Back in January, I went on a solo trip to Hong Kong. Not so much of backpacking, but more of hiking, eating and meeting my friend, Toby! Hong Kong’s really similar to Singapore with skyscrapers and similar-looking buses. All-in-all, I enjoyed the short getaway to Hong Kong.
I am pretty lucky because I have a Hong Kongese to help me out in the city. It does get pretty overwhelming because everyone speaks Cantonese. Speak Mandarin, and you’re literally frowned upon. I found it simpler and less of a hassle when I spoke English.
(This just means that I have to learn a bit of Cantonese!) I prefer speaking in the local language. You do get a bit of discounts…. (hahaha) But really, it’s easier to make friends that way.
We happened to come across a Farmers’ Market near the Kowloon Pier, and we took the ferry over to Victoria Island! I find it so cool that taking a ferry is actually one of the modes of public transportation in Hong Kong?! It’s pretty cheap too. I found it weird because Singapore is just one island. 😛
The next day, I went up the tram to Victoria Peak. It was a rather gloomy day so I couldn’t see the views across Hong Kong. Nonetheless, I did a trek around the peak and took a bus to Shek O Beach. The journey there was very empty and enjoyable despite the weather.
I took a while to hike around Victoria Peak, had bubble tea (even though it was freezing cold) and then went to the beach. Could’ve hiked Dragon’s Back but went against the idea because of the (rather) heavy rain.
Cheung Chau Island. My friend showed me to the island via ferry and we really had a wonderful time hiking despite the weather. I swear Hong Kong is really so cool, because the ferry ride to another island is so so affordable!
We hiked around the entire island in a day, and climbed through a “pirate’s” cave. I really didn’t like climbing into unknown places, so Toby went in first haha. We had ice cream mochi (twice!) and it was so, so good. I didn’t know that mochi is a specialty of Cheung Chau Island, and I’m so glad I managed to try it. Btw, they had mango flavour which was so good. 😀
Had fishballs too, and they were made spicy. Like, really spicy. Such an awesome respite from the cold. When you have a warm tummy, all’s good! 🙂
When we came back to Victoria Island, we explored Hong Kong University’s campus. There was a demonstration area where students can rally for causes. I found that really cool, because NTU used to have one as well.
Then…. Toby invited me over to her home for dinner. No photos here because privacy, but I had such a good dinner it was so amazing. Nothing beats homecooked food. *love*
As my friend’s home is located on Tsing Yi, a residential area “island”, it was so close to one of the bridges – Tsing Ma Bridge. We hiked up a local hill after dinner – totally pitch black. Trusted Toby 100% because she hiked the mountain very often… but only in the day. It was her first time hiking at night and there were no lamp posts to guide the way. Nonetheless, experience beats everything so we managed to view… this…
Thinking back, knowing a local allowed me to experience these moments that cannot be bought just on a backpacking trip. Really thankful for the friendships I’ve made locally and overseas, especially during my stay in South Korea for summer studies. Thank you Toby! *heart*
It was my last full day in Hong Kong. There was 1 place left to explore (I wanted to explore the Northeast region of Hong Kong, but time didn’t allow me to do so!) – Lantau Island!
Hiked up the steps to see the Tian Tan Buddha, walked the perimeters and just gazed into the distance. I feel that Hong Kong’s nature is really much to be raved about. Sure, Hong Kong’s food is really amazing (dimsum!!) but the views are just as spectacular.
Went to Tai O Fishing Village by bus as well, and managed to walk around. Didn’t go on a boat ride because it was expensive. Nonetheless, I had more fishballs and mochi. Toby wasn’t with me so I was alone on Day 4. It was a rather relaxing day. The weather was still gloomy but the sunshine peeked through the clouds occasionally throughout the day.
I took the bus back to Ngong Ping, and instead of taking the cable car down… I hiked down! It was terrifying, to say the least, but the views were amazing.
Nothing spectacular! Just slept in and woke up in time to leave for my flight home.
This trip was a great start to 2018. Meeting Toby again was awesome and it just brought back great memories from Summer 2017. Delicious food, wonderful companion, beautiful views – all despite the gloomy weather. (The weather cleared up right when I left Hong Kong!)
I really want to go back again, but I have a few trips coming up. I wish the world was even smaller… well, what a stupid wish!