Aloha amigos! Another installment of Becca’s travels comin atcha hot.
For spring break during my junior year (2015), one of my bffs, Nicole, and I ventured to Hong Kong to go visit one of our other bffs, Kelsey, who was doing a semester abroad there. While we were there, our other friend from high school, Liam, who was doing a semester abroad in Singapore, flew in for a long weekend and spent some time exploring the crazy, crowded, delicious, efficient city that is Hong Kong.
**okay disclaimer to this blog: I actually wrote a post about our trip to HK soon after we returned from our week in Asia, but I accidentally deleted it and it disappeared into the voids of the internet. Soooo, this blog is going to be mostly pictures with small blurbs about them because writing details seems hard and I’m the most lazy. Enjoy!
The story begins with Nicole and I meeting in Dallas, her coming from Chicago and me from Boston, and flying into Hong Kong together. When we arrived at the airport, Kelsey and her boyfriend Tyler were there to pick us up and help us get to our hostel. Once we checked in, unpacked, and changed out of gross plane clothes, we made our way to Kelsey’s favorite restaurant, Teawood. Here’s why it was her favorite:
The next day, we met up with Liam and got breakfast at this little place near our hostel called Match Box. This place would end up being our breakfast spot for the rest of the trip because they had GIANT pieces of french toast that we all loved and only served boiling hot water that we all hated. You win some, you lose some.
After breakfast we made our way over to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which was the school that Kelsey was studying at for the semester. Kels showed us around campus and we met some of her new friends, played on rocks and took lots of selfies 🙂
We spent the rest of the day walking around Hong Kong and exploring, with the intention of heading to the top of Victoria’s Peak, the highest mountain on the HK islands, around sunset and staying for the infamous laser light show that happens every night. The light show incorporates every building in the city, with each building coordinating displays and music with one another. Long story short, the light show was no where near as cool as it had sounded. Ah, oh well, the view from the top of the mountain was still amazing.
On day 3, Liam, Nicole, and I went to a local park/garden-esque thing called the Nan Lian Gardens. When we finished up there, we walked through the market district, which contained miles and miles of street vendors and shops selling anything from Apple products to goldfish to replica American sports jerseys.
The next day, we (of course) began our day at Match Box, and then embarked on a journey to the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery. On our way there, we stopped at a temple and joined in on a traditional method of Buddhist worship that involved lighting many incense sticks and eventually putting them into large vases that each symbolize something different that you may be praying for.
Then came the 10,000 Buddhas. Honestly, the title ‘10,000’ might be an understatement for how many Buddha statues were in this place. It was insane. Everywhere you looked, there was a Buddha. And they were all different!! Such a crazy sight to see, pictures don’t even begin to do it justice.
WE ALSO SAW THIS TERRIFYING MONKEY THAT ATTACKED ME. MONKEYS ARE NOT NICE I REPEAT, MONKEYS ARE NOT NICE.
Omg we also saw a lady and her family straight up stealing turtles out of one of the ponds in the monastery which clearly had a sign on it that said “Please Do Not Disturb the Turtles.” People are weird.
That night, we went out with Kelsey and Tyler and a bunch of their friends from class for WAN CHAI WEDNESDAY TURN UP. And turn up we did.
As you would imagine, we (when I say we I obvi mean Liam and I bc Nicole is responsible) woke up quite hungover, but we had plans to go hiking that day so we went hiking. And high key died. I have never felt like I had betrayed my body so badly as I did in that moment. Walking was hard. Lifting my feet was hard. Keeping my eyes open was hard. We were so thirsty but drinking water (and keeping it down) was hard. This hike is still one of my most vivid memories to this day. ESPECIALLY because we ended up getting lost in a ginormous cemetery and had to walk up at least 30 flights of stairs only to still not be able to find the trail head. Wow what a day #neverforget.
We also saw little baby ferrel puppies! They scared the bejeezus out of us when they charged at us using their big dog barks, but they were still just little cuties.
That night, we went to the best restaurant I have ever been to, which we dubbed Anna’s House after our amazingly adorable waitress, Anna. Definitely 5 stars.
Our 6th day in HK began with Nicole and I searching out a little bakery where we bought many a Chinese meat filled buns called ‘baos.’ If you’ve read any of my posts from Australia, you know I loooooveeee baos. I mean how could you not love sweet delicious bread filled with warm perfectly seasoned meat? Just ugh, so good.
Kelsey, Nicole, and I then headed to Lantau Island to venture out to the Big Buddha. Twas a big, big Buddha.
After marveling at the size of the giant Buddha, we returned to the city and shopped around at the Stanley Markets, which are comprised of streets and streets and streets full of, well, markets. Again, there was a huge diversity of products and all of us finished up our souvenir shopping while we were there.
For our last day, we decided to actually hike the trail that we were not able to find on that dreadful hungover day. We did some extensive research before departing and we were actually able to find the trail without a hitch. Imagine that! The hike was beautiful and concluded at Big Wave Bay, a little secluded beach along the HK coast. Hiking and beach? Can you say dream day??
To finish off our last day, we boarded an Aqua Luna boat cruise that sailed around Victoria Harbor and gave us great views of the city illuminated at night. The cruise was bougie af; we lounged on padded day beds as we sipped wine and took in the views. We ended the night with another dinner at Anna’s House and it was even more amazing than the first.
Well done Hong Kong, thanks for an amazing trip 🙂 And an extra thanks to Nicole, Liam, and Kelsey for being great travel companions/tour guides/friends ❤