Get the most out of your trip to Hong Kong
As a lot of you know, I was born and raised, for the first 7 years of my life, in Hong Kong. Every year or two I return and get to relive a life that was previously mine. There’s no doubt about it, Hong Kong and Ireland are two very different places. From the food to the transport to the people, it can all be quite surreal.
If you follow me on any of my social media accounts you would have seen that I recently went back to Hong Kong for two weeks. A well over due holiday for both myself and Dan! The last time I’d been abroad was two years previous. On Dan’s first trip to Hong Kong we did a lot of the typical ‘touristy’ stuff and this time around we had a better feel for the things we enjoyed doing and the things we wouldn’t bother with again. So I thought I’d share my gained knowledge with you!
Haggle In The Markets
This is a great way to immerse yourself in Hong Kong. Take a trip to the infamous Ladies Market, an enormous street in Mong Kok, full of traders selling everything imaginable. From tacky souvenirs to knock off luxury goods, Hong Kong’s markets have it all. The real fun is trying to haggle with the vendors for the best price but be warned, they don’t mess around! They will literally chase you down the street if you try walk away in the middle of a barter. Another great market to visit is the Temple Street Night Market in Jordan. Dan and I walked away with a suitcase, a gorilla grip and tons of souvenirs and presents.
Hike Monkey Mountain
When people think of Hong Kong, lush green spaces and nature parks aren’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind but Hong Kong has tons of them! During our trip we headed to the Kam Shan Country Park in Kowloon. The main attraction? The monkeys! Kam Shan is home to hundreds of wild monkeys, as well as multiple hiking trails. As we’re not avid hikers we tool the Family Walk, a very easy and relaxed trail. On the way we saw tons of monkeys, but I won’t lie, they’re terrifying! Remember the monkeys are wild so it’s not recommended you get too close or feed them! All that aside, it’s a great day out and a superb way to get your exercise in. To get there jump on the 81 KMB bus along Nathan Rd. and get off at the Kowloon Reservoir stop (stop 16).
Gorge On Dim Sum
This is, without a doubt, a definite must. You simply can’t go to Hong Kong without trying the cuisine. Dim Sum is a style of food, traditionally made up of steamed buns, noodles, rolls, savoury and sweet cakes. There’s a huge variety of dishes you can try but my top recommendations are; Cha Siu Bao (steamed buns full of barbecue pork), Cheung Fan (steamed rice noodles), spring rolls (obviously) and mango boudin (sweet mango pudding). You won’t be disappointed!
Enjoy Being A Kid
Hong Kong has some amazing amusement parks like Ocean Park and Disney Land. If you’re travelling with a kid (or you’re just a big kid yourself), these are a must! Dan and I brought his son with us on this trip, so Ocean Park was definitely on the cards. I’d recommend OP for older kids as they’ve better rollercoasters and thrill rides. Unfortunately for us, during our last week in Hong Kong it rained constantly. To make matters worse, a lot of the rides were down for maintenance so in the end we decided not to go. Before you plan a trip, jump on Ocean Park’s website and check the calendar to make sure you won’t miss anything. There’s no point forking out approx €50 for a ticket when half the rides are down!
While searching for fun things to do in Hong Kong when it’s raining, I came across Bounce, an indoor trampoline park based in Kowloon Bay. The three of us headed over on a particular rainy Sunday. Stupidly, I didn’t buy our tickets online and the time slot we wanted was sold out. Luckily enough, Bounce is situated very close to Telford Plaza, a huge shopping centre. After we killed a few hours shopping we headed back to Bounce and enjoyed our hour long jumping session. This was something we got great enjoyment (and a bit of pain) out of. Dan and I sadly realised we are not as young and as nimble as we’d like to believe but bouncing around like idiots is still incredibly joyful. Tickets are $140 (around €15) each and $20 (€2.50) for the special grip socks.
See The City From The Top
This is one of Hong Kong’s ultimate tourist attractions. Victoria Peak is Hong Kong’s highest mountain and offers the best view of the city. The most popular way of getting there is The Peak Tram but prepare yourself for queues upon queues. The bus is a faster option, or treat yourself and grab an Uber! Dan and I did this on our last visit and I’d definitely do it again. Just make sure the taxi is on the meter and the cabbie doesn’t try charge you a set price. This is illegal in Hong Kong but normal cabbies will try chance their arm and offer to drive you up for a set price of €30. It should only cost about €7!
Lastly, don’t forget to look up! Hong Kong is brimming with skyscrapers and features an eclectic mix of old and new. You really need to open your eyes and take in the world around you to truly appreciate the city.
I hope you enjoyed my Hong Kong travel guide and let me know if you’re planning a visit! I’m more than happy to offer more tips where needed! 🙂