I'm currently living in a country which requires me to leave on a monthly basis (due to visa requirements) which invariably means I get to see more of the world than I otherwise might. For this I feel truly blessed and try to make the absolute most of my monthly trips. Living in Jakarta definitely has it’s benefits. With it's strategic location offering easy access to cities such as Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong, traveling is a constant temptation. With the added benefit that many low cost airlines are now offering competitive rates, it’s quite easy to find a reasonably priced flight. I snapped up one such flight, proving that some offers are simply too good to miss! For the best offers, I would advise keeping an eye on the frequent promotions that airlines offer. I’m not sure if you guys agree, but one of the things I most enjoy is traveling to places which I’ve never been. I especially enjoy traveling in Asia. This is probably due to the fact that I wasn’t born in this part of the world, making everything seems that much more fun.
When you arrive at Hong Kong International Airport, you immediately realize this is a very efficient and modern airport for a number of reasons. I later found out that the airport ranks 4th in the best global airport awards. It's not hard to see why, it even has an IMAX movie theatre inbuilt! It had me wondering what kind of city awaited me, when even the airport seemed like a city unto itself! Apart from Heathrow International which boasts a whopping 5 terminals, I don’t think I have ever walked as far to get to my gate! Note to anyone traveling, be sure not to turn up late for your flight. You really do need the full 2 hours to check in and board!
I took a taxi directly to the hotel which turned out to be very close to the station. Taxi’s are great in Hong Kong if you're not traveling a long distance. It’s higly advisable if like me, you don’t know where you are going. Before I visited, people had spoken about Hong Konger’s being somewhat unfriendly. From my own experience, I can say it was not the case. Everyone I spoke to was very helpful and I'm glad to say that the rumors were unfounded. This is why I always suggest going to a place yourself and forming your own opinion. Don’t even take what I say for given! If you are staying in Hong Kong, I can highly recommend staying at The Butterfly on Hollywood. The staff are friendly and helpful, the room is great and the location is super close to Sheung Wan Station. Also it’s very close to a bunch of restaurants and bars. When I finally got settled into my room it was around 11pm but I still wanted to go out and explore. As I mentioned, it’s easy to find places to eat and drink at this time. My hotel was situated close to Soho, where you can choose from a number of hip bars and restaurants serving both asian and western cuisine.
While I had chance, I wanted to eat as much local Cantonese cuisine as possible. So after a drink in a bar across from my hotel, I wanted to explore the area. Every corner seemed to provide another photo opportunity. These are things which I’m sure are quite normal for any Hong Konger, but seemed photo worthy enough to me. Visions of colonial Hong Kong sprang to my mind as I happily captured photos of trams, which serve as transport on the island. For a foreigner such as myself, even the road signs with Sanskrit seem so vibrant. Hong Kong is a true dream for anyone who loves to take photos like I do. After taking a few snapshots, I wandered back towards the hotel. On the way back, I passed an eatery busy with locals and a menu written in Chinese outside. Okay, so I had already eaten a few hours ago but being in Hong Kong I needed to try more! An old man ushered me inside & even though no English was exchanged, he was very friendly. I proceeded to order a plate of Singaporean Noodles which were surprisingly cheap, even compared to Jakarta. When the plate of noodles arrived, it was hard not to notice how large the portions are. How was I going to finish this plate by myself?! I think the old man was actually thinking the same thing! But after the first mouthful & generous spoonfuls of chili oil, I still managed to clear the entire plate! I knew right then, it’s pointless to start counting calories in Hong Kong! I wondered how Hong Kong girls stay so thin. The next day I was to find out.
It is not only the food which is noteworthy in Hong Kong. I witnessed some of the most breathtaking views and vistas I have seen world over. Victoria Habour is listed as one of the worlds most beautiful harbors and understandably so. There are few places I've been which have truly given me a sense that I was witnessing something special. Believe me, this is one of them. If there is one place you should visit whilst you are in Hong Kong, this is it. I personally preferred the view at night when the habour is lit up. Although if you have clear weather, I'm sure the day time would be equally as good. Seeing the harbour alone, made my trip more than worthwhile. If you are feeling flush and have money to spare, go for a drink or even stay at the Hotel Intercontinental. This hotel boasts views across the bay. I can only imagine how perfectly wonderful it would be to wake up with that view.
As the days passed on my return to Jakarta, I never seemed to stop feeling hungry! Somehow I’d managed to eat so much during my short time in Hong Kong. So much so, that I now crave the delicious food I ate whilst I was there. Unfortunately nothing can really compare to the food on the Island. The only option you have is to return. If you visit, be sure to try the famous Pineapple buns which are simply divine. A Pineapple Bun or Bo Lo Bao as they are famously known on the island, are delectable buns with a sweet coating. This will often come served with a slice of butter inside. These buns are typically served fresh from the oven and are beyond addictive! And contrary to the name, they do not taste of Pineapple. For the best buns, head over to Mong Kok and try the famous Kam Wah Cafe. It’s a small cafe located between Prince Edward and Mong Kok stations. It's easily reachable on foot from either station. Going to that cafe is a totally unforgettable experience, I am pretty sure you will not be disappointed. I fully intend on going there as soon as I'm back in Hong Kong.
Visiting Hong Kong is a truly memorable experience. Next time I plan to revisit places which I miss and find more to share with you on my blog. Unfortunately at the time of traveling I had not started to write this blog, so next time I will be sure to document all of the wonderful places I visited to guide you on your trip. Happy traveling guys!