We visited Hongkong – a soft landing to China – last November. Hongkong is like New York, in a way that the city has it’s distinctive vibe, or feeling that you sense when there. The feeling is very different from NY. But somehow, as both are so huge, they similarly form their own ecosystems that make it possible to have all that you need in one city. And never needing to go anywhere else. If you don’t want.
Places that made an impression on me in HK? The food is magnificent. And good food is everywhere. You almost feel like there’s a Michelin starred, or preferred restaurant in every corner. And in HK, the amazing restaurants are not expensive, the best places are almost cheap, affordable at minimum. Try Tim Ho Wan.
What more than food is there? The HK skyline is something to see. Take the Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak before sunset and watch the sun go down to the sea on the other side of the Peak, and then go to the other side and watch as the city lights come to life on the Kowloon side of the city.
Kowloon is the “new” side of HK. There is a a difference that you can sense between the HK island and the Kowloon peninsula side of the city. HK island still has it’s European and British spices and the history of British colonialism can be found. The Kowloon side is much more China. Both sides are very intriguing to experience.
We visited multiple monasteries and temples on our trip. There are many of those in HK and each one is different. Some are large, surrounded by big gardens, and some are tiny, cramped between skyscrapers. Chi Lin nunnery is worth a visit, it is surrounded by the beautiful Nan Lian garden area, very peaceful. If you want to take a day trip out of the city, you should go visit the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin monastery. They are situated on the Lantau island, same as the airport. You can take a cable car up to the monastery and buddha which are situated up on the hills. We didn’t get to ride one as it was under maintenance the day we went there so we took a buss up the hill, but we heard that the views are spectacular.
HK has a unique history, as it has been ruled by foreign states like Japan, UK and China alla taking turns fighting over the island. The Hongkong museum of history has a great exhibition taking you thru different eras in the HK history. The museum is on the Kowloon side and gives a good chance to take a break from the crowded streets and fuss that always going on in HK.
HK is definitely one of my favourite cities, worth a visit, i recommend at least 4-5 days, including a trip to Macao, which is another story itself.