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Hong Kong in Pictures

Hong Kong

Hong Kong by limaoscarjuliet, on Flickr

Josh Aggars of flip flops city shares his experience and photos trying to navigate his way around the wonders of Hong Kong.

Full of street food restaurants and market stalls. I arrived to Hong Kong, China groggy and tired after a 13 hour flight and had a wander around. The area was packed full of natives and backpackers all eating and drinking. It was your typical bustling market atmosphere with Chinese and western music pumping out in equal measure. I wanted to stay but my bed was calling, any bed in fact, even a curb stone would do.

Hong Kong

Temple Street Market, 8.30pm (1 hour after touchdown)

I bought an Octopus Card for 5 day travel around the city – Metro, buses, ferries and trams – and retired to bed exhausted but full of anticipation at the road ahead.

Hong Kong

Peak Tower at Victoria Peak

Hong Kong Island & Kowloon

Day 1: On my first morning I set off for the Peak Tower at Victoria Peak and caught the Peak Tram up to the top (notice an imaginative naming theme anywhere?). From here I was able to see a full panorama of Hong Kong Island looking across to Kowloon through the haze.

Hong Kong

Panorama of Hong Kong Island

In the foreground are the Hong Kong Island skyscrapers. Across the bay is Kowloon / Mainland China.

I came down from the peak by bus and captured these images of residential towers. As a fellow traveller remarked, “You don’t see a house anywhere.”

Hong Kong

Hong Kong by Georgio, on Flickr

Hong Kong Tramways

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Trams

When we got to the bottom I caught one of the original old local trams to the Star Ferry Terminal.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Trams

Star Ferry Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Star Ferry to Kowloon / Mainland China

Star Ferry, Hong Kong

Star Ferry, Hong Kong by Francisco Diez, on Flickr

Hong Kong

Star Ferry Terminal Hong Kong

While looking back to Hong Kong Island from the Star Ferry Terminal, the nice haze/pollution is clearly visible.

Hong Kong

Downtown Hong Kong

Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Cultural Centre

The skate-rampesque Hong Kong Cultural Centre is home to some of the best views of Hong Kong from the elevated promenade and observation gallery and stands on reclaimed land.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Cultural Centre

The floats from the Chinese new year celebrations which had just taken place.

Hong Kong

Floats from Chinese New Year Celebrations

Hullett House

Hong Kong

Old Hullett House Bar

The Old Hullett House bar, part of old colonial Hong Kong, is the former Marine Police HQ and one of the four oldest surviving government buildings. Clearly some things never go out of fashion as they still make a superb gin and tonic.

Hong Kong

Hullett House Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hullett House Hong Kong

Happy Valley Hong Kong

Day 2: The next day I took a tram to Happy Valley which is a lush park area with bowls, football, cricket and rugby all being played with the Hong Kong horse racing course around the perimeter. A green oasis in a concrete jungle.

Hong Kong

Happy Valley Racecourse

Man Mo Temple

Hong Kong

Man Mo Buddhist Temple of Hong Kong

After exploring Cat Street Flea Market, I went onto a Buddhist temple “Man Mo” dedicated to the Gods of Literature and War and lit candles and joss-sticks.

Hong Kong

Man Mo Buddhist Temple of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Man Mo Buddhist Temple of Hong Kong

A heady smell of incense wafts round from the giant spiraling coils of incense hanging from the ceiling that are constantly burning.

Sunday Stroll Through Hong Kong

Day 3: I was advised to check out the celebrations on the Sunday where all the migrant Philappino workers get together to picnic and hang out on their only day off. It looked like quite a social club.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Celebrations

Hong Kong

Raised Walkways in Hong Kong

The raised walkways are the best way to get around the city on foot.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Buildings

Hong Kong

St. Johns Cathedral of Hong Kong Island

St. Johns Cathedral’s European architecture stands out against the high rise backdrop.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Buildings

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Buildings

Hong Kong Park

Hong Kong Park

Hong Kong Park by DoNotLick, on Flickr

Hong Kong

Bali Mynah Bird

The Bali Mynah bird, a native of Indonesia now housed at the Hong Kong Park aviary where Bird flu warnings continue to abound. “Don’t touch the droppings,” was my favourite.

