IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
JUST under a 4 hour flight from Singapore, Hong Kong has been on my "go to" list for the last five years of living in Singapore. Finally, prompted by a visit from our daughter, who was then routing back to the USA via Hong Kong, we decided to make a long weekend of it. Hubby has been to HK many times on business trips, but that does not necessarily equate to seeing a place. We were all looking forward to playing tourist for 3 days.
The weather was very grey and overcast on arrival, but lovely and cool, at least after the heat and humidity of Singapore. Having been given many ideas of what to do and see from friends who had visited Hong Kong, we set off to explore.
We walked around the Wan Chai market area, and rode on the lovely old trams which have been in operation since 1904, a great way to see the streets and local hustle and bustle.
On the first night we arrived, we hopped on to the famous Star Ferry and took the trip over to Kowloon/Tsim Sha Tsui. This ferry has been running since 1888. It was a very easy, fun and cheap way to cross the Harbour, plus, the Wan Chai terminal was just a 5 minute walk from our Hotel. From the Kowloon side, you can then look over and catch the laser light show that occurs nightly at 8pm (weather permitting). It was very rainy and not very clear the night we were there, so we did not get the full effect. Even during the day time, the amazing skyscrapers always have neon signs and lights flashing.
We climbed the famous escalators going ever upwards through the "mid levels". Fascinating to see quaint shops and a myriad of bars and restaurants nestled into the sharp incline. This was my particular favourite part of the trip. So many interesting things to see from all angles.
Riding the peak tram was also a highlight, traveling almost vertically upwards, quite an experience, and then the views at the top. Brilliant!!
We rode the Big Bus, an open top tour bus which gave us great access to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. (Note: You can book the Big Red Bus online and save up to 15%,. Hotel concierge also sometimes have coupons.) I always think riding these City bus tours is such a good idea, you just get to see so much. I also learned that it is really, really hard to get decent photos from a moving bus - the bus drivers were also not shy about putting the pedal to the metal either, which made it harder still!! So, although we saw a lot from the bus, not much was captured by my camera except some selfies and one particularly interesting sign for a restaurant, which was right next to a McDonalds. A couple more advantages of the tour bus, was that it included tickets to The Peak Tram, which cut down the need to line up to buy tickets - this line was quite long when we got there. It also included Star Ferry tickets, as the tour also ran on the other side of the Harbour, around Kowloon.
Part of the Big Bus tour route gave us the opportunity to visit Repulse Bay and Stanley, with it's famous Stanley Market. The bus took us down a winding coastal roads with some fantastic water views and beaches, and gave a totally different perspective to Hong Kong which really surprised me. It was like a completely different place and I can see why a lot of people would choose to live here rather than the skyscraper central of the business district. Stanley market was a fun place to walk around too, and we were not overly hassled by the stall owners.
Carrying the Big Bus tour over to Kowloon, we saw the famous Peninsula Hotel with it's liveried green Rolls Royces, used for the VIP guests. We saw a fantastic flower market, and spotted an old Mini Clubman which made us quite nostalgic, as it was the first car my husband bought (his was a mustard colour though), way back in 1979 when I first met him. Near to the flower market was a bird market, aromatic, but not so nicely aromatic as the flower market.
Although a lot of modern skyscrapers abound, there are still some old buildings mixed in, making this City very eclectic feeling. It was also amazing to see some buildings with scaffolding made from bamboo.
I would obviously be very remiss if I did not talk about food. Every imaginable food type is available in Hong Kong. From top Celebrity Chef restaurants to unique little places tucked away in the mid levels. Lots of hard choices when it comes to choosing a dining spot.
We decided we wanted to try Peking Duck even before we arrived. A little research and requests for recommendations from friends made us decide on Peking Garden. Established in 1978, and renowned for it's duck, there are now 3 outlets to choose from in Hong Kong. We chose to go the to Tsim Shat Sui outlet because it has views of the harbour. It is conveniently located in Star House, really close to where the Star Ferry terminal is on the Kowloon side. The duck was delicious and it was fun to see how they carve and present the meat.
Not only is there a plethora of cuisines and restaurants, there are also some amazing views from super hip bars. A particular highlight was a visit to The Upper House, with it's very swanky bar, and interesting drinks menu. Some great City views too!!
WHILST AT THE UPPER HOUSE WE WATCHED THE FANTASTIC CHANGING LIGHT DISPLAY ON ONE OF THE HIGH RISE BUIDLINGS - CELEBRATING THE YEAR OF THE MONKEY
Another thing that caught my eye as we toured around the streets of Hong Kong, was the amount of art work, graffiti and otherwise to be seen. Very striking and interesting.
Lynny's Dinner Recommendations:
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