Last week we spent an amazing 5 days in Hong Kong. We spent sooo much time walking around and absorbing the culture, the sights and the food. It wasn’t exactly a relaxing holiday; instead it was jam-packed with things to see, eat and do. We just can’t help ourselves when it comes to holidays!
Hong Kong Highlights
We arrived in Hong Kong at 7am and made our way to our cute little apartment on Nathan Road in Kowloon, where we slept for 5 hours! In the afternoon we headed down for a walk along the beautiful Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. I really loved the waterfront because I love a nice sea breeze and summer, and the smell of the salty ocean is really comforting.
We went on the Star Ferry 1 hour boat cruise which was really relaxing and a good opportunity to learn more about the buildings around the harbour.
We went to the K11 mall which was full of interesting boutique shops and more well-known brands. Later we went back to the waterfront to catch the laser show from the buildings, and take lots of night photos! (They didn’t work out so well…)
For dinner we ate a delicious moroccan lamb and greek yoghurt pizza on Knutsford Terrace, not far from our accommodation. This is a great little alley full of amazing foreign food!
Afterwards I stopped by the famous Bonjour cosmetics store, which was right next to our apartment. I found some things I’d been wanting to try for a while, like EOS lip balms.
We planned Sunday to be our relaxing beach day, and we decided to go even though there were constant thunderstorms when we woke up. When we arrived at Repulse Bay on Hong Kong island it was still raining on and off, so we ate a light lunch and had some delicious cider at the amazing Spices Restaurant. The sun eventually came out and it turned into a beautiful hot day, so we had a long relaxing swim in the warm ocean. I really loved the tropical trees on the beach, and the fun atmosphere.
Somehow we were really exhausted after our beach trip, but we still had quite a lot of day ahead of us. We headed back to Central, went to the IFC mall with the massive Apple Store, and then decided to find the famous Central to Mid-Levels escalators! We had an interesting trip up the long series of escalators, and almost made it to the top – but I was getting very afraid of the height and the crazy-high buildings around me. We had a great time walking back down the side streets of the Mid-Levels and taking photos of all the jungle-looking plants, quirky bars and restaurants and the towering old apartment blocks. What an amazing and unique place! We really fell in love with Hong Kong here, but after looking at rent prices we realised it wouldn’t really be possible to live there.
We had dinner at Santorini Greek Restaurant in Soho. This was the best Greek food I’ve ever eaten and probably some of the best lamb I’ve ever eaten! We had an amazing entree of fried zucchini and feta balls with yoghurt sauce. I also had a dish called Kleftiko lamb which was baked in the oven with feta and vegetables. Wow!
The night wasn’t over yet though. Sometime after 8pm we still managed to walk to the Peak Tram Terminus, wait for an hour to get onto the Peak Tram, and headed up to Victoria Peak! We spent a couple of hours walking around outside, taking hundreds of photos and enjoying the fresh air and peaceful atmosphere. The view was amazing, especially the view on the tram going up. We eventually made it back home after 1am, with very sore feet!
We headed up Nathan Road late in the morning, looking for a hearty breakfast. We really wanted something Western like pancakes or bacon and eggs but found nothing like this! It turns out most of the breakfast places are on Hong Kong island. We walked allll the way up to the malls in Mongkok before we finally succumbed and had a Chinese hotpot beef and rice dish for lunch. By this time we were so hot, sweaty and annoyed from all the people around us, we were ready to eat anything. After cooling down, we walked around Langham Place mall for a few hours, where I bought some pretty Cath Kidston things and some makeup. This was my favourite mall along with K11 on the waterfront and TheOne by Kowloon Park. These were big but had plenty of atmosphere and soul. They had great architecture and a lot of fun boutique stores, rather than just the boring big brands like Gucci or Louis Vuitton.
We headed back down Nathan Road, passing through a few comic and anime stores (for Rob), as well as heading down side-streets to take pictures of old buildings. It was quite late and still very hot when we got home so we had a 2 hour nap. We wanted to go for a swim at Kowloon Park but ended up going for a walk instead. We found the flamingos in Kowloon Park, and also stumbled upon a bridge which ended up at a beautiful part of the waterfront! It was the perfect timing because the sun was just setting and the Hong Kong lights looked very romantic.
We were desperately looking for a place to eat Dim Sum, because we didn’t want to leave without trying it in Hong Kong. The first three places we found were ridiculously high class and expensive (we weren’t looking for sharks fin or birds nest soup). We went back to Knutsford Terrace and luckily there was a Chinese fusion place which was a good price and served dim sum! We had dumplings, tea, sweet and sour pork, bamboo sheets and the best black bean pork I’ve ever eaten. So delicious! Probably the best Chinese food I’ve had.
Afterwards we took the subway up to the start of the Temple Street Night Market where we walked around taking photos. The end of the market happened to be just around the corner from our apartment so I popped into Sasa cosmetics store, before we happily went to bed to rest our very sore feet!
We headed over to Hong Kong island to eat breakfast at a delicious French crepe place in Wan Chai. It was a Brittany naval themed restaurant which served home-made apple juice and the most delicious crepes! We had salted caramel, ice cream and stewed fruit sweet crepes. They also had a great variety of savoury versions which I’d love to try one day.
Afterwards we headed to a comic art exhibition which was located in a beautiful old brick colonial building. The building had been remodelled and updated to house the Comic Arts Centre. The exhibition was small but really nicely laid out with great graphic and typographic details.
Afterwards we walked to Causeway Bay, getting hotter and more irritated with all the people around us! We headed into Times Square mall and had a good pizza lunch and cooled down in the air-con. We went to the Page One design store and looked around a few other stores, but the typical designer brands don’t interest us at all. We tried to visit the famous Sogo mall but it was the same boring designer brands that are in the other malls, and also all over Korea.
After being unimpressed with Causeway Bay, we hopped on a tram and headed back to the Central to Mid-Level escalators, to get to Soho. We instantly found some cool boutiques here where we bought a lot of things! After a bit more wandering down some side streets, we found the massive PMQ design building which we’d seen advertised. This was a big former police barracks, which had been renovated to include about 100 small spaces, each housing a startup design brand of some sort. We found everything ranging from hand-made candy, bamboo products, fashion and jewellery, to high-end architect and product design studios. It was extremely inspiring and just made us want to pursue awesome design careers even more!
We were very tired after all this inspiration, so we filled up at a delicious Mexican restaurant in Soho, then headed back home.
After all our intensely busy days, it was no surprise that I woke up on Wednesday feeling ridiculously sick. I had a fever, could barely move, was very blocked and had a red swollen throat. We decided to take it easy on this day even though we only had to leave for the airport at 7pm. We went down the road to TheOne mall with our luggage, and had a very long lunch. Afterwards we left our luggage at Hong Kong station and took a long winding bus ride up to Victoria Peak, so we could see it during the day. We planned to take a nice slow stroll through the big park areas but it was just too hot, even with a sun umbrella. We walked around inside the Peak Galleria mall, looked at some art and had a big HaagenDazs ice-cream milkshake. We headed back to the station via the long bus ride again and then left for the airport.
The trip back home to Gwangju was almost as long and adventurous as our time in Hong Kong! Let’s just say it involved a plane, two long bus rides and two taxis, all between 11 at night and 8 the next morning!
Overall we had a really amazing time in Hong Kong, and would love to go back to explore some of the things we missed. I really want to see Lantau Island, the New Territories, the Chin Lun Nunnery, Aberdeen and Stanley, go on a bigger harbour cruise, see the Ladies Market, visit some temples and maybe head to Macau.
Have you been to Hong Kong? What were your favourite parts? Or what would you like to see?