I arrived in Hong Kong during the back of Typhoon Mujigae so inevitably the weather was less than ideal. It didn’t stop pouring of rain in the first two days for any more than a few minutes at a time, however the temperature continued to hover around the 30 degrees mark which made wearing a rain jacket almost unbearable and made my hair even more frizzy than usual.
Despite the heavy rain I was determined to explore Hong Kong. I first took the Star Ferry across Victoria Harbour and accented The Peak via the funicular railway. Once at the top of The Peak I went to the viewing platform which boasted an amazing 360 degree view of Hong Kong Island and over the harbour into Kowloon. Luckily it stopped raining whilst I was up there so I was able to get some photos of the very grey looking city below as I was higher than some of the low lying rain clouds. However, just as I began walking the 90 minute walking trail around the mountain the heavens opened again and the rain poured down unbelievably heavy the entire way round. Despite the rain I actually really enjoyed the walk as there were some amazing views, some small waterfalls, loads of huge black and blue butterflies, and numerous extremely fit topless joggers.
The next day the rain was still relentlessly pouring down as I took the cable car to visit Lantau Island. The grand sitting Buddha and fishing village I’m sure would have been lovely to wander around if it wasn’t such a wash out, however it was just kind of miserable and the views from the cable car were pretty much non-existent.
In the evening I decided to venture to Happy Valley Racecourse for ‘Happy Wednesday’s’, a night of local horse racing, live music and beer drinking. Despite wading through puddles in my dress and sandals to get there the rain stopped for good just as I arrived. I placed my first ever bet and I won! I won HK$14 which I was buzzing about until I realised it equates to around £1.20. Still, a win is a win! I got talking to a big bunch of expats living in Hong Kong and working together in the finance industry. They invited me to join them for dinner in Soho in a very trendy Asian restaurant called Ho Lee Fook. The food was the best I’ve had on my trip so far and the wine was certainly flowing. We were the last ones to leave the restaurant and we ended up doing copious amounts of Sake shots with the waiting staff and restaurant manager.
I woke the next morning to an inevitable headache but also blistering sunshine! I put on my bikini and headed straight to Repulse Bay Beach. The beach was gorgeous and the sea was so warm and clear. I spent all day sunbathing and swimming out to the floating platforms. Eventually I got talking to a couple of Norwegians who had been in China on a business trip. We all had quite a few beers at the beach bar and decided to head into town to get something to eat. After having a giant Vietnamese dinner we headed to Lan Kwai Fong, the nightlife district. We were still in swimming gear and beach attire whilst most others were business people in suits having drinks on a Friday night after work. We were pretty drunk by this point through so didn’t care that much. The nightlife was amazing, with hundreds of people in the bars and spilling out into the streets.
The next day was spent just wandering around the city, going to Kowloon Park and the zoo. On the evening I went down to the harbour promenade to watch the Symphony of Lights show, a light display put on every night against the Hong Kong Island skyline.
I think I fell in love with Hong Kong. It literally has everything you could want in a city, from gorgeous beaches and hiking trails to plenty of designer shopping malls and even Disney Land! To love a city this much despite half the time being there during a typhoon I think it has got to be pretty special. It really was a great end to a fantastic month travelling China.