The Fragrant Harbour
Hong Kong Travel Blog› entry 2 of 3 › view all entries
After an eleven hour flight (not that my flight had anything to do with Leonardo DiCaprioâ€™s â€śThe Eleventh Hourâ€ť) (sorry about the confusion), my family and I arrive for our
Just outside the airport, my father figures itâ€™s easiest to take a tourist bus into the city centre. In that way, we get a nice overview of the city plus a free ride into the city.
I must say my family hardly ever takes city tours as you donâ€™t truly discover the local life and atmosphere on a tour. And itâ€™s not really part of travelling to get into a bus and look at everything behind a window or with a tour guide. But in Hong Kong my family found taking the tour a good idea!
The bus seemed to be full with other tourists having a stopover too so everyone was willing to make de best out of our â€śHong Kong dayâ€ť. Having a reasonably funny guide made the tour even better and made sure the starts of the day was the best possible!
As our touring bus drove into the CBD, the whole bus probably was stunned by all the skyscrapers and high-rise buildings in Hong Kong.
Just when I was thinking; â€śOkay, there canâ€™t be many more buildings this high.â€ť Iâ€™d spot another group of skyscrapers somewhere at the horizon... Is there an end to it?
Iâ€™d find out later on
Even though Hong Kong looks new and modern, I came to learn the city dates back at least some 800 years. I had never expected an advanced city like Hong Kong to have such a rich history, but it apparently does. Just one of my expectations from the city that were proven wrong. Some others were: Hong Kong people speak Chinese and Hong Kong is one big urban area. I was completely wrong! The majority of the Hong Kong population speaks Cantonese and Hong Kong is way more than just urban districts. Thereâ€™s actually a lot of nature in the area!
I also learn that Hong Kong is an S.A.R. (Special Autonomic Region) and has a special position within the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China. I wonder if the Hong Kong people consider themselves Chinese at all... There is so much Western culture in the city and my family and I couldnâ€™t even find a Chinese restaurant on the Airport! Arriving in a Western-like city is good though if you have to get used to the Asian cuisine and climate.
After walking down Hollywood Boulevard and personally meeting Bruce Lee, our tour guide Willy led us to Hong Kong Island at the other side of the harbour. There, we could see one of the older temples in Hong Kong and buy some Chinese souvenirs. Going to the temple was particularly nice as we were blessed for our holidays.
After our religious experiences, the bus drove us back to the harbour where the tour ended and we could explore the rest of Hong Kong on our own. First on the list was Victoria Peak. A definite must for every visitor as the view on top of the hill is amazing! Iâ€™m not sure if I should call Victoria Peak a hill though.
After a nice lunch (it was only 2 oâ€™clock when went down Victoria Peak again), we headed towards Hong Kong Park where we could enjoy some of Hong Kongâ€™s flora. But fauna too as the park happens to have a giant aviary with thousands of exotic birds inside. Walking through an imitated piece of rainforest with birds in every colour of the rainbow singing in the trees while the skyscrapers are still to be seen was extraordinary! I decide Hong Kong is a really weird city, but nice and pleasant above all. The streets arenâ€™t very busy and there are more than enough tourist signs that can tell you where you are/ need to go.
Hong Kong Park was so nice we stayed there for most of the afternoon and decided to get to the harbour before nightfall again.
Around ten, my family and I got back at the airport where we could grab some rest before the next part of the trip. Funny enough, I met some of the people that had also been on the tourist bus. From the look on their faces I could tell they at least had had an awesome day like me. Hong Kong was everything but my expectations about the city and definitely the best surprise to start my trip with!