An introduction to Hong Kong
I’m in love with Hong Kong. It’s the longest lasting relationship I’ve ever had. Hong Kong is actually the reason why I started traveling solo, which I have never regretted. I was traveling around Australia with a friend, and we were supposed to go to Hong Kong as well as Australia. She lost her passport and had to stay behind in Sydney (she’d hid it in her bedding, which the hotel removed to wash), while I continued the journey alone to Hong Kong. I don’t think I’ve ever been as mad as I was while waiting for the flight out of Sydney, but it turned out to be the best thing I ever did, and the beginning of my new life.
Where to stay? I always recommend Kowloon, and as close as possible to Nathan Road, The Star Ferry Terminal and Harbour City. You simply can’t go wrong in this area where it’s easy to get around, many restaurants nearby, great shopping and some pretty good hotels in all price categories.
Shopping in Kowloon? I admit it – I love shopping, and Hong Kong has it all. Harbour City is a large mall where all the designer stores are located. You’ll find Louis Vuitton flagship store, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Dior etc. Harbour City also has some pretty good restaurants in the basement, but the reason why I usually go there is the crepe cakes in Greyhound Cafe. They’re the best crepe cakes I’ve ever had, and every time I finish one I feel like crying.
In addition to the fancy designer stores, Kowloon has some pretty good markets. Every time I’m there I love to wander around with my camera. I usually end up walking Nathan Road up and down a number of times. Temple Street Night Market is a lot of fun, they sell everything from electronics to clothes. Temple Street Night Market has more than 450 stalls, and you must remember to bargain. My favorite market, though, is Ladies’ Market. I must be a crow reborn as I’m attracted to everything shiny and sparkly.
How to get around? While I do know that the metro is a cheap and great alternative, I’m a taxi girl through and through. Taxis in Hong Kong are very cheap, most of the drivers are very friendly and able to communicate in English. The taxis in Hong Kong are color coded, which makes getting around very easy once you know the system. When you arrive in Hong Kong, go to the line of red taxis if you’re going to Kowloon. When it comes to crossing Victoria Harbour, The Star Ferries are definitely the best alternative. I find The Star Ferries to be charming, unique and very cheap. On clear days it’s also a great way to photograph the famous skyline.
Hong Kong has a lot to offer, and I find myself returning again and again. I’ve come to love these islands – a combination of one of the most famous skylines in the world and modern technology as well as old traditions like Chinese medicine.