It has been over a year since I have been overseas, I lived in Thailand and travelled around South East Asia for over 2 years and planned to go back to Australia for 6 months and then move to China. For a variety of reasons I have ended up staying longer than I planned but I decided I would visit China before moving there to get a sense of which city to live in. I already had a friend living in Shanghai and it was Thai new year (Songkran) when I decided to visit so I was able to visit Thailand for that as well
Hong Kong was the first overseas city I visited after being in Australia for over a year and I was so excited to be back overseas and in Asia again. Hong Kong is a very structured, modern and wealthy city so it’s not exactly backpacking on budget to a remote, dangerous part of the world but still it’s a city that is full of adventure and culture.
I arrived at the airport and had already researched the easiest way to get into town by public transport, I took the airport train and then switched trains to go to the train station in Kowloon near where I was staying, I then walked to my hotel. I had organised to meet a friend of a friend to show me around Hong Kong however my plane had arrived 4 hours late and I was meeting them in 30 minutes so I checked in, showered, got changed and was met them at reception.
I had just got off a 14 hour flight due to delay but travel awakens my spirit, makes me feel alive and awake, the rush of arriving in a foreign city, immersing yourself into the excitement of new experiences, this is when I feel I am truly living life.
My friend’s friend Venus took me to meet her family at a yum cha restaurant, they ordered a selection of foods and having lived in Asia I knew it would be rude to not at least try every food that was offered to me. There were a lot of dim sums which were delicious, I was then offered chicken feet, I was unsure how to eat them so I watched as her father put a chicken foot in his mouth, I copied and chewed on the bones and skin of the chicken foot, I swallowed washed it down with some chinese tea, I then went on to put the other in my mouth, it was ok but there were so many tiny bones in it, it was so crunchy and that overpowered the taste of the meat on the bones.
I then watched as everyone else at the table put the bones on their plates and asked me
“did you eat the bones?”
“yes” I replied instantly realising the error of my ways
“you’re not meant to eat the bones”
“oh, sorry, I didn’t know, it’s the first time I’ve eaten them”
“it’s ok, nothing wrong with eating the bones but but only people who eat chicken feet all the time eat the bones, you’re not really meant to eat the bones if you haven’t had them before”
So my first experience eaten chicken feet was a disaster but I know for next time, if there is a next time eating feet. I toured the main square of town, the seafood markets and then I said farewell to Venus and her family, thanked them for a true Hong Kong eating experience and then I went to Victoria Peak.
Victoria peak is a mountain on Hong Kong island that has the best view of the city, in order to get up Victoria Peak you need to take the Peak tram which was built in 1888 and goes up the mountain at almost a 90 degree angle. If the weather is bad there is not much of a view from Victoria Peak but I was lucky that the weather was good on the day I went up and I was able to see across the entire city. Photos from Victoria peak below:
I went to the night market, did some shopping and then walked along the avenue of stars which is like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hong Kong has a light show every night where all the buildings light up on the harbour and there is a light and laser show all over the city.
The next day I woke early, went to my favourite dumpling street stall for breakfast, (yes, dumplings for breakfast) then caught the train to Lantau island. The chairlift was broken so I took a bus to the top and saw the Giant Buddha and sites of Lantau Island. Photos below:
There was so much more to see and do in Hong Kong but I only had limited time as my main focus of the trip was on China and Thailand, I think a few days in Hong Kong will be enough for most people as you can fit a lot into a few days but I would love to return to Hong Kong and spend more time there. I took the ferry across to Macau which is about an hour from Hong Kong by boat.