Capturing Hong Kong in Photos

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Hong Kong is not a beautiful city.

It's not one of those cities that you arrive in and are immediately charmed by, mostly because it's not particularly charming at first sight. If you're not at first struck by the by the smog, you'll be taken aback by the endless display of skyscrapers and neon advertising.

At least, this country girl was.

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

But just because Hong Kong isn't beautiful doesn't mean that it's not interesting. It's VERY interesting — I mean, here you have a city that was under British rule until the mid-90s, and that now operates as a sort-of part of China.  It's an extremely modern city, with great, efficient public transportation and a skyline that is world-famous — and yet only about 30 years old.

I only had 2 days in Hong Kong, which of course is not long enough to truly uncover its character. But I did my best. Here's what I was able to see in the city in 2 days:

The Peak

Officially known as Victoria Peak, The Peak is one of the top tourist destinations in Hong Kong. On a good day, you can see out over Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbor, Kowloon, and beyond from here. (Though, “good days” are not the easiest to come by here… I lucked out and actually had decent visibility!) To get the The Peak, you can take the Peak Tram, an old funicular that zooms up the mountain at a slightly alarming speed and angle. Just be aware that you will have to utilize your elbows while waiting in line to board. The views, though? So worth it. I paid extra to go up to the Sky Terrace 428, which is the weird-shaped building where my skyline shots were snapped.

The Peak Sky Terrace, Hong Kong

Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

The Peak, Hong Kong

Causeway Bay

One of the major shopping districts in Hong Kong is located around the Causeway Bay MTR stop on HK Island. Here you'll find multiple multi-level malls and just about any store you could dream of. You'll also find TONS of people — be sure to have a stroll around and cross one of the big intersections just for fun. I was also able to spy some fun Chinese New Year decorations here at a mall called Times Square.

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Chinese New Year Decorations at Times Square Hong Kong

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Chinese New Year Decorations at Causeway Bay

Markets

Hong Kong has some great markets to explore, whether you're looking for jade, antiques, or knock-off purses. I ventured to the Ladies Market in Mong Kok (Tung Choi Street), as well as the Temple Street Night Market in Kowloon. I didn't do much shopping, but these are usually great places to pick up souvenirs/gifts and to try out your haggling skills.

Hong Kong Ladies Market

Hong Kong Ladies Market

Temple Street Night Market, Hong Kong

Temple Street Night Market, Hong Kong

Green spaces

Believe it or not, even within this concrete jungle there are green spaces to be found. On my way to The Peak I stumbled upon Charter Garden and Statue Square — surprisingly quiet spots in the middle of the city.

(And I also spent half a day on Lantau Island, but that is being saved for my next post!)

Statue Square, Hong Kong

Charter Garden, Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong at night

Lastly, I explored a bit of Hong Kong at night. Taking the Star Ferry from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon one evening, I wandered around TST (Tsim Sha Tsui), walked the Avenue of Stars, and watched the skyline twinkle from across the harbor (though I sadly never did catch a light show). The city is perhaps even more lively at night, since most Hong Kong residents can be found out and about in the evenings.

Hong Kong Skyline at Night

Hong Kong at Night

Hong Kong at Night

Hong Kong at Night

 

So, is Hong Kong worth adding to your Asia itinerary?

For people who hate big, crowded cities, perhaps not. After all, in a relatively compact city with a population of about 7 million, there isn't much personal space to be found here.

I, however, am glad I decided to visit for a couple of days. It's extremely easy to get around Hong Kong (and nearly everything is in both Chinese and English), and it was interesting to explore a city so different from those I've found myself in in the past year or so.

Hong Kong

——

Is Hong Kong on YOUR travel list?

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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72 Comments on “Capturing Hong Kong in Photos

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  1. Hi Amanda,
    I’ve been trawling through the sites of my favourite bloggers doing some research for Hong Kong, as we’re headed there next – 10 days all up! We love big Asian cities though and think there’s a lot to discover and explore here. Will definitely add some of your experiences to the list.

      Hong Kong is so different from some of the other big Asian cities I’ve visited, but I think that’s part of what makes it so interesting! Have a great time!

    My husband goes to Hong Kong yearly for fair.
    but this time …like in two week we are going for our family get away to China, HK and Singapore.
    Not excited here but well I will have to see.
    China is exciting but being a veg /halal food eater it scares me.
    Your pics are way too good.
    loved your China wall post.

      Well I hope you enjoy it! I’m pretty sure you should be able to find vegetarian food. 🙂

    Beautiful city…
    I’d probably walk for days, weeks on end, exploring Hong Kong 🙂

      There’s certainly plenty to do and see!

    […] plan to spend a whole lot of time there. After being overwhelmed by the amount of people in Hong Kong and the amount of motorbikes in Hanoi, I was perfectly happy to limit my time in Bangkok to just 2 […]

    Hong Kong is now on the travel list. I am looking forward to the markets, they look like my spot and the night time scene of the lights and glowing sky scrapers. I am also a little nervous for the Bungy Jump I will be doing over in Macau, hopefully I don’t crap myself. Cheers for the informative post

      Oh awesome you’re doing a bungy in Macao?? Wicked!

      Hope you enjoy Hong Kong!

    Beautiful pictures! We are planning a trip to HK for next month (most likely) but will probably only spend 2-3 days there. I’m more of a small-town gal too so think that will be more than enough time in the city! 2 days in Bangkok was actually too much for me! Curious to see what you think 😉 Safe travels!

      Thanks, Brittany! I hope you enjoy Hong Kong – definitely head over to Lantau Island if you want to escape the crowds!

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