A lover of vibrant cities, Hong Kong had always been on my list to check off and I did just that this summer. I recently took a short 6 day trip to Hong Kong and Macau with my family and knew that I had to make the most of my time within the short span of days I had in hand. First two days of the holidays were spent in Macau (you can read all about it here), the 3rd day of the holiday which was my 1st day in Hong Kong was spent somewhat like this:
Hong Kong Day 1
We made it back to Hong Kong from Macau in an hour thanks to the Cotai Water Jet ferry which accommodated us on an earlier ferry as we reach well before time for our scheduled ferry, so that meant an extra 2 hours in Hong Kong! As we were staying on Hong Kong Island itself, the cab ride from the ferry terminal did not take us too long and we reached our hotel in Wanchai under an hour’s time. Hotels in Hong Kong can be fairly expensive and pretty compact, unless ofcourse you are staying at the ridiculously priced 5 Stars. Luckily I found a great deal on Booking.com for The Harbourview Hotel in Wanchai that cost us around Rs.7500 per night and the rooms were pretty spacious by Hong Kong standards. Also full marks for the location as it was in a relatively quiet area, yet within a 10 minute walking distance from the star ferry terminal and a 5 minute walking distance from all the happening spots at Wanchai.
After checking in we decided to step out for lunch as our rooms were still nto ready (we had reached atleast 3 hours before check-in time). A quick walk took us to Lockhart road which turns into a red light district of sorts in the evenings but has a good bunch of bars and restaurants and is actually pretty safe. Other options are Queens’ road and Jaffe road in Wanchai. We had some lunch at a restaurant on Jaffe road and later strolled the area to check out places we could visit. I came across this interesting live music bar called The Wanch that a friend had recommended to me but unfortunately I couldn’t visit it during my stay.
We checked into our rooms, pleasantly surprised at the size and a quick nap later made our way to the Central Station to join our Klook group for a tour of Victoria Peak. I chose to go with Klook as it was the best way to cut the line at the tram station, and believe me it actually did save us atleast 1 hour of queuing up. Details of the tour can be found here on the Klook website. I highly recommend this. I had purchased the 4 in 1 combo that gave us a cut the line access to the tram to Victoria peak, a regular return ticket, access to the Sky Terrace 428, Madame Tussaud’s & The Trick Eye Museum. Our guide met us right outside Exit K at the station on time and after a quick briefing we walked for about 10 minutes and reached the tram station and within 15 minutes we were on our way up to Victoria Peak. I won’t lie, it did feel good to just walk straight ahead of people who were waiting in queue for I don’t know how long! We all hate queues don’t we?! Make sure to grab a seat as soon as you can and try to get one on the right side of the tram so that you can get a nice view of Hong Kong while going up.
We reached Victoria Peak at 5.30 pm and the guide handed us our tickets and we were then left on our own to explore all that was in store atop Victoria peak. We decided to start with Madame Tussaud’s and took a good 2 hours inside. Lots of pictures were clicked with the wax figures of the famous from all over the world, the famous Indians whose figures found a place here were those of Gandhi, Narendra Modi and Amitabh Bachchan. Other notable figures included Jacike Chan, Obama, Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare, Johnny Depp, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Mohammed Ali etc. The funniest bit was the new placement for the wax statues of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie post their real life divorce, even the figures at Madame Tussaud’s were separated!
Can you guess the names of the all the celebrities from their Wax figures below?
We were famished by now and discovered this little place Called Kala Toast that was serving some delicious looking cheese sandwiches. We then realised they were the creators of the famous Rainbow Cheese sandwich which had taken the internet by storm a while back. This place does serve some other amazing sandwiches as well and can make you vegetarian variants as well if you request them. So do try.
Next up was the Trick Eye Museum which is basically a series of paintings and installations that can create 2D and 3D illusions. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. This is quite fun and it was hilarious to see ourselves as a family go totally berserk clicking all these crazy photographs.
Finally around 8.30 pm we made our way to the Sky Terrace to catch the famous view of the Hong Kong Skyline in all it’s glory. I had wanted to actually see the Symphony of Lights show from the peak but we reached late and hence missed it (we did see it from Tsim Sha Tsui on Day 3, but more on that later). Like I mentioned, the rains and cloudy weather had plagued us in Macau and it was no different in Hong Kong too. Light drizzle and heavy fog kind of dampened the crazy view of the Hong Kong Skyline from the top, nevertheless it was still quite a sight.
They even have a professional photographer there who takes photographs of you against the backdrop and asks you to do all sorts of crazy poses, it was hilarious to watch people comply to his whims, later we did too! But hey atleast we got a decent-ish picture out of it for…wait for it…Rs.2000 for a digital copy! Shocking!! Well I guess someone was making money out of the foul weather there.
We were finally done for the day and decided to take the tram back down and then a taxi from the station to the hotel. Tired from all the walking in the chilly weather we were quite beat and had dinner at the hotel itself. With no energy to go out we decided it was a good idea to get a good night’s sleep as we had a whole day trip to Lantau Island lined up the next day.
Day 2 shenanigans coming soon..