Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Friends Trip to Hong Kong

We had been wanting to spend a weekend off island with a group of friends. Hong Kong is a skip and hop to the west of us, so we thought it would be the perfect trip for Columbus day weekend. We went with two other couples and has a blast. We absolutely loved Hong Kong and want to go back soon. It was such a different city than many we have been to in SE Asia. We loved how international it was. Many cultures are represented and there is every kind of restaurant you could ever imagine. We liked that you could feel like you were in a western city one minute and China the next. We also loved how it was set up, right along the bay on two different land masses. It made for very pretty views. We didn't get to see as many sights as we planned, but we enjoyed taking in the city and the company of our friends.

The best travel buddies

Hong Kong is a port city. It was crazy to see all of the shipping containers as we drove into the city. 

I loved these giant incense rings in a shrine we found as we were walking around. 

Jade market. Lots of price haggling going on. 

Temple Street Market. I kind of have a thing for weird Asian markets. They are always so interesting.

Avenue of Stars, Kowloon

The weather wasn't that great, but it was still interesting to see. 

Victoria Peak

To Stay:  There is a debate whether to stay on Hong Kong Island or Kowloon. We stayed on HK island, but would have stayed in Kowloon as well. Hong Kong is so easy to get around, especially since the metro is easy to navigate. It doesn't take long to get between the two areas. There is also lots to see, do, and eat both places. All of the super nice hotels are in Kowloon, but we particularly liked the Lan Kwai Fong area on HK island. We stayed at the Harbour Grand (HK side) and enjoyed our stay, but it was a bit out of the way.

To Do: We enjoyed the markets in Kowloon (Jade and Temple). I wished we could have gone to the other ones (bird, flower, etc.). Also on Kowloon is the Avenue of Stars. We walked the avenue during the day and night, which I would recommend. On HK island we took the tram up to Victoria Peak. It was well worth it. The line wasn't long when we went, but I hear it can get a bit out of control. We also did a lot of eating and walking around. There are lots of parks, shops, and shrines to see as you walk around. We did not get to the big buddha or Nyong Ping Gondola, which I was sad about. It is on the island where the airport is(Lantau Island), so bit out of the way. The line for the gondola is rumored to be long so we did not make the trip out there. We would also like to take a ferry Macau next time we visit.

To Eat: There are so many restaurants and such a variety! Everything we tried was pretty good. We did not eat as many places as I would have liked, but we did get to try the dumpling place Tim Ho Wan. It was not as good as our favorite Taipai dumpling place, Din Tai Fung. There are lots of great restaurants in Lan Kwai Fong. We tried Cecconi's Italian and Wilbers, which were both average. We tend to try places we come across as we are walking, so I don't have many exciting recommendations.

Hong Kong, we will be back!