Day 1 – The Persistent Cold
I landed in Hong Kong around 10pm and was feeling sick all over again. I took the local bus, which is totally worth the cost savings, straight from the airport to the front door of my hotel, Mojo Nomad. Thanks so much to Mojo Nomad for sponsoring my stay in Hong Kong. I had a big room all to myself and went to sleep as soon as I got there.
When I got up I was still feeling bad and decided to call it a sick day. Yes, I cam to Hong Kong just to see it (because it doesn’t count as a country and really I don’t know exactly what to call it - Wikipedia says it is an autonomous territory so we will go with that, I guess). I wanted to see Hong Kong but I also really need to stay healthy on this trip. I have a whole day again tomorrow so I spent the day today sleeping and working on planning the rest of this trip. I didn’t even feel like eating, that’s how bad that I felt. I went to sleep pretty early to have a full day ahead of me tomorrow. I’m just hoping that I feel up to it!
Day 2 – The Gardens
Good news: I felt much better this morning! I had breakfast in the Mojo Nomad lobby before storing my luggage for the day and heading out to see the city. My first stop was to buy the very important Octopus card. Side note: I don’t know if they are all done by the same company or not, but way too many public transit systems have cards that start with the letter O. Octopus, Oyster, and Opal? Seems like a lot. But anyways, I had to get my Octopus card to be able to get around for the day. I headed to a convenience store down the street to buy a card and top it up before taking a bus to my first destination, Victoria Peak.
It was an enjoyable bus ride along the water into the heart of what felt like a major business district. I walked the last ten minutes to the Victoria Peak cable car station and immediately realized that was not going to happen: the line was out the door and around the block! Instead I visited a cool old church just down the street, St. John’s Cathedral, and from there walked through a few parks to catch the ferry. It was a about to depart right when I got to the Wan Chai Ferry Pier and getting on was simple enough. All I had to do was tap my Octopus card. The ride across Kowloon Bay was amazing! There were giant buildings on both sides and both skylines were impressive. The ride itself took under ten minutes before arriving at Star Ferry Pier on the other side.
I really enjoyed walking around the area near the Star Ferry Pier. There was a really cool shopping area, Tsim Sha Tsui, and tons of other neat stores. I went in one mega-mall where I knew immediately what I had to have for lunch: I spotted another Din Tai Fung! It was in Taiwan (where I tried it for the first time) but I was so excited to see it again and ordered twice as many dumplings on this visit, trying both the chicken and pork. Pork was still the best but they were both tasty!
After a very fulfilling lunch I headed north to visit two places: the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden. I took the metro to go most of the way and took a bus the rest of the way. The two are right across the street (via a bridge) from each other and I decided to visit the Chi Lin Nunnery first. It was massive and so interesting. It featured many Buddhist figures and I really appreciated the explanations in English. It was a beautiful place and I really enjoyed walking through and learning about it. Afterwards I crossed the bridge to the Nan Lian Garden. It was amazing! Truly it is one of the coolest parks I have ever seen. There were so many unique aspects in it, from waterfalls and statues, to flowers and cultural buildings, there was so much to see. I took my time and visited the entire park and definitely recommend a walk through it all.
After finishing up a great visit around the city I took the bus back to the metro station where I decided to walk around a local mall. It was massive and I had one goal: I needed chapstick! While walking around I stumbled into a McDonalds, which by itself would be no big deal, but they were serving strawberry flavored soft serve ice cream. Now that’s a McDonalds food I could get behind! I got a cone to go and enjoyed it on my walk through the mall. I finally found a pharmacy and luckily they had just what I needed. I then took the metro back into the heart of the city where I caught a bus to take me back to Mojo Nomad. I picked up my luggage and, after a bit of a wait at the bus stop, caught the local bus back to the airport. The hour ride was enjoyable as I was able to see the outskirts of the city during the daytime this time. I really found the massive port area to be interesting and also attempted to see Hong Kong Disney as we passed the exit. I would love to go on my next visit to Hong Kong. I arrived at the airport in plenty of time for my flight which was, unfortunately, delayed. I finally boarded my flight for Kuala Lumpur after midnight, and really am looking forward to my time in Malaysia.
107 countries down, 88 to go.
To learn more about Mojo Nomad click here.