It’s 3st Jan 2014. I’ve joined back office today, on a Firday to catchup with the backlog and avoid the added blues on Monday.
Listening to The Beautiful South – Rotterdam
I spent my New Years eve, welcoming 2014 in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is China’s special administrative region (SAR), but operates independently. It’s a better part of China that never sleeps and is futuristic in its outlook. What makes it stand apart from mainland China is that it’s got infrastructure to support that outlook. Unlike China, there is a little internet censorship in Hong Kong. Thanks to HK, I was able to access Facebook and my emails that got me back in the zone after spending a day in mainland China. Language is less of an issue when compared with Mainland China, as despite Cantonese being the main language, English is easily understood by majority of local population.
No less than any European first world nation, Hong Kong amazed us with its sky scrapers, age old ferries, discounted festival/ December shopping, serene mountains and sumptuous Cantonese and sea food. HK is a go to place for adventurous eaters from all over the world.
The first thing you’ll notice the moment you enter China and Hong Kong are the wondrous, marvelous sky scrapers and Louis Vuittons. Tall building and brown handbags with pale mustard logos are a common site, so much so that it might overwhelm you after a while.
Interesting: Number of cemeteries can be seen alongside the highways in Hong Kong that go up towards the hills peaks.
I requested for a room with great view. My hotel receptionist was very gracious to give me an upgrade with a beautiful view of the harbor. The only catch was that it had a huge cemetery stuck right next to the hotel building. I am just glad that I didn’t get any nightmares, thanks to the daylong walking for shopping and sightseeing because of which I slept like a log.
Top 5 Things to do in HongKong:
1. Shopping | The Markets: No visit to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to some of its fabulous street markets.
- Ladies Market: The top on my list was Ladies market. It’s known for affordable fashion, branded knockoffs, both bags and shoes and a huge range of accessories and souvenirs. A one-kilometer stretch of tiny little shops, it’s a must visit for ladies in love with bags and shoes. It falls on Mong Kok MTR station (I kept calling it Mong Tok for some unexplainable reason.) on Tung Choi Street, Hong Kong.
Here is a sneak peak at just a tiny part of my day1 shopping. I got all these in under HK$ 1500 or INR 15,000.
- Jardine’s crecent: Known for some of the beautiful women’s accessories, Jardine’s crescent is right opposite Hysan Place on Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Check out Sogo and then go for a congested stroll at Jardine’s crescent for some of gorgeous accessories in just couple of hundred HK dollars.
- Apliu Street: A haven for gadget freaks and geeks. If you love physics, mechanics, and other gadgetry stuff, Apliu Street is a place for you. You got to go check it out to know what I am talking about. It’s located in the Sham Shui Po area of New Kowloon, Hong Kong.
- Temple Market: Looking for a stroll and some shopping in the night? Temple Street is your destination. It’s a street located in the areas of Jordan and Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon, Hong Kong. It hosts one of the busiest flea night market night market.
2. The Big Buddha on Lantau Island: Buddha is my favorite when it comes to figurines. Just looking at the statue of Buddha puts you in ease. And this one is a BIG! Symbol of Peace and Zen.
3. HongKong DysneyLand: HongKong Disneyland was the third one I ever visited. My first ever visit was to the Orlando Disneyland, second I visited Paris Disneyland and Hong Kong was third. You are a kid at age or heart when you enjoy rides at Disneyland much more than drinks at LKF Hong Kong. I sure am.
4. LKF (Lan Kwai Fong): If you are a party animal or are looking to give booze and bar scene in Hong Kong a try, LKF is your go to place. With an assortment of some of the beautiful fine dining restaurants located amidst cheap bars offering over a dozen of shots and shooters in just HK$200 i.e. approx. INR 2000, LKF is a place to be to witness HK party nightlife.
5. Avenue of Stars: Located on Tsim Sha Tsui station at the Victoria harbor, on the backside of Intercontinental hotel. It’s a pleasant walk to check out names of some famous Chinese actors and actresses. Night view is breathtaking and it’s at this place where you’d get a true sense of the concept ‘East meets West’. Among many names that we walked past, we managed to spot names of a few whom we’ve heard of such as Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.
To sum it up, HongKong is a paradise for both luxury travelers and budget travelers alike. It’s a heaven for adventurous eaters be it in the form of fine dining or street food. Flawless transport system with great ethics among taxi drivers, it boasts of a legendary Star Ferry ride across harbor in just HK$2. How much better can it get?