Hong Kong, 香港 in Chinese, is one of the main cities of China. It accounts as 2.7% of the total mainland economy, as Liguria for Italy or North Carolina for the USA.
But only 0.5% of population and 0.01% of land. Such a crazy place!
Situated 125 km below the tropic of Cancer the climate is enjoyable in the late autumn and winter. For the remanining part of the year its monsoons and asphyxiating summers would make you uncomfortable.
Due to its central location through the multiple trade routes in that area, it’s a sort of oriental melting pot. Cuisine and language are almost unique.
• What to visit
The following suggestions are fruit of 2 travels i did in that city in 12.2017 and 11.2019. I’ve been there during the perfect periods.
My brother has visited Hong Kong in other periods, for example in april, with worse results (monsoons).
Monsoons are seasonal reversing winds connected with variable rains: since the land is able to change its temperature faster than the ocean, during the summer it will higher an huge quantity of air, while being replenished with fresh one from the sea.
During the ascensional movement, the air will cool down and some water will escape, causing rain.
In the tropical areas, the available energy is very abundant and the phenomena are the strongest in the world.
During the winter monsoons also happen over the ocean, sometimes causing drought on the mainland.
After this short reading of the riot act, i can suggest to avoid monsoons.
Let’s see some place to be visited:
Since in China the hotels are quite cheap, a good base point could be Holiday Inn Golden Mile in Nathan Rd or the Royal Pacific Hotel, in the west side of Tsim Sha Tsui.
Victoria Peak is a hill on the western part of Hong Kong Island (552 m). It’s nicknamed The Peak and in the surrounding area rise up both communication facilities and premium flats.
The line for taking the rack railway is often very long, so it would be nice to go there in the early morning: The Peak Tram runs from 7a.m. to midnight (Mon – Sun & public holidays).
From the top platform it’s possible to admire the Hong Kong skyline, with a 360° view.
Just below the tram entrance there’s a tiny oasis in a concrete jungle: the Tai Chi Garden.
太極 (chinese for Tai chi) is an internal martial art, focused on the following through of the eventual attacker. The philosofical origin is very taoist: just in the “Tao Te Ching” it’s possible to find some reference to “The soft and the pliable will defeat the hard and strong.”. Here a translated passage of the book.
Since HK is very near to one of major mondial portable electronics producing and developing area, the city of Shenzhen, it’s possible to have interesting sightseeing in the central Mongkok Computer Centre. The place is very crowded but the prices are quite good, like the offer of high quality electronics. Some products are dedicated to HK market, such as some Samsung laptops and so on.
The metro red line (Tsuen Wan Line) serves eminently the central part of the peninsula.
Kowloon Park (九龍公園), still on Shim Tsa Tsui is well-known for the presence of many flamingo and as the old Barraks of the british legion.
The visit is very short but very nice for a walk hand in hand with your other half.
It could sound weird, but HK is very famous for its hiking path.
At the beginning of november the weather is still hot and sunny so it’s possible to take on a middle level path starting from the last east station of orange line: Chai Wan.
The “Firewood bay” is a residential and industrial area, pretty good for living.
From the subway station, facing south west it’s possible to reach the start of the hiking path passing through the Masjid (Mosquee encircled by muslim tumbs), the Buddhist cemetery and the crematoriun (not exactly a joyful hike).
After 30′ climbing it’s possible to choose between the bus n.9 towards Shek O Bay or the trail n.8 (i suggest the latter one).
The maximum height is 260m at the Dragon’s Back (龙脊) view point: if the day is worthy the crest shape going down to the sea is similar to a snake (the chinese concept of dragon is more like a snake than ours).
The hike is around 1.5 h long and at the end of the dirt road, a paved bus stop is waiting for you: it’s both to come back to the city center (15′) or to go to have a snack in Shek O Bay.
Shek O Bay, or “The Rocky Bay” is a turistic area facing the south China sea. The quality of the water and air is pretty good and it’s an excellent place for surfing, climbing and doing many outdoor activities.
The area around is fairly western in style, indeet it’s attended by many foreignes and the local restaurants offer dishes from all over the world: Thailand, Vietnam, etc…
The line n.9 has a very high frequency so it’s not necessary to take care of the timetables, but only sit in the station’s porch and wait for the next bus.
In the running path section is present a gpx proposal of a morning path. I remember that, even at 7am, it was full of people doing sports like running or swimming (!) or parents taking the children at school. Another world compared to sleepy Italy.
• What to eat
The best dishes i’ve tasted:
- 椰汁芒果糯米饭 – Coconut juice with mango and sticky rice in Shek O Thai Resturant
- 炸春卷 – Fried spring roll
- 炸虾饼 – Fried shrimp cake
- 粽香鸡 – Rice dumplings wrapped in leaves with chicken
- 香菜皮蛋猪肉粉 – Old eggs with pork, noodles e coriander in Waso Cafe’(华嫂冰室).
- Mixed appetizers and fast buffet at Harlan’s Sky Dining (19/F in The ONE shopping center)
• Hot to get here
No need to explain how to get to HK, it’s the 8th busiest airport worldwide. I’ve just heard some stories of people swimming here from the mainland during the cultural revolution…
It’s possible to reach HK also from Yulin, Guangzhou, Singapore, Manila, Kaohsiung, Shanghai (!) by ferry. It’s the 7th busiest airport worldwide.
It’s possible to enter the mainland using metro at the 2 checkpoint of Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau (Futian port), 1h from the city center. Gaotie enters the city directly in West Kowloon station.
Crowded and hot city, the climate is humid subtropical (Cwa: C = Mild temperate w = Dry Winter a = Hot Summer). Hong Kong nestles in the southwest of China, on the eastern side of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, it’s the final appendix of a long peninsula branching off south weast, in the South China Sea.
It has a pleasant moist climate with plenty of sunlight and ample rainfall. The agreeable climate makes it a cozy city for living, especially in autumn and winter.
In 2004 the Dragon’s Back Trail was selected by TIME Asia as the best urban hiking trail.