The Exploration of Hong Kong’s Alleys and Beyond

51 comments
Asia, Hong Kong

A Ding-Ding at Central, Hong Kong

It was Monday which also happened to be my third day in Hong Kong. That day the sky still looked as murky as the day before. But that very day, I did not explore Hong Kong alone. A few weeks prior to my departure from Jakarta, I made an arrangement with a fellow blogger who lives in Hong Kong to meet up in the city. A trip accompanied by a local resident who knows the city very well is just a perfect way to understand all the places much better than going out alone, isn’t it? So, at around 8 am I met James, who has a very nice and beautifully written blog: Plus Ultra, in the front of the building where the hostel is located.

The first thing that we did was having a breakfast at a local restaurant which has a two-word Chinese name. I always tried to remember it but those two words never stay in my head for too long. He ordered a bowl of noodle with stewed beef on top of it, along with a bread and scrambled eggs. A very satisfying breakfast to start the day. Speaking of the way local people have their breakfast, it is not an uncommon thing for people to just sit right next to you at the same table if there is no more empty seat at other tables.

After finishing our breakfast, he took me to Central by the tram which is also called as Ding-Ding. It is such a nice thing to know that even in a city as modern as Hong Kong, old trams are still used as one of the main means of transportation. Central itself is aptly named for being the financial center of Hong Kong. At Central, we went through a complicated system of intertwined pedestrian pathways which James himself calls ‘The Labyrinth’ through which people can go from one building to another without having to cross the busy street at all. This is one of the things that I like the most about Hong Kong: It accommodates the pedestrians very well. Around Central, we went to an old quarter where many of Hong Kong’s old buildings are located, such as the St. John’s Cathedral and the Former French Mission building which now serves as the Court of Final Appeal.

The Interior of St. John’s Cathedral

A Unique Stained Glass Window Inside Standard Chartered Building

After going in and out of the buildings at Central, then we went to the escalators which go all the way from Central to the notoriously steep hill of Hong Kong where most of residential areas are located. The escalators actually consist of several separate escalators which altogether make a long chain of hill-climbing escalators. Again, another impressive thing in Hong Kong because by having this system of escalators, the city can significantly reduce the use of cars because people can conveniently go from the hill to the city and vice versa (in the morning all the escalators are set to move downwards, but in the afternoon they are set to move upwards).

At several points we stopped to see some interesting things along the way, including a street name which was unintentionally spelled backwards when it was written, Hollywood road which has existed long before there was a Hollywood in California, a house in which Jose Rizal (a Filipino national hero) spent some times of his life, some trees with blooming bauhinia flowers and the list goes on and on. Then before lunch time we went to an old mansion which is now a museum, Dr Sun Yat-sen museum to be precise. Apart from what I could learn about the venerated Chinese statesman’s history, the building itself is such a beautiful and elegant old mansion with so many parts of it (if not all) are still intact today. Right before lunch time we got out of the building and walked around the neighborhood to see some other interesting things and old buildings.

Traditional Market with Skyscrapers as Background

Hollywood Road which Has Many Old Buildings and Art Galleries

Typical Street at Hong Kong’s Hilly Terrain

Rednaxela? It Was Supposed To Be Written Alexander

Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum

An Ornate Hall Inside Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum

A Corridor Inside The Museum

The Balcony of The Museum

Wooden Staircase Inside The Museum

Lunch is always a rush time, not only in Hong Kong but also everywhere else I suppose. So, to avoid the crowd we went to Kowloon (while most people headed to the other direction) by taking the famous Star Ferry and took the upper deck that time. Even though there were still clouds hanging on the sky and fog covering the peak of the hills on Hong Kong Island, I snapped some photographs for the sake of capturing the moment.

After getting off the ferry, we had lunch at a restaurant near the clock tower and ordered dim sum which is something that everyone has to try when visiting Hong Kong. My favorite are the ones with shrimps. Oh my! They taste like heaven! After savoring all the dishes until our stomachs could not take anymore of it, we headed back to Hong Kong Island by taking the same ferry, only this time at the lower deck which actually comes in cheaper price but with equally stunning view. We went to the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence which is located at the far east side of the island (more on this place on a separate post).

Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence (Left) Overlooking A Highway

We spent a couple hours at the museum until it was about to close. Then we headed back to Central to have some dinner. But, that afternoon the sky got clearer and we were not that hungry yet. So we decided to go to the Peak by The Peak Tram. The tram itself is an entertainment on its own because at some points it goes from a comfortably leaning position to a very steep one. Some passengers who were standing up had to lean themselves forward in order to keep their bodies in balance. It was fun!

On my previous post I have said about the ubiquitous malls of Hong Kong. The Peak is nothing but different. As soon as we reached the terminal station, there is a shopping mall which is also the only way to get out of the tram. We did not want to watch Hong Kong’s skyline from the platform atop the mall, so we searched for the way out of that mall (or tourist trap if you will) which was not an easy thing to do. After we finally got out of it, there is another shopping mall located right in front of the first one. Then we hurried ourselves out of that place and went to a much quieter place to watch the city from above.

A Mall at The Peak

Hong Kong’s Night Skyline as Seen from A Quiet Spot 15 Minutes Away from The Mall

Watching all the lights from the skyscrapers below and listening to the faint noise of the bustling traffic felt so strangely peaceful up there. In fact, I would love to go back one day just to stand and enjoy the very same view again. After taking some photographs we decided to go back to the city because it was already a little past dinner time. But before reaching any restaurant, we did a little stroll around Central to take a look at some interesting buildings there.

Hong Kong’s Ultra Modern Legislative Council Building

Bank of China Tower (Left): Truly A Landmark of Hong Kong

We had dinner at Causeway Bay (which looked even more crowded than on my first night in Hong Kong even though it was a Monday night) near the hostel where I stayed at. We had sushi with a very decent quality of the fish but at a rather cheap price (for such quality) and ended up eating 15 plates (including some plates of sashimi). As such quantity had not been enough for us, then we went to other restaurant to have dessert which is a soft ice cream on top of a sweet potato with green tea syrup on the ice cream. Such a lovely dessert, indeed. Satisfied with the day and all food that we had from the morning until the very last dessert, then we called it a day. A very nice and unforgettable day in Hong Kong, especially after my frustration the day before because of the thick fog.

Related Posts: A Very Foggy Day in Hong Kong, An Even Foggier Day in Hong Kong, Learning The History of The Fragrant Harbor, A Laid-Back Escape from The Bustle of Hong Kong

Posted by

Based in Jakarta, always curious about the world, always fascinated by ancient temples, easily pleased by food.

51 thoughts on “The Exploration of Hong Kong’s Alleys and Beyond”

  1. Pingback: An Even Foggier Day in Hong Kong « What an Amazing World!

  2. Pingback: A Very Foggy Day in Hong Kong « What an Amazing World!

  3. The captue of Hong Kong’s skyline really freaked me out lol!!

    Nice work, Bama.

    Just a question… How is your thirty twenty twenty project going? What list of countries are by now “on your radar” ? 🙂

    Like

    • Hi Javi!
      Thanks a lot but please don’t freak out! haha..
      My 302020 is still rolling for sure. Probably this year I’ll be traveling to Laos, China and Sri Lanka.

      Like

      • Great destinies… I do not know why I’ve got a feeling If you make these trips, you will have lovely material for new posts 🙂

        Anyways, you still have a couple of years before 2020 so don’t feel in a hurry with your project and luck with all your thrilling trips!

        Like

      • I do hope so. Just like cooking, great dishes can only be made from the heart, and my heart goes for traveling. 🙂
        I know it is still 8 years away, but whenever there is a chance for me to travel, I will surely try my best not to miss that.
        Thanks again, Javi!

        Like

  4. Bama, let me say that taking you around was a lot of fun – it’s not often that I get to enjoy both Dim Sum and Sushi on the same day! The place where we had breakfast was called “Tsui Wah”. I found it hilarious that you got to experience the table-sharing firsthand; it’s so common that we have a specific term for it in Cantonese: “daap toi”.

    I love how you included all the little facts and anecdotes, it’s these details (and the photos) that really bring it to life. Hopefully the weather will be fantastic the next time you come!

