That Time I Didn’t Give Hong Kong The Attention It Deserved

I’ve recently been feeling that I desperately need to pencil in another visit to Hong Kong sometime in the near future…

Not exactly something you can undertake likely, what with the 11 hour flight from the UK and all. And hey I was only there in May (I say only, that feels a loooooong time ago now…), so I figure I either loved the place like crazy, or I feel that I didn’t get to experience as much of it as I would have liked.

Unfortunately in this case it’s the former.

I’ve already detailed how our hot and sticky arrival in Kowloon, combined with our fatigue from flying conspired to knock us out for the rest of our first day in HK, but it wasn’t just jetlag that’s left me having a nagging feeling that I’m yet to see the best of the place…

For a start, it was a seriously smoggy time…

After the aforementioned first day saw us only wander our nearby streets in Tsim Sha Tsui to stock up on snacks before stocking up on sleep, the next day marked our first full day of travelling in Asia. And with it brought an odd feeling I experienced previously on my first solo trip – Where the heck do I start?!

It’s strange to think that after all the build up, and after thinking of all the things you want to see, that once you arrive you can be pretty clueless about what to do. Granted this would be the only time we experienced this in Asia, which makes me think it was mostly down to a combination of jetlag, culture shock and most of all, climate shock. Of course the other consideration I had was my travelling companion, as on my last few trips I had only me, myself and I to think about.

As such, our first full day consisted of us only exploring our local area in Tsim Sha Tsui whilst we tried to get our bearings, and also tried to acclimatize to Hong Kong’s sweltering humidity. It was funny to think my best friend had been here a few months previously and complained about how freezing it was, whilst I was walking around with my face blanketed in sweat.

No seriously – dripping! (Image Credit: Chelcie Pilbrow)

Whilst we sweated off the overhanging fatigue during the next few days we got around to see the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Hong Kong Museum of History, took a couple of trips on the Star Ferry, shopped at the IFC Mall, strolled through a sticky Kowloon Park, wandered the streets of Central and Sheung Wan and wound our way through Hong Kong Park and the Botanical Gardens. Oh and also got caught in one EPIC thunderstorm! Which was fricking amazing…

But with just one day left the main thing I wanted to see in Hong Kong still had to be seen, and that was one thing I wasn’t going to miss – the view from The Peak. So after sweating off a couple of pounds in the Sunday afternoon Peak Tram queue, we finally made it up the epic ascent to hunt down the view everyone needs to see in Hong Kong. And were rewarded with the best visibility we’d had the whole time we were there…

These guys enjoyed it too!

Oh sorry, you want the view! My bad…

After the endless smog, this was comparatively epic…

So I actually did enjoy my stay in HK hugely. But as time’s rolled on since then I keep realising there’s more and more stuff that I didn’t get round to seeing, and it makes me think that I didn’t get to explore Hong Kong to it’s full extent. And as such I need to get back and make that right! For a start I can think of these things I still want to do:

  • Be cheesy and see the Avenue of Stars – It was closed due to some renovations and construction going on when we were there.
  • See the Symphony of Lights from the waterfront of Kowloon – We only caught the tail end of one in our time there somehow.
  • Check out the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island.
  • Go to The Peak at night for (hopefully) an even more amazing view.
  • Take a long tram ride on Hong Kong Island.
  • Explore more local markets.
  • Make more time for Mong Kok and less time for noisy Nathan Road (that damn walk…).

I also need to get back there and up my photography game, as I wasn’t really in my stride on this first stop, and the dull grey and smoggy conditions weren’t too helpful towards that either. I feel like I’ve seen the metropolis Hong Kong presents itself as, and now I need to get back there and get under the skin of the place properly. Either way, my first taste has got me addicted, and I’m keen for a second bite to make up for my misses.

Downtown dim sum delights await surely!

So Hong Kong, what else have you got to show me? I’ve got a feeling the answer is much, much more…

Have you ever felt you didn’t see enough of a destination? And have you returned to right that?

16 responses to “That Time I Didn’t Give Hong Kong The Attention It Deserved

  1. I would love to go back to Peru to see Machu Picchu in Cuzco. Last time I only had one week. I guess that next time that I’ll stop by Southamerica I’ll go visit various countries! πŸ™‚

    • But you did get to see Machu Picchu that first time yeah? I’d love to go there πŸ™‚
      Well there’s loads of South America I’d love to see! And I’d get plenty of practice speaking Spanish too ha, which is always a bonus for me!

  2. I’m heading to Hong Kong next year – and spending about 5 days there. I figure that’s enough time to see everything and also, spend a couple of days aimlessly exploring too…. my favourite thing to do! Hoping that’s enough time!? What do you think?

    • Awesome! I’m really hoping to get back there next year too! Five days should be enough, just hopefully you won’t have to write off your first day after a LOOOOONG journey like we did ha πŸ™‚
      I’m a big fan of aimlessly exploring too. We got pretty lost in the streets of Sheung Wan and it was a decent stroll. Just wish I’d taken more pictures!
      Thanks muchly for your comment, it’s hugely appreciated! πŸ™‚

  3. I completely understand your desire to go back to HK – there’s just so much to see, and when I went it was my first time in Asia and so I think I was a bit culture shocked for the first few days! You got a much better view from The Peak than me though, so I’m very jealous πŸ˜€

    • Yeah seems like we were in the same boat ha! I can’t wait to go back, although at the moment I don’t know when that will be 😦

      We did luck out with The Peak though definitely, as that was the clearest it was during our time there! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the comment of course πŸ˜€

  4. Pingback: That Time I Wondered “Where Next?” | That Time In·

  5. Hi Carl,
    You’ve done a really good job with your site, like the photography and how you’ve laid out all your text. Good post on HK, sounds like you still managed to see/do all the major things there. I’ve been there a few times too – funny how it’s a city that is always in transit to go somewhere, it’s rarely a final destination. But I think it’s one of the most geographically interesting cities in the world.
    Thanks for having followed me on twitter!
    Frank (bbqboy) (if you like more photos)

    • Hey Frank, thanks muchly for the kind words! I actually want to redo the main look of the site, but it’s just finding time to do it. And it’s even more of a struggle when you work as a designer during the day, as the last thing I wanna do when I get home is… More design ha! Glad you’ve enjoyed it though πŸ™‚

      Yeah HK is definitely one of the most interesting places I’ve been to, I just wish I’d taken it all in a bit more, and also been rather more switched on photography wise! I really do hope it won’t be too long at all before I’m back there. Heck, I’m even tempted to go before the end of the year ha…

      And no worries man, thanks for the follow back!

  6. I went to Hong Kong for 10 days and that wasn’t nearly enough to see everything! I’ve never been much of a city person but Hong Kong is just…wow πŸ˜€

  7. If you go back, I’d recommend Lamma Island – it’s only a 30min boat trip (can be fairly bumpy!), but it’s a beautiful island, void of cars, and has a real ‘hippy feel’ to it – a total contrast to Hong Kong Island! Also the South of HK Island, around Deep Water and Repulse bay is fantastic – going by bus is terrifying but fun, around the minuscule hilly roads!

    • I was just reading about Lamma yesterday funnily enough… I’m definitely keen to check it out! πŸ™‚

  8. Pingback: That Time I Was Headed Back to Hong Kong | That Time In·

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