Hong Kong is the final destination in our two-months journey around Asia. The entire trip was absolutely brilliant. We will never forget it. We reached Hong Kong via Singapore because we picked up Rob on the way. In Hong Kong, we were going to meet up with my friend Jin and her husband Peter. Jin and Peter are from Shanghai. They lived in the US for many years and now are back in Shanghai. It’s always great to see friends and it’s wonderful to hear how they are readjusting to their lives in their home countries.
We arrived at the Hong Kong airport early evening and right away we were met with a representative from the Hong Kong Tourist Board. The lovely young lady gave us some great tips on commuting around Hong Kong. All three of us purchased an Octapus card pre-loaded with $100 Hong Kong dollars of transportation money. We used a heck out of these cards during our short stay in Hong Kong. Also, we had a great alternative to a pricey cab/uber/even train ride into the city. We had a bus – very cheap bus (about USD$4 each) that took us literally to the doorstep of our Airbnb apartment.
We stayed in Mong Kok – a very happening part of the mainland Hong Kong. There was a metro station and lots of buses right in front of our place. Actually, the location of the apartment was the only good thing about it. We did not particularly like it, but it was fine for two nights.
The weather changed, as well. Warmer clothes were necessary. The days were sunny and nice, but evenings got a bit chilly.
We met up with Jin and Peter for dinner at a traditional Chinese restaurant that served local specialties. We were pretty tired after the long-ish flight from Singapore, so we didn’t stay out too late.
Next day, we crossed to the Hong Kong Island and started from visiting the Peak. It is the highest point on the island and it has a historic funicular rail that takes you to the top. It is, in my view, overly commercialized, with a big mall at the top and many overpriced attractions. The views are priceless and the air is clear. Overall, it was a good experience.
In the afternoon, we took one of the double-decker buses to go to the other side of the island to visit Stanley. Stanley is a small town in Southern District and to get there, one has to take a road through the entire island. Just the views from the bus were worth the ride! We rode on the top floor of a double-decker bus passing through hills and bays, beaches, little settlements, and exclusive subdivisions. It was about 45 minute ride but it felt like we saw the whole island. The bus driver seemed to take a bit too much risk on the curves of the hills. We tried to concentrate on the views. Later that evening in the news, we saw a terrible bus crash – on a totally different line in Hong Kong – that killed 19 people. We trust that the drivers know what they are doing, but crashes still happen…
Stanley is a strolling town… there is a mall, a market, a row of restaurants and a nice waterfront. We enjoyed an easy afternoon before going back to enjoy an evening on the town!
Soho is a happening part of town on Hong Kong Island. It is full of exclusive shops and nightclubs. We visited a couple bars and checked out some shops. Finally, we took the Star ferry back to our side and walked on Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade full of local street art and music.
Hong Kong is fun and nice and worth spending some time. The architectural marvels of skyscrapers built on a side of hills… It is full of people, lights, gadgets, stores, restaurants, and just totally busy. It is also concrete and full of wide and big roads. There are massive indoor complexes and tunnels to get across the busy part of town. My heart was not in Hong Kong. It is possible that I didn’t see enough of it to fall in love. It was a good experience to go back (I visited Hong Kong about 10 years ago), but I don’t feel an emotional connection to this place.
We left Hong Kong to go back home. Our new home is Poland. I am returning after 27 years in the US and Antonio, having been born in the States, is starting a new life. It is a very big change in our lives but it is an exciting time. We will continue to travel and explore the world, but I wonder whether we will ever have a chance for a long trip across many countries and cultures, again. Surely, Antonio will travel with his friends and will discover his places in this world. We are both grateful to have had this incredible opportunity to see so many places.