What to Do in Hong Kong – Day Time Activities

I had a friend tell me that she is planning on going to Hong Kong with her boyfriend and I had so many things to tell her! This made me realise that I never did a post on my time in Hong Kong… So here it FINALLY is – my tips on what to do in Hong Kong!

My first overseas trip with my man was a week trip to Hong Kong. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing but it was heaps of fun and definitely worth it. We were only there for 6 days/5 nights so we didn’t get to do everything, but I will share what I did and the things I will do during my next trip to Hong Kong.

What to do in hong kong

Day Time Activities

Tsim Sha Shui Promenade: This is the promenade down by the water, and it is definitely a nice place to go for a walk (both during the day and at night) and become familiar with the city. If you book boat trips, this will be the place you need to come to. The promenade also has the Avenue of Stars, which is similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s a great place for photo opportunities or for grabbing a bite to eat. We stopped for a refreshing drink – my partner had a beer and I had a delicious cocktail!

Soho: The swanky part of Hong Kong is called Soho and it has a huge variety of food and wine. There’s lots of fashion boutiques and art galleries that are intertwined with the older styled buildings stacked up on top of one another. The streets are narrow and winding, but have so much character and you could happily get lost amongst them. We found a funky bar that we had a few glasses of wine at while we stared at a traditional red building adorned with gold.

Man Mo Temple: After wandering around in Soho, this temple was a nice place to escape from the hustle and bustle. This temple is a tribute to two Gods (the God of Literature and the God of War) and it combines the three main Chinese traditions (Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism). It isn’t a particularly large temple, but it is still a decent size. There are huge coils of incense hanging from the ceiling, and I found it a very serene place to visit. You are permitted to take photos, provided you don’t use the flash or disturb those praying.

Disneyland: if you have kids, or if you are a big kid like me, you will probably be thinking about Disneyland. I didn’t go as it seemed too far out of the city for a visit, but I would definitely be going here next time I go to Hong Kong.

Ocean Park: Instead of going to Disneyland, my partner and I decided to do something different and go to Ocean Park. It was an amazing day and so much fun! Ocean Park is located a small distance out of Hong Kong city, right over a mountain. It is a family friendly amusement park with a small zoo and large aquarium on one side of the mountain, then rollercoasters and rides are located on the other side of the mountain. You need to take a cable car on the cliff face side of the mountain to get to the other side. Alternatively the train that goes straight through the mountain can also get you from one side to another. Another thing about Ocean Park is that it had one of the best rollercoasters I have ever been on – you are literally riding off the side of the cliff with the ocean down below! The zoo had cute pandas playing with one another, there was a toucan just casually sitting on a vendors cart, and there were about a million jellyfish and various sea life in the giant aquarium. I would definitely recommend anyone who goes to Hong Kong to go to this attraction!

Day trip to Deep Water Bay: If rollercoasters and aquariums arent your thing, you can still head out to Deep Water Bay, the bay that Ocean Park looks out on. It is considered a nice place to swim and it isn’t overcrowded with tour groups like some of the other Hong Kong bays and beaches, It is a really pretty area and you can just gaze at the expensive boats and yachts at the Yatch Club on Middle Island.

Shopping at Harbour City: The majority of goods in Hong Kong are tax free, so it is even more of a reason to go shopping! On our first day we went to Harbour City the largest mall in Hong Kong. The Habour City mall is actually a combination of smaller malls, which what has made it so big now. It has been designed so that there are four sections to Harbour City – Kids, Sports, Fashion, and Cosmetics & Beauty. There’s also lots of cafes and restaurants scattered throughout the mall, as well as a cinema and three hotels. Many stores are open until night time, and with the abundance of food and even places to sleep, you could really shop til you drop!

Ladies markets/floating markets: I never say no to markets, even if it is an over abundance of wallets, sunglasses, handbags and jewellery. The ladies markets (or also known as the floating markets) are still worth checking out, especially if you want to get souvenirs. I bought a cute Asian style dress for around $AU15.

Victoria Peak (The Peak): Hong Kong is surrounded by a large mountain, and this has been capitalised up on the top of a mountain that overlooks the city. It’s a fantastic view and you have to get this retro tram up to the top. The tram is on a 45 degree angle and it’s amazing it’s able to actually get up the hill! You will experience a perceptual illusion while riding this train… That the skyscrapers and tall buildings look like they are are “falling” towards the hill because of the step incline on the train up to the top. Half of the experience is taking this tram up to The Peak, so it’s definitely worth the nail biting 5-10 minute ride. The line to wait to actually get the tram can be a long wait, so I would recommend getting there early in the morning.

