From its tallest, most monolithic buildings, its gaudy and opulent shopping malls and its pristine beaches; this fascinating city can stun you.
“You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you. The drama, the charm and the beauty of Hong Kong is all here just as is its breathless energy”. Author Nury Vittachi wrote this in his travel memoir, ‘Hong Kong: The City of Dreams’. He is indeed right. Hong Kong is a joy to explore. From its tallest, most monolithic buildings, its gaudy and opulent shopping malls and its pristine beaches; this fascinating city can stun you.
But as I write this, just a few days ago, a tornado dubbed Mangkhut wreaked havoc here, injuring more than 100 people and causing nearly 40,000 people to suffer power cuts. I’m sure the good people of Hong Kong will face the adversity of the catastrophe and recover.
It is an enchanting place. You can start your day by visiting the little fishing village of Tai O, which is on the Western coast of Lantau Island. It is a quiet, picturesque village that offers some stunning vistas and some resplendent beaches. Why not either take a bus from Tung Chung to Tai O or via ferry to Mui Wo and from there, take a taxi to Tai O? You can easily spend hours in the bustling fishing market and rent a trip on a small boat to take you around the harbour and the stilt houses for a closer view. The Tai O market is a feast for the senses. From fresh seafood to souvenirs, you can get everything here.
If you’re in Hong Kong, it’s a must-do to visit Long Ke Wan beach. With soft sand, crystal-blue water and a spectacular view of the South China Sea, the beach is a photographer’s paradise. It is also near the Hong Kong UNESCO Geo Park, where you can see unusual rock formations, which historians say were formed hundreds of millions of years ago. To get there, take a taxi from Sai Kung town to the East Dam reservoir. However, if you want to enjoy the magnificent coastline, then you can also walk from Sai Wan Pavilion which is 15 minutes’ walk from the beach. Po Toi Island is another place to visit.
Located in the southeast of Hong Kong, the island used to be home to more than a thousand people. However, the population has now dropped to just over 200. The famous Tin Hau Temple can be found on Po Toi facing the bay of Taiwan. While its construction date is unknown, the temple was renovated in 1893. People also flock to the Haunted House, which is also known as Mo’s Old House, to take pictures.
My favourite place: Lamma Island. Located in the southwest of Hong Kong, it’s a traditional Chinese fishing village.
Highlights: It’s the delicious food! Eating is an integral part of experiencing Hong Kong. One of the reasons to be here is to eat dim sum, which consists of little bite-sized dishes that can be steamed buns filled with pork; white dumplings or rice noodle rolls. People here drink tea, known as yum cha. Lin Heung Teahouse at Wellington Street in Sheung Wan is where you can find some of the best dim sum around.
Lowlights: Pickpockets abound in Hong Kong, especially in places such as ChungKing Mansions and Temple
Souvenirs: Hong Kong is famous for its wide variety of clothes, electronics, and sweets. If you’re looking for silk dresses, visit Ladies’ Market and Jardine Bazaar. You can get shining silk dresses for just under RO5.
Getting there: There are no direct flights from Muscat to Hong Kong. Instead, opt for a trip on Oman Air to Kuala Lumpur, and then hop aboard a Malaysian Airlines flight to Hong Kong.
Where to stay: Butterfly on Morrison Hotel is my favourite hotel. It’s not only cheap but also located within Hong Kong city.
1. Take a double-decker bus City Tour to get a full glimpse of the metropolis.
2. Enjoy the sky-high ride on the Peak Tram from Victoria Peak.
3. Take the kids to the iconic Ocean Park – the largest theme park in Asia.
4. Take a trip with your loved ones to Po Toi Island.
5. Visit Wellington Street to explore some of the best restaurants.