Feet to move, places to roam
Since moving to China, I have been very fortune for the long and the short term travel opportunities I have been given. I am even more ecstatic to announce that I will be embarking of a number of new escapades in the few months starting in January. Throughout the four months I have lived in China, I have hiked 3 mountains (not intense ones), ate an unnecessary amount of noodles, taught some intelligent 8 year olds about the importance of hygiene and a balanced diet. But what has been even more exciting than that though is I have wandered off to Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Taiwan and the most recent addition: Hong Kong. Making visa runs out of the country every 60 days to some would seem like an inconvenience, but for me, I love nothing more than a free flight and a weekend getaway. This months visa run was off to Hong Kong. If you ever find yourself with a long layover in the country or just visiting for the weekend, here is what you need to know:
Quick important facts:– Hong Kong is NOT apart of China as some people are not aware. Therefore, do not show up with the Chinese currency of RMB because it will not be accepted. In Hong Kong, they use the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). And although English speakers are easy to find within the country, they also speak Cantonese. Cantonese is the predominant Chinese language spoken in Hong Kong and Macau.
Now, here is what you can do upon your arrival in the vibrant country!
How to get to Hong Kong?
I flew with Cathay Pacific Airlines for the first time and have no complaints. I mean, they served Häagen-Dazs ice cream with my in-flight meal, how could I complain?
How to get around Hong Kong:
Once you step foot off your flight, if you are someone who likes to get from point A to B quickly and with no traffic, buy an Octopus card ASAP. The Octopus card is very similar to the Oyster card for those of you that have traveled to London. The Octopus card is used to travel on the MTR and can also be used to pay for purchases at 7-11 and other vendors with the logo at the cash register. With just a quick tap, you have Hong Kong literally in the palm of your hand. The Octopus card requires a minimum of 50 HKD on it, however is worth the money as you will use it consistently throughout your visit. The MTR is very easy to navigate around the island and with a growing population of 7.1 million people, you can always ask someone for help!
What to do: Victoria Peak
Want to see a 360 view of Hong Kong lit up at night? Want to see the sunrise or sunset from 554m above? Victoria Peak is a mountain located in the Western half of Hong Kong Island. If you are limited for time in Hong Kong like I was and still want to catch a glimpse of it all, you can do that here. To reach the top of The Peak, the fastest way to do so is to ride The Peak Tram. By taking the tram, on your ride up to the top you will be surrounded by scenic views of Hong Kong Island. For more information on purchasing tickets and hours the tram runs, you can follow this link: http://www.thepeak.com.hk/en/3_1.asp
What to do: Repulse Bay
Hong Kong is so much more than a business and shopping hub, it also offers beautiful beaches that can serve as a getaway from all the hectic hustle and bustle that can be very overwhelming at times. Repulse Bay is home to million dollars apartment complexes and California beach vibes with a tropical resort feel. Located in the southern part of Hong Kong Island, kick back and take a break from being a tourist. Hopefully are hungry when you reach this point too as there are plenty of beach front restaurants waiting to serve you!
What to do: Take the Star Ferry
An excellent way to relax and see the island from on the water is by taking The Star Ferry. By taking the ferry, you will be exposed to a circular route of the main highlighted points of the island such as: Tsim Sha Tsui, Central and Wan Chai. This tour is recommend both during the day, and at night! To check out more rates and times, click here: http://www.starferry.com.hk/en/Fares
Where to eat: Cafes and Resturants:
N1 Cafe & Co – Located at: Shop G, 34 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Passion by Gerard Dubois – Located at: Shop A, G/F, Lyton Building, No.32-48 Mody Road
Beef and Liberty – Located at: Stanley Plaza, The Piazza, G04, G/F,, 23 Carmel Rd, Stanley, Hong Kong
Any questions or comments, let me know! xx