As Leon has work in Hong Kong the forthcoming week, I spontaneously decided to join him and FINALLY get my chance to explore this cool spot! We've often discussed that Hong Kong could be our next stop living-wise so I've really looked forward checking it out!
From Shanghai to Hong Kong
Sunday early morning we caught a China Eastern Airline flight from Hongqiao Airport and arrived at our Hotel in Causeway Bay before noon. We always try to fly out from Hongqiao rather than Pudong if possible and even when the tickets are more expensive it often makes sense anyway.
If you like us have Metro Line 10 in Shanghai near you, you can reach Hongqiao airport directly in less than 30 minutes and pay 4 RMB. Or alternatively, as we did this early morning where the metro is not yet open, catch a taxi and pay around 45 RMB. Pudong is 1 hour drive and almost 200 RMB each way which adds up. Just a tip from a frequent Shanghai traveler =)
My last-minute roundtrip ticket was around 2000 RMB which is a pretty normal but you can find them as low as 1200 RMB - maybe if you plan your trip a bit more than me...
Meet & Eat in Hong Kong
So in the spirit of little planning, only thing planned for our Sunday in Hong Kong was a hike to Victoria Peak so after a quick check-in we went around the corner to the local Tsui Wah Restaurant for some Hong Kong brunch to stock up some carb energy!
As it's typical in this compact city we had to queue outside but after just a couple of minutes we were asked if we minded sharing a table with another couple... 没问题 or "no problem"! We are very easy-going and though this couple did not have many hiking tips and strongly recommended us to take a taxi and a tram to reach the Peak, new friends at lunch are always fun...
Oh and our new lunch-friends did recommend us the special Hong Kong milk & coffee tea. The original Hong Kong-style drink is pure (AND very strong) milk tea which I've tried several times in Mainland China and which I like. But this mix of coffee & strong milk tea was even more yummy.
When served in this Happy Cup I'm sure everyone would agree!
From our Asian-fusion-double-date lunch we walked from Causeway Bay area to the Admiralty Area and from here we started walking South towards Victoria Peak also known as Mount Austin (or if you want to sound local just "The Peak"). With it's 552m it's not a super high mountain yet it is the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island.
The Victoria Peak Hike is said to be
- A quite easy hike for most people and easy to combine with some vehicle transportation if you feel it's too much for the poor legs
- The good choice if you want to go hiking on sunny and very hot days as it is protected and cooled down by all the lush trees surrounding the paths
- The good choice on rainy days as the paths are all paved and somewhat secure (we found some of the smaller ones a bit slippery due to falling leaves)
- Absolutely tranquil & beautiful - especially if you do choose the hike option all or most of the way
Hiking The Peak
There's a lot of ways to reach The Peak (already local) but after reading through some blogs and online travel advise we decided to hike the entire way.
We had a fun walk through the city and not least fun trying to figure out how to get up to start the real hike at "Bowen Road Walk". We literally ended up entering a mall, taking the elevator to the 17th floor, exiting the building and voila found ourselves on a tranquile mountain road already far away from the Hong Kong street-level chaos..
Yup that's Hong Kong, a city built up in the middle of nature. I've never understood what this means in reality but today I really experienced how amazing the lifestyle in Hong Kong must be having the best of 2 worlds within less than 30 minutes distance.
Up & Down The Peak
We found that it was pretty straight forward to find our way around but we did ask a few other hikers (some of the very few people we met on this hot & rainy Sunday) for tips. If you get lost or get tired just get off the path at one of the big roads and catch one of the many buses going up (or down). They have "The Peak" written on the front and can not be missed!
From the top of the Peak (where you find a shopping area, several museums, Starbucks and anything else your heart desires) you can catch a bus down from the big bus station (4.5 HKD), jump on the quicker and popular tourist tram (28.5 HKD) or of course the real way: Hike back down! We didn't time it but was approximately 2 hours up and less to go down.
Don't forget snacks, your selfie-stick & to have some fun a long the way - best ways to get energy during any hike =)
Oh and any tips for what I should be seeing & doing in Hong Kong the next 5 days let me know!