This place has surprised me. It was never on my travel radar but I love it. Bustling streets, weird food, beautiful beaches, exceptionally clean streets and good fun to be had with the locals.
After being back in the UK for 14 days, we flew out to Hong Kong for a few days. The flight was 11hr 30mins. We flew Cathay Pacific and the plane was huge, the food was great and they provided lots of snacks in between meals. Travel days are always bad on the waistline for us. Haha.
The plane was predominantly filled with Chinese people and the menu was set to mostly cater to them, but we didn’t mind. We had rice with spicy pork and broccoli for dinner then chicken and veg noodles for breakfast. Chinese pot noodles were served in between, and we could help ourselves to nuts, crisps, cookies, popcorn and chocolate! 😋
The Chinese don’t tend to eat their food in any particular order. The starter was ham with coleslaw, then pork, rice and broccoli followed by a small bar of chocolate. The guy sitting next to us was dipping his fork into everything at once. Coleslaw, rice and a bite of breadroll all went into his mouth together, then the chocolate and pork went in. Very strange 🤔
On arrival into Hong Kong we had missed out on a full nights sleep. We were shattered. It was 9am when we got to the hotel but to us it was 2am the previous night 😪.
We dropped our bags off in the Hilton Hotel (we went a bit posh for this trip) and set off to explore. The streets were smelly and bustling with people and cars. Everywhere to be seen is high rise flats, just so they can cater for the amount of people that need housing.
This is our street above. We headed out to get breakfast (it was 3am to our body clock, but 10am here) wanton and noodle soup sat in a little scruffy eating house. Couldn’t really call it a restaurant haha.
We tried our best eating it with chopsticks and a Chinese pot spoon. The woman who worked there was watching us and gave us 2 forks to get our noodles with. She then let out a huge burp and didn’t say a word! 😕
We left there and decided to go back to the hotel to see if we could check in. As we were walking down the street a guy cuts in front of us and ducks down so he could spit in the rubbish bin!! I forgot how socially unaware they are with their bodily functions. One man was sat on a wall picking his nose and examining his find. He didn’t care who could see him lol.
The streets are filled with tall buildings, each window having washing hung out on coat hangers so it could dry in the searing heat. It was 29 degrees (feeling like 34) at 11am.
Some of the buildings were being renovated. The scaffold that they use is bamboo tied together with plastic wraps. It doesn’t look safe at all!
We managed to grab a couple of hours sleep before going back out into the streets again. We walked towards the water front and sat and admired the skyline for a while. The heat and jet lag take it out on you.
Evening meal was had at a little run down street food stall that served us chicken with rice and vegetables and a spicy sauce, that we gave a wide berth. The last thing we want is a dodgy stomach with only being here for 6 days. We bought some Yakult pro biotic yogurt drinks to help provide healthy bacteria for our guts.
Before heading back to the hotel we meandered through the night markets. Kev bought himself a bag that he’d been after for a while and managed to get a good rip off one for £10. 😀
By the time we’d got back to the hotel at 9.30pm we’d walked 11 miles and was ready for our bed. The hotel has a stunning view on an evening.
Previous to 1st July 1997 Hong Kong was part of the British Empire. You can still see parts of the British influence. Street names, area names etc. Every sign is in both Chinese and English (although not always translated well 😂)
Subway announcements are also in both languages so you always know which station you’re at, it’s hard to get lost on it.
Our second day was spent exploring the waterfront and the Old Town, which was fascinating. It was filled with traditional herbal medicine shops, and lots of fruit and vegetable stalls. All this was mixed with sky scrapers and modern buildings. Office workers were taking lunch in the street food cafes (these are the type of places we love to eat).
The waterfront is impressive. It has a fantastic skyline that is even better when lit up on an evening. It beats New York hands down. We had a bit of a heat haze going on during the day so some of the buildings were hardly visible at one point.
We took a local bus to a nearby district called Aberdeen and also to Stanley. Kev told the driver we wanted to get off at Blue Water Bay. Thank god the driver knew he meant Deep Water Bay! Kev can’t even get the words right in English 🤔.
