Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hong Kong Island (Hits & Misses)

hong kong islandAh... the city image of an island... that is the Hong Kong island (or Hong Kong for that matter) we know. Of tall buildings with hills at the back and a waterfront in front.

Yes, this is the more chic part of Hong Kong - famed for its international city image of 'East meets West'. I of course had to explore it (which tourist wouldn't?)... and here are some hits & misses of it, from my observation.

hong kong tramThe first sight that comes to mind in this island are the trams!

Why it's a hit:
These colourful trams, with its bright eye catching adverts is distinctively Hong Kong - mainly so as the other Asian cities don't have it (well some don't have it anymore - too bad!).

This tram breezes through the CBD area and is quite an enjoyable ride, passing by its busy streets and the landmark buildings of the island.

peak tramNext, not to be mistaken with the Hong Kong tram, this peak tram carries passengers to the Peak, for one to see the view of Hong Kong - both the island & Kowloon (the return ticket is HKD33).

Why it's a hit:
One get to see HK just like in the movies. Besides, the view is quite breathtaking!

peak tram pearl on the peakAnd once at the peak, what better way than to enjoy the view with a glass of drink at non other than the Pearl Of The Peak restaurant!

Why it's a hit:
While the food is a lil pricey, but their drinks start from HKD50 (fruit mocktails). Alcohols go for about HKD100. And if lucky, get the corner spot - this is when the crowd has thinned out. Lucky me! Haha! :)

stanley marketWhat is HK without its bazaars & markets? Only difference with Stanley Market - well, it takes a good 30-45 minutes up the hill by bus (bus 6, 6A, 6X from Central MTR, fair ride HKD7-8).

Why it's a miss:
With items just like in any other market, this market is a big bore! Also, prices seem rather fixed as compared to say, the Ladies Market in Mongkok. And it's much smaller too!

But wait, there's a savour to this long journey...

stanley market seaviewJust beyond the market (about 5 minutes walk), lies this breathtaking view.

Why it's a hit:
Who would have guessed that this is Hong Kong?! Not a single high rise in sight (well at least from this view). Btw, if one is 'lucky', this misty view is because of the rain - now, I'm thankful it rained! :)

Also, Stanley Market aside, the journey up the hill to the market is quite enjoyable. One can see the nicer & most likely richer residences of HK - something where the buildings are well painted, and mostly with breathtaking seaviews.

hong kong island times squareAnd with every big city, there are the malls like this Hong Kong Times Square.

Why it's a miss:
Apart from the big buzz outside the mall & its surroundings, the mall is just so-so... Maybe this is because this mall not the biggest mall in HK nor on the island itself (the biggest on the island is City Plaza)... and besides, why go for malls when the markets are so much more colourful?

lan kwai fongLan Kwai Fong - apparently the place to see & be seen. This is like the entertainment spot of all of HK!

Why it's a miss:
Somehow, it doesn't live up to its name - I had expected much more glitz and a much bigger place than just 2 parallel roads.

Mid Levels Escalators - the string of escalators build 'to avoid traffic congestion'.

Why it's a hit:
Well, cos it's the longest outdoor elevator in the world - 800m! And one expecting to just see escalators will be pleasantly surprise to go through another night spot - the SoHo... with its strings of restaurants & bars. One can actually drink/ dine on the slope!

western marketWestern Market - apparently one of the oldest buildings in Sheung Wan area.

Why it's a miss:
Unless one is on the way or am a history buff, I don't suggest one to purposely go here. For one would probably has seen older buildings than this old-but-not-too-old-building which was built in 1906. Besides, this isn't the HK one comes to see, right? (saying that, I do hope they continue to preserve old buildings - be it for tourist attractions or not, ehem) :)

hong kong island bank of china towerEvening stroll in CBD area - and look up!

Why it's a hit:
It makes a picture perfect moment when the building lights are turned on - especially on this landmark building - the Bank Of China Tower. Also, some parts of the CBD is quite a refreshing view compared to the crowded buildings of HK.

Well, that's roughly my journey on the HK island... which which I've explored the past few days (back & forth to Kowloon).

And though the HK island has its 'misses', I still think the island is the gem of HK. A trip to HK would never be complete without visiting it... or for that matter, it would never be a trip to HK at all!

But then again, there's simply so many other things to see in HK... Stay tune for more! :)

*There are actually more things to see in HK island like the HK Convention & Exhibition Centre, Victoria Park, Man Mo Temple, Happy Valley Racecourse... the list goes on.

*The HK island is reachable via MTR & also the ferry.


  1. Stanley Market is famous among 'gwai-lo', right?

    Asians and Westerners have different taste...

  2. Quite breathtaking alright! I mean the boats. A refreshing view in Hong Kong! I wonder how many days one need to travel all the essential places in Hong Kong? :D

  3. Thanks. Awesome pictures and great tour. Looking forward to more.

  4. That's why I put Hong Kong at the last of my travel list. Beside pricey stuffs, it's like a 'City' as Singapore & KL. I don't shopping much...I heard it's a shopping paradise! True? I only fall in LOVE with electronics, my favorite - Sim Lim Square.
    Enjoy yourself!

  5. I would like a trip to the Peak. Otherwise I thought that Mongkok is quite hectic. One of my internet friends say Mongkok is very polluted because of the congestion. That's not something I'm sure I like.

  6. I heard that the food dishes are big in sizes. Is that true? But also expensive right?

    Btw, I just came back from KK. Stayed in Lavendar Lodge as recommended by you! Nice place! : )


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