The Weekend Warrior’s Guide to… Hong Kong
“A Weekend Warrior: A person who holds a regular job during the week which restricts their ability to party/go on trips/partake in awesome activities, and thus plans epic weekend adventures to compensate.”
So you pile out of Hong Kong International Airport, whisk over to your hotel and ponder at the enormity of Hong Kong. Be sure to follow this Weekend Warrior’s guide to experience the best of the Special Economic Zone before the untold horrors of Monday morning begin anew.
Hong Kong By Day
From the heights of Victoria Peak the harbours, mountains, islands, skyscrapers, and general urban madness that makes up Hong Kong stretches before all. The views from up here will have your jaw firmly on the floor. The Peak Tramway that trundles almost 90 degrees straight up the mountain is a blast back to Victorian age. The lower tramway station is about a 10 minute walk from Central MTR station.
Sitting peacefully over on Lantau Island is one of largest statues in all China, the Tian Tan Buddha. Sitting on his lotus flower the enlightened one seems to wave at visitors as they ascend the 240 steps up his gigantic frame. Not far from him presides the serene Po Lin Monastery with yet more Buddhist finery, and an awesome vegetarian restaurant. Keep on trekking up to the top of Lantau Peak and you could find yourself amongst the clouds some 900 metres above Lantau Island. It’s possible to hike all the way up here, though it’s far more interesting to take the cable car from Tung Chung MTR station (HK$135).
Over on Lamma Island (take ferry from central pier 4 on Hong Kong Island), where there are no cars, three villages, and an abundance of nature, the pace of life is way more relaxing. A favourite break for Hong Kongers, the island can get pretty busy on the weekends, however if you make for the dirt paths and back roads, you’ll find yourself all alone. A walk from one side of the island to the other is blisteringly hot, but well worth it for the views, the nature, the beaches (Lo So beach is almost always empty), the village seafood restaurants, and the Kamikaze Caves carved out under Japanese occupation in WWII.
Hong Kong By Night
The Avenue of Stars on the harbour front of Kowloon is where you’ll find the iconic Bruce Lee statue, as well as hundreds of placards celebrating the luminaries of Hong Kong cinema. The Aqua Luna, a traditional Chinese junk, docks along the avenue in the evening offering the swankiest of cruises. Come 8pm the towering buildings of Central across the bay conduct A Symphony of Life, perhaps the world’s most decadent (and free!) laser shows.
The bustling Temple Street Night Market (Jordan MTR station) in Kowloon is a hum of activity. It’s wear you’ll find all manner of clothes, bags, teas, books, street food, antiques and all manner of cheap consumerist dreams to be haggled over.
For night time shenanigans, you really can’t go wrong in Soho back on Hong Kong Island. Take the Central-Mid-levels Escalator from its start on Des Voeux Road straight up to Soho, where all manner of restaurants, pubs and clubs are huddled together awaiting the weekend warrior. Popular bars are BLAH, Blah and Blah. Lan Kwai Fong, close to Soho, is an L shaped street full of bars and clubs.