Deep Water Bay was a gorgeous beach surrounded by green hills, with white sands and a bright yellow shark net surrounding the bay!!! 😲 Apparently there was a shark in the bay in 2015.
You see a very different side to Hong Kong. It has some great beaches and harbours. We walked around the coastline to the next bay. The water was crisp, clear and a beautiful shade of green.
We went to one called Repulse Bay. I couldn’t find anything repulsive about it…at first.
And then we saw this….😕
It’s a very garish Chinese shrine 😕. The views though from the other side made up for it.
Time for a quick selfie 😀 one in the traditional British “pouting pose” 😚and one in the traditional Chinese pose ✌
We sat on the beach for an hour, on a beach mat that Kev brought, and I had a paddle it the water. I struggle getting up when sat on a beach as I need to push myself up with my hands (dodgy knees). As I’d positioned myself to get up, Kev came over and pushed me back over in the sand! I was fuming so I got his mat and covered it in sand then walked off and left it! Childish? Yep, but it felt good. 😂 I then went and punched him gently in the stomach for good measure. 😄
The harbour area was full of different types of boats. It’s a thriving fishing area where local fishermen will bring their catch in and sell it from from the boats.
Whilst walking along we saw a guy sat down with his shirt tucked up. His back was covered in bruises. The Chinese have an alternative therapy called “cupping”.
The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite. It looks horrendous though!
Hong Kong is part of mainland China but also has many Islands surrounding it, including Hong Kong Island. All around is luscious green mountains. You can take a tram to the peak of one of these mountains. We decided to do this but instead of the easy option of taking the tram back down, Kevin got us one way tickets. ….so we could walk down!
The views at the top were quite heady. We were looking down on the huge sky scrapers that we’d been looking up at!
Then walk back down was horrendous. Neither of us have walked down anything so steep before. My knees were literally shaking with the pressure on them. I was groaning out loud, with the pain. My husband, my rock, says “come on tubby, no pain no gain” 😞.
We saw a very small sandpit with a picture of a dog having a poo. The sign said “Dog Latrine”. I turned to Kev and asked “How do you get your dog to crap in in a small specific spot like that?”. Cheeky git said “I’d lift you into it!” 😲.
We reached the bottom of the mountain and carried on through the steep streets to the town below. We were both shattered, and with our knees aching we stopped in a small park to get get a drink and recover. It was not dissimilar to Central Park. It had some cracking birds in it too.
King George VI above.
Kev had been researching in the Lonely Planet book where to eat in the area we were. He’d found one that said it had great food, cheap and full of locals. Just the type of place we like. We set off trying to find it. We got to where we thought it was and there was a few eateries. One had birds of various kinds that had been cooked and strung up and large dishes full of cooked gizzards in the window. “Oh no, I hope that isn’t it” I said. We then spotted the Lonely Planet recommendation sticker in the window 😣. Not a prayer we were eating in there! We need to see photos so we know what we’re eating and can point to it. A bit like this one 😂
Breakfast for 2 days was purchased from this little stall. We had steamed pork and vegetable dim sum, to take away. We turned down the other delights, one was chickens feet and the most respectable was a chicken and fruit salad spring roll!?!
You never know what you’re eating but as long as it looks and tastes OK were happy to eat it. The meat they get from the butchers are hung out on unrefrigerated stalls in the street markets collecting god knows what on them! 😂. I eating stuff like this builds your immune system 😉.
We took an old fashioned tram to a more upmarket part of the city. Designer shops were in abundance as were expensive sports cars. A small side street took our eye with beautiful red lanterns above our heads. We took a walk down and a stall was offering free flower arranging class. Obviously I joined in. 😀
Pretty pleased with my glass bottle.
They took loads of photos of me with “Aunt Cherry” (the young girl taking the class) as I was was the only western person there and they wanted it for their Facebook page.
A friend told us to try Shek O Beach as it was supposed to be really nice. It was crystal clear waters, green hills and white soft sand. Sounds perfect right? Not when the bloody sand sticks everywhere and you can’t get it off, 😣.
