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Hong Kong

Travel Blog

GUEST POST: 24 hours in Hong Kong

April 20, 2012

Neil Barnes of Backpacks and Bunkbeds shares his experience going around Hong Kong for 24 hours. He presents a great itinerary for those who only have a few hours to spend in this bustling cosmopolitan city. Enjoy!

Hong Kong - Photo by Neil Barnes

Like me and my pal Dan, you’ll probably visit Hong Kong either on your way to or from Australia, New Zealand or somewhere else really far away.  It’s often used as a stopover by travellers, but don’t waste your time at the airport;  there are some really great things to see and do while in Hong Kong.  You may not have a long time there, but you can have a damn good time!

Upon waking from a deep slumber to your first and potentially only full day in Hong Kong, the first thing you’ll want to do if you are staying anywhere near the harbour is get your lazy backside out of bed and take a look out your window.  Take in the famous Victoria harbour and try spot the star ferry taking commuters to work and tourist to all the sights. You’ll be on that vessel very very soon.

Hong Kong - Photo by Neil Barnes

Now that you’re up have a shower and some breaky if that’s your thing and then hot step it over to the star ferry terminal and commence boarding (I did tell you you’d be on ‘that vessel’ soon).  From the ferry you’ll get another amazing view of the Hong Kong harbour, and the ferry journey is a pretty relaxing way to spend half an hour.

I would recommend heading in the general direction of Victoria Peak.

Back on dry land, hop aboard your next mode of transport, the tram up to Victoria Peak’s viewing platform. Now view the same harbour, but from another totally amazing vantage point. Not bad eh!?

Hong Kong - Photo by Neil Barnes

Once you’re had your harbour fill (for now), head from high to low and find your way to the subway.  You’ll want to travel all the way to Tung Chung MTR station so that you can clamber abroad your thirs transportation device of the day.

To get to the Tian Tan Buddha (big Buddha) that sits loftily upon the hills of Lantau Island you’ll be taking the Ngong Ping Cable Car.

Over the course of 25 minutes the cable car will carry you over North Lantau Country Park before depositing you at Ngong Ping village.

The village acts as the gateway to the giant bronze Buddha, but be prepared for a couple of steps if you want to get up close and personal with the big man.

Hong Kong - Photo by Neil Barnes

In the interest of time you’ll probably want to get the cable car back down and then off to get some munch and a wee drinkie maybe. Find the way to the markets and you might be able to pick yourself up some not so legal DVDs,  amongst other things.

Back in your room after a long day, take one last look out your window at the harbour by night before collapsing under the weight of a hard days traveling and curling up in bed.

Good work soldier.

How will you spend 24 hours in Hong Kong? Share your tips and experiences below!

Travel Blog

Five ways of enjoying the Hong Kong skyline

March 12, 2012
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One of the things I look for when visiting an urban destination is the skyline. Paris, New York, and Singapore are just few of my favourite ones.

And after my short visit to Hong Kong last November, I’m adding its skyline on my list. I loved it so much that I spent an entire afternoon savouring the view.

And what I like about Hong Kong is that there are many ways to enjoy their awesome skyline. Here are my top picks on where it’s best to enjoy it:

Tsim Sha Tsui

The skyline of Hong Kong island can be seen beautifully and conveniently from the neighboring Kowloon and the Tsim Sha Tsui’s harbor is the most scenic place to enjoy a great view of the skyline.

Hong Kong Skyline - at day

And I spent almost an entire afternoon at the harbor walking around and enjoying the view.

For starters, walk along the Avenue of the Stars – equivalent to Hollywood’s walk of fame. And along the way, there are quirky statues that any cam-loving person will enjoy.

The most famous is the Bruce Lee statue , with both the statue and people posing for photos  attractions in their own right. I’m more of an observer and pretty much took photos of other people doing it – much more fun if you ask me.

Bruce Lee and Bruce Lee

And if you just want to sit down, there’s a bunch of cafes and restaurant along. I spent my afternoon mainly at the corner Starbucks – I got a great view and coffee at the same time. Nothing beats that!

Tsim Sha Tsui (at night)

Okay, but the awesomeness doesn’t stop in daylight. Stay a bit further to witness the skyline transform into a bright and colourful display. I tell you that at night is the best time to enjoy the skyline.

Hong Kong skyline - at night

And if you wait further until around 8PM – Hong Kong’s famous Symphony of Light starts – a light and laser display featuring 44 buildings on both sides of the harbour!  The best place to view it at the Avenue of Stars and on the ferries. It’s a tourist draw – but still worth seeing if you ask me.

Victoria Peak

Okay, if there’s one thing I regret most not doing is going to Victoria Peak.  It was on my list of things to do – but plans changed and weather as always, didn’t cooperate. Don’t make the same mistake as I did or else you’ll miss this amazing view.

The Star Ferry

Aside from being a convenient way to move from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon, the Star Ferry is also one of the good place to snap on some photos of the HK skyline. It takes a mere 15 minutes to cross to the other end – which is enough to look out and enjoy the view! It also costs a few Hong Kong dollars for a single ride – a definite treat if you ask me.

Hong Kong skyline - at night

Me and my friend Tina used this often simply because we can’t get enough of the view. 🙂

From downtown itself

The view of the skyline from afar is notable– but it’s also worth it to view the skyscrapers from bottom looking up. There’s the International Finance Centre buildings, which if you are geek like me, would know was where Batman in the Dark Knight jumped from tower 1 to tower 2.

There’s also the Bank of China tower – which looks like a bamboo shoot from afar.  Hong Kong has 19 of the 200 tallest buildings in the world. A pretty amazing feat if you ask me.

What’s the city that has  the best skyline for you? Share them on the comment box below!

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