My So Called Travel Life

Exploring the world one day at a time

Livin’ Like a Local in Hong Kong

on May 9, 2013

Because of its proximity to the Philippines, Hong Kong has been a go-to destination for many Filipinos.  Its close to 2 hours flight time is actually a bit shorter than the flight from Manila to Davao. Which explains why Hong Kong has been a playground/ shopping mecca/ tourist spot even for an overnight stay for us.

So what exactly is the allure of Hong Kong which makes everyone come back to this (not so) little island?  Let me break it down per area – Lantau, Hong Kong, and Kowloon.  I would love to include New Territories but I’ve never explored the place, so maybe on my next visit, I’ll update this post.

LANTAU

The part of Hong Kong where you’ll see modern architecture – Chep Lap Kok Airport is located here, and scenic nature spots to calm your body and give you peace.

Chep Lap Kok Airport Pre-departure area

Chep Lap Kok Airport Pre-departure area

Must visit:

1. Ngong Ping 360/ Po Lin Monastery/ Giant Buddha – Accessible via cable car with terminal near Citygate Outlet or bus in Tung Chung MTR Station, it’s popular to tourists and locals because of its calming effect.  The site is surrounded by mountains and water so it really is a springboard for your sky-land-sea adventure.

Big Buddha

Big Buddha

2. Hong Kong Disneyland – For kids, this is at the top of their list.  A trip to Hong Kong will never be complete without saying hello to Mickey Mouse and his friends.  Get off at Sunny Bay and take the Disneyland Resort Line to start your magical adventure.

Surfin' Mickey Fountain

Surfin’ Mickey Fountain

3. Discovery Bay – Honestly, I’ve never visited this place as there’s always not enough time.  Although I’ve heard that this is the place to go if you want to feast on gourmet meals while enjoying a peaceful ambience.  Maybe next time I’ll drop by for a visit.

4. Tai O Fishing Village – Again, another place I’ve never visited but heard so many good things about.  In fact, I think we’ve passed by this village on our way down via bus from Ngong Ping.  They said that to truly understand how the locals used to live, it’s a must to visit this place as it showcases the life that was.

5. Tsing Ma Bridge – It’s the longest suspension bridge with rail and land traffic in the world, the bridge is a sight to behold during the day and especially at night.  I’ve passed this bridge quite a number of times but never got the chance to go down and explore.  There’s a park in Tsing Yi where you’ll get the best views.

HONG KONG

This is the area where you’ll get the cosmopolitan vibe and you’ll know you’re really in Hong Kong.

Must visit:

1. The Peak – want to get stunning view of Hong Kong, head on over to the Peak via tram (which is recommended) or by bus.  It could get windy and cold when you’re up there, which makes the trip more exciting.  Going up could also be a celebrity-sighting as the road leading to the Peak is where Hong Kong movers live as evidenced by their big houses (you know how land could be expensive here, right?)

The other side/ view from the Peak

The other side/ view from the Peak

2. Repulse Bay – Remember the days when your visit to Hong Kong won’t be complete without the photo plates?  I can vividly recall that on my first visit, I posed with my hand on Buddha’s belly 🙂 I don’t think they make the same now though.  This place gives visitors the beach experience without the crowds.  What makes me like it more is that you get to have your chill time while listening to the waves without you fearing you’re alone.  There are people but not the noisy bunch.  It can be accessed via bus in MTR Hong Kong Station.

Buddha at Repulse Bay

Buddha at Repulse Bay

3. Stanley Market – I haven’t visited this place for many years and all I can remember from my only trip was that it’s the best place to shop for silk ties and jade bracelets. Maybe I’ll make time when I go for another visit.

4. Jumbo Kingdom – Again, I only visited this once and it’s not even open yet at that time.  This is a floating restaurant and would be lovely to watch the Symphony of Lights here.

5. Causeway Bay – This is my favorite MTR stop as this is where my retail therapy begins.  The place is a shopping paradise.  Enough said.

6. Lan Kwai Fong – Hong Kong never sleeps and this is where everything seems to happen.  If you’re looking for a place to hang out with friends for clean fun and get some booze, don’t miss out this street.  It houses restaurants, clubs and pubs which is perfect for night owls.  Get off at MTR Central Station.

KOWLOON

Must visit:

1. Avenue of Stars/ Symphony of Lights – Like Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, there are stars in the walkway.  Spot Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li 🙂  The sounds and lights show starts at 8PM (depends on weather) and grab a seat to enjoy the scene.

Avenue of Stars

Avenue of Stars

2. Clock Tower – Have your photo op near the Star Ferry Terminal.  This is another Hong Kong site you should never miss.

3. Mongkok – Another shopping haven for bargain hunters.  Check out the Ladies’ Market and the IT stores for gadgets and gizmos. Alight at MTR Mongkok Station

Ladies Market

Ladies Market

4. Temple Street – Get off at MTR Jordan Station and get a glimpse of Hong Kong’s night market.  Take your pick from the many stalls on the street selling trinkets, souvenirs and anything and everything under the sun.

Must eat:

Aside from the sites, another reason to visit Hong Kong is the food!  Personally, I don’t go to fancy restaurants but take the risky route of tasting street food.  But for foodies out there, you might want to check this out.

Street food!

Street food!

Must try:

For those whose main reason for traveling is shopping…I’ve always said that Hong Kong is like a big shopping mall.  You’ll find a store/ shop/ boutique as soon as you step out of your doorway.

In Citygate Outlet

In Citygate Outlet

It’s best to explore Hong Kong walking.  You won’t notice the time as there are many things to see and gawk at.  But for those with weary feet, other modes of transport are available and they are all reliable – MTR, buses, trams, cabs.  All you need is this –

Octopus card

Octopus card

Have fun in Hong Kong!

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One response to “Livin’ Like a Local in Hong Kong

  1. JhaypeeG. says:

    Wow..Hongkong is really a nice place.. 🙂

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