Hong Kong may seem a small island, but there is much to do - far too much for one visit alone. When you need a break from exploring all the shopping and food options, here are five suggestions to add to your to do list.
Travelling to The Peak
Simply reaching The Peak on Hong Kong Island is half the fun. Until 1888, the only way there was a three hour ride in a rickshaw; the opening of the Peak Tram saw the travel time reduced to 8 minutes. There is nothing quite sitting in the tram being pulled back into the seat as the tram climbs the impossible inline, which had a gradient from 4 to 27 degrees. A word of advice - arrive early, as the queues can stretch forever. Catching a bus is another option (and a good way to return) which gives quite a sightseeing tour of the exclusive houses and apartments of the Upper and Mid-Levels.
I love catching the bus to Stanley, a bay on the far side of Hong Kong Island. Sitting up the top of bus No 6, 6X or 6A, I watch Hong Kong pass as the bus winds from Central, over the hills and along hairpin turns, before descending past the glorious waters of Repulse Bay (once home to pirates) and so to Stanley markets. Just about anything and everything is for sale in these markets, and they are usually a little less crowded and a bit more relaxed than other markets in Hong Kong. Plus, when you’re finished, I suggest a stroll along the waterfront, both for the views and to partake of some of the best fish and chips on The Island.
Hong Kong has developed at such a pace that, despite belated preservation orders, much of her heritage has vanished, demolished to make way for progress. Yet even in the heart of Central, the main financial (and shopping, and eating) district on Hong Kong Island, hints of the past can still be seen. Some old buildings remain, even the tenements which once filled this area and were razed after outbreaks of the plague and cholera; then there are the stories to be found down any winding alley. In the steepness of the streets lies the physical and social history of how Hong Kong developed. Queen’s Road, Central was once the waterfront, which gives an idea of how much land has been reclaimed.
The Chi Lin Nunnery, Kowloon
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