This destination marks the beginning of my journey through Asia. All this time while I was preparing for the adventure the anxiety more than anything else had pretty much consumed me. As expected and the inevitable was approaching the time had come. I packed my overly large backpack which weighed far too much and got on the plane to discover the unknown. Unknown countries, cities and hopefully unknown things about myself. First leg of the flight is fourteen and a half hours to Taipei and with a quick one hour layover I had another hour and a half to get to Hong Kong.
Arriving in Hong Kong the first notable thing is how insanely easy the transportation is. I buy a round trip ticket on the Airport Express and 24 minutes later arrive at Central Station. Meeting up with my friend who is graciously letting me stay with her and meet her friends to run around with the day has quickly begun. We first head up towards The Peak. There is a tram you can take all the way up and all the way back down, however, after seeing the insanely long line we opted for a cab. From Causeway Bay to The Peak it was about $75 HKD, totally worth not waiting in the long line. We arrive at the top and the view is stunning.
I only saw it during the day, but I can imagine it is just as awesome if not even better at night. There are multiple restaurants and places to grab food or a drinks while you take in the sights.
Following the couple of hours we spent at The Peak they suggest going to Soho to Lan Kwai Fong Street. Cab came to $55 HKD, another good investment missing that silly line. We get down and first thing to be pointed out is the street escalators. Yes, the street is equipped with escalators. Something I have never seen and it was quite the sight to see. Lan Kwai Fong has a lot of bar and food options so a good place to go for anyone who wants some cocktails and some nightlife to enjoy. Feeling the jet lag take over me this would conclude day 1.
Day 2 was a much more adventurous type of day. This being the first day with no one to run around with I took my time getting place to place and taking in my surroundings. I grabbed the train and headed towards Tung Chung station to take the cable car up to the Tian Tan Buddha (The Big Buddha).
The Big Buddha is the second tallest buddha in the world. I also must have went at the worst time of day (approx. 11 am) as I waited about two and a half hours to get to the top of the mountain, or maybe this is normal? Who knows. You can also hike up instead of taking the cable car which I briefly considered until my friend looked at me like I was crazy, and I soon was thankful I didn’t.
The cable car ride is about 30 minutes long with some wonderful views on the way up. When you reach the top you see a small town with restaurants, tea rooms, coffee shops, and local foods.
As you make your way through the town you will see the Po Lin Monastery and the 268 steps to The Big Buddha.
Leaving Tung Chung station I make my way to Hong Kong station to meet up with my friend for dinner at the only place I said I actually wanted to go, Tim Ho Wan. Tim Ho Wan is the worlds cheapest Michelin star restaurant. While their signature Baked BBQ Pork Bun was to die for, there were a few of our other selections we were less than impressed with. Regardless though, still a good stop.
Next thing to do is the Ferry to Kowloon to see the city lights and skyline of Hong Kong. This is when I believe I saw the true essence of this city and it was by far my favorite part. Everything from the bright red junk boat moving around the water, to the ferris wheel, to the strobe lights. It was stunning and truly a sight I will not forget.
After running around like a crazy person for two days the final day is upon me and I can happily say I sit here writing this in an adorable coffee shop called Coffee Academics just near Times Square (who currently has the same four Kelly Clarkson songs on repeat, haha) after eating some breakfast and reflecting on the last 48 hours. I definitely have mixed emotions about this decision I made to travel for a bit, and with still not feeling an overwhelmingly amount of excitement and some loneliness it was my first morning in Hong Kong when I walked into a coffee shop and saw this writing on the wall, “loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself.” Well said wall… well said.
Next stop – Singapore.