As our Vietnam Visa is about to expire, we are doing a quick visa run to Hong Kong in order to renew it.
We already applied online for a new 3 month Visa for when we come back from Hong Kong.
DAY 1 IN HONG KONG
We take bus n.A21 for 33HKD (about 4.5USD) which will get us to the city in roughly one hour. The landscape coming from the airport is particular: tall, old looking, lined up apartment buildings rise up wherever there’s a minimum space, or in some cases artificial land has been built on the sea, whilst big green mountains cover the nearby background. Of course this is due to the country’s limited sprawl. Similar old buildings occupy the centre of the city too, in Kowloon and Tsim Sha Tsui.
Later we walk down south on Nathan Rd., passing by Kowloon Park and the quirky Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars.
We use the underground MTR to cross the sea and get to Hong Kong Island, the newest part of the city. As we planned previously, the first and main thing we want to do is to go for The Peak, which is pretty much self explanatory. We get help from a kind young man who literally escorts us to the bus stop where we can catch the shuttle bus that will take us up.
Not only buses and taxis run on the streets, but trams too. As a matter of fact trams were the first mean of transport installed in Hong Kong to face the steep climbs, and are still in use now, quite charming.
Finally we leave the urbanized area and are now projected into the green: the road is very scenic as we go uphill. Some luxury villas are nestled up here, as well as private schools and country clubs.
When we reach the top, Victoria Peak, we are surprised and kind of disappointed to find a mall on top of it! Didn’t expect that, but it’s a consequence of mass tourism. The building is similar to the one we found at the base of Seoul Tower, South Korea.
If one wanted to have a more nature oriented experience in Hong Kong, then Dragon’s Back is the place to go: we were told it’s a very nice hike, far less crowded, with access to a beach too. Unfortunately for us it’s a 3-4 hour trip that we cannot afford this time. Still there’s a cool loop to walk at The Peak, avoiding the mall.
Locals come here jogging, while enjoying great views on Victoria Harbour, the mountains and the city at sunset. However, the best panoramic view is definitely from the right side of The Peak. We spent some time walking around and now the night has come: Hong Kong skyline by night is just wow. Now all those skyscrapers don’t look bad at all!
Hunger comes upon us and we try to go back: the queue for the shuttle bus is eternal. Once downtown, we take the MTR up to Jordan, and choose a dim-sum restaurant close to Jordan Road. Here in Hong Kong we couldn’t miss local dumplings, dim sum!
DAY 2 IN HONG KONG
We wake up early to make the most of the half day we have left before catching our flight back to Da Nang, Vietnam.
We walk down to the beautiful sea front and Victoria Harbour, the most historical part of the city. Some old parts still remain, including the Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower and what’s left of the Kowloon City Wall. The view in front of us is impressive: tens, probably hundreds of skyscrapers dominate the view.
Although the underground MTR service is excellent, many locals still use the ferry boat to get to Hong Kong Island, and so do we, for only 7 HKD and a 10 minute cross.
We now find ourselves in the super modern financial area, it’s like the slow ferry boat made us jump 30 years into the future. We walk around and stop for a bite in popular Lan Kwai Fong, a famous street in a district full of restaurants and eateries.
As Hong Kong it’s often referred as “a place where East meets West”, we see some examples like Asian and European or American men wearing shirt&tie, eating dim sum and drinking a pint of beer like good old brits.
- Orchid Inn Hong Kong: about 25usd/night; very basic, only recommended if you are on a tight budget as we were. Otherwise look for hotels in Hong Kong here.
- Return flight Da Nang-Hong Kong: Hong Kong Express, 2 hours, we found an offer for 65 USD, check here for deals.
- Airport Bus A21: 33HKD (4.5USD), 1 hour;
- Octopus Card: valid for MTR, buses, trams; get it at the airport for 39HKD, refundable when you return it; fares from 5HKD;
- Victoria Harbour ferry boat: 7HKD, 10 minutes.
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