    Like

    • James, it was indeed a lot of fun (and a really nice day considering how bad my days in Hong Kong started).
      That’s it!!! Tsui Wah. All I can remember was its green logo. But now I think I’ll also remember the name.
      I’d love to come again to Hong Kong, let alone after reading your blog I found out that there are more interesting places that I haven’t visited, such as Tai O fishing village. I’ll surely let you know the next time I come to your city again.

      Like

  5. Great tour and photos of Hong Kong, Bama! When I was in HK a few years ago I just couldn’t get over the sky scrapers paired with vegetable markets at the bottom, incredible!

    Like

    • Thanks, Mark! I know, it’s such a contrast sight which is so typical Hong Kong, isn’t it? Also there are so many calm and quiet places in this ever bustling city.

      Like

  6. Pingback: Learning The History of The Fragrant Harbor « What an Amazing World!

    • Thanks, Lu! I found Hong Kong’s skyline always beautiful at any time..well, unless if there is fog.

      Like

  7. Pingback: A Laid-Back Escape from The Bustle of Hong Kong « What an Amazing World!

  8. No Vacation Required says:

    Hong Kong is fascinating. I remember feeling quite overwhelmed by it. I also remember how difficult the mid-levels are to navigate after you have had too many drinks!

    Like

    • I was so lucky to have a friend as a local guide. Hong Kong’s mid-levels can be a little tricky to navigate when you’re sober, let alone after having too many drinks! hahaha…
      But apparently Hong Kong is much more than just a bustling city. It has secluded beaches and traditional villages also (which both I haven’t got the chance to visit).

      Like

  9. myallegro31 says:

    Awesome Post. I am going to save this for my trip. Beautiful photos and a lovely writeup. Nice work buddy.

    Like

  10. Excellent post! Looks like you enjoyed your Hong Kong trip very much. I have always enjoyed riding the Star Ferry and the Ding-Ding ( I call it Tin-Tin after watching the 3D movie). If you are interested, you may like to read my post on Tin Tin and Star Ferry under retireediary.wordpress.com

    Like

    • Thanks Michael! I did have a very enjoyable trip to Hong Kong last January, despite the insanely thick fog on my first two days there. I will get back to your blog and read the articles about Tin Tin and Star Ferry. 🙂

      Like

  11. Ahhh I miss this place! HongKong is not HongKong if not for the cross-cultural architecture! 😀

    Like

  12. sashaspirig says:

    Hii (: I really love your blog (especially considering i love travelling myself) so I thought you deserved to be nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award” 😀 If you don’t know what it is or yeah you can look here “http://traveltheworldwithfood.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/one-lovely-person-one-lovely-blog/?preview=true&preview_id=72&preview_nonce=bd788fe4a6” 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks Kadian! Despite my being biased as I’m an Indonesian, it is indeed a very beautiful country. There are still a lot of places in the country that I haven’t got the chance to visit. As for Hong Kong, you have to go beyond the usual ‘tourist traps’ to find the true charm of this enchanting city.

      Like

      • yeah, I’m tired of the tourist thing…It’s not fun that way. Thanks for sharing. I was kinda giving up on travel but wow you make me feel bad for not doing it more lol

        Like

  13. Reblogged this on EaziTravel Group and commented:
    Having travelled Hong Kong, I really enjoyed reading this blog. I guess I missed quite a bit by sticking to the road well known to express visitors. Enjoy, the read and beautiful pictures

    Like

    • Thanks for dropping by Ray! Hong Kong actually has a lot more to offer than only shopping malls and amusement parks. I wouldn’t mind coming back there one day to explore the beaches.

      Like

  14. Halim Santoso says:

    Sun Yat Sen museum look so great… I wish i’ll go there someday 🙂

    Like

    • It’s a beautiful museum with so many antique wardrobes installed in it. However taking photos is actually prohibited. I took several pictures until one officer caught me and asked me not to take any more pictures. I was completely unaware of the prohibition. 🙂

      Like

    • The stained glass was really unique, and to see it you have to navigate Hong Kong’s convenient, but sometimes confusing, network of elevated walkways.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Hong Kong for the holidays | Plus Ultra

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s