When I first got to Hong Kong, I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh, what have I done.” I felt as though I had been kidnapped from my perceptions of Hong Kong and taken directly to the farthest and most remote location on the top of a mountain.
I lived on top of a mountain. Literally. McDonald’s doesn’t deliver here, type of mountain.
And a few days in, something magical happened. I became addicted. I became addicted to the sun, the ocean, and my new life. I became fascinated with all that Hong Kong had to offer while meeting some fabulous people to enjoy my time with.
Here is my customary list of musts in Hong Kong, with pictures to follow (for future travelers):
- Lantau Island: A must in all forms. The main attraction is the Big Buddha, and boy is it worth it. The whole place is serene and you see the bluest-blues and the greenest-greens from the top of this mountain. Furthermore, there are great fishing villages and beaches to occupy your time with. Most of them are very quiet with few people there. As well, you can get involved in adventure sports like para-sailing.
- Temple Street: Ladies Market in Mong Kok is the hyped up “popular” street shopping venue. But don’t fall for it, because no one wants to give you a good deal on anything. Instead they may charge you much more than you would have paid in USA. Instead, aim for Temple Street. The people are nice and genuinely want to make a sale. But make sure to have a group of friends.
- Peninsula Afternoon Tea: Formerly known as “high tea,” it is the royal experience. This historic hotel is one of the ritziest and classiest place to be at. They have been serving tea since the days of British occupation and keep up with the tradition. It is a bit pricey; but I garuntee you won’t eat a thing anymore.
- Victoria Peak at Sunset: Everybody goes to the peak to see the iconic skyline at night or during the day. Then they are done, and refuse to come back. We waited to pay 2-3 American dollars to go to very top until a day we had time to see it at sunset. Not only does this give you a chance to stake out a good spot, but it is the most magical thing I have ever seen. (Extra: find the largest “TEXAS” written in the moss).
- Enjoy Hong Kong: As a summer study abroad student, I have six weeks here in Hong Kong. From the surface it seemed like a long time. I was so focused when I got here on travelling on the weekends to Thailand and the Philippines, that I almost lost out on so much of the splendor that is Hong Kong. I ended up canceling my trips and having the time of my life here in the big city.
BONUS: Count the amount of Texas reference you see/meet/find here. I am at 14. This includes the mass amount of t-shirts from our state and university sold here.
My final recommendations are simply to make the most of everything. I don’t just mean travel. Academically, the class I learn the most is my Chinese culture class. It isn’t a language class, but just by sitting in that class, I know and am aware of so much more around me.
Until next time Longhorns. Even though I don’t want to leave, I know I have a great University awaiting me at home!