One of the places I was always intrigued by was Hong Kong, but despite it being only an hour and a half way, I only just went for the first time last week. This is, in part, due to the fact that going there for a weekend requires a fair bit of advance planning (the Sunday flights from HK to Hanoi are sold out for at least a month) and on top of that, flying there is exponentially more expensive than say, getting to Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, or Malaysia. It was also because Hong Kong is not the kind of place you go solo in the hopes of meeting up with other travelers so I wanted a companion for the journey and had yet to find one. The night I MET my (now) boyfriend, he mentioned “really wanting to go to Hong Kong,” my eyes lit up and, as I said above I am prone to doing, I started planning a trip with him on the spot. Luckily, he was receptive to this and a month later we were there.
|view from hotel room|
I didn’t really know what to expect from the city, even though I’d heard accounts of it from multiple sources. In truth, I guess I thought it would be a like a more condensed Singapore with taller buildings but was mistaken. I'd describe Hong Kong as a combination of Manhattan and San Francisco (two of my favorite cities) but with better weather. I am a city girl through and through and Hong Kong lived up to everything it is that I love about being in a big city: I thrive on the buzz, need the culture, enjoy the myriad of options at my fingertips at any moment, so being in Hong Kong was like coming home. I was instantly comfortable and found myself yearning for the big city life I used to have. I am by no means complaining about where I live or the life I have now, Hanoi is where I have chosen to be right now and I’m here because I want to be, but at times it’s still difficult, an adjustment, and it’s nice to fall back into my comfortable former existence, even if only for a weekend here and there.
I’m the kind of person that isn’t a major planner when on a vacation. I find hour-by-hour itinerary plans incredibly boring and restrictive and it’s why I will never go on a tour because it would drive me completely insane. I like to be aware of what’s available in terms of top sights and attractions and signature dishes, but for me, travel shouldn’t be rushing to do everything. It should be enjoyable and fun, not a mission. My parents are the same. When we go places they say, “left or right” and from there just explore, wander, immerse. I was also incredibly fortunate that I was going with someone who was willing to figure everything thing out (complete with phenomenal surprises) but is also cool enough to go with the flow. The perfect combination when traveling.
|view from table at Spoon|
The first day we arrived we checked into our hotel which was attached to Pacific Place (an incredible shopping mall-more on that later-with a movie theatre) and as we only had a few hours before our dinner reservation, we went to see “The Hunger Games” since I am obsessed with it and it’s not coming out in Vietnam. A great start to the trip. From there, we went out for dinner at Spoon, in Kowloon, which had a stunning view of the city lights (not to mention incredible food)
|damage from shopping|
|The Blind Pig|
|Dim Sum at City Hall|
|view from the peak|
|view from the peak|
*Thanks to everyone for the tips on where to go, to JLF, MM, and KS. who added an extra fun dimension to being there, and James for everything*