Hong Kong

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:

Victoria Harbor – Ancient ship in front of the skyline. Sure this ship looks really beautiful but I advice you to take the Star Ferry for just about a dollar to cross over to Hong Kong Island.
High skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island the financial district.
School kids exploring the lion sculptures in front of a huge bank building.
Palm trees in the middle of the financial district.
Man Mo Temple – Lot’s of incense and a quiet break from the busy city.
A lot of the people in Hong Kong still follow their rituals an sacrifice to honor relatives. Love the combination of modern live and ancient cultures.
Definetely go in top of the victoria peak to enjoy this awesom view!

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.

Tian Tan Buddha Ngong Ping on Lantau Island.
Scrifice to the buddha. There are so many details to explore.
Another great view but so different from the victora peak.
Part of the Po Lin monastery where we where able to hear the monks chanting.
Golden details inside the monastery.
On the way back to the cable cars this cow was “trimming” the grass.

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.

Thank you very much for your time and interest. I hope you are enjoying my blog. Feel free to follow and leave me feedback. I am thankful for every advice and happy to answer questions. You can also follow me on Instagram or Facebook for photography and stories or FindPenguins where I track my journey to get a general overview. I am happy to see you back soon.

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