DIM SUM DAYS // Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR

Extended flight stop overs are such a fantastic way to sneak in another country or city, whilst still getting a reasonable airfare. Chris and I met up in Kuala Lumpur when I went to China in 2015 as part of our return flights from Hong Kong, and three days felt like the perfect amount of time to check out KL. When we were booking our trip to India, we decided to have a stop over at either Hong Kong or Singapore, depending on which flight would be more convenient. Our travel agent worked their computer magic (or whatever it is they do) and worked out a three day stop over in Hong Kong.

It wasn’t until we were on our way to India that we realised that our Hong Kong stopover might not be as relaxing as we anticipated. Our flight from Delhi left at 10:00pm, lasted five hours, and with a couple of hours time difference meant we arrived at 6:00am Hong Kong time. It is safe to say we were absolutely wrecked by the time we stumbled into our hotel in the early morning, and we were more than happy to upgrade our room in order to check in early. Plus, the upgraded room was on the top floor so we got to enjoy some amazing views!

After showering/eating/returning to human form we ventured out of our hotel for a stroll into Causeway Bay. Soon enough it was lunch time, and using Chris’ knowledge of Hong Kong from spending two weeks here the year before, we headed to one of the Tim Ho Wan stores, a cheap dim sum place with a Michelen Star rating. We waited about 10 minutes, before being seated and quickly served. I was still feeling a bit sick from India, but it was delicious nonetheless!

We were both exhausted by this point, so headed back to our hotel for what we though might be a quick nap. Two and a half hours later, we realised to was probably time to consider our plans for the evening!

After grabbing some egg tarts to refuel (a Hong Kong necessity) we caught the metro over to Kowloon to wander the street markets, before a quick stop for ramen. We were basically falling asleep in our noodle bowls, so we went back to our hotel for a very early night.

As we had both previously been to Hong Kong, we were happy to take our time in the city easy. However, after ten odd hours of sleep, we woke up motivated to take on hiking up to Victoria Peak. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but after an hour of walking up the steep maze of streets to the forested path near the peak, we began questioning our decision!

Once we reached the forested area the incline continued, so frequent stops to catch our breath we essential. At least there were some stellar views!

Before we knew it, the path flattened out and we found ourselves at the shopping centre at the Peak.

The views up here are 100% worth it.

We caught the tram back down the mountain, had a quick pit stop at the hotel, and went out for…. more dim sum. Isn’t that the main thing to do?!?

The afternoon was spent wandering around Kowloon, including some shopping at the Jade Market, checking out the Flower Market, and searching for the Bird Garden. The Bird Garden was a strange little strip of garden full of men sitting around chatting, whilst hanging their bird cages on purpose built poles.

That night we went out for a fancy dinner (by our standards anyway!) in Causeway Bay, to celebrate getting my thesis results back! It was also a nice way to spend our last night together, as I had a flight to Beijing the next day, whilst Chris was heading back to Melbourne.

Chris and I often discuss whether we could ever move to a certain city, and Hong Kong is definitely one of those places. Sure, it is cramped and busy, but it is so full of life and is a melting pot of culture, whilst also being close to numerous places we have yet to visit in South East Asia. Who knows, maybe one day?

– Reanna

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PEARL OF THE ORIENT // Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR

 

Whilst I was traveling through China, Chris was in Hong Kong completing a university consulting subject. Despite this being the initial inspiration for my overseas trip, Chris and I never even got to see each other in Hong Kong! I think Chris was literally catching a plan out of the city as my tour group walked across the border. I suppose that is what you get when you book your trips at different times!SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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After catching a train from Yongding, we stayed in Shenzhen – a Chinese city on the border of Hong Kong – for the night. We really didn’t have any time there, and we were up bright and early the next day to walk over the border. It was quite intriguing to go through all the check point formalities one normally experiences at international airports when there were no planes involved! Once arriving at our hotel, we all spent 45 minutes enjoying the wonders of the internet (soooo many emails) before grabbing a quick lunch at a local cafe.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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Our first destination was Victoria Harbour. We were staying on the mainland side of the city.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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They have a small Avenue of Stars, kind of like the Hollywood Walk of Fame!SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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We caught the ferry across the harbour to Hong Kong Island. The weather kept changing between blue skies and ominous clouds, but overall we were pretty lucky! Chris said the pollution smog levels reached ‘severe’ warnings during his stay.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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Being an old British colony, there were double decker buses everywhere! We caught one up to Victoria peak, and I sat right up the front on the top level. The road up the mountain was small and windy, so needless to say it was mildly terrifying!

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The views from the top were absolutely spectacular! Hong Kong’s city scape was like nothing I have ever seen before. I could have spent hours admiring the skyline, and I loved the contrast between the built up city and the greenery of forest.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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At the top we said goodbye to our beloved tour guide, before taking the old venicular tram down the mountain side. Despite having no idea where we were going, we managed to navigate our way to one of the main shopping areas of Causeway Bay to check out the famous Hong Kong hustle and bustle.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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Our innocent attempts to catch the metro back under the bay were met with Hong Kong rush hour. We missed three trains before finally boarding, but there was a new train every minute! Efficiency to the extreme.

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The city looked amazing at night, thought the famous light show was pretty dismal. I had been dying to get dim sum for dinner, but the light show was at an inconvenient time, so our dinner plans unfortunately never came into fruition.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAfterwards, we had a quick meander through one of the famous (and touristy) street markets, before having one last drink together. I ended up heading home early due to an 8am flight the next day, but ended up getting about an hour of sleep anyway. Perhaps I should have stayed out!

I really wish the tour had given us more time in Hong Kong, but I suppose in part it was also my timing that resulted in me having one rushed day in this crazy city!

– Reanna.