In 2008, we embarked on our RtW trip, visiting seven countries. The first leg of our journey took us from busy London to busy Hong Kong. A different kind of concrete jungle, the city offers glorious views, glitzy skyscrapers, exciting junk rides and amazing sake bars.
Arriving in Asia for the first time was an eye opener. Our first long haul flight had gone smoothly and now we found ourselves in Hong Kong International Airport wondering how we were going to get to our hostel.
My sister had given us a bundle of information about the bus we needed to catch and where to get off, but now we needed to put it into practise.
Finding the bus wasn’t too bad as the airport has a really good information desk and everything is well sign posted.
Walking down the ramp to the bus it still hadn’t sunk in where we were or how long we would be away for. Hopping on the A12 bus we sat down and took in the view.
I still remember being amazed at how different it all was. Huge high-rise buildings disappearing into the sky with massive roads carving through the hills. A local woman helped us with the address and we got off at the stop she gestured at, which is closet to North Point Metro station.
My sister had said the Yes Inn Hostel was near impossible to find and on a couple of floors up. After a short walk we found the front door and lift to the reception. The staff were friendly and as it was our first time in a hostel, we opted for a private room double bed.
The room was small with a toilet in the room and a hole in the wall. (I guess this was instead of aircon!) As it was February it was freezing, and Cat harvested the blanket most nights!
Our first few days were filled with the zoological and Botanical gardens, which were beautiful and the amazing Happy Valley racecourse. This is quite a site as it sits in the middle of the skyscraper jungle.
We took a ferry to Cheung Chau for some lunch and a look around this well inhabitant island. The people were friendly and helpful and we were left along to look at the sights including Yuk Hui Temple.
A couple of days in and homesickness kicked in, for me. I was lucky I was with Catherine who could push me through it and cheer me up. After queuing early to catch the tram I still remember feeling blue.
The Peak Tram, with the amazing views and great weather, just further installed in me how far from home we were and how far we had to go.
On our final day we visited Tian Tan Buddha and Tai O fishing village. It was the fist giant Buddha I had ever seen and it was very impressive. We walked through the smoke from the incense sticks to the foot of the stairs where we could make out a shape from all the mist.
Due to the mist the view wasn’t great but the Buddha is why we had come. A quick bus ride to Tai O and we were crammed into little lanes of rivers and roads. A puffer fish was bought and then home.
Hong Kong has great food and with a stop off at Yoshinoya we went back to pack.
The last journey on the metro was to the airport via Hong Kong station.
Singapore here we come!
For more info on what to see in the city, click here.
London Heathrow to Hong Kong International Airport (12hrs)
Yes Inn Hostel
Things we did:
Zoological and Botanical gardens
Happy Valley racecourse
Tian Tan Buddha
Temple Street Night Market
Standard Octopus Card (HK$50)