The beach was full of Australians and Chinese. The Chinese hate the sun, as they crave white faces and skin. They wear huge hats and cover their arms with slip on sleeves (like socks for your arms). When stood at a zebra crossing they wait in the shade for the lights to change, so at first you’re stood on your own near the road, the lights change then they’re like vampires appearing from the shadows and suddenly you’re in the middle of a crowd 😂. Give them a phone and they are forever taking selfies. This is what was happening on the beach. It was driving Kev bonkers. One girl had her mum and her friend take photos of her in a pair of skimpy shorts and crop top for over 20 minutes!! She had a bag of “props” including hats, bags and sunglasses and had photos taken in everyone of them in various positions. The laugh was she’d walked on one beach dressed as though it was Winter 😂😎. Street cleaners tend to be covered the most as they’re out all day.
Probably 90% of the people here walk/tip toe around with their heads down looking at their phones. I am obsessed with my phone but these are shocking. It drove us nuts walking at a snails pace only to find the person in front playing on Candy Crush or on Facebook.
Anyway, I digress, we stayed on the beach for about an hour, then we’d had enough. We took a bus back to a small town nearby and found a bakery selling freshly baked cheese topped long rolls (like a huge soft hot dog roll) and coconut tarts. We couldn’t resist 😉. We binged on carbs. Haha the coconut tarts were still warm so we had 2 each 🐖. Oops 😮.
For 23p for an hour’s ride, we took an old fashioned tram back to the centre and went to watch the Hong Kong Semi Cup Final football game at Mongkok stadium. The only seats we could get were the “expensive” ones. We paid the £7.50, bought some dim sum and sat to watch the game. There wasn’t a hot dog, pie or burger in site but you could get noodles or dim sum. 😁
They had a small band and about 10 people were singing English football songs and American baseball songs! 🤔 I don’t think I’ll be going to another Asian football game. I don’t even understand the rules, I only go for the atmosphere 😅.
On our way back from the game we walked down a busy shopping street. All down the middle was filled with numerous Karaoke stands and bands playing, with locals dancing round to the music. We stopped to watch. Not one person dancing had ANY rythm but they didn’t care, they were enjoying moving to the music. It was infectious. The band was playing old English tunes like, “Rolling on a River”, Cliff Richards “The Young Ones”, “Bad Moon Arising”. We stood singing and dancing in the crowd. Next thing we were being videod and got asked to go join the band! 😁 We politely declined haha. One woman was making a play for Kev and he loved it! He was winding her up by singing to her whilst putting his hand on his heart! 😂
She got me up to dance and talk about “stuck out like a sore thumb”. Me with my blonde hair and everyone else with black hair. The locals loved it…..and so did we. It was good light hearted fun in the middle of the streets on a Sunday night. See the video below of me shaking my stuff 😎
On our last day we took a ferry to to to a little island called Cheng Chau. It’s a very quaint little fishing village, untouched by Western tourism. It’s like streets in China in the old days. The harbour was crammed with boats and the tiny island had shops selling all kinds of dried fish and seafood.
Today was so hot and humid, probably the worst day yet. After being on the island for about an hour the heavens opened. Just what was needed. We took shelter and I managed to catch up writing this. Did it cool the air/humidity? No! 😳
Whilst walking around the different areas we have spotted various signs that advise what to can be fined for.
- Spitting in the street
- Placing things on the floor at the side of rubbish bins
- Putting the wrong recycling products in the wrong bin
- Leaving your engine running for longer than 3 minutes in a car park
- Dogs over 20kg had to be kept on a lead no longer than 2 metres, owners could face fine
There’s also signs for being healthy.
- When coughing on a bus use a hanky and take it with you, do not leave on the bus.
- When drinking or filling a bottle at a water fountain, don’t let mouth or top of bottle touch the tap.
- Don’t feed wild cats or dogs as this can spread diseases.
- If you think you are starting with a cold then wear a mask.
Hong Kong is far more civilised than the rest of China. They were even protesting in the streets about how the rest of the country treat dogs!
We’re both sorry to leave this place but we have our next adventure to France in our motor home very shortly 😀