I was born in Hong Kong.
After immigrating to Perth (why parents, why!?), I used to fly “home” (back when I still called Hong Kong my hometown) once a year to visit my relatives. It was good fun. Being the eldest, I used to get spoilt with all the curry fish balls and seafood I could fill my stomach with.
So you’d expect me to know quite a bit about Hong Kong; who’s who and what’s what. Right?
I have NO idea what the hell is going on, in Hong Kong, except for what my parents tell me from the Chinese news and even then, I have no interest because of all the mainlanders crossing the border, in the thousands.
Also because, until 2013, I had never crossed over to the other side. So when I did, I didn’t have any expectations (it was still Hong Kong afterall) and had a blast!!!
So now that I’ve been to the other side, I can legitimately bring you this Top 5.
The highest mountain on Hong Kong Island is a main attraction for tourists and locals alike. You can catch a glimpse of the impressive Hong Kong skyline (go at night to see all the lights) and the tucked-in-the-mountain mansions where movie stars and rich people reside.
To get there, you can either take the bus (recommended on the way up if you’re afraid of heights or falling off cliffs) or the funicular (recommended on the way down).
What would a trip Hong Kong be without a visit to the Mongkok Ladies Market to barter on some random shit you don’t need? That’s right, it just wouldn’t feel right.
You can buy all the usual suspects here; fake luxury brand bags, “genuine” iPhone 5s covers and Hong Kong fridge magnets, along with other “essentials” like hosiery (in case the ones you’ve got on have a ladder), cute anime-print PJs and a beanie with bunny ears?!
If you get bored of walking the market, you can find some curry fish balls on any corner in that quadrant. Head towards the crowd and you’ll know you’ve found a good one (but don’t pay more than HKD $12 for one).
This is the expat side of Hong Kong and it’ll be evident to you as you’ll notice two things; one, there are a lot more Westerners on this side of town, and two, prices are double, if not triple of those on the mainland in all aspects (even the curry fish balls).
But… it is where all the nightlife is so I guess you have to deal with it if you want a good night out. Lan Kwai Fong (otherwise known as LKF to the ‘in’ crowd) is where all the fun is. Stay here too long and you’ll never want to leave. EVER.
Tsim Sha Tsui
On the harbour and directly opposite Central, Tsim Sha Tsui (shorten to TST), is a major tourist hub and is home to some of the biggest hotel chains, luxury brands and fine-dining restaurants.
Nathan Road and Canton Road is where most of the shopping is (if you’re into that). I like to hang out by the harbour along the Avenue of Stars (similar to Hollywood Walk of Fame), which gives a nice panoramic view of the Hong Kong Island skyline.
The museums are located by the harbour; Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Cultural Center, if you’re feeling up for a bit of Chinese culture during your stay.
Just a ferry ride away from all the hustle and bustle of the city life, you’ll find this idyllic island which is home to Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha). The statue sits high up in the sky and is a symbol of the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion. But the catch is, you need to climb up 268 steps to get to the statue and it’s bloody hard especially on a humid day.
The island offers more than just the Buddha. There are hiking trails, the Po Lin Monastery and an open-air shopping strip. At the end of it all, take advantage of the cable car, your legs will thank you. Mine did.