Riding the Peak Tram to see views of the city from Victoria Peak. Perusing the Ladies Markets on Tung Choi Street. Strolling down the ‘Avenue of the Stars’ promenade along the harbour front. Taking the Star Ferry from Kowloon Peninsula over to Central in the evening, timed with the ‘Symphony of Lights‘ skyscraper light show. Admiring astonishing sea creatures in the huge aquarium, doing a trillion loop-the-loops on crazy roller-coasters, and riding the gondola overlooking a beautiful coastline at Ocean Park theme park. Lighting a candle at the Man Mo Temple and finding antique gems on Hollywood Road. Learning about fascinating Chinese medical histories and advances at the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences in Sheung Wan Province.
The travel money card that I had pre-loaded with Hong Kong Dollars ($HK) just would not work at any of the many ATMs I tried. Remember to always have a second option when it comes to travel finances.. you never want to find yourself strapped for cash overseas! Luckily, I had a credit card for back up (recommended!).
You need need need to grab yourself an ‘Octopus Card‘ for riding on Hong Kong’s public transport networks. I purchased a card for $HK150 that came with $HK100 free credit and received $HK50 back as a refundable deposit – if that’s not a bargain I don’t know what is! And that initial amount saw me all around the city on the MTR over 4 days -Bonus! (They can also be loaded with cash for use at convenience stores and supermarkets, etc.).
When exploring any big city, more than likely, you are going to end up pounding a bunch of pavement and for this you are 100% going to need comfortable footwear. For any big day on the feet I just can’t live without my NIKE trainers – with a huge election of fun colours available these sporty shoes will have your tootsies feeling and looking fab all day long (and you don’t always have to pair them with sports clothes either)! THE place for all your big name brand sports gear at pretty good prices in Hong Kong is Fa Yuen Street.
If you’re planning on exploring all the fantastic shops in the ginormous very clean and very sparkly shopping malls (such as Hysan Place, the Times Square Mall, and the IFC Malls), make sure to take a warm top with you as they seriously crank the air-conditioning in these joints. The extreme temperature differences between the hot and sticky streets and the cool interiors of the malls could leave you with a chill or cold if you’re not careful!
A Passion for Fashion:
There was a truly fantastic selection of fake or rip-off brand sunglasses to be found at the Temple Street Night Markets – I’m a firm believer that one can never have too many sunglasses (I may or may not have 11 pair stashed in my suitcase) and priced at between $HK69-89 a pair of these snazzy sunnies will have you looking fabulous without breaking the budget!
Girls – have some fun and easy up do’s ready for exploring Hong Kong. Cute top knots or high ponies are the go here – with high humidity and temperatures above 30°C, backs and necks get super sweaty, super fast, and you don’t want long hair anywhere near them, trust me!
Believe it or not I actually struggled to find eateries serving cheap authentic Chinese cuisine! There was western food to be found everywhere I looked. One place I would recommend however was a rooftop restaurant called ‘The Glasshouse‘ on the top level of the IFC Mall. There I gorged on small plates of delectable small fried fish, marinated chicken thighs and tempura prawns topped off with a sensational peach juice-based mocktail presented in a fun little glass jug.