tahlia takes HONG KONG

The Peak for anyone reading that has not been to hong kong, i suggest you book flights asap. it is truly unique and after being in the city for an hour i could see why it gets labelled as being a city that doesn’t sleep…

every tourist should visit the peak… the views are incredible (photo above and on my home page). take the tram up and make sure you pay that little bit extra to go right to the top as you get to breath in the 360 degree view of buildings, water and mountains. best time to go is about 9am before the line for the tram gets too long. at the top is also bubba gump shrimps restaurant for the forest gump fans. Bubba Gumps if you enjoy horse racing, you’re a gambler or love a huge crowd, vibrant atmosphere and a cold beer- do not miss the happy valley races. without a doubt, the largest grandstands i have ever seen and if you want to meet westerners in your travels then wednesday nights at happy valley are the place to be. Happy Valley ladies market– the best market in HK with everything from phone cases and strange techno gadgets to copy handbags and clothing. bartering is integral and you don’t want to be ripped off so take a look at my tips section. jump off the train at mong kok station and follow the signs. just around the corner is sneakers street, which is home to literally hundreds of nike, adidas and coverse stores. Ladies Market soho and the mid level escalators- a retro, fun area filled with bars, restaurants and burrito bars if you’re a mexican fan like me! i adored the local cuisine but to get a health fix my favourite was nood cafe as they have an awesome range of smoothies and fresh, healthy salads. the mid level escalators are massive and along the way you’ll also find food produce markets and plenty of cheap massage spots. Nood whilst in hong kong i stayed on hong kong island close by central station. whether you stay there or on kowloon, make sure you are close by a subway. the avenue of stars boardwalk gives you a spectacular view of hong kong island’s skyline. Avenue of Stars macau has been described as “asia’s las vegas” and even “vegas on steroids” and it is undoubtedly a gamblers heaven. another must do is taking a ferry to macau! visit as many hotels as you can but i recommend the venetian. the casino is wonderful, the hotel is incredible and the shopping centre is without a doubt the most beautiful centre i have ever seen. i felt like i was walking through venice due to the river canals throughout, gondola rides, buildings and the sky ceiling painting. The Venetian the ngong ping cable cars are a perfect and relaxing 25 minute ride giving you 360 degree views of hong kong. the cable cars travel about 6km up the mountain and once you’re at the top make sure you hike a little to see the tian tan buddha. i was blown away by how huge he was, definitely wasn’t tall enough to rub his belly. Tian Tan BuddhaNnong Pingvisit the ICC building for its spectacular views and have a cocktail at hong kong’s best sky bar, ozone. you can buy an expensive pass to go to the viewing deck but i would recommend just going to ozone on the 115th floor. the view is breathtaking and a must on your hong kong travels. Happy Valley TIPS:

  1. use the trains- they are well signed, come every few minutes and get you from a to b super quick. hong kong public transport is awesome so make sure you grab a route map and utilise it
  2. buy an octopus card- you can use this little beauty for trains, trams, tourist passes, any 7/11 or convenience stores, starbucks and some shops and restaurants. i even bought alcohol with it a few times. such a time saver and you can refill your card at the service counter of any subway station
  3. location is key for choosing a hotel- whether you stay in central hong kong or kowloon, make sure wherever you are that you’re near a subway. you could easily spend a long amount of time in hong kong exploring the ins and outs of the city but 5 days is ample to see the major attractions and get a feel of the city
  4. markets are for bartering! before you go make sure you’re aware of the currency. the dollar always changes but the standard rule of thumb is $30 hong kong dollars is $5 aus dollars so divide everything by 6 before you consider buying. be confident and stand your ground, they’ll come running trust me
  5. if you enjoy the beach and you’re blessed with nice weather, catch a bus and check out repulse bay and stanley beach/market. they are close by each other
  6. make the most of it! get a little drunk and jump on a random ding ding and get off wherever it takes you. you might end up meeting some europeans like i did and find yourself outside a nightclub having a sculling competition (yes it was captured on the gopro sorry mum). another highlight was pretending to be someone else and sneaking into a VIP party…
  7. lastly, hong kong is super hot and muggy in the summer so pack light. almost everyday i wore comfortable gym gear which made it so easy to walk about and carry bags

PHOTOS

1- The Peak, 2- Bubba Gump Shrimp, 3- Happy Valley Races, 4- Ladies Market, 5- Nood Café, 6- Avenue of Stars, 7- The Venetian Macau, 8- Ngong Ping, 9- Nnong Ping, 10- View from ICC Building

feel free to ask any questions about hong kong and comment if you have any recommendations or suggestions. you can subscribe to receive an email each time i make a new post by entering your email address at the bottom of the page.

tahlia x

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