On the 11th of August 2016 a very important journey started for me. I was on the way to an exchange semester in Shenzhen, China due to my master’s degree. Since Shenzhen borders with Hong Kong a few of the exchange students decided to spent a couple of days in Hong Kong before the semester would start and I joined them. A fellow student of my master’s program followed and we met with a couple of other students from different countries to explore the city and get a first impression of Asia. I haven’t met them before but since we all just departed for the same journey, we got along pretty good and some of them are still close friends until now.
But back to the topic: For everyone that plans to spent a longer time in Asia, I absolutely recommend to spend a couple of days in Hong Kong, because it combines modern and historical parts of Asia, still with some standards of the west, so it is a soft start into the new culture. The city is very multicultural and at the same time deeply influenced from China. I was impressed by the high buildings, cute temples in between, the tropical flora and high temperatures. We tried new foods and it tastes so different to what Europeans consider to be Asian food. You must try dimsum in all its varieties. The rest of the journey confirmed this first impression even more, I really enjoyed the food. Apart from that, here are some of my impressions:
A daytrip I would definitely recommend is the one to the Tian Tan Buddha Ngong Ping on Lantau Island. It is still part of Hong Kong but you will need to take a train journey and a longer cable car ride to get there. The buddha is an impressive sculpture on a plateau surrounded by other sculptures sacrificing different things to him. Around it you will find different buildings and temples worth to explore. Apart from that the area is surrounded by rainforest, mountains and you can see the ocean from it. The scenery is absolutely amazing. Sadly, we haven’t brought enough time with us, if you have more time, this is an excellent starting point for a nice hike. I might do that for my next visit.
In general Hong Kong is not only characterized by being a huge city, the mainland offers beautiful beaches, small villages and lots of nature to explore. So, if you only have one or two days, use them, but you could easily spend a week or two in Hong Kong.
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