Our final big, outside Japan trip for the time we have left in this beautiful country we decided on Hong Kong for Christmas week. The husband had spent a short time there while deployed many years ago and wanted to go back for a longer stay to explore more and lets be honest – he was deployed so likely that was filled with late night drinking and whatever happens when the guys are away from home for 6 months. *not judging*
Hong Kong was in a word…disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy we went, it was an experience I don’t regret at all and I can include that in my travel repertoire but do I ever want to bother going back? Nope. In fact, we could easily have cut it to two or three days there instead of five and been happy. Making the decision to go during the holiday season was a great one because one of the saving graces of the trip was the amazing light displays the city puts out. Huge buildings are decorated and courtyards were lit up beautifully.
I won’t bore you with the itinerary because there was a lot of empty walking around time. What we booked ahead were two excursions. One was a boat ride around the bay and bus up to Bubba Gumps restaurant at the top of Hong Kong, The Peak. That was a really nice tour, we truly enjoyed it. The boat ride at night allowed us to see a lot of the light displays and we passed by the floating casino.
The other tour we booked we ended up not going because honestly I wasn’t feeling well. So, over the 5 days we walked a lot, found a couple of nice parks and a heck of a lot of shopping. If you have a load of money you want to get rid of, Hong Kong is the place to go. The shopping potential there is unreal. Oh and if you are looking for a new watch…go to HK. There were 3 or 4 watch shops on every block and I’m not exaggerating. We did the Temple Street Night Market which we saw so many reviews say it was a thing not to miss and other than a nice meal at a corner cafe, it rather sucked. It was a flea market full of knock off merchandise that reminded me of Nogales, Mexico. (Mom and Dad will get that reference I’m sure.)
We walked to the Avenue of Stars which we made time for thinking it would take up the morning, it took about 10 minutes to walk the little park. In fact it took longer to get there because we took the long way around then it did to walk the Avenue…but Bruce Lee…
Christmas Day we walked around again and ended up at our reservation at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant for dinner that I rather enjoyed but the husband was sorely disappointed with.
We also took a long walk towards the International Commerce Center also known as Sky100 so we could go up the tallest building in Hong Kong. We seem to have a theme wherever we go to explore the tallest tower/building. This one ranked just in front of the KLCC towers on the list of tallest. Before we got there we explored the mall at the bottom and it was HUGE. The best part of it was the center animated doll display. It was just on the cool side of creepy, if you know what I mean. Dolls..yeh.
There’s a video snippet of part of the animated show below:
Summary of our trip to Hong Kong
- The husband and I can enjoy time together even when we are disappointed and searching hard for fun that isn’t a theme park because other than shopping and a few sites, that’s all we saw to really do and we weren’t there for theme parks.
- The hotel the husband booked us in (Hotel Panorama) was really quite nice and a great location with a nice view. We walked everywhere.
- The food was interesting but not really our taste.
- I got a lot of reading done in between walking around and searching for food.
- Bested our tallest building adventure.
- If I had a lot of money to spend, it’s a shoppers dream come true.
- The Middle Eastern Salesmen on the street were annoying and downright offensive with their aggressive attacks on only the white people (that I saw, I’m not sure if they attacked anyone else but we never saw them approach anyone Asian).
- Trying to find specific places was a struggle which we can usually figure out but failed a couple of times on this trip.
- Nothing opens in the morning. The one time we usually go for Starbucks coffee (or something similar) is when traveling in Asia because they tend to only offer tea in the hotels so the husband usually goes for a coffee run first thing in the morning cuz he’s awesome like that. Even Starbucks didn’t open till 07:30 am…we are fairly early risers so the coffee situation was real.
I hope this hasn’t deterred anyone from making the trip, it was worth it to experience it and I don’t regret the trip at all. If you get a chance to go to Hong Kong, do it! Just be prepared, do your research.