Xmas 2017 in Hong Kong

Hong Kong – the City built on a mountain!  It is a former British colony in south eastern China.  Very densely populated with over 7.5 million people packed into a hub of skyscrapers.  I have never seen so many skyscrapers in such close proximity, to give you an idea how close they are together, in certain streets you can’t see the sky when you look up.

Home of the longest outdoor covered escalator system stretching 800 meters and rising 135 meters.  What they don’t tell you is the escalators stop at midnight every night so if you happen to be at the bottom and your accommodation is at the top then you have many steps to climb to get home as I know only too well.

In the island of Lantau rests the largest seated Buddha in the world.  I’ve seen many Buddha’s during my travels but never one as impressive as this.

With so many surrounding islands to explore and regular ferries it is easy to get off Hong Kong island and experience a completely different vibe.  Be prepared to walk up hills A LOT!!!

My Hong Kong Highlights:

A symphony of lights – every night at 8pm you can take a cruise out into the middle of the harbour and look back at the skyline to see the skyscrapers lighting up in time to music.  The multimedia show sets the harbour ablaze every night and is a great way to appreciate the impressive skyline.  Boat ticket includes a free glass of wine which was motivation enough for me.

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Chi Lin Nunnery / Nan Lian Garden – a short underground journey will transport you to a large temple complex of elegant wooden architecture and lotus ponds. The garden has been meticulously landscaped where everything has been placed according to specific rules and methods.  It makes for a very peaceful afternoon retreat from the bustling city.

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Dragon’s Back Hike – this is a relativity easy hike to conquer and is close enough to the city centre.  Very impressive views and you end up at a lovely beach where you can treat yourself to a well-deserved lunch.  The hike around the peak takes approximately 2 hours.

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Lantau Island – this is the largest of Hong Kong’s islands and is where the big Buddha sits.  It is also the largest accessible peak which you can hike.  You can reach the island via the underground system and then take a cable car up to where the Buddha sits.  Be prepared to sweat as you climb 934 meters to the top of the peak.  For the views and the sense of achievement is worth it.

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Hong Kong Island Peak – this is the highest point on Hong Kong Island.  All tourist information will tell you to take the tram up the peak however the queues are massive and you get a much better view if you walk up the peak yourself.  It isn’t too difficult and takes around 30 – 45 minutes.  When you are up the top there are a few restaurants for you to have lunch.

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Yoga Tips – if it is hot yoga you are after then check out the main gym chain called Pure Fitness, they have a few hot yoga studios which are full of all the mod cons.  Other than that there are many small bespoke studios dotted around the city but be aware not all include changing rooms or showers.

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Overall Tips – take a good pair of trainers as you will be walking a lot and get to know the underground system, it is smaller than the subways in London and super clean/efficient.

Eating out can be expensive so try small local restaurants and market stalls which maybe don’t look great but the food is fab and much cheaper.

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After all the hiking and activities treat yourself to a nice gin cocktail........

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HHY St. Andrews