We visited Hong Kong during protests against China, which limited us only in terms of public transport. But we had goose bumps when we saw people crying in the subway, “Free HK” signs in the streets or broken sidewalks. We are curious to see what happens with Hong Kong and the political system in a few years. The city has a lot of amazing places to offer and we would deffinitely recommend its visit!
How to get from Mainland China to Hong kong
We chose the cheapest options for transport to Hong Kong from mailand China, specifically from the city Shenzhen. First we arrived by train to Shenzhen, Shenzhen North station. From there we took red line number 4 to the final station Futian checkpoint. There is a Chinese border checkpoint at the subway station and behind the bridge there is a border checkpoint to Hong Kong. There were no queues at the border check and everything went fast.
Then it depends on what is your final destination is. We arrived in the center of Hong Kong by subway – blue and then pink line (from Hung Hom).
Top things to do/see in Hong Kong
1. Victoria peak
Victoria Peak offers one of the most beautiful views of downtown Hong Kong. It can be reached either by cable car (one trip 32 HK $, return ticket 45 HK $) or by walk. We chose to walk from the Central Metro station, which is about 4 km to the top. But we did not expect the road to be so steep, so we sweated a lot. Half way to the summit leads through the park and shade, for which we were very grateful in the heat. The view of the skyscrapers was amazing, and the effort was worth. We recommend also the viewpoint from Lugard road, which offers a slightly different view.
2. Yik Cheong Building – Monster building
One of the most popular places in Hong Kong for Instagramers. Are you familiar with this place from somewhere? This place made famous by movie Transformer: Age of Extinction. Due to its popularity there is a new ban on taking a photo. But we came here early in the morning for a photo and we got it. The neighborhood was still asleep and nobody told us anything.
3. Temple street night market
This is one of the most famous markets in Hong Kong, open from 6 pm to 11 pm. An ideal place for those looking for cheap electronics, mobile phone accessories, souvenirs or food. We did not like this place so much (too touristy), but we recommend to go to the top floor of the nearby parking lot with a great view of the market!
4. Suicide cliff
The Suicide Cliff hike is not so popular with tourists, so it offers a peaceful view of the other side of the city. We started our hike from Fei Ngo Shan Road. The way up was difficult and lasted about an hour. Occasionally we had to climb big stones, go through the jungle and climb the stairs again. The view spoiled us a bit smog, but we still saw the sunset. The way down was worse because we chose a different way and we got lost. There was darkness and we were still in jungle labyrinth. We got into stress because the road was dangerous and we didn’t really see where we were going. Fortunately, we were saved by mobile application mapy.cz, which led us to a bigger and better way down. Tip for you: always follow the flags hanging on the trees :D.
5. Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Sha tin)
Interesting temple in Hong Kong, famous for a large number of Buddhist statues. The statues line the path to the temple and the most interesting are the miniature statues that are located inside the temple. We appreciated that admission is free and that the place was not so touristy
6. Nan Lian Garden
The perfect place to escape the metropolis. The gardens include the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection, ponds, bonsai trees, and various bridges.
7. Lok Wah South Estate parking
These blue circles are another favorite for Instagramers. The most interesting thing about them is that it is located on the top of the multi-storey car park and is intended to be used for sitting (benches are located between the circles). How to get there? Take a bus to station Lok Wah bus terminal (2A, 23M, 28) and then go to parking area.
8. Dragon´s back
One of the most popular and, according to Times magazine, the most beautiful hikes in Asia. We planned an 8 km track ending with bathing on Big Wave Bay beach.
How to get to Dragon´s back trail by bus
First we took a bus number 9 from Shau Kei Wan bus terminal To Tei Wan. Tom was happy because we went by a double decker (his first time). We were sitting up front so we could see the driver cutting corners.
After about half an hour of walking we arrived at the first view of Shek O Beach. Watch the stones here! They are slippery, Anet fell and rubbed her knees. We reached Big Wave Bay beach after about 2 hours of walking. It is a very nice bay surrounded by jungle, whose waves are a paradise for surfers. Tom, too, enjoyed catching the biggest wave – he call it Kájus:D.
We went back in the direction of Chai Wan subway station, which led through the cemetery. We found that to save space, they put them at the foot of the hills and they had to cut down the surrounding forests.
9. Star Ferry
The Star Ferry Ferry will take you from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon for a really good price (top floor prices: HK$ 2,7 weekdays, HK$ 3,7 weekend). The ferry is more convenient than the subway, runs every 6 to 12 minutes and offers views of both sides of Hong Kong! You must not miss this! More info here: http://www.starferry.com.hk/en/service
Like other larger cities, Hong Kong has his own art district. ArtLane is an atypical urban project initiated by Henderson Land (real estate and land). The district has become the largest site with paintings on house facades and street art in Hong Kong. Take a good look at this place, as some of the paintings can be found in corners.
11. Symphony of lights – Tsim Sha Tsui promenade
Every evening at 8 pm, you can see a light and laser show on the opposite skyscrapers from the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. The show lasts about 15 minutes and is accompanied by music. So come in time to catch the best place!
12. Double decker tram
Another unique thing from Hong Kong is a double decker tram, its route is 30 km long and runs from Kennedy Town stop on the west side of the island towards Shau Kei Wan (east). Unfortunately, we did not ride with tram, because of the protests, its operation was suspended. But next time we will definitely try it!
Budget accommodation in Hong Kong
It is quite hard to find budget accommodation in Hong Kong because cheap places in the center very are poorly rated on booking.com and Airbnb was too expensive. Finally, we stayed at the Comfort Guest house, located in Chungking Mansions (a high-rise building with currency exchange, shops and Indian restaurants). We had such a small room that we couldn’t unpack our stuff. There was no shower in the bathroom but only the head of the shower, so we washed right above the toilet: D Interesting experience, but ok for few days.
Hong Kong and food
Hong Kong is a culinary paradise and has many Michelin-star restaurants. The only disadvantage is the price of meals, which is slightly higher than in the Czech Republic. At least we tried traditional fish balls, classic breakfast (noodles, meat, egg) and traditional coffee milk tea. We would like to thank our friend Tom for recommending these meals 🙂
Reflection of protests
We share here some pictures we took during the protests in Hong Kong. We saw only one peaceful protest, so we will not dare to make any conclusions…anyway, after all, we were more afraid of the policemen than the protesters (the day before our arrival a policeman shot one student).