When I arrived in Hong Kong I played it off like I wasn’t suffering from jet lag. Well, I’m a big fat liar. I was exhausted. I slept on the plane but nothing can really prepare you for a 12-hour time change after a 15-hour flight.
I landed around 3 p.m. and took the Airport Express train into the city. I was staying in the Central neighborhood and it was a quick taxi to the apartment from the train station. The taxi ride was quick but I was already in awe of everything. The buildings were so tall, there were so many people, taxis were so red!
After I showered, my friend and I grabbed drinks in Lan Kwai Fong, aka LKF, aka the party ‘hood, and then walked to dinner at Chachawan. It’s a yummy (and spicy!) Thai restaurant. I inhaled everything. And I’m not sure if it was the spice or the exhaustion, but I was hallucinating by the end of the meal. Bed time for me!
The next day I had plans to visit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island. I was pret-ty excited. If you’ve ever seen The Family Stone, this is the same Buddha mentioned in the movie and I never in a million years thought I would visit. The nerd in me was happy to be wrong.
After a carbo-licious bagel breakfast at Peel Street Espresso Bar, we took the train to Lantau. The train was approximately 30 minutes, which flies by because the train system is amazing in Hong Kong. (Boston, take note.) First thing, pick up an Octopus Card at the train station when you arrive. It’s re-loadable at any train station or 7-11. (You can also use your Octopus Card to pay for anything at any 7-11s. It’s amazing. I’m a big fan of how efficient this is. It’s like magic.)
Once you arrive at the Lantau stop, you can usually hop on the tram to the Big Buddha, but unfortunately for me, the trams were down for maintenance. Oh joy, bus it is, I guess.
The bus station is across the street from the train station and dropped us off right at the base of the Big Buddha. The buses run every 20 minutes or so and it’s a 20 minute ride to the Buddha so it’s a bit of a hike, but just do it.
Prepare yourself because when you arrive the whole area is breathtaking. It’s smack dab in the middle of a mountain valley, and the view is magnificent.
I recommend hiking up to the Big Buddha first. It gives you a great perspective of the area.
As you walk the up the steps, you’ll see people praying and lighting incense along the way. All of your senses get to participate in this experience.
After the Big Buddha, I walked across the park to the Po Lin Monastery. The temples are incredibly ornate and colorful. Honestly, my pictures don’t do it justice.
I finish up at Lantau and head back to Hong Kong. Before I head to the apartment, I swing by the ICC on the Kowloon side to visit the sky100 Observation Deck. There are sweeping views of both Hong Kong and Kowloon. The sky100 costs around $20 – but it’s totally worth it.
After the morning adventures, I head back to the apartment for a little afternoon siesta. It’s been a crazy couple of days so the nap is needed – big time.
Post-nap = hike time.
There was a supermoon while I was visiting Hong Kong, and the best place to grab a picture or two was Victoria Peak. Fair warning: if you want to walk up to The Peak it is a HIKE. It is the steepest walk I have ever experienced. No joke. Like, I literally had a hard time walking the next day.
But the views… <insert heart eye emoji>
Supermoon or not, trekking to the top of Victoria Peak is a must. If you’re not into a completely debilitating walk, there’s a tram that takes you to the top. And there’s a mall at the top if you feel the need to do some shopping too. Just thought I would share that.
A million thank yous to Air Canada for collaborating with me on this trip to Hong Kong! You can read all about my flight with Air Canada here. Or check out the Air Canada website if you want to learn more about flying Premium Economy. Or if you’re sold, here’s the link to book now. All opinions and images are my own.