ve had plenty of experiences traveling alone. If you plan on going to HK by yourself, I say this as a tiny female that is less than five feet tall that HK is safe. I had a lot of fun touring the city by myself. In fact, I would recommend traveling alone or in small packs, considering how crowded HK is at every corner.
I say this without restraint that HK is now my 2nd favorite city (Sorry, I’m still a loyal Seoulmate!). I feel that HK is the perfect mix between New York and Seoul with its own unique Hong Kong flavor, peppered with the most diversity I have ever seen in Asia. Unlike most traditionally homogenous populations in Asia, it was almost impossible not to hear another language aside from English or Cantonese or find myself bumping into another foreigner. Having such diversity, not only did Hong Kong make me feel more at home, but also, it made communication much easier.
I personally didn’t have much of an itinerary before I arrived to HK, just as I usually don’t when I travel. I generally research a variety of places I find interesting and then just go with the flow when I arrive. I think it makes traveling much more enjoyable as I’m free to wander as I please and get lost in more interesting areas. However, I did make it a priority to visit the most iconic HK spots: Victoria’s Peak and Victoria Harbour.
For $75HKD, you can ride the Peak Tram round trip, including a pass to the Sky Terrace 428. A less expensive alternative would be not to get the pass to the Sky Terrace at all as there are plenty of free observation decks at the top.
I easily spent 3-4 hours at Victoria’s Peak. I just couldn’t take enough pictures of the HK skyline from the Peak. I hadn’t expected much at the top, so I was surprised to find mini shopping malls with a variety of cafés and restaurants. There was even a mini market to buy souvenirs and other knick knacks individually or wholesale (Beware though! You’ll find these much cheaper at markets away from tourist spots!).
The Peak Galleria across the Sky Terrace has a free observation deck at the Green Terrace.
Victoria Harbour was wonderful and was literally a breath of fresh air with the cool breeze blowing past, quickly sweeping away the tiredness you likely feel from all of the walking. I had the chance to catch the Symphony of Lights Show at 8pm as well. Although I missed out on the Star Ferry, I was able to take a less expensive, shorter ferry between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central for only $2.50HKD.
Although it might be a bit more expensive, I recommend going on the Star Ferry at night. I’m sure the lights show would be even more romantic and beautiful on the ferry! Otherwise, come early to the viewing deck in front of the Clock Tower as it gets crowded!
In the same area of the viewing deck is the Avenue of the Stars, where the one and only Bruce Lee statue stands along with names of known Hong Kong actors and actresses placed at the avenue overlooking the skyline.
In 2.5 days, I also explored Mong Kok, Temple Street, plus a bit of Kuw Tong & Tung Chung. The time definitely wasn’t enough. I love HK and hope to come back soon! Hopefully longer next time!
The World Awaits…Discover it.