Hong Kong had been on my wish list for sooo many years so i was very excited to arrive and to start checking out the city.
With so much to do and only 3 days to do it in whilst also being on a budget i wasn’t sure where to start but luckily things fell into place….
Here’s what i got up to in my 3 days in Hong Kong!
Day 1- Temples!
On my first full day in Hong Kong i had originally planned to go to Victoria Peak however with low cloud above the city i decided to head there another day in hope of better weather and hit the temples instead.
I started by visiting the Big Buddha which is on Lantau Island close to the airport. I caught the MTR (which is very easy and cheap to use) to Tung Chung station and followed the signs to the Ngong Ping 360 cable car. I arrived at 11:00am and had to queue for a good hour to buy the tickets, after queueing and paying $165 HKD/ £14.00 for a return journey on a standard cable car (there’s also a clear floor cable car which is $255HKD) i started the 20 minute journey to Ngong Ping Village with some great views a long the way.
On arrival, the ‘village’ was a little strange as it has been built for tourists so i kind of felt like i was in a fake place with overpriced shops, a Subway and a Starbucks but that wasn’t what i was here to see! I was there to see the giant Bronze Buddha which is in fact the largest, outdoor sitting Buddha Statue in the world!
There’s a good 200 steps leading up but they provide good photo opportunities as once up there he is hard to get into a photo but it was very beautiful.
Afterwards i headed to the Monastery which is very close by and is a lovely place, housed within this area is the room with ten thousand Buddha’s (wow!) and lots of different rooms and buildings to check out.
I was starting to feel hungry by this point so when i spotted a Vegetarian Cafe i had to get some noodles from there which were surprisingly cheap considering its prime tourist location.
Back at Tung Chung station i caught the MTR to Dimond hill, it was quite a long journey as it’s on the other side of Kowloon with 2 changes but it was very easy.
I got off and followed the signs for Nan Lian Gardens. Although i hadn’t really felt the hustle and bustle of the city yet this is a great place to relax and unwind. The gardens aren’t huge but they’re very tranquil which a gorgeous gold Pagoda in the middle, a pond and plenty of places to sit it was a place i enjoyed visiting, (they’ve even banned selfie sticks in there.. that’s how peaceful it is!).
Right next door is Chi Lin Nunnery which was also very peaceful and there’s some lovely Buddha statues to see and read up on (with no photos allowed).
Next i was back on the MTR one station down to Wong Tai Sin which brings you out at Wong Tai Sin Temple, the temple was quite busy by the time i arrived at 4pm but it was also lovely to see. I found it really bizarre but great how these temples are set right in the middle of the city surrounding by huge skyscraper buildings yet feel so peaceful. This is another place you can sit and enjoy whats going on with some relaxing music in the background.
While i was North of Kowloon and on the right MRT line i decided to head to the Ladies market. I got off at Mong Kok station and found the 1km closed off street pretty well and had a browse at what they had. As with most markets once you had seen a few stalls you can seen them all (it’s also not just for ladies, that’s just the name) but it was good to see and had i been heading straight home i could have brought a lot of things!
I ended my day by walking down Nathan Street back to my hotel via a Vegetarian Restaurant- Cute Fei, and called it a day so i wasn’t too tired for the following days.
Day 2- Hong Kong Island
The following morning i made my way down to the Star Ferry Terminal and jumped on a boat for $3.20 HKD/ £0.30p from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island.
I wasn’t too sure where to visit here so i had a wander around and decided to make my destination Times Square. I was a little disappointed as i felt like i was just walking through the financial district (i don’t know if it was or not) and all there were were malls and huge buildings with no character.
Long story short, one of my sandal’s felt like it was going to break so i looked up where the nearest shop selling Havaiana’s was which took me to the Soho area of Hong Kong Island and although i didn’t find any shoes i did find lots of cool streets which were pretty steep but had a lot of character and as it was a Saturday afternoon they were full of life. Plus i found an awesome Cafe where i had a healthy Vegan lunch so my shoes nearly breaking (luckily they ended up lasting the day) ended up turning into a positive.
The sun was peeking out of the clouds and as i was on Hong Kong Island i found the spot where the tram leaves up to Victoria Peak and after the hour-long queue (not loving these queues Hong Kong!) i was sitting on the tram going up a very steep hill. The price of the return tram journey was only $40 HKD/ £3.40 which was a lot cheaper than i thought it would be!
Once at the top, being the budget backpacker i am i headed for the ‘free’ viewpoint that i saw signs for to check this out before paying for the 360 view-point and i found that from here i saw the iconic view i wanted to see- all the buildings and the harbour and paying for the 360 viewpoint would only give me another version of this so i took in the view, took some photos and headed back down (and of course queued for ages for the tram back down!)
My jetlag from my flight from Dubai to Hong Kong had hit hard now so after getting the Star Ferry back to Kowloon (and by now it was dark so the view was even better than during the day!) i once again got an early night after another busy day!
Day 3- Macau
Although i only had 3 days in Hong Kong and i knew there was so much more to see there i had wanted to visit Macau for a long time and seen as it’s just an hour Ferry ride away from Hong Kong i decided to head there for the day.
Macau is a crazy but interesting mix of Portuguese influence, Chinese influence and a whole lot of casinos, check out my next post for more details of what i got up to there!
Hong Kong is an incredible city and i know i barely scratched the surface from my time there but i still saw a lot in 3 days and felt i planned each day well and i wasn’t running all over the city from one attraction to the next!
Hong Kong- I’m sure I’ll be back!!