As soon as we arrived in Hong Kong we wished we had planned to stay longer!
We stayed at the Conrad Hotel on the top floor, which wasn’t too shabby. Onn our first full day we tried to see the highlights at our own, leisurely pace.
We took the ferry across to Kowloon. There are great views of Hong Kong from the ferry boat. Kowloon was just more metropolis. A lot of high end shopping, next to men working construction on bamboo (or some kind of wood) scaffolding! We had a great lunch at a place called Red Ant. It was really good - mostly noodle soups in big bowls with your choice of flavoring and meat. We were the only Westerners in the place, which for some reason made us proud - as if we had discovered a great local spot! Later we came across a big train station. A train was getting ready to depart to Macau. How cool we thought, a fun ride and another stamp in our passport! But, our passports were in the hotel safe, so we continued our tour on foot.
Next on our own tour was Stanley Market. It was a maze of shops selling everything from food, to souvenirs, to clothing. Great for browsing on an afternoon, but we didn’t find anything we couldn’t live without. Later we headed back to the hotel as we didn’t want to miss the free cocktails and snacks in the club floor lounge.
A must do was to take the tram to the top of Victoria Peak for the views of the city. It was a popular thing to do, which meant buying tickets then standing in a long line. When it was our turn to board we got to experience a bit of local culture. There is no patiently waiting your turn, or letting an elderly person or a mother with child go ahead of you. No. It’s every man for himself… full on crowding your way on, pushing others out of the way, scrambling, shoving, grabbing arms of the people your with so as not to loose them,… all in an effort to get on board and get the best seat. At least I guess that was the reason. Anyway, we made it to the top. There were gift shops, food and drinks for sale, and photographers eagerly wanting to take your souvenir photo. The views were meant to be best at dusk, so we got up there just as it was getting dark. Unfortunately, the clouds rolled in, so the views were just OK. We could see the city lights through the fog.
Later, we decided a beer would taste good. The concierge at the hotel had told us about an area called Lan Kwai Fong in central Hong Kong. We arrived to find a street party. The area was lined with pubs and everyone drinking their pints in the street. We later realized, after finding a couple bar stools, that if you want to sit and enjoy your beer, the cost is almost double. So, we stood with the crowd… all the while amazed that all of this was happening in Hong Kong. So unexpected, and in a good way!