I arrived to Hong Kong on a Thursday afternoon and it, to me, is just one of those cities you automatically connect with. You know the feeling when your eyes connect with a handsome stranger and you’re not sure if you should act normal or go over and say some thing… We stayed at the Citadines/ Mercer in Sheung Wan (near Central). The staff was great and kept making references to Wakanda every time they saw us! The room was spacious, for Hong Kong standards. I think what actually sold me on the room and its price tag was the bathtub. My apartment in Shanghai doesn’t have one…actually none of my apartments in China have came with one. So of course I indulged.
For money, I used my union pay debit card at an atm in the airport and exchanged some cash I had on me as well since the exchange rate was “aihhht” at the airport.
I highly recommend purchasing the Octopus card. I found myself swiping it left and right as I maneuvered the city solely via train and public transport.
Once we were settled we went out into the streets to our first stop “Rummin’ Tings”. The restaurant located on Hollywood road is Jamaican themed. The menu options were pretty decent being all the way in Asia. However there was no beef patties, plantains or any rum punch *cues violins. I’d still give them an A for effort because the staff was so friendly and helpful (she offered to make me her own rendition of a rum punch).
After we finished at Rummin’ Tings, we continued on Hollywood road. The first few days of a vacation are the best days to go out and be a completely new person (new diet, new fitness goals, new outfits…). Day 1 in Hong Kong didn’t come to a close until super late and that’s not even with the things I had on my schedule for that day (like walk to the top of Victoria Peak, laughable). We took Hollywood road trying to get to Victoria Peak’s tram so we could see the famous skyline. Along the way, google took us through the cutest little park, filled with children, fountains, monkeys, more children….hahaha monkeys…I enjoyed the monkeys.
After cutting through the park, we made it to our destination and quickly headed somewhere else . The line was massive! MASSIVE and I wanted no parts of it.
Side note: To be fair, weekend we visited Hong Kong was during a Chinese holiday AND the sevens (any rugby fans?). Something you can always count on while traveling, especially throughout Asia, are hoards of Chinese tour groups (buses full to be exact).
There was no way I was going to wither away for an hour in the sun, getting lost within the pit full of flags that separated the tour leaders from the actual group members. We ended up trekking to the top the next morning and though it was grueling it was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. Literally some of the steepest inclines I have stepped foot on.
I would love to tell you that I hit the streets after a relaxing bath but the reality is I pretty much slept in my super comfy bed all day wrapped in my robe watching random cartoons on the t.v. I was exhausted. The trek was almost 2 miles, uphill and took roughly an hour…but i’d do it all again. I’m thankful that I had edge control on demand however because what afro sister does not care about her edges
which were in full bloom after that impromptu workout?
That night I made my way to the harbor to catch the light show at 8pm. Maybe it was just where I was standing but I was not impressed. Everyone said that while in Hong Kong I should go see the “Symphony of lights”. I went on google to find some of the best locations for viewing and…there were barely any lights! If anyone has been to Hong Kong and believe I was genuinely at a bad spot, let me know!
After the “stunt” by the bay though, I visited a popular night market. I’m not a fan of seafood so I didn’t sit and eat at the many street food vendors but the aroma was pleasant. China of course also has many markets so the need to stock up on knock offs and goodies wasn’t necessary. Really I’m a terrible shopper…I picked up a painting, some incense from an antique store, a fake tattoo, and some fridge magnets that reminded me of life before responsibilities…because #adulting.
I actually enjoy bargaining. I like to say I got the “cheap” bone from my dad. I don’t like comparing currencies when I travel. Whatever the currency is of the country I’m in, I want the lowest price in it. I don’t care if I WOULD pay more back in the states…I’m in Asia and I want a decent price. Is that wrong? If the day comes when I must go broke, it won’t be because of my travel habits. You budget for what’s important to you.
So like I was saying…”I want 5 magnets for 30 HKD please.
Vendor: 100 HKDMe: Walks awayVendor: Okay my friend, 50…Me: I said, 30…continue walking…Vendor: Okay, okay…30! Only for you.
End of the conversation, Thank you!!!
If it came to me choosing the subway over driving in a car I’d choose the subway. They’re on a set schedule and on time, there is NO traffic and since I tend to I get car sick, it has remained my preferred mode of transportation wen applicable. So excuse me if I enjoy posing on trains, but why not? I’m not a fan of red but the color was everywhere and so vibrant throughout the whole city. What I LOVED about the Hong Kong metro, subway, whatever you refer to it as…it was CLEAN! There was no rancid smells of urine in the corners. There was no overcrowding, no spitting (yes, in China they spit ON the trains), an absolute dream.
Not even half way through my trip and when it came to Hong Kong, I had already claimed it as a city I could spend the rest of my life with. The charm was there; magical, creative, clean and knew how to treat a lady. Which is more than a lot of the men i’ve come across in Shanghai.