Wearing: 1/ Asos Blazer and T Shirt, J Brand jeans, Converse sneakers. 2/ Sportscraft trench coat (similar here), Madewell denim shirt, J Brand jeans, Seed espadrilles (similar here), Celine sunglasses. 3/ Sportscraft trench coat (similar here), Asos blouse, J Brand leather pants, Seed espadrilles (similar here), Chanel bag, Samsonite carry on luggage case.
My first destination as part of my Life Well Travelled campaign with Cathay Pacific was Hong Kong. I’d always wanted to visit this city, and it was my obvious first choice to experience Cathay Pacific’s home town. It was only a brief trip of 3 days trying to experience as much as possible, but the city helped us make the most of it by turning it on even more by night.
To be completely honest I had a difficult few days, weeks and months before leaving on this trip, which was nearly postponed more than once. My dear friend and photographer also couldn’t make it at the last minute and my heart ached that I would go without her. Travelling is a wonderful, blessed experience but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that with the highs also come some lows. To travel is to take chances and seek more of the world and yourself, although much more often lately there has been unforeseen circumstances pulling me home and to loved ones.
It took a lot for me to leave home on this particular week, starting the trip very differently than my usual over excitement. I normally have anxieties about flying but from the moment I sat down on the flight I was lulled in to a calming few hours away from my own thoughts. Above the clouds is such a beautiful place to escape yourself… with the help of a good wine list and inflight entertainment (hello Harry Potter marathon) of course! Thank you to Cathay Pacific’s comforting hosts making everything from check in easier, listing recommendations, to finding my misplaced passport. The stress free flight allowed me to both physically and mentally refresh before arriving in Hong Kong.
My mum and I have always joked if we should have been born Asian or Italian, based on our culinary preferences. For many years now I have adamantly remained Asian at heart (or tastebuds I should say). If you ever spy my breakfasts on Instagram while in Asian countries it would be a good insight to this love of mine… eating my favourites of dumplings, pho, fried rice, noodles, ramen etc to start the day. Obviously I was in my element while eating my way through Hong Kong, but even more so when Cathay Pacific surprised me by serving noodles with pork and bok choy for breakfast just after take off from Sydney!
I’ve listed as many personal tips and recommendations based on my experience in Hong Kong below. I only had a few days to explore this bustling city but would go back in a heart beat for more. If you have any advice for Hong Kong that you think I or my readers could use when visiting next, please leave in a comment below! I’m so excited to share my next leg of my Life Well Travelled journey in the Maldives soon, and remember to continue sharing your own #lifewelltravelled moments.
Where to stay: I stayed at The Ritz Carlton which is perfect for sweeping views over Hong Kong Island and beyond. When I arrived to my room on the 115th floor it was so high up in the sky that even the clouds were blanketing below. Apart from the view I loved their incredible bathroom and tub, and restaurants. The Ozone bar on the 118th floor is literally the highest bar in the world, offering some of the best sun set views imaginable. Make sure to try the dragon fruit martini!
How to get there: I flew with Cathay Pacific from Sydney to Hong Kong in just over 9 hours, then on to Male, Maldives a few days later. It would be the perfect stopover for any Australian’s flying to Europe over their upcoming Summer. As Cathay Pacific is based in Hong Kong, they and sister airline Dragonair fly to over 190 destinations worldwide.
How to get around: The city was easy and relatively cheap to get around using the underground or taxi’s. The Metro / MTR was $55 HKD or $9 AUD for an adult day pass, and easy enough to navigate between lines!
Where to eat:
Mak’s Noodle is a well known, bustling restaurant where people dash in on their lunch break, or visit over decades thanks to its simple, authentic and more affordable dishes. The dishes are small so make sure to order several to share. I recommend the dumpling soup, Chinese vegetables and plain noodles.
One Dim Sum was my first stop for food in Hong Kong, being a few blocks away from the Flower Markets. There was a long line outside so we hungrily guessed menu choices while waiting thirty minutes to be seated. I chose completely wrong (accidentally ordering shellfish) and they happily helped me re-order everything. I surprisingly loved the vegetable dumplings and pork buns, and found the prices extremely reasonable.
Tim Ho Wan was recommended several times when I arrived in Hong Kong. I’m not sure if it was a busy period or my high expectations, but the dumplings I imagined did not match what I ate. Of everywhere I ate in Hong Kong this felt the most like a “fast food” restaurant focused on pushing out quantity rather than quality.
Tin Lung Heen can be found in The Ritz Carlton building. Apart from offering sweeping views of Hong Kong, the Michelin 2 starred restaurant is a culinary experience I won’t be forgetting soon. Make sure to try the Peking Duck and BBQ Pork.
What to see and do:
Flower Market Road was my first stop in Hong Kong, after dumplings of course. I wandered the main road as recommended but preferred the streets nearby that were sprawling with flowers, bamboo and succulents on to the pavements. This may have been due to the colder time of year (or day as I am an early explorer) limiting the markets but it was a bright start to the morning. I have also heard that the Ladies, Cat Street and Bird Markets are worth checking out.
Temple Street Night Market is a mix of colourful souvenirs and vendors. I bought my brother a leather bound book before finding a nearby food spot for noodles. I loved wandering the streets of Mong Kok, Kowloon afterwards in awe of the bright lights and crowded neon signs.
Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha) was always at the top of my list to see while in Hong Kong. You can take the cable car from Tung Chung Town Centre to Lantau Island for $165 HKD (under $30 AUD) return but be weary if you’re scared of heights like myself. The ride is for 5.7kms and has views across the city, sea and mountains. The Tian Tan Buddha is a bronze statue of Buddha Amoghasiddhi, built to symbolise the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion. I highly recommend this day trip to anyone that seeks time out from the city, to have a breath of fresh air overlooking the mountains.
Aqua Luna Junkboat was something that kept jumping out as a must do while researching Hong Kong. We took the junk boat from Hong Kong Island across the Harbour just on sunset, and as every minute the sun went down the city skyline lit up even more. This is a perfect experience for couples or friends, enjoying a beer or two while sailing across the Harbour.
Soho I arrived in Soho before 8am on the day that I flew out, and wandered the sloping streets while shopkeepers set up their stalls and did handiwork on the sidewalks. It was bustling full of cafes and restaurants, grocery shops and boutiques. I happily got lost in the PMQ which is full of live in creative designers, pop up stores and eateries nearby.