Hong Kong is a melting pot of Eastern and Western culture which is visible in everything from the architecture and food to its traditions and fashion. This also means that it has a lot to offer to every traveler - it’s perfect for a cityscape, island getaway or nature adventure
Central / Kowloon – The Cityscape
On my first day in Hong Kong, I spent hours walking around Old Town Central which is a collection of history, food, art, and culture. There is so much to see and taste along the way that I was surprised 5 hours had passed since I began. It is a wonderful way to get a taste of Hong Kong and its amalgam of culture.
My second day in the city took me to Kowloon where I explored one of Hong Kong’s mega malls and then spent the warm afternoon relaxing at the West Kowloon culture district. The Nursery Park, in the culture district, offers wonderful views of Victoria Harbor and is a great place to picnic, read or watch the sunset.
In the evenings I would take the – very cheap – Star Ferry across Victoria Harbor to get a spectacular skyline view of Hong Kong. Central and Kowloon shine at night with its numerous bars and clubs to explore ranging from the high end to your average pub. Not being a night owl myself I only ventured to Sevva Rooftop bar on my last evening – a swanky bar with artisan drinks and city views to kill. While the city had so much more to discover I was also itching to explore other aspects of Hong Kong.
...it is the most rural and least developed area of Hong Kong.
New territories – The Nature Adventure
This led me to the New Territories which is perhaps the least explored part of Hong Kong but offers the most incredible landscapes, wetlands and mountains – it is the most rural and least developed area of Hong Kong.
A trip starting from the Central region takes about an hour with a train or bus transfer but the destination is worth the distance. On my first day exploring the new territories, I headed to the Hong Kong Wetland Park in the northern part of Tin Shui Wai. The numerous wetland creatures, bird hides and walking paths made for a great activity on a warm day.
On my second day in the area, I ventured to Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden (KFBG) – a little-known jewel hidden in Hong Kong. The KFBG lies along the northern slope of Tai Mo Shan, the highest mountain in Hong Kong. Once there you can hike or take a tour bus to see the forest, theme gardens, and vegetable terraces.
When you finish exploring the mountainside I suggest stopping at the KFBG restaurant, which is fully vegan and supplied by local farmers in keeping with their mission of harmonising their relationship with the environment. It was one of the most beautiful places I visited in Hong Kong and a well worth escape from the city.
One of the best things about Hong Kong is the public transport.
Cheung Chau Island – The Island Getaway
One of the best things about Hong Kong is the public transport. It ranges from bus to train to tram to ferry – which means that the territory is convenient to explore and easy on the pocket. This also means that if you’re seeking an island adventure in the middle of your scape it will only take you an hour ferry ride to arrive.
This is exactly what I did when I decided to explore the small but picturesque island of Cheung Chau. You can easily walk or bike around this island within an hour or two but it still leaves much to see and do from its temples to beaches and seafood restaurants.
After having walked around I stopped for a taste of some fresh seafood at one of the numerous establishments and was not disappointed. I then lazed the afternoon away enjoying the view and a cup of coffee while I waited for the sunset. It was a wonderful, easy and cheap island getaway.
Hong Kong is an interesting fusion of East and West, urban and natural, modern and ancient which means a traveler will experience an array of contrasting experiences. While it is one of the more expensive destinations in the world the cheap street food and public transport makes it accessible to the budget traveler too. I only touched the surface of what it has to offer both in my short stay and in this article but I hope this has given you a glimpse into the vast possibilities of Hong Kong.
Written and Photographed by Julita Rasmunder