Hello Hong Kong! This is the “All You need To Know Hong Kong” Blog
After months of anticipation, we couldn’t have been more excited to board a flight. Finally, we were on our way to our first stop, Hong Kong!
We arrived in the early morning, both ready to take on the day and explore this bustling city. Backpacks in hand, we navigated through the airport and onto the MTR (their subway system) to get to our hostel in Causeway Bay.
Surprisingly, for such a large city, Hong Kong is easy to get around. The MTR is a great way to see Hong Kong in a breeze. (Pro Tip: if you plan on staying a week, or more be sure to purchase an Octopus card straight away. This card is good for the MTR subway and busses to get around the city and is the most cost effective!) We didn’t learn about the Octopus card soon enough and purchased both the Tourist Day Pass and Single One Way tickets, but it was still relatively cheap.
We spent a total of four nights in the city and tried to explore as much as possible. Continue reading for details on what we saw and where we ate!
All You need To Know Hong Kong
Things To Do
Yick Fat Building
This building is one of the most iconic “Instagram” spots in Hong Kong. The building itself is massive and home to a community of people who endure hundreds of people taking photos in their courtyard everyday. We made sure to stop by early in the morning to avoid the crowds and to explore the building before it got busy.
Choi Hung Estate
An architectural wonder, home to over 18 thousand people. This was another famous photo spot. The building itself highlights vibrant rainbow colours and 70’s art deco. Whilst there, we were among many taking pictures, however the community went on with their daily routines. Kids played basketball, and the elderly continued their outdoor exercises.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
We took the train outside the city to get to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. Easily mistaken for a cemetery, we ended up walking up what we thought was the Monastery, only to come to find that it was an old cemetery for people to come to pay their respects to their loved ones. After walking up this massive cemetery, the two of us went back down and asked the guards the way to the Ten Thousand Buddhas. Lesson learned, be sure to read the signs at the bottom of the hill, before you decide to walk up the wrong path! Anyways… once we actually got to the Ten Thousand Buddha’s Monastery it was incredible. The hike was lined with Ten Thousand gold plated Buddhas all with different facial expressions. Their intricate details and the view of the mountain with the city in the backdrop was incredible. If you have enough time to leave the city for the afternoon to visit this Monastery we strongly suggest you do. It was absolutely breathtaking.
This is where you go to party! Lan Kwai Fong is a street lined with fun bars and yummy street food. We spent a night out there with George’s friend Andy from University. The music is always loud and the drinks are always being poured. Pro Tip: drinks in Hong Kong are very expensive at the bars. Go to a 7/11 before and buy a cheap six pack before your night out it will save you loads!
Nan Lian Gardens
A peaceful garden space nestled in the middle of the city. Nan Lian Gardens was so quiet and relaxing to walk around in the late afternoon. They had an awesome bonsai tree garden that blew us away. Overall a great place to spend an afternoon exploring.
All You need To Know Hong Kong
Where To Eat
Tim Ho Wan
This was our first Dim Sum experience in Hong Kong and let me tell you it did not disappoint. It was one of the cheapest Michelin Star restaurants, so we were very excited to give it a try. We ordered the baked bun with BBQ pork, Ha Jiao (steamed shrimp dumplings), steamed pork dumplings with shrimp, and fried spring rolls. We must admit we were new to the whole Dim Sum thing and didn’t know the customs. First they give you free hot tea always, second you must flag the waiter down to take your order, lastly you get up to pay at the register after. Hopefully this will help you at your first Dim Sum restaurant.
Ho Hung Kee Congee & Noodle Wanton Shop
Another Michelin Star restaurant famous for their shrimp wonton noodle. We ate here for dinner one night and both ordered their famous dish. It was very good, however we did wish we had ordered more to get the full restaurant experience.
Din Tai Fung
Famous Taiwanese Dim Sum restaurant. They have them all over the world and we have been to the one in Los Angles, but it was so good that as soon as we found out there was one right next to our hotel, we knew we had to go. We ate so much, but the noteworthy dish has to be their famous pork soup dumplings. Ah… my mouth just waters thinking about them now.
The Iron Fairies
Okay, we won’t lie this place is EXPENSIVE! However, with an atmosphere and interior design like this, they can charge pretty much whatever they want. When you step inside, the entire roof is covered with real butterflies, each individually strung from a string. The tables are in old iron melting crucibles which is also very cool. We could only afford one drink here, but if we weren’t budget traveling we would have loved to had dinner too!
Overall, we really enjoyed our week in Hong Kong and felt as though it was the perfect first stop for us on our year long trip.
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