In May 2012 I had a few weeks up off during work. A few weeks that I wanted to make the most of. After very little effort convincing my mum, flights were booked and we were off to Hong Kong.
We spent 10 days exploring this colourful and populated city. I can tell you right now, 10 days is not enough. We instantly fell in love with Hong Kong. The people, the shopping, the food and the views make it very hard to not want to go back and visit.
The highlight of this trip (and given it's my favourite thing in the world) was definitely the food. Street food in particular. We were hesitant at first but after tasting the street food we didn't want to eat at another restaurant again (besides our hotels buffet breakfast of course. Dumplings were on the menu...every morning! I was in food heaven). Just be weary about where you choose to eat. We went by the moto "if it's good enough for the locals, it's good enough for us!" We chose a busy street restaurant near the night market, where both foreigners and locals were dining on plastic tables and crates. Such a great experience!
Accommodation: We stayed at the Marriot Hotel on Hong Kong Island, very close the Convention Centre. This meant we had to catch the ferry across to Kowloon which is where a lot of the major shopping centres and restaurants are. We enjoyed catching the ferry across every morning. It was a nice way to relax and take in the sights of Victoria Harbour.
Some of our other highlights were:
The Peak which offers the most incredible views of the city
The Po Lin Monastery . There is lots to do here! Situated on Lantau Island, here you will find the Tian Tan Buddha ( the biggest sitting outdoor Buddha), a stunning Monastery (which is home to devout monks) and a delicious traditional vegetarian restaurant. This is a sacred place deifinitly worth the visit. We joined a tour of this island which took us to the Monastery, a fishing village and the cable cart, which is an optional extra. We opted to take the Ngnon Ping Cable Cart back down the mountain. I recommend you get in the glass bottom carts. It makes the ride down even more spectacular because you feel like you are floating in air. Such a great experience.
There are also tours of local fishing villages that you can go on. They take you out on traditional boats called Junks. I get sea sick, very easily. So I opted to avoid getting on the smallest boat in the bay, but word has it it is a great experience. I believe these same tours can take you out the the famous floating restaurant.
We also visited other popular tourist attractions such as the Avenue of the Stars, Temple Street Night Market, the Womens Market and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Information on these destinations can be found here.
The shopping is insane here! There are department stores EVERYWHERE. It is hard to walk down any street without getting the urge to step inside one of the department stores ( which are all huge). My favourite was probably Harbour City. It is right on the water and is absolutely MASSIVE.
Macau, a small Island off Hong Kong is definitely worth a visit. You can catch a super fast ferry from Hong Kong across to the Island. We had to go through customs when we arrived as it is actually part of China. We only spent a day there however if we had known how much there was to see we would have stayed a few nights. The line between rich and poor is so obvious here. From Huge casinos ( a mini vegas ), to piled upon piled apartment blocks, this place is a real eye opener. There is a massive portuguese influence here which is obvious in the architecture and cuisine. We jumped on a tour bus for the day and thought it was a great way to catch a glimpse of what this diverse city has to offer.
The best way to see this city is to walk. It was safe, the subway was easy and the people were friendly.