What do you think is most impressive, less impressive and hyped about Hongkong?

To me the most impressive was the view on Victoria Harbour.

The less impressive was the grilled duck and other Hongkong food.

The hype was the Symphony of the lights, or was it that particular show, which we saw?

Hongkong summarised

Hongkong summarised: (left, top to bottom) Bank of China, The Bauhinia, Skyline of Hongkong at the Symphony of lights show. (Right top) View from the Peak. (Right bottom) View from our room

Hongkong being a bit out-of-the-way from Europe, chances of returning there frequently are low. This helped in shortlisting the hotels and decide for ours on Kowloon Island, which promised a view of the Hongkong Skyline on the Victoria bay. And what a view – from our room on the 35th floor, the breakfast hall, the lounge on the 39th floor and the skyterrace!

To “chill out” the afternoons, the Tsim Sha tsui Promenade, Avenue of the stars and the Clocktower, Hongkong’s reminder of the British colonial times, were across the street. Around sunset the promenade gets quite lively, not to say crowded for the Symphony of lights show. The show itself is a hype, or did we expect more?

There is much more to Hongkong than its fabulous skyline and harbour. Here is a summary of what impressed us (or not) during our 5 day’s stay.

Impressive: The airport, the efficiency at arrival and departure, the airport train to and from Kowloon (for us). Convenience and efficiency of the MTR (metro) network. Tip: Download the MTR App!

Surprising: The cleanliness of the MTR stations, public places and the public washrooms! Eating and drinking at places, where it is forbidden, is fined with 2000 HKD and smoking in restricted areas is punished with HKD 5000!

Refreshing: The breeze on the Star Ferry, which runs between Hongkong Island and Kowloon. Once you have experienced the hot and humid weather of Hongkong, you know what a refreshing breeze means ;)!

Intriguing and very tiring: Mong Kok and its markets (more later), the night market at the Temple road and the walk on Nathan road. It gives you an authentic feel of the city!

Fascinating: The Golden Plaza, which houses the wedding market. It is a walk through all the traditions and requirements around weddings in Hongkong.

(again) Surprising: the landscape on the way to and in Lantau. The Big Buddha sits on the Lotus flower at 2330 ft above sea level. Didn’t expect Hongkong to have such high hills.

Astonishing: and yet comprehendable are the number of apartement buildings – existing and in construction!

Terrifying: the driving of the long distance bus drivers esp. to and from Tung Chung to the Big Buddha and the Po Link Monastery as well as the one taking us from Hongkong Island to the Peak! However both bus routes show a Hongkong “behind the scenes” and are interesting

Enthralling: The view of the Victoria harbour from the Peak.

Delightful: to get authentic Indian food at the Chungking Mansion, which is famous for it. Hongkong food, esp. duck did not convince us.

Bugging: No clear information, that the three day pass we bought at the airport, didn’t serve the buses and ferry, only MTR. However you can charge it with an amount which will be deducted from the card, when you take a bus (functions like an octopus card). And take the note serious, that no change will be returned in the buses.

Weekend Trap: Fares of buses are more expensive on weekends. I don’t know about other charges (entrances, cable cars, Peak tram etc.). If possible, do these touristy tours on weekdays.

Hongkong’s people: Generally there seems to be a sense of discipline and pride. In interaction, they are very friendly and humble. Tourists are frowned at, if they create an obstacle in the flow.

Photo essays of the places mentioned in process.

Where have you been in East Asia, what did you like and not so like?

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