Arriving in Hong Kong was a relief after spending about three weeks in China. Until you’ve traveled somewhere that allows shitting and spitting in public places, it’s hard to describe the joy one feels upon seeing signs that warn of a hefty fine for horking up snot in the subway. For someone who comes to Hong Kong from anywhere but China, it may seem strange to see all of the signs that ask people to wait their turn before getting on the metro, or refrain from even spitting in the garbage bins. For us it made complete sense: if these weren’t put in place, visitors from mainland China would continue to exercise questionable hygiene practices. In short, we were thrilled to be in a more westernized destination that valued manners and cleanliness.
Hong Kong was an extremely interesting place to visit, mostly because of its British influence. Technically it belongs to China, but the Brits only gave it back after a hundred year rule which ended in 1997. As such one still has to clear customs when arriving from China, and the currency is Hong Kong dollars instead of RMB. The people here are VERY different than mainland China, namely much more well-mannered with a good sense of hygiene. For language, Hong Kong residents speak Cantonese, whereas the rest of China mostly speaks Mandarin (with varying dialects).
Below are my top spots for sightseeing in Hong Kong. As Kyle describes it, the city is very much a mix of London and New York with an Asian twist.
Avenue of the Stars
Home to the famous statue of Bruce Lee, this spot allows one to enjoy a great view of Hong Kong island.
Catch the cable car from the bottom and enjoy a steep ride to the top where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Hong Kong and its surrounding areas.
Tian Tan Buddha
This giant Buddha on Lantau island is 26 meters high, making it the world’s tallest seated Buddha bronze statue. Catch the metro to Tung Chung station and take the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to enjoy a stunning 20 minute journey to the top.
Happy Valley Racecourse
Every Wednesday horse races are held here, so if you’re in town on this day, head over starting from about 7 p.m. to place your bets.
Wan Chai nightlife
After the races head to the area of Wan Chai, where ladies drink for free on Wednesdays starting from about 10 p.m. A lot of expats go out in this area, which makes for a mix of party-goers from around the world.
Instead of taking the metro from Kowloon to Hong Kong island, hop on the Star Ferry to enjoy the sights.