In English translation, Hong Kong literally means “Fragrant Harbour“, which is connected with the fact that in the past there were many fishermen and incense was exported from here. The harbour was a link between Europe and Asia. It is surrounded on three sides by the South China Sea. It wasn’t until I read in the guidebook that Hong Kong is spread over 260 islands. When you realise that, it’s much easier to understand what the sea and ships mean to the locals. What I like about Hong Kong is that it mixes the modern world with traditional China, with its dingy streets and beautiful countryside.
I can’t believe it was once a small fishing village. Today you will find not only skyscrapers in the financial district, but also neighborhoods where Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis and many other nationalities live. Few cities in the world have such a strong inner energy as Hong Kong. I think it is the city to experience.
CITY WITHOUT ADDRESS
Hong Kong is a city without an address. There is no standard address format, no postcode and basically no borders that we are used to here in the Czech Republic. I even read that all incoming mail is sorted by hand. I’d be terribly interested to know how the local postmen navigate it.
You will come across double-decker historic trams at every turn. These trams have been running here since 1904. They are printed with various advertisements and packed to bursting. It’s a cool experience if you can get on the top deck. You’ll get some interesting views of the bustling metropolis. Fares are flat and very cheap. Trams only run on Hong Kong Island from Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan and some through Happy Valley.
You can reach the top of Victoria Peak by the historic Peak Tram. It’s said to have breathtaking views. I think so. Unfortunately, I had the misfortune of seeing absolutely nothing. Because it was raining and it was so foggy. But it was still worth the trip.
SKYSCRAPER EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK
In this metropolis you will find countless skyscrapers, even up to 118 storeys high. This flood of skyscrapers will amaze you when you land. Did you know that there are many more of them here than, for example, in New York in Manhattan?
Not only will you find modern buildings in the city, but also some beautiful architectural gems from the British colonial era. In spite of all that, you’ll also find plenty of green space that’s really close at hand. You can sit on one of the benches in peace.
Hong Kong has the highest density of shops in the world. You can shop cheaper than here. Well, you have to think that Chinese people are much smaller than Europeans, so with my height of 171 cm you can’t buy much clothes here. You will, however, find markets where you can buy traditional Chinese arts and crafts.
Hong Kong is a city of amazing food, and it’s one of the biggest gastronomic hubs in all of Asia. The fact that many of its restaurants have been awarded Michelin stars is proof of the quality of the food here. If you were to try just one particular dish, be sure to try the DIM SUM rice dumplings. They are absolutely fabulous.
Cantonese dumplings, called dim-sum, are a local speciality and are filled with roast pork, prawns or other meats. The dumplings are steamed and have a special sweet and salty taste. Eating dim-sum is a social event.
If I can recommend a restaurant, there is one rarity in Hong Kong. You’ll find the only Michelin-starred eatery – Tim Ho Wan in Kowloon. There are lines for tables, no reservations are made. But trust me, this dining experience is worth the wait. Chef and owner Mak Kwai Pui used to cook at the Four Seasons, but opened his own restaurant in 2009 and has been busy ever since. His dim-sum are renowned all over Hong Kong, and if you have the time, make sure to pop in.
AVENUE OF STARS
The Walk of Fame is located on the shores of Hong Kong’s Victoria Bay. Here you will find metal sculptures and, of course, prints of Hong Kong actors. It’s a sort of imitation of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Probably the most famous are Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. This place is really magical with very beautiful scenery. You can watch the boats go by and the skyscrapers on the opposite shore. In the evening, there’s a light and music show. – Symphony of Lights.
This symphony of lights show is every night at 8:00 pm. It includes more than 40 buildings and lasts 14 minutes. It is one of the largest laser shows in the world. It consists of five main themes depicting the energy, spirit and diversity of the city. To music, lasers are launched to light up the skyscraper skyline.
Macau is a former Portuguese colony and is an hour’s boat ride from Hong Kong. It is famous for its unique colonial architecture, which has even been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was raining fiercely during my visit, so we spent most of our time in The Venetian Macao, a shopping mall where you feel like you’re in Venice for a while. You can ride the gondolas or go to the casino. The Grand Lisboa Hotel is very nice, with its shape resembling a lotus flower.
Z Hongkongu se do Macaa dostanete nejlépe rychločlunem z Macau Ferry Terminal (lze i z dalších míst). My jsme využili služeb společnosti Cotai Jet, takže lze veškeré informace o cenách za lístek a frekvenci spojů dohledat na jejich stránkách. Plavba trvá asi hodinu, kterou strávíte v pohodlných sedačkách klimatizované kryté paluby. Jedinou nepříjemností tohoto výletu je fakt, že formálně opouštíte Hong Kong, takže na imigračním oddělení v přístavu musíte odevzdat vstupní formulář do země a na lodi pak vyplníte imigrační formulář Macaa, načež se celá procedura opakuje znova večer při návratu do Hong Kongu, takže kromě neustálého vyplňování dotazníků, obohatí váš pas ještě čtyři nová razítka.
You only need a few days to visit Hong Kong, but it’s definitely worth the visit. If you liked this article, I’d love it if you share it or leave a nice comment below.