Having travelled a lot around Europe, I always wanted to visit Hong Kong. I had a couple of days off and my best friend and I decided that it would be perfect for a holiday in Hong Kong. We were really excited because we had heard so much about Hong Kong and had always wanted to go.
Hong Kong known for its expansive skyline and its deep natural harbour is located on China’s south coast and is enclosed by the South China Sea and the Pearl River Delta.
The first day in Hong Kong we decided to do something in the city and decided to visit the Avenue of Stars. The Avenue of Stars is filled with commemorative plaques, celebrity hand prints, movie memorabilia and descriptive milestones .There is a life size kung fu action statue of Bruce Lee which looked amazing. The international super stars of recent times include Jackie Chan and Chow Yun Fat. The area was lively filled with music and lots of people. It was from here where we told that we should see the Symphony of Light, the multimedia show.
All our friends had told us that we must watch A Symphony of Lights, that the Guinness Book of World Records has named as the “World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show”. The multimedia show at night involves about 40 buildings on either side of the harbour. The show was incredible. Coloured lights, laser beams, search lights all perform in synchronisation to music and narration that celebrates the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong. The show is split into five themes- Awakening, Energy, and Partnership and as the finale Celebration. The entire show was absolutely mind blowing.
The other thing that we had to do when in Hong Kong was visit “The Peak” as it’s called by the locals or Mount Austin. The best view of Hong Kong is from The Peak. We took the Peak Tram, which was a beautiful ride along the mountain. The tram has been operational for over hundred years. Though it was a slow ride up, the views from the tram was lovely. The journey up took us about eight minutes and as soon as we reached the summit we came upon a seven storied building in the shape of a ship. This building called The Peak Tower had many attractions like Madame Tussauds, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium and The Peak Explorer Simulator. Since we had already visited Madame Tussauds in London, we did a quick tour of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium and decided to take the circular walk round Victoria Peak, as its meant to bring one luck! The Victoria Peak Loop Trail is filled with Informative Plaques containing information regarding the native flora and fauna around. Every turn the trail took gave us extraordinary views of Hong Kong. We visited the Lions Pavilion which is the highest point on the peak. The most spectacular buildings of Hong Kong are the Central Plaza and Bank of China Tower. The Bank of China Tower is 72 stories high, while the Central Plaza is 78 stories high. The view of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak is stunning. The peak is dotted all around with fragrant flowers and an exquisite variety of birds and butterflies.
While we were at The Peak, we also made a visit to Hong Kong’s Zoological and Botanical Garden. It is located on the northern hillside of Victoria Peak. It spreads over12-15 acres .It has over 40 caged animals and is home to over 500 species of birds, 70 mammals and 70 reptiles. We got to see the Bornean Orang-Utan, Chinese Porcupine, Red Crowned Crane and some reptiles like Greek Tortoise, Chinese Alligator and the Burmese Python. There are over 1000 varieties of plants that are grown in tropical and subtropical conditions. The Green House hosts plants like Orchids and different kinds of Ferns.
We spent the entire day at The Peak and ended up having dinner at one of the lovely restaurants there. The night view of Honk Kong from The Peak is super. The entire city is swathed in neon and all the glitz and glamour of Honk Kong from above was beautiful. We had absolutely without a doubt enjoyed our day.
The next day we wanted to see the Clock Tower that is located in Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier. We took the Star Ferry and right near the pier was the Clock Tower which is about 44 metres tall and was erected in 1915 as part of the Kowloon – Canton Railway Service. The tower made of granite and red brick still stands, though the bustling railway station ceases to exist.
The same afternoon we wanted to visit the Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery. We took the train and then the cable car which took about 25 minutes and then walked to the monastery which was about ten minutes away. The Tian Tan Buddha statue which was erected in 1993 is 34 meters high and faces north towards Mainland China to look over the Chinese people. The Buddha sits 26.4 meters atop of a lotus throne. The statue took 12 years to complete and is absolutely divine. The Buddha’s eyes , lips, the head inclining and hand slightly towards the right ,which is raised to deliver a blessing to all who come was a deeply humbling experience. The very life like character of the Big Buddha was incredible. We climbed the 268 right up to the base and also got a magnificent view of the sea and the mountain. Right opposite the Big Buddha is the Po Lin Monastery. The Monastery is one of the most important Buddhist sanctums and has is supposed to be “the Buddhist World in the South.” The gardens of the monastery are filled with fragrant flowers and birds. It is rich and colourful with manifestations of Buddhist iconography. We ended up enjoying a vegetarian meal in the monastery too!
Ocean Park was next on the agenda and so the next day we wore good walking shoes and boarded the bus to the Ocean Park. The park covers nearly 870,000 square meters. The Summit Area and the Waterfront are connected by cable car and the funicular Ocean Express Train. We started off at the Polar Adventure section and got to take a bob sledge ride and saw the king penguins. We also saw spotted seals, long – tusked Pacific walruses, snowy owls and arctic foxes. We then boarded The Heritage Tram and went off to see Old Hong Kong, which brings back the old culture of Hong Kong in the 1950’s 60’s and 70’s back to life. Thrill Mountain was our next stop, where we got to experience cliff hanging roller coaster rides, the Hair Raiser and got to swing upside down from the Flash ride. At the Rain Forest section we got to see the smallest monkey in the world and the world’s largest rodent. Aqua City of the Ocean Park was a total experience of its own. There are over 5000 fish and more than 400 species of aquatic creatures. We wanted to see the Giant Pandas and got to see them up close. They were absolutely beautiful creatures. We had spent the entire day at Ocean Park and were totally exhausted.
Our last night in Hong Kong we went to the Temple Street Night Market and got to experience the local atmosphere and managed to pick up a few souvenirs.
Our holiday to Hong Kong was indeed wonderful and I would sure like to go back