One thing about Hong Kong is that it’s located further up North than Singapore, which means that it ‘feels’ the seasons more than we do, if you get what I mean.
Actually, what I mean is that if you visit Hong Kong in the summer (like we did) the sun rises at like 5.45am and by 6.45am the streets of the city look like this, because the days are fairly long:
We woke up bright and early on the last morning of our adventure in Hong Kong to visit the one tourist spot that you must go to when you’re in Hong Kong. No, not Disneyland- The Peak.
Located at the top of a mountain (because well, it’s The Peak), it’s accessible via bus or tram, and provides you with a scenic, 360 degree view of Hong Kong. The tram station is located smack in Hong Kong’s bustling Central area, which is home to their equivalent of our Central Business District, so from The Peak you get to see both modern architecture and the lush, green mountains of Hong Kong. Also known as Victoria’s Peak, the top of The Peak also boasts many restaurants and shops (from McDonald’s to Coach).
We left our hotel at 6.45am, and took the public bus up the mountains to get to The Peak. We got there at around 7.30am, and explored the area while waiting for the free observation deck to open at 8am. If you want to enjoy the view without jostling with a million other people, I would actually recommend going to the Peak early in the morning. Nothing is open, only the locals and a few other crazy tourists are there, so it’s fairly peaceful and you get to enjoy the scenery in relative peace.
We couldn’t access the paid observation deck, because it only opens at around 10am (if I’m not wrong) but the free one is good enough. We were lucky that it was a clear, warm day- it can get a bit misty and chilly depending on the time of day and the time of year. There’s also a Madame Tussauds and a Trick-Eye Museum there, so if you go later in the day at a more reasonable hour you’ll be able to enjoy the other attractions available at The Peak.
Here are some nice panoramas, taken by my brother B (or as he calls it, “money shots”):
He also experimented with ‘cloning’ people using the panorama mode on the camera, which turned out pretty well:
After exploring The Peak, we headed back down the mountain via the Peak Tram. The Tram has been running since 1888 (and obviously has been modernised since then) and it acts as a train service for people who live up the mountain and don’t want to take the bus. As with all things in Hong Kong, you pay for your tram ride with your octopus card.
Seriously, if you ever visit Hong Kong, get an octopus card to travel around. It’s equivalent to our Singapore TransitLink card (or for older people like me, the EZLink card), except it’s more widely accepted. You can use it at convenience stores, on practically all forms of public transport (bus, train and tram)… even some snack kiosks take it, so it’s very handy.
The tram is interesting because if you take it up the mountain, you face forward. If you’re taking it down the mountain, like we did, you sit facing backwards, and as with all hills in Hong Kong it can get pretty steep, so it’s an interesting experience.
After getting off the tram, we took the train and headed back to our hotel, where we had breakfast and I had my final dose of these yummy pancakes:
They come out of a Popcake machine, which is sort of like a dummy-proof DIY pancake-making machine. We discovered them on our first breakfast at the hotel, and it produces such fluffy yummy pancakes we had them every day after that.
After breakfast, it was back to our rooms to shower, pack up, and check out, before journeying to the airport via a special hotel airport bus to return back to Singapore.
Hong Kong was an amazing experience, and I had such a great time! We really enjoyed ourselves, seeing the sights, exploring the city, eating the food (I actually gained a bit of weight oops) and it was awesome spending time as a family 😀
A few of my friends have requested a ‘#hkbound15 loot picture’. I really didn’t shop much (I’m not the hardcore shopping type and I was too busy eating), but here’s the stuff I got for myself from Hong Kong, in a terrible photograph because I’m a lazy sod:
I got two shirts from Espirit (the one on the left and in the centre) at 69HKD each from the outlet store in Citygate Outlets, and the cool graffiti R2D2 at 129HKD from the Uniqlo store in Causeway Bay. The R2D2 shirt is from a new Star Wars collection that is part of Uniqlo’s Global T-shirt Design Competition 2015- I’m not sure if it’s available in Singapore yet, but it was cool so I got it 😀
That’s all for the #hkbound15 edition of #StefGlobeRollin! I hope you guys enjoyed my blog posts and that I didn’t put you to sleep 😛 if there’s anything more you want to know about Hong Kong, feel free to drop me a line! There’s no guarantee I’ll be able to help you much, but I’ll try my best.
Thanks for sticking with me through #hkbound15! Here’s to more fun adventures ahead 😀 Cheers!