Backpacking in Asia #17: Hong Kong!

The next destination after Chiang Mai was Hong Kong! When I was still in The Netherlands, I didn’t plan to go to Hong Kong. But plans can change during backpacking and that’s also what happened during my travel in Thailand. Instead of Laos I decided to go to Hong Kong, where a friend of mine was living at that time.

I arrived in Hong Kong completely in backpacking style with a way too touristic elephant pants, my orange daypack and my big backpack. I was completely underdressed. Hong Kong is not really so much of a backpacker destination as Thailand. I went to the taxis and asked Xiangxia which taxi I needed to take if I didn’t want to be stood up. But it turned out that I didn’t need to be scared for that. Lots of the same looking taxis where standing decently in a row. This is really not what I was used to from Thailand.    And then after lots of months I saw Xiangxia again, who was waiting for me with a sign ‘Welcome Julia to Hong Kong’ on it. It was so nice to see each other again! We met each other when we were both at Hearst a year before. Xiangxia is volunteering in Hong Kong as a filmmaker now for an adoption company. She is also adopted herself so its really beautiful what she is doing.

After settling down a bit we explored Hong Kong. We ate sushi at a sushi train restaurant which I thought was really cool. At home I like sushi but its not that I’m the biggest fan. Here I was. The sushi was amazing. Although, I needed to get used a bit tot the fact that food in Hong Kong is not that cheap as in Thailand. But fortunately the food was good! Just as the food in the evening, which we ate at a Michelin star restaurant. Where I ate the best dumplings but also chicken legs with chopsticks… never again. It reminded me too much of the chickens at my parents place. But it was nice to experience some local food and we laughed a lot.

The next day was a sportive day. We decided to hike to Lions Rock, wherefrom you have an amazing view over the big city of Hong Kong. And where you have a feeling of being completely in the nature in the big city. At first I expected that Hong Kong was only big buildings and lots of traffic. But the city has so much more to offer. We hiked all the way up to Lions Rock, I only fell one time and we arrived totally filled with sweat. The good thing is that after backpacking for two months I’m used to that already. And the view was so impressive! Really different than what I saw before during my backpacking trip.

Unsuspecting we headed back to Xiangxia her place to take a shower. But we didn’t really think about the protests that where going on exactly at the station where we needed to get out. We arrived at the station and we saw lots of people crying and wearing gas masks. It was not a really nice feeling and when I heard a really hard sound and people started panicking and running, I thought there was a shooting for some seconds. It was really scary but in the end we came home safe. In the evening a friend of Xiangxia invited us to eat at her place. It was a beautiful penthouse with a view over the impressive Hong Kong. The cooks they had made amazing Chinese food for us. And an amazing cheesecake! It was a great evening with nice company.

We hiked at a good day because the next day Hong Kong was rainy. Fortunately there is enough to do in Hong Kong so we didn’t need to be bored. I think it’s really interesting to see the different kind of public transports in different countries. And the public transport in Hong Kong is really good arranged. We took the metro and boat to the other side of the city where we went to Hong Kong Museum of History. It was really great to get to know more about the city and the culture. Later we did some shopping at different kind of shopping malls, went to a place with lots of claw machines, to a market and of course ate lots of food. Just as in the evening when another friend of Xiangxia guided us around a bit and brought us to a local restaurant. It was nice having dinner at a local place but I have to say I like the food in Thailand and Vietnam more because the food in Hong Kong includes lots of meat. And I’m not a really big fan of that.

The next day the weather was better again and we went to Lamma Island. It’s so cool that Hong Kong has many islands where you really don’t have the feeling that you are in a big city. There were almost no people at the island. I think I saw more big spiders than people. Which also can say something about how many big spiders I saw… Lots of big spiders where hanging randomly in the air and we just needed to pray that they would not jump on our heads. For the rest, the island was amazing! In the evening we made dinner together. Which was the first time in two months that I made dinner again. All the other days I went out for dinner.

And then it was time to explore the night life of Hong Kong. Which is so chaotic. At every corner of the street they tried to get us in to their club and in the end we just partied on the streets which is really common in Hong Kong. To end the day well we went to McDonalds, where they had employees of the month. It looked so cute.

We had a chill day in between at Shek O Beach where we swam in the sea and tanned. Therefore at my last full day in Hong Kong we had enough energy again to be active again. And this last day was one of the best moments in Hong Kong I think.

A colleague of Xiangxia asked if we wanted to go to the perfect island Tung Ping Chau together with her. Our day started early on a boat where I looked like the only tourist. I had great talks with the colleague of Xiangxia and I said to her that I had a camera so I could make a picture of her. That resulted in around 50 pictures… It was really funny! Soon when we arrived on the island we noticed a Dutch flag hanging there, which was really random because it was not touristic at all. We went there to ask why and it turned out that a Chinese guy was living there who lived in Eindhoven, a city in The Netherlands, for about 50 years of his life. He had hung up the Dutch flag because he was really grateful of his nice time in The Netherlands.

The island looked like a real paradise with blue water, lots of shells and soft sand. The perfect place to use my pink diving mask again! We hiked around the island, looked for great shells and went back tot the city where Xiangxia and I had doner. So good, I didn’t eat this for so long.

And then the next day was already the day I had to leave. I’m really happy that I visited Hong Kong and I became a fan of the city. In my next blog you will read about my final destination of my backpacking trip: Bangkok!

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