What an amazing city. If you ever get the chance, you really do have to go. Granted, half the experience for me was having such amazing friends to explore the city and wilderness with – but you’ll make them too, no worries.
The city itself exists in a sort of limbo-country state. It’s not a sovereign country, but you’d never guess that. Hong Kong is considered a Special Administrative Region of China, which is sometimes why you hear it referred to as the HK-SAR. It’s got its own currency (The Hong Kong Dollar), immigration, language (Cantonese), and culture.
Whether you’re there for a weekend, or a lifetime, there’s always something happening in the city that you can get involved with. It’s old-school china, meets thriving future city. This wouldn’t be a proper blog though, if I didn’t give you something to do – so here are my top five recommendations for what to do in Honkers.
The Top Five Things To Do in Hong Kong:
1. Ladies Market, Mong Kok
First of all, the name Mong Kok is funny enough that you’ve got to visit it. The ladies market is an open street market in an alleyway that spans a few blocks. It’s your one-stop-shop for everything the tourist needs. My advice? Pick up some Cantonese before you go – it’ll make haggling a lot more fun when you say “N’gaw sun yee-sip”.
2. Checkerboard Hill, Lok Fu
The city used to have an airport right in the middle of it – Kai Tak – located now where the Kowloon Cruise terminal is. Because of the mountains, flights on final approach would have to make a sharp turn shortly before landing. These days, planes fly nowhere near this point, but the hill offers an unparalleled view of the city, and one you don’t see too often. If you hike up to the upper park next to the Lok Fu station (it’s a bit of a stair-climber), you’ll arrive at a beautiful park. Walk towards the cliff, if you’re lucky, there’ll be a spot to hop the fence – that’s where the real view of Hong Kong is. It’s also where I got my cover photo for this blog.
3. LKF, Central
What list wouldn’t be complete without Lan Kwai Fong, home of the nightly Gweilo gathering. This party-fueled alleyway starts up in the early evening, and doesn’t stop until morning. The best drinks are at a well-known club called “Club 7”. Look for the crowd, you’ll get the joke.
4. Dragon’s Back Trail, Big Wave Bay
Want to do some rough-and-tough hiking? Too bad! Hong Kong’s paved all the trails, cemented the cliffs, and assigned them registration numbers. That still doesn’t mean you can’t get out and experience nature – you’ll just be assured that you’re doing it in a very safe way.
The Dragon’s back is a trail on the South-East side of the Hong Kong island. A 20 minute bus-ride away, it takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the city, lets you hike through the wilderness, and ends it all with a trip to the beach. Bring your swimsuit.
5. Get lost, find your own way.
I struggled with what to write last, the star ferry, Shek-O, Aberdeen, the New Territories, War Games, I’ve done a lot of great things in this city. The best advice I can offer you though is get lost, go with the flow, and do something off the beaten trail. Some of the best memories I have were impulse trips with good friends, and a backpack full of Tsing Tao.