Hong Kong – the first 48hours

You may have a read of my previous post Solo Trip to Hong Kong to get further tips for this trip.

Day 1 – Hello Hong Kong!

I got a ten hour afternoon flight from Sydney arriving Hong Kong at night.  Comfortable as economy class can possibly get. No one sitting next to me so had a good stretch. A few days before the flight, Qantas offered an upgrade to business class because of my fare type but I just couldn’t afford it. I got my favourite window seat though – near the wing, Had some amazing views of the landscape flying over Australia and Hong Kong. I was also determined to start and finish reading at least one book this trip. Little laugh to myself as I was reading Girl On a Train on the plane. Decided that on the return journey will watch the movie.

Upon arrival, I bought return airport express tickets and an octopus card for use on public transport. Check with your hotel if they offer you a mobile phone so you don’t need to get a sim card. I exchanged all my money at the counter here as well. The rates were not any better outside at the time and the dollar wasn’t that strong. I got the airport express (train) from the airport to Kowloon station. Got the K3 shuttle bus here directly to the hotel. It runs every 15minutes. The entire journey cost $90HKD (approx $15AUD) one way.

I stayed at Hotel Icon for the duration of my stay. The first night was about settling in, ordering room service,  and checking out a couple of maps to see what I would do the next day. The porter who took my bags up and showed me around was Ryan. I got so excited and he got shy and smiled when I said my son’s name was Ryan too.

Day 2 Aberdeen Harbour, Stanley, Repulse Bay.

Started the day with an amazing breakfast with so much to choose from. I then got the hotel shuttle bus to Harbour City which is located near the pier for the star ferry. Here I got a two day Big Bus pass for approximately $85 and caught the star ferry across Victoria Harbour to Central (Pier 7) . Due to the exchange rates at the time, it would have worked out cheaper to buy the ticket in Aussie dollars which they accepted but I had already exchanged them all at the airport.

Today I took the Green route .  Lots of architectural buildings around. Some were interesting, One looked like koalas sitting on a tree (Lippo Centre).

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The first stop is the The Peak Tram. I got put off by the queues so didn’t go, even though it was one of the places that I was really looking forward to visiting.

Repulse Bay

It was a beautiful drive to Stanley and Repulse Bay. This is a more relaxed side of Hong Kong. Some of the most expensive real estate can be found here too. Looks like a great place to unwind, picnic or take long walks. If I was a local I would definitely spend my weekends here. Perhaps it was because of the cool and cloudy day, but the beach was not so appealing for that quick dip (trying not to come across as a beach snob coming from Australia).

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I didn’t stick around long, but if I did, I would have tried high tea at Verandah . Old world charm with views while sipping my chai. Or relax with a cocktail or two at Limewood.

Stanley

Next stop Stanley Plaza. From here I made a quick visit to the Tin Hau (Goddess of the Sea) temple oddly located next to the plaza. In Asia, you will find temples amidst high rises and shopping centres.  With it is preserved some history and a glimpse of what was. Restructure and redevelopment continues around it. This particular one has seen some reno on the outside.

 

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Checked out the pet friendly Stanley Plaza itself then took a beautiful walk down the promenade and waterfront, Stanley market, and the beach front restaurants. No fashion mag or movie shoots happening on the day sorry to say.

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Stanley has a great beachside village vibe to it. I really enjoyed walking around here and would have done some tourist style shopping if I was up for spending. It is a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of downtown.

I came across this place called the The Boathouse . I would have eaten here simply because of the vibrant colour of this building!

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Aberdeen Harbour

Next stop on the Green route Big Bus tour is Aberdeen Harbour or Fragrant Harbour as it was known in the past due to the smell of incense wood that was exported from here. It included a a free ride on a traditional boat called sampan. These ones are motorised and more for tourist rides.  I was greeted by an elderly lady, found out these are mostly operated by them. It takes you for  a ride through boathouses where tribes of people still reside.

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The sampan ride made a pit stop at the famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant. It wasn’t my kind of place but I’m sure its worth a try just for the experience if I came with a group.

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This was a big day for me – may not seem like it. Back to the hotel with room service margherita pizza, curled up with my book (kobo) and finishing with a late night movie. Tonight was Will Smith and Margot Robbie. Hot combo in Focus.

Yes!! You read right.  I flew ten hours, checked into a five star hotel just to have pizza and movie night…every night!

 

 

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