The Fragrant Harbour

Hong Kong Travel Blog

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Hong Kong Harbour

After an eleven hour flight (not that my flight had anything to do with Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The Eleventh Hour”) (sorry about the confusion), my family and I arrive for our Hong Kong stopover. First impression: “Damn they have many skyscrapers here!” And I had only just seen the airport; the CBD was still to come..! After the usual airport procedures my family and I proceed to the outside world and set step on Hong Kong territory for the first time.  

 

Just outside the airport, my father figures it’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.

The temple on Hong Kong Island
We’d still have some time on our own and we’d come past Hong Kong on our way back too. So, no worries whatsoever…

I must say my family hardly ever takes city tours as you don’t truly discover the local life and atmosphere on a tour. And it’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 “Hong Kong day”. 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.

Incense spirals
The fact that mankind had actually build a place like Hong Kong was mind-boggling at the least. High-rise buildings everywhere literally stacked on top of each other with golf courses and horse runs in between. Crazy man! I couldn’t imagine the masses of people living on just that small amount of space. (Although Hong Kong isn’t exactly “small”)

Just when I was thinking; “Okay, there can’t be many more buildings this high.” I’d spot another group of skyscrapers somewhere at the horizon... Is there an end to it?

 

I’d find out later on Victoria Peak, but was first going to get my tour through Hong Kong’s harbour and city centre.

View from the Victoria Peak

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. There’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 People’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 couldn’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.

Viewing platmform
Hong Kong definitely makes you feel at home after having had a pretty long flight.

 

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! I’m not sure if I should call Victoria Peak a hill though.

Aviary in the middle of HK!
Being from the Netherland, anything is a mountain to me! Well, it’s 550 meters high and you can see a very long way away! It’s quite touristic and you have to stand in line for quite a while but the view and restaurants on the top absolutely make up for it.

After a nice lunch (it was only 2 o’clock when went down Victoria Peak again), we headed towards Hong Kong Park where we could enjoy some of Hong Kong’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 aren’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.

Hong Kong Park
There would be a laser and light show at the other side of the harbour but unfortunately, we missed out on it. We were at the other side of the harbour so we couldn’t see a thing. We did have a nice dinner though.

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!

wbboy29 says:
Yeah bro, Hong Kong is INCREDIBLE!!!! I had such a great time there. I was there for a week last December visiting a friend. I would love to go back someday. :~)
Posted on: Sep 08, 2008
codebeck says:
Really?! I haven't been out to Hong Kong in a while but was it really a nice smell on the harbour? I have to get a stop by there then. cheers! ;)
Posted on: Sep 05, 2008
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Hong Kong Harbour
Hong Kong Harbour
The temple on Hong Kong Island
The temple on Hong Kong Island
Incense spirals
Incense spirals
View from the Victoria Peak
View from the Victoria Peak
Viewing platmform
Viewing platmform
Aviary in the middle of HK!
Aviary in the middle of HK!
Hong Kong Park
Hong Kong Park
The Lippo Towers
The Lippo Towers
Central Bank of China building
Central Bank of China building
Hong Kong traffic
Hong Kong traffic
The city at night
The city at night
HK airport
HK airport
16,145 km (10,032 miles) traveled
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