Once you are up there, you will see the Peak Tower. It’s a strange architectural piece, looking like a large bowl perched up on a stand. There’s plenty of nines to do inside this “bowl” including shops and restaurants. Apparently there are nature walks around The Peak, but we did not go on any.

You should also visit the viewing platform called The Sky Terrace 428. This 360 degree viewing platform is apparently 428 metres above sea level (hence the name). It is a fantastic view moving around from the stunning Hong Kong city skyline to the landscape greenery on the other side. It’s a great place for photo opportunities too, but it does get busy which makes getting a photo a little difficult!

Big Buddha: The Big Buddha or Tian Tan Buddha is a large bronze statue landmark on a hilltop. There are many steps leading up to this Buddha, as well as a Monestary and museum attached to this tourist attraction. It is a massive drive out of a drive out of the city – it is pretty much next to the Intermational Airport! There are many tours that can take you from your hotel to this attraction, but we chose not to see the Buddha this time round. I would definitely see it next time I go to Hong Kong as it’s one of the things Hong Kong is famous for.

Day trip to Macau: This is a really easy day trip, but there is a lot of information I would need to tell my readers, so I think it is best that this is saved for a separate post – stay tuned for this post!

There’s actually a lot more to do in Hong Kong than I originally thought, and I also have lots more to post about. So click here for the info on what to do in Hong Kong at night time.

Bye for now,

Vintage Barbie xoxo

All opinions in this post are my own. Unless otherwise stated, this post has not been sponsored and I have not been paid for this post

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Travel Tuesday: Postcards from Hong Kong

Has anyone every gone on a holiday and then struggled to remember what you actually did?

You know you went, you experienced a fair bit of culture, but you can’t quite remember the details of the days or what you actually saw.

I feel like that about my week in Hong Kong. It was a last-minute decision to go to Hong Kong for a week-long break. Well, kinda last-minute – we booked it three weeks before departure. My partner and I hadn’t been overseas together, and his mum had just been to Hong Kong and said how great it was so we decided to pack up and go!

There’s nothing wrong with a last-minute decision to travel. In fact, we had a great time.

The only problem was that we did no research on what to see or do. And we both had never thought of going to Hong Kong before, so we decided to just wing it. This meant that we were unprepared. We had no idea what we were doing or what we should see. Sometimes its fun to get lost in a city. Other times you just feel frustrated and realised you missed out on a lot of important things.

Nonetheless, we still did a lot of fun things. I remember that we explored the city streets, including the funky Soho district. We visited Ocean Park with its fun theme part rides, massive aquarium and zoo of exotic creatures. We went up to the Peak to get an amazing 360 degree view of the city and its surrounds. We ate and drank a lot. We went up to the highest building in Hong Kong and drank wine in the worlds tallest bar. We saw the nightly lazer show. We drank cocktails in the rooftop pool at our hotel. We visited some street markets. We got lost my partner was too stubborn to listen to my directions in the subway…

We definitely did a lot. But sometimes it’s a little hard to remember. That’s why I try to take lots of photos. The jog the memory and keep you reminiscing for many years to come.

Here’s some snapshots of what we got up to:

A kaleidoscope of lights and coloured signs: Exploring the streets of down town Hong Kong

The Junk stopping by the pier walkway to say hello… and give us tourists some excellent photo opportunities!

It rains a lot in summer in Hong Kong, so there’s the perfect opportunity for a rainbow to brighten up the towers and city skyline

The stunning view from the top of our hotel on the Kowloon side of the city

The picture-perfect place for an afternoon swim… and poolside cocktails!

A traditional Cantonese dinner for two

Quintessential Asia: a panda bear at an enclosure at Ocean Park Theme Park

There eerie glow of jellyfish swimming around the darkened aquarium at Ocean Park

The tallest building in Hong Kong… this building has a 5 star hotel contained within its walls, leading all the way up to the bar around 500 metres off the ground!

The perfect viewing point above the city skyline: Up on top of The Peak

 

These photos were all taken on a worn out point and shoot camera, so I’m really keen to go back to Hong Kong and take some fabulous photos of the skyline, including the amazing laser show that is on every night at 8pm. I wish I got better photos of the outside of a temple we visited, and the funky street markets. I would also love to visit the Giant Buddha and see the Ladies Market. This is all on my to-do list for my next visit to Hong Kong!

Thank you for reading my first #traveltuesday post. This post is also linked up to the following link parties and travel blogs:

Travel Tuesday

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sobering Fundraising Initiative

I have last 2 months of my 3 month’s of sobriety.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve given up alcohol for 3 months to try and raise money for my volunteer program in Cambodia later this year. See my Donate page for more information.

