For a city drenched in bright lights and bustling crowds, Hong Kong sure has a way of making you feel comfortable and content.
Known for its wealth and breathtaking skyline, this charismatic city will have you falling for its charm the moment you step off the plane. But if you’ve only got a few days to soak up as much as you can, here’s our insider’s guide to ensure you tick off the top must-dos.
Where to stay and play: Nathan Road – find accommodation on this stretch if you can. It’s like an Asian New York City with department and designer stores stretching for kilometres. Shops are all open late, so you’ll find yourself losing track of time as you wander in and out – and don’t think for a second your willpower will override the urge to splurge that comes with this incredible shopping experience (Louis Vuitton is the size of Officeworks…no joke).
Best view: The Peak is the highest point on the island and the panoramic view is beyond stunning. By day, you’ll see across the whole city and Victoria Harbour, and by night it will turn into a sea of bright sparkling lights. You can walk or catch the tram to the top of the mountain, so pick your mode of transport and enjoy the magic.
Best ramen: Don’t do Hong Kong without slurping up a ramen at Ichiran. Not only is it damn delicious, but you can choose to sit at a table or at a cubicle by yourself – which is great if you’re tired from travelling all day and aren’t feeling too sociable. The cubicles are a bit like polling booths where you write down your order, ding a button and a hand will sneak through the curtain at the back of the booth and take your order. When your food’s ready they lift the curtain, put it in front of you and slam the curtain back down – you can’t even see their faces.
Hong Kong will undoubtedly steal a piece of your heart and refuse to let it go.
Best free show: Every night at 8pm, Victoria Harbour explodes into a mesmerising light show that lasts about 15minutes. The show is to pay respect to the Hong Kong people, their diversity and vitality. Catch the ferry over to Hong Kong Island where most of the action is and watch both sides of the harbour light up as you wander around listening to live music.
Culture fix: Perched 268 steps above Lantau Island, Tian Tan Buddha, or the Big Buddha, is a bronzed beauty standing 34m tall. It needs to be seen to be truly appreciated, so if you’re up for a leg-burning stair climb, it will be more than worth it.
Whether you’re there for a day, week or month, Hong Kong will undoubtedly steal a piece of your heart and refuse to let it go. But don’t worry, you’ll be back…and now it’s easier than ever with flights from Townsville with Air Niugini. Head to www.airniugini.com.pg for more information.
• Take cash for cabs – they don’t take card.
• Public transport is amazing.
• Most people speak English and are more than willing to help a lost traveller, so ask.
• Use the in-city check-in and check in your bags at the train station. They’ll cart them to the airport and load them on your plane for you.
• Get your hands on sesame peanut brittle; it will change your life. Rumour has it the Chinese travel to Hong Kong just to load up on the stuff, then take hoards back home with them – it’s that good