Since working in Macau a couple of years ago, I’ve come to realise that there aren’t as much to do here for expats like myself as in Hong Kong. Hence, I’ve been out and about often exploring this beautiful, bustling city. And once the sun has finally brightened up my hemisphere, my stilettos and flip-flops were packed and ready for some epic weekend action that’s one too many for the books.
Some people are asking me why I keep coming back to Hongky so I thought I’d list down the top 10 reasons by starting with:
1. It’s only ONE hour by ferry.
I’m practically used of hours-long of traffic back in my days in Manila so one hour of smooth, comfortable ferry ride with a promise of a good time is child’s play.
There are two terminals located on each island, Macau Ferry Terminal and Taipa Ferry Terminal, which operates round-the-clock trips. So depending on your location and preferred time and destination, it’s so accessible especially from hotels where they have free shuttle buses.
You can click on the links for the sailing schedule and fare.
Most people who know me would probably categorise me as a party girl, but it’s likely that drinking and socialising are my destressing formula, which was proven effective over the years.
There are so many cool bars and clubs in this city that cater to all needs and preferences so I can’t really think of a reason why anyone would come home feeling sober.
Usually, I start my evening by grabbing din din in SoHo, (delicious tapas in Enoteca), after-dinner drinks along the bars in Wyndham st., (chill and relaxing atmosphere in TiVo, posh vibe in Lily & Bloom at LKF hotel, groovy crowd in Tazmania Ballroom) then usually end up clubbing in either Volar, Privé or Dragon-i.
Some clubs ask for a cover fee but most of the time, ladies get in for free.
3. Beach, beach, beach
Ok this is the best lil’ surprise that awaits a beach babe like myself. HK is quite famous for its city lifestyle and as a shopping hub of Asia but never as a tropical destination when as a matter of fact, there are quite a few beaches that is worth the trip there.
What might seem like a bath day for locals and expats in Shek-O beach and Deep Water Bay can actually work as an advantage for people who prefer less crowded beaches nearby such as Big Wave Bay and Chung Hom Kok, respectively. There are a number of bus routes available to reach the place but taxi would be the easiest way if you don’t mind being ripped off. There are no entrance fees, just bring a large towel or beach mat and some snacks.
Exploring the outskirts of Hong Kong island, you can find yourself in Sai Kung town. Although I’ve not gone hiking to Tai Long Wan just yet, I thought I’d mention it since it’s considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Hong Kong, which also happens to be a surfing destination. Just prepare to hike out for at least 90 minutes then clear blue water and fine white sand await you.
4. Junk Boats
This is the thing during summer season. A few people organise a junk then invite their friends who tag along their friends to a maximum of 30pax, rent the boat for a whole day; drinking, sailing, swimming, and end up having a helluva great time.
With meeting points either in Central or Sai Kung pier, the junk leaves around 10am and starts cruising in the ocean. For 400HKD – 500HKD, depending on the type of boat and time of the week, lunch is provided and water activities like wake boarding and kayaking are sometimes included.
5. HK Sevens
Three words that best describe this three-day event every first quarter of the year: booze, costumes & testosterone. Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is one of the most exciting sports competition I’ve ever been to. I’m not a huge follower of Rugby but I mainly go there for the tremendous party atmosphere.
I believe it’s not easy to get tickets to the games so better book early otherwise there are tents and sports bars that show live feeds so you can still bring the gang and join the fun.
Before I adapt the cool lifestyle of hongky, I used to just go to there for a whole day of repetitive sequence of walking, browsing, fitting, more browsing and yet more fitting, then cash burning.
H&M, Cotton On and Marks & Spencer are just among the brands that are missing in Macau that make the trip on the other S.A.R. so inviting. Not to mention the night markets in Mong Kok, the outlet stores in Tung Chung, and the fancy shops in IFC, retail therapy has never seemed this quite exhausting, physically and financially.
Ok, this is my absolute favourite. If I was given the task to find the best brunch place in HK, I wouldn’t back down on it. I simply love the laid-back, recovering-while-recounting-last-night’s-events vibe of it. Surprisingly, I have a large appetite for English breakfast and space for more sparkling wine again.
8. Theme Parks
I’ve only ever been once to Disneyland but the thought that it’s so easily accessible whenever you just feel like being a silly kid again who sings to the tune of ‘It’s a small world after all..’ makes the long trip to Tung Chung worthwhile.
If you want a less kiddie fun, then head over to the Southern District of Hong Kong and get ready to be amazed by the the living creatures in Ocean Park. A day admission costs about $320 HKD.
Although Macau has Cotai Arena that holds a big event like Rihanna concert and Club Cubic bringing in Ne-Yo, there’s no doubt Hong Kong has a wider market for internationally renowned artists. David Guetta, Avicii and Ellie Goulding which I have personally seen are only few among the famous DJs and singers who have graced the HK stage in the past year. (gutted to miss Matchbox Twenty)
Best to checkout hkclubbing to know more updates happening around metro.
Cultural diversity at its finest is how I perceive this city of seven million people. Everywhere I look, I see a wide range of locals, expatriates and tourists flocked in Hong Kong all for a good reason. I can’t help but be fascinated by these beautiful, vibrant earth-dwellers and the interesting stories behind their existence in the Pearl of the Orient.
Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia