The mention of Hong Kong conjures up images of a vibrant, bustling city with an iconic skyline.
A British colony for over 150 years (until 1997), HK today is a city of skyscrapers juxtaposed against a backdrop of extraordinary natural beauty.
There’s so much to see and do in HK. I walked around the busy streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, watched the dazzling Symphony of Lights show, posed with Bruce Lee’s statue on the Avenue of the Stars, strolled through the Temple Street night market, admired intricate Chinese paintings at the Museum of Art. Yet, I had barely made a dent on my list.
Despite my initial hesitation, the city was slowly growing on me. Here are some of my favorite experiences from this trip:
Taking the tram to The Peak
In the midst of a heavy downpour, I took the tram to Victoria Peak from the Lower Terminus on Garden Road.
As the tram slowly made its way to the top along the 1.4km route, it passed some of the most expensive real estate in HK.
Victoria Peak, referred to by the locals as The Peak, is the highest point on HK island (altitude 552m / 1,811 ft). Unfortunately, the view from the top was hindered by the rain. But whatever little I could see, was breathtaking! The entire city below awash in green!
Paying my respects at the Man Mo temple
‘Man’, the God of Literature is venerated at this historic shrine alongside ‘Mo’, the God of War. During the ancient Ming and Qing dynasties, students who were appearing for intensive civil services exams prayed to these two gods.
Built by the Taoists in 1847, the Man Mo temple on Hollywood Road, is the largest of its kind in HK. The interiors are colourful yet serene while the giant incense coils hanging from the ceiling emit a soothing aroma. As an up-and-coming blogger and writer, I paid my respect to ‘Man’ and left.
Walking along Cat Street
Close to the Man Mo temple, is the once infamous Upper Lascar Row (nicknamed Cat Street). About a century ago, this was the venue for a stolen goods market. In Cantonese, thieves are called ‘rats’ and anyone who bought the stolen wares from the ‘rats’ was referred to as a ‘cat’. Hence the name, Cat Street. Today, vendors sell a wide range of goods from dog-eared posters of Chairman Mao and Bruce Lee to a variety of curios and collectibles. Great for an afternoon of browsing!
Must do: The Shanghai pedicure
After all those days of walking around HK, my feet were in need of some serious therapy. The hotel concierge recommended the Shanghai pedicure. Little did I know what it involved but I proceeded to the reflexology spa anyway. I watched in awe as the ‘sifu’ (master) sliced off layer after layer of dead skin from under my pre-soaked feet with a sharpened scalpel. At the end of 45 min session, my feet were baby soft and I couldn’t have been happier! Highly recommend it for anyone visiting HK.
After a busy week of sight-seeing in HK, I headed to the rolling hills of Lantau Island for quick getaway. More on that in my post, Home of the Tian Tan Buddha.
For more things to do in HK, check out my post Uniquely Hong Kong!
Read about Macau in my post Only in Macau!