In April I had the opportunity to travel to Hong Kong for work. I was travelling alone and whilst feeling a little daunted by the work I had to do, I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to explore a new city. Arriving in Hong Kong in the early evening, ‘fresh’ off a flight from London after a packed four days of work,I didn't expect to have the energy to explore but those neon lights and crazy streets had me hooked from the moment I arrived.
I stayed near Tsim Tsha Tsui, less than 5 mins walk from the famous Temple Street Markets where I ate for $10 on the first night - beer included. The number of foreign expats was immediately noticeable and I will be forever grateful to the kind French man who offered me a spare packet of tissues with the tip to carry them with me whilst visiting the local eateries where napkins are rarely a commodity!
Day one was spent at Sham Shui Po fabric markets, a much calmer experience than my previous fabric market trips in China. That evening I used Open Rice (the HK equivalent of Urbanspoon) to find somewhere to eat nearby, settling for Dimpal Fusion a western restaurant in Jordan.The row of chairs for waiting customers outside gave me hope that I was onto something good and I wasn't disappointed (least of all by the free baileys I received after paying the bill!).
Day two: After around 10 hours of work in my (unfortunately dimly lit) hotel room staring at a less than inspiring view, the majority of my work was done. I went for dinner at Din Tai Fung, a famous HK (and now worldwide) institution. Props to the kind waiter who explained dumpling etiquette to me whilst I sat at a round table full of locals.
After dinner I decided to check out the much talked about light show and all I'm going to say about that is there is probably a reason why it is the only permanent light show in the world(!). By now jet lag had caught up with me and I wasn't going to sleep any time soon. I took advantage of the free ferries on the eve of the labour day public holiday to take the short trip from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island to see the neon lights of Central and Soho.
Getting around Hong Kong solo was surprisingly easy with the simple metro system and ferries and on my final day I head back to Central to see the area by day and revisit my highlight - the largest outdoor escalator system in the world! I know it's a slightly strange thing to get excited about but even more so than visiting the famous landmarks in a city, it's finding the lesser known quirks and cultural differences that I really love about travelling. (You should have seen me when I discovered the underground travelator in Sydney).
Unfortunately I didn't have time to visit The Peak where I have heard you can see spectacular views of the city and harbour, but I was pretty enraptured by the view from Kowloon anyway.
Until next time HK.
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