I have to say it hasn’t been easy. This is what I have experienced so far:

  • I have been to parties where I sit sober, sip on my Diet Coke and watch everyone else get drunk. Unfortunately, it’s not that fun. Drunk people are annoying to sober people.
  • On the Easter long weekend I went to my boyfriends mum’s place where their wine cellar is bigger than our loungeroom. Bottles upon bottles of delicious, expensive and varying wines… and not one sip was taken. [Sigh…]
  • My friends birthday dinner when we went for ‘drinks’ afterwards. I got to stand around smelling the delicious cocktails… I can still remember the delicious smell now…
  • My regular weeknights at the club no longer involve a hard earned cider. No, just a Diet Coke for me thanks.
  • My boyfriend went and bought a nice bottle of wine for us to share for a lovely weekend night at home together… but then he remembered that I’m not drinking. (Have to feel a little bad for the poor fella trying to do something nice for his lady).
  • After a few 13 hour days in a row, I would love to unwind with a glass of red wine… especially because I quit the gym. So now that I don’t have a way to unwind, I need to find another way to relax after a long, stressful and tiring day at my multiple jobs.

Don’t get me wrong – I can certainly have fun without alcohol. In fact, I have started feeling more motivated and attentive during the week. So I have noticed the difference in my mind and body.

But, we Aussies, we love to drink. Drinking is just part of our culture. And I enjoy indulging in our favourite past-time.

In the next month I still have an engagement party, a good friends birthday party, a hens weekend away, my boyfriends birthday and my last day of work (usually celebrated with champagne and wine)… all of which I have to be completely sober for.

So I ask that people please support me. Even a small donation will help me make a difference.

It hasn’t been easy, and there is still more to come, but knowing that people are supporting my cause makes it all worth it.

Please show you support and make a donation on my fundraising page by clicking here. Secure donations can be made via PayPal.

Staying Sober for a Cause…

I am so proud of myself. I am also a little bit shocked – I’ve lasted over 6 weeks of being sober and it has not been easy. I never realized how hard it is to be “the person who isn’t drinking”. We have such a culture of drinking that people call you names, look down on you or just shun you because you have decided to take a step back from drinking. 

It would definitely be easier just to drink. 

I have had people offer me “just a sip” of their drink so many times I’ve lost count. But I said no alcohol for 3 months. So that means NO alcohol. Not even a sip. 

It’s made harder when people have delicious cocktails or wine and I can smell it from where I am…. It’s  not like I don’t want to drink, I just can’t. I made a commitment to no drinking and I’m sticking to it. Then there’s some people who have said, “You can have just one drink”, “Surely you can have something for a special occasion?”, “Just have a bit, we won’t tell anyone”, and “No one will know if you have a day off”. Well my answers are No, No, No and I would know. I’m not a dishonest person. And I’m not a cheater. If I have a drink, it’s cheating. And If I am still asking people to donate money to my cause, then that’s dishonest. 

I said I would go 3 months without drinking alcohol. I’m sticking to that commitment. I feel that I should be able to complete the rest of this challenge. It’s like the hump day of my challenge – it should be all down hill and smooth sailing from here…

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Flashback – Enjoying a cold drink on Australia Day




So I hear you thinking “Why has she decided to give up drinking?” Well, dear friends, I have given up drinking to raise money for my volunteer program in Cambodia later this year.

I will be volunteering my time through International Volunteers HQ, and will be travelling to Cambodia to work with human rights NGO’s. Whilst at this stage I don’t know the full details of which organisation I will be helping (it depends on which NGO needs the help the most and how many other volunteers are in the country at the time) I know that I will be assisting with administrative tasks, typing briefs, helping with English skills and taking field trips to see the issues first hand. The organisations that I will be helping are likely to look after women’s rights, children’s rights, health issues and environmental problems. All of these topics have been of particular interest to me throughout my study at university. 

Now that I have graduated I finally have the time to be able to go help others. This is something I’ve wanted to do for over 4 years, and I decided that this year is the year to do it.

The thing that has held me back on this is the money situation. I need help from as many people as possible to make this happen. I need to pay for flights, vaccinations, a background check, accommodation before and after my flights, registration fee, my program fee and other miscellaneous expenses. The main concern is trying to pay for my flights (before they go up to ridiculous prices) and paying off my program fee. I have already paid for the vaccinations, background check and the registration fee. At this stage I need $1500 to pay off the remaining expenses.

I am obviously paying as much as I can out of my own pocket, but would be very, very appreciative of assistance and donations from other people. 

To donate towards my cause and support me in my sober journey, please click here to visit my fundraising page.