Hong Kong a city of contrasts


I last visited Hong Kong over 25 years ago and wondered if things would have changed. But Hong Kong is still the exciting, vibrant and bustling city I remember.

After a 12 hour flight from LHR we arrived at Chep Lap Kok Airport and took the speedy Airport Express train to Kowloon Station and then a taxi to our hotel; this took less than an hour. Our hotel was the Harbour Grand Kowloon which is located on the waterfront at Whampoa and has amazing views over the harbour to Hong Kong Island. You can walk from the hotel along a promenade to Tsim Sha Tui in about 40 minutes or take the MTR (Hong Kongs’ subway system) which takes about 15 minutes. The location was great and made you feel you were really in Hong Kong. The Harbour Grand Kowloon has over 900 bedrooms and great meeting space. The Ballroom (which can be split into 2) can take 550 theatre and has no pillars and a large foyer area.

We visited the Peak which is a must as it is the highest point in Hong Kong and offers fantastic panoramic views of the city below.   We also went to the viewing platform called Sky100 which is on the 100th floor of the tallest building in Hong Kong, the International Commerce Centre (ICC). The skyline of Hong Kong is magnificent, even more so than photos make it out to be. 

Although Hong Kong is a bustling city it also has lots of countryside and over 70% of Hong Kong is green space. We hiked to the top of Mount Parker (about 3km) which greeted us with fantastic views overlooking the south side of Hong Kong Island. You can also visit several of the outlying islands really easily by ferry to see a very different Hong Kong.

The famous star ferry which connects Hong Kong Island with Kowloon has been operating since 1888 and is a must for any trip to Hong Kong. Howeverthe cheapest form of transport are the double-decker trams which run from east to west on Hong Kong Island and cost about 30p for each journey. They’re a great way to see some of the oldest parts of the city and really give you a chance to take in the most authentic sights the city has to offer.  

There is lots to see and do in Hong Kong. For example, you can walk around the old areas and see all the Chinese medicine shops and traditional restaurants or you can instead enjoy the more modern offerings of the city, such as the many shopping centres aroundHong Kong. What I find it fascinating is the huge number of apartment blocks, everywhere you look. I also find it amazing that they still use bamboo scaffolding even on huge buildingsIt is such an exciting and interesting place to simply just walk around and enjoy.

Hong Kong really is a place of contrasts, the sights and the sounds and the smells are just what I remember. “ng goi” (thank you) Hong Kong, you are amazing!