This yr’s winter escape journey was somewhat totally different from ones in the previous. Usually we go to locations like Southeast Asia or Central America, or we decide a base in a location like Sevilla, Spain so we will work from some other place. However this yr it made extra sense for us to only take two weeks off to go someplace somewhat hotter, and we selected a visit to Hong Kong and Macau. Right here’s how we spent slightly over one week in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong: Not as heat as we hoped
My analysis advised me the temperatures in late January ought to’ve been in the mid 60s. So not as scorching as a few of our previous winter journeys, however nonetheless hotter than Berlin and a pleasant break from the chilly.
What truly occurred although was Hong Kong’s temporary “winter” climate hit proper on the time we have been visiting. Most days the excessive was in the 50s and even 40s, lows have been in the 40s, it was wet a couple of days, windy most days, and overcast virtually your complete time.
To make issues worse, everybody was nonetheless operating the air con. We have been advised that they’re so used to having the A/C on that even when it’s chilly for this brief time period annually, they don’t hassle turning it off. And our motels didn’t have warmth, so we have been freezing at night time. We principally spent two weeks in Hong Kong and Macau bundled up, sporting layers, and lamenting that we might’ve been hotter staying house in Berlin.
Hong Kong meals tour
One of the primary issues we did in Hong Kong was take a meals tour. That is often the very first thing we do anyplace as a result of it’s not solely a enjoyable strategy to study concerning the meals tradition, nevertheless it makes it somewhat simpler to seek out issues to eat for the remainder of the journey. This was very true for Hong Kong, the place the meals was somewhat extra intimidating to us.
The meals tour we selected was slightly totally different than ones we did in the previous. Usually the fee covers every thing besides perhaps a drink or two, however this one was cheaper as a result of the charge coated the information solely. We truly paid for our personal meals alongside the best way, which I assumed was bizarre at first, however as soon as we received going, I appreciated it as a result of it meant I didn’t need to get something that really didn’t attraction to me.
Our information confirmed us a road meals stall promoting some unusual eggs, which we didn’t attempt. However we did attempt some odd treats from a bakery at our subsequent cease. We walked by means of a market that was open sure hours of the night time just for wholesalers. He additionally took us to a few diners the place we tried the well-known duck, a pork dish we noticed all over the place, and some totally different sorts of soup. And the restaurant allow us to convey in our personal alcoholic drinks bought from a close-by comfort retailer. Positive, why not. To complete up, we had some dessert that was like soup. I’m actually unsure how else to explain it, however it was fascinating.
Apart from the meals, our information informed us about Hong Kong, and extra particularly Kowloon, the place the tour happened. We discovered concerning the road markets and the way the town stopped giving out licenses to run stalls many years in the past, so anybody who had one is allowed to cross it right down to a member of the family as soon as. Then that’s it. So the variety of markets and market stalls has been on the decline, and it gained’t be too lengthy earlier than they may disappear altogether, which I feel is actually unhappy provided that they’ve been such an enormous a part of the tradition for therefore lengthy.
Our information was pleasant and knew tons of information concerning the metropolis, the meals, and the tradition. Taking this tour undoubtedly made it somewhat simpler for us to enterprise out on our personal to seek out meals throughout the remainder of our keep in Hong Kong.
For more information and to guide the meals tour we took, click on right here.
Hong Kong cooking class
As a result of the meals tour wasn’t sufficient, we additionally signed up for a half day cooking class. The information/instructor met us close to a market and took us round to purchase some components. I all the time like going to markets as a part of a tour as a result of they level out issues I’d in all probability miss alone.
Then we went to their cooking studio, which is in an previous manufacturing unit. Undoubtedly not an space I might’ve discovered with out taking this class. She taught us tips on how to fold and roll dumplings three alternative ways, every one just a little more durable than the one earlier than. We pan fried them, they usually have been so tasty!
Then we discovered learn how to make Gong Bao hen, which was easy sufficient I’d attempt it once more at residence. There was a pleasant spice to it, however not overwhelming. On the finish, she confirmed us methods to make an egg cream pudding sort dessert, which I skipped, however Andy loved it.
I beloved this cooking class! I favored it higher than the meals tour as a result of it was enjoyable to study to make these dishes on our personal. The instructor was so pleasant and useful, and I’d undoubtedly advocate signing up for this class. It began in the morning, and we have been finished cooking by lunchtime so we might eat the scrumptious issues we had cooked.
For more information and to ebook the cooking class we took, click on right here.
Victoria Peak is among the hottest vacationer points of interest in Hong Kong. I keep in mind visiting once I was in Hong Kong in 2010, however I don’t keep in mind the hoards of individuals, so perhaps it’s gotten extra common. Andy and I purchased our tickets for the funicular and waited…and waited…and waited. I didn’t time it, nevertheless it took a very very long time to get via the strains to purchase the tickets after which to get on the funicular.
As soon as we lastly obtained as much as the highest, we needed to weave our approach via a multi-level mall to rise up to the viewing platform. It was a continuing spiral of memento outlets, cheesy-looking eating places, and sweet outlets. Then we needed to navigate via crowds of individuals and photographers making an attempt to twist your arm into taking an over-priced memento photograph. And the view wasn’t nice, however that was to be anticipated. Hong Kong’s sky is so typically obscured by smog.
So should you go, and also you in all probability ought to, simply make sure to deliver plenty of endurance with you.
