We’re off is most famouon our final Hong Kong adventure to Lantau Island. There are lots of ways to get to Lantau. The cheapest is on the underground and bus. But, the most iconic transport is the cable car. You can pay extra for a private cabin, or a cabin with a glass bottom.
Flying across the mountains, watching the forest go by is serenity tempered with by fear. It really is an experience.
Lantau’s biggest attraction is the Big Buddha. As you fly over the hills the Buddha appears between the lush trees. Serenely sat atop the mountain, the Buddha is 26m tall and bronze. When you arrive at the terminal you will be in the created village, pass though this and follow the path to the steps to the Buddha. There are 268 steps to the top. You ascend these looking up a Buddha. When you reach the top there are magnificent views of the surrounding areas.
Lantau Island is also home to Po Lin Monastery. You are able to wander though the different areas of the temple and view the golden Buddhas within the temple. The area is full of birds and the sound of water.
A lovely, calm day out.
Today we are ready to get away from the hustle of the city and so are off on an adventure. We’re in search of a beach so we decide to head to Shek O.
Shek O can be reach via bus from Hong Kong Island, head to Shau Kei Wan Station and take bus 9. The drive it’s self is beautiful with sweeping views of Hong Kong’s shoreline, taking you up and over the Dragon’s Back. For the fit and unafraid there are brilliant hikes along this area.
We alight the bus at its last stop head down to the beach. There are changing rooms, showers, bathrooms and so on. The water is lovely, cool and clear. The beach is beautiful and it feels like a little slice of tranquillity.
We wander through the town and enjoying the winding streets. The look out over the peninsular is beautiful. We decide to have lunch at the café by the roundabout, the food is fresh and yummy.
Shek O might just be my favourite bit of Hong Kong.
Soooo….this is a love hate post. We embark on a walking food tour of Hong Kong. The tour takes place on Kowloon side, we head to Temple Street Night market, which is the place to head to for street food in Hong Kong.
There are many things that we experience on our couple of hours of food adventure. I won’t tell you them all and will definitely keep some secret so you are as surprised as we were.
We did try the famous stinky tofu, which I actually really enjoyed. It has a very strong flavour and is deep fried, served with chilli sauce. Also along the way we try some very unusual things…like snake soup….gluttonous…but not too unpleasant, though I was not super keen on the live snakes kept in the shop.
Over the evening we tried over 15 different things. Some good, some really not good (in my opinion), I would definitely still recommend the experience.
There are lots of options for food tours and lots of different ways to experience the Hong Kong street food, you can absolutely do this on your own as well!
Make sure you try before you leave Hong Kong:
Pineapple bun (the one at the top with the slab of butter)
We enjoyed all the bakeries and baked yummy things, there are so many options.
“Affluence isn’t affluence at all. Hong Kong is the benchmark; everybody else’s affluence is mere tat. Until you’ve experienced that perfume-washed air as polarized glass doors embrace you into a luxury hotel’s plush interior, you’ve only had a dud replica of the real thing.”
Jonathan Gash, Jade Woman
The first decision when heading to Hong Kong is whether you are staying on the island or main land. We opt for main land, because the hotel rooms are generally slightly bigger and slightly cheaper. We decided on Butterfly on Pratt due to its easy location, it is on the main land.
First thing to know when you arrive, is transport. At the airport head to the information booth and get an Octopus card. There are ordinary ones which you top up as normal and there are tourist Octopus cards, which include one or two airport line trips and two or three days of travel. The card its self can be exchanged for 100 dollar deposit on leaving. We opt for the three day tourist card and it is well worth the money. The transport system is great, easy to use and very well organised.
We arrive late on our first day and head into Kowloon on the airport train, then make the terrible mistake of thinking that we would be able to walk the short distance from the station rather than try to navigate further trains. Don’t do this. It is not a good idea! Eventually we admit defeat and follow the signs to the transfer bus. This is a free service that runs frequently all days of the week to the big hotels…much better idea.
We spend our first morning an a free walking tour (our fav!) of Hong Kong Island. This is a great tour with lots of interesting information about politics and the current situation in Hong Kong. I definitely recommend this as a great starting point for your trip.
This same group offer a “jump the cue tour” for the Victoria Peak Tram. We take advantage of this, and again I would recommend this, simply because it cut about an hour standing in the sun in a line. The Tram is great, really is something to experience. We then spend almost two hours walking around Victoria Peak enjoying the views, the countryside and the wildlife. There are amazing birds of prey and wild pigs rootling around. This is not what you would expect from Hong Kong…its cool and calm and blissful.
So ends our first foray into Hong Kong. Bring on the rest of the trip!
More information on the Free Walking Tours
We are looking at the blank slate that is 2018 and making some plans and brainstorming some ideas for the year to come.
We’ve booked in a trip to Australia and to Hong Kong and are raring for that one. We are making plans for a trip to Wales and possibly back to Edinburgh.
Also on the cards is a British Sign language course or many a French Class. We are definitely signing up for a cooking course and have an adventure in Covent Garden planned.
But….we are on the look out for inspiration, what should we do? Where should we go? What are your favorites?
Making plans is full of excitement!