This is the place. A place I longed to show to Tan, and hoped he would see it the way I do-at least enough for him wanting to come back for a future pit stop when passing by. I knew this is the place he might hate, just like I hated it the first time I came here in 2007. Unable to breathe in this high humidity, pollution thick as a fog, tiny portion sizes at the pizza chains, and dirty streets full of vendors trying to get you buy their goods. But back then I was already caught in a trap as I knew that in a good week I would be stuck here again, with my plane ticket going through this place. I was dreading the end of the trip when this stop will happen again, but something changed. A place caught me under it’s spell and I’ve been coming back ever since, well at least for the next three years. My last trip, the fifth, was in early 2010, just before I met Tan, and was waiting until this moment to come back with him.
I had my plan to make it a good experience, so I decided we will splurge a little bit by staying away from Chungking mansions. I wanted to avoid anything that could stain this trip, although I did not plan a lot. We needed to go to see the Symphony of lights, eat duck, get to my once favorite local eatery, to go to the Space museum with its’ Omnimax experience, and if we are lucky we might even find the lion dance show. So nothing big, just simple things I love. Unfortunately Hong Kong had different plans for us. My must-do Space museum just got closed down due to renovation and my favorite local eatery did not have my dish on their menu anymore. I was overhyping these two experiences and ended up not being able to deliver. Now I think back on this trip, I think this was a good thing, as it forced us to explore more, instead of being stuck with these known favorites.
We explored the markets, tried many street foods, checked The Peak which seems to have become a must-do attraction in the past few years. The Peak now has an hours long line, for something I was not impressed with even when it was empty in 2007 (Tip: take the bus, not the Tram!). We explored the midlevel escalators and the park, and even did a half day do it yourself trip to the Tian Tan Buddha on the Lantau island. We ate cheaply but good and even treated ourselves with dim sum in one of the branches of the world known ‘cheapest Michelin star restaurant’. Hong Kong did treat us well, despite Space museum letdown. At least it gives us excuse to come back, again.
Hong Kong is a city, and although I love it, it is a place where 2-5 days at the time are more than enough. Our stay was 5 days long, the maximum and considering we were in somewhat good accommodation with a great location, our budget did great. We estimated we would travel on the budget, but we think that our travel style was up-ed yet again to midrange budget.
COST PER STAY
Sum per person including visa (no visa needed)
Estimated total cost: 165.00 GBP
Actual cost: 207.17 GBP
Off budget: - 42.17 GBP
COST PER DAY (per person)
Estimated per day: 33.00 GBP (no visa needed) BUDGET
Actual cost: 41.43 GBP (includes visa cost) MIDRANGE BUDGET