Scenes from Hong Kong
In fact, merely wandering round Hong Kong may be entertaining all by itself. It’s a captivating metropolis, tremendous trendy in some methods whereas nonetheless extremely quaint in others. Hong Kong is about extra than simply the sights, so be sure you give your self loads of wiggle room to stroll via neighborhoods with out a precise vacation spot in thoughts.
On our first night time, we went to a road often known as Goldfish road on the Kowloon aspect, which had principally shops promoting animals. They have been presupposed to be pets in most instances, however OMG it was so unhappy. The puppies seemed determined, fish tanks have been overfilled with fish, and buckets of little turtles had extra lifeless turtles than stay ones, whereas the stay ones scrambled in a hopeless effort to flee.
We noticed chaotic streets with loopy visitors and extra neon indicators than you possibly can think about.
One other day we discovered the oldest road in Hong Kong (Hollywood Street) and an previous temple. To get there, we tried out the well-known escalators that go up and down the extraordinarily steep elements of the town.
And regardless that, based on our meals tour information, the times are numbered for Hong Kong’s road markets, there are nonetheless a lot of them round.
Hong Kong’s skyline
Hong Kong’s skyline is spectacular. In all places you go, there are big buildings and tall skyscrapers, and the waterfront promenade on the fringe of Kowloon is the right place for photographs. We wandered down there through the day and once more a couple of days later at night time to see the sunshine present. Undoubtedly get there early if you would like a great spot to see the lights.
Hong Kong tram tour
We cut up our Hong Kong time between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, and whereas staying on Hong Kong Island we booked a tram tour. The trams, or streetcars, have an fascinating historical past courting again to the early 1900s throughout Hong Kong’s colonial time. The tram is affectionately referred to as the ding-ding, and Andy needed to take a look at the double-decker enjoyable on rails.
Sadly it was raining that day, so we couldn’t sit up prime for the great views. I didn’t get lots of footage, and positively no good ones, due to this. However the tour was nonetheless enjoyable, and we acquired to see numerous Hong Kong Island. The tour comes with an audio information so you possibly can take heed to the data in English or various different languages.
For more information and to ebook a tour, click on right here.
By probability, we occurred to be in Hong Kong for the lunar eclipse on the finish of January. It was actually chilly outdoors, however we spent a number of hours wandering round for views of the moon and watched a lot of the occasion. Clouds coated it for a short while in the course of the peak of the eclipse, however not for too lengthy. It was undoubtedly a cheerful accident that we have been capable of see the eclipse whereas in Hong Kong.
Rooftop bars in Hong Kong
In a metropolis like Hong Kong, it’s no shock that there are many rooftop bars with implausible views of the town. We couldn’t go to all of them, however we did take a look at two.
The Horizonte Lounge was the rooftop bar of the Madera Lodge. That they had a small outside part and a fair smaller inside part. It was actually value stepping outdoors for views, nevertheless it was somewhat windy, so we didn’t sit on the market. Additionally, the bartender tried to cost us twice for our first spherical of drinks, and it took a variety of forwards and backwards to persuade him that we had already paid for them once we ordered. They have been tasty drinks although, and I like to recommend checking it out for some implausible views.
The Storage Bar was extra of a rooftop restaurant with a bar hooked up to the Cordis Lodge, so it was a a lot greater place and completely outdoors on prime of a shopping center. The view was totally different from the opposite place as a result of it wasn’t fairly as excessive and there have been fairly a number of buildings close by that have been so much taller, nevertheless it was an fascinating perspective. We ordered meals and drinks, and we appreciated the environment.
The place to remain in Hong Kong
Since we had a great period of time in Hong Kong, and we have been splitting it up with a number of days in Macau, we determined to remain on the Kowloon aspect for half the time and on the Hong Kong aspect for the opposite half. In case you are visiting Hong Kong for various days, I extremely advocate doing it this manner so you will get a superb really feel for each side.
On the Kowloon aspect, we stayed on the Royal Plaza Lodge for four nights. It was in the identical complicated as an enormous mall, which isn’t usually a plus for me, however in Hong Kong it labored. It meant we had quick access to the MTR (metro/subway system) and quick access to meals if we have been too hungry to wander across the neighborhood for too lengthy.
The mattress was snug, and the bathe was very nice. Our room missed the pool, although we didn’t go down there as a result of it was too chilly throughout our go to. The employees have been actually useful, and we have been capable of ebook our ferry tickets to Macau by way of their journey desk.
Talking of ferries, sure days and occasions promote out quick. We couldn’t get a time for an inexpensive worth from the Kowloon port, so we ended up having to guide a ferry from the Hong Kong port. Not an enormous deal, nevertheless it meant going just a little farther on the MTR to get there. Ebook your tickets forward of time if you understand whenever you need to go.
On the Hong Kong aspect, we stayed at Butterfly on Wellington for five nights. I assumed the situation of this one was nice, straightforward strolling distance to numerous eating places and outlets, and never removed from the MTR. It was additionally solely 10-15 minutes strolling from the ferry, so it was straightforward to succeed in once we received again from Macau.
The mattress was extra agency than we prefer it, so if agency beds are your factor, this could possibly be a sensible choice. And regardless of being centrally situated, our room was quiet and we couldn’t hear any road noise. The room felt chilly as a result of Hong Kong was so chilly throughout our journey, however outdoors of some weeks in January or February, I don’t assume this can be a drawback.
Hong Kong has so much to supply and we definitely didn’t get to every thing. Spending a bit over one week in Hong Kong was a great period of time. I’m undoubtedly glad we stayed in Kowloon and on Hong Kong Island. It’s unlucky that the climate ended up being chilly, but when we had gone there even a number of weeks later, it might’ve been effective.
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