Traveling Hong Kong
What we loved…
Malls – After you’ve experienced the relentless heat of a long Hong Kong summer’s day, you will learn that their super modern, deliciously scented, and immaculately clean luxury malls are your best friends. They are colder than cold at all hours. Plus they are the best place to watch wheeling suitcase-toting Hong Kongers participate in their national sport – shopping. Malls may not be your typical tourist stop, but when traveling Hong Kong, they should not be missed.
Getting out of the city – Whether it’s to go to the beach, to hike one of Hong Kong’s many trails (like Victoria Peak or Tian Tan Buddha), or to go check out the famous pink dolphins and traditional fishing villages of Lantau Island, Hong Kong offers some great escapes from the hustle and bustle of the overcrowded concrete jungle.
Never sleeps – If New York is the city that never sleeps, then Hong Kong is the country that never sleeps. There are always people out and about, and always something to do. If only the neon signs gave off vitamin D, you could party all night and sleep through the debilitatingly hot days.
What we didn’t love…
Malls – I know, we just said this was one of our favorite parts of Hong Kong. We love the air conditioning, cleanliness and people watching, but we don’t actually want to participate in day-long shopping trips. Why would I travel halfway across the world to go to the same stores my neighborhood mall has back home? Hong Kong is literally mall after mall after mall. I don’t have money to spend at a mall, and I certainly don’t have room for more stuff. The malls offer a nice respite and some great cultural insight, but don’t get sucked in for too long. There’s so much more to explore!
Accommodation – If you find affordable accommodation that isn’t super sketchy in Hong Kong, you deserve an award. Lots of the affordable guest houses and hostels are in the Chung King Mansions. The elevator lobby feels like standing in a refugee camp, except everyone is trying to reach into your pockets, literally and figuratively. There’s only one elevator per 20 stories, and no option of a stairwell (hmm, what would happen in an emergency?). The rooms themselves are fine by our standards, but after traveling on a tight budget for so long, our standards are pretty low. I think most people would be pretty displeased, to say the least.
Heat – I realize we can’t control the weather, but that doesn’t make the Hong Kong heat any more bearable. And it’s hot year-round. There’s no time of year you can visit where it won’t be hot. Well, I suppose by Hong Kong Standards, winter is just warm instead of crazy hot. I’m a California girl. I don’t do winters. I’m all about sunshine and heat, but traveling Hong Kong is a whole different king of heat. Its humid heat is oppressive.