Hong Kong top 5 – Guest blog by Renate
Five years ago I packed my bag and left home. Free of expectations, I took off to live in Hong Kong. In first instance, the city was overwhelming. But during my stay I started to love Hong Kong. When I left Hong Kong after six months, I knew I would return to this amazing place. And that is what I did. My partner and I went on holiday to Hong Kong. There we had a lovely meet up with Natalie and Geerard. For them, and for Orange Spots, I jotted down a shortlist of my favorite spots in Hong Kong.
1. Hong Kong Tramways
A great way to explore the northern part of Hong Kong Island is the Hong Kong Tram. Take a seat at the top deck of the tram and ride from the Happy Valley racecourse in the east along Hennessy Road, through Wan Chai, where you can visit the local food markets. From Wan Chai, you ride into the business district with its futuristic banking buildings. Hop off in Sheung Wan, to have a look at the stores that sell Chinese traditional medicine and tonic food. See how they dry seafood on pieces of canvas on the side of the road. While in Sheung Wan, try Yardbird, a modern restaurant that derives its inspiration from Japanese cuisine. They serve skewers of every part of the chicken (I mean EVERY part of the chicken) and serve great side dishes (love for the corn tempura and cucumber salad with miso and pine nuts).
Yardbird, 33-35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
2. Lower Cheung Sha Beach
This white beach, bordered by beautiful green brushwood, is a great escape from the busy streets of Central. Especially during weekdays it is a peaceful place to relax. There are enough facilities though, like a little grocery shop, showers, a lifeguard and two or three restaurants.
Lower Cheung Sha Beach, take the ferry to Mui Wo, departing from pier 6 in Central. From Mui Wo Ferry Pier Bus Terminus buses 1, 2, and 4 take you to Lower Cheung Sha Beach
3. Hiking in Hong Kong
The majority of tourists do not know, but Hong Kong is great for hikes. Some trails on Hong Kong Island give great views over the city center, for example the Lion Rock trail. Other trails take you through tropical forest, along waterfalls and beaches. Or explore one of the outlying islands, such as Lama Island, with its hippie atmosphere, or Tap Mun, the grass island. There is a great variety of walks and many are well marked. Make sure you leave well prepared for your hike. Get your hike maps at the tourist office, check the weather forecast and make sure you have plenty of water and food. This website is very helpful when preparing a hike in Hong Kong: http://hikehongkong.blogspot.nl.
4. IFC Terrace
When I was living in Hong Kong, one of my favorite hang outs was the terrace at the International Finance Centre. Between the two towers, at level 4, there is a rooftop terrace. You will find yourself between skyscrapers, with a view over the Victoria Harbour. During the day, but also at night, this is a great spot. The bonus for those on a budget is that you are allowed to bring your own drinks and snacks, since the rooftop terrace is public space.
5. Dim Sum
These traditional small steamed or fried snacks are delicious and great for lunch. It is served from low key eateries to high end restaurants. An interesting place for dim sum is Tim Ho Wan. It is known as the cheapest Michelin star restaurant. The taste of the dim sum is amazing. The baked bunn with bbq pork and the spring rolls with egg white and shrimp are must tries. Do not expect fancy service though…. For those longing for a better service and more Michelin stars (and obviously a higher price tag) try the dim sum at Lung King Heen, in the Four Seasons Hotel.
Tim Ho Wan, 9 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po / Lung King Heen, 8 Finance Street Hong Kong.
Still wondering why I fell in love with Hong Kong? Because of its great diversity!
On the northern side of Hong Kong Island you find the bustling big city life: trendy, high-tech and modern. One can stroll for an entire day in the air conditioned shopping malls with exclusive, high end brands. The tiny food stalls and the colorful markets in Kowloon, on their turn, make you forget you are in a modern world city. The scent of sweet herbs in the moist heat and great offer of exotic goods provide the real Asia feel. The southern part of Hong Kong Island, the New Territories and outlying islands offer beautiful remote beaches, small fisherman villages and stunning nature.
Oh … could somebody buy me a ticket to this awesome place?
Find out more about Hong Kong and a cool place to sleep by reading Natalie’s blog: Hong Kong favorites & Staying at Mini Hotel