Hong Kong

Turtles Sunbathing in Hong Kong Park

Turtles sunbathing in Hong Kong Park. Looked like they were having a nice restful Sunday.

Hong Kong

Celebrations of Hong Kong Island

Across the road from the park I happened upon a ritual dance.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Hong Kong Hotels

Mandarin Hotel Hong Kong

Hong Kong Hotels

Mandarin Oriental Hotel of Hong Kong

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel had quite the chocolate buffet. Low on funds I had to resist the temptation to indulge my choco habit so instead took some photos.

Hong Kong Hotels

Mandarin Oriental Hotel of Hong Kong

A Symphony of Lights

Hong Kong Lightshow

Hong Kong Lightshow by Ray Devlin, on Flickr

The Symphony of lights show every night at 8pm is set to music and illuminates the harbour beautifully. Whether my good epileptic friend Jon would agree or not is a moot point. Well worth watching once whilst you’re there.

Hong Kong

A Symphony of Lights Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Skyline by laughlin, on Flickr

Lantau Island Hong Kong China

Day 4: I caught the ferry out to Lantau Island, connected with a bus at the other end and enjoyed a nice drive along the coast for 45 minutes to the Po Lin Monastery.

Po Lin Monastery

Hong Kong

Po Lin Monastery

Twelve Divine Generals

Hong Kong

Twelve Divine Generals

Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha)

Hong Kong

Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha) of Hong Kong Island

The long steep staircase up to the Big Buddha which, at 24m tall, is the World’s largest outdoor bronze Buddha (one for my Dad).

Hong Kong

Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha) of Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong

Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha) of Hong Kong Island

Ngong Ping 360

I then caught a cable car which takes you from the Monastery right the way past the new airport, or Chek Lap Kok if you prefer, until the Tung Chung underground terminus which links you back onto the Metro to the city.

Hong Kong

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Journey

Hong Kong

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Journey

Port of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Port of Hong Kong

The Hong Kong container port. Looks like the start of “Saving Private Ryan” to me (well the bit after Tom Hanks and Co. have cleared the beach head).

Goodbye Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong at Night

My last night in Hong Kong so I returned to Hullett House for one more gin and tonic and a cheers to the harbour.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong at Night

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Josh Aggars says:

Thanks Marina,

Much appreciated!

Wow. Hong kong is beautiful..!!! The city, the beaches, the people…. everything. NIce Snaps Josh. Thanks for sharing

Erik Smith says:

This has to be one of the best Hong Kong articles/ photo essays I’ve ever seen. Makes me want to go so badly!

Josh Aggars says:

Thanks Erik, that’s much appreciated. I hope you have as good a time as I did when you finally make it.

Cheers
Josh

Dan Collins says:

The pictures are amazing! I’ve not been there yet but certainly want to go at some point in the future.

Josh Aggars says:

Thanks Dan, that’s very kind. I hope you also manage to go some time soon and have a great time there.

All the best
Josh

Nick says:

Cable car road looks awesome!

Great photos, the trams are so interesting and add so much color to the whole Hong Kong scene. Very nice photographic review of Hong Kong.

Sophie says:

Nice shots! This pictures makes my travel feet itch=)

Nancie says:

HK is one of my favorite cities in Asia. Fantastic photo essay!

Josh Aggars says:

Cheers Nancy, glad you like. Hope they inspire you to go soon.

Cheers
Josh

Jade says:

We went to Hong Kong in June of last year and it was so hot and muggy that a lot of our shots that are of the same places just didn’t turn out. I did think it was really interesting that all the woman got together to play card games outside when it was so hot- but different cultures are used to different things! I really enjoyed the Big Buddha tour and riding the star ferry!

Josh Aggars says:

Thanks Lindy, yes all from a few days in town. Really appreciate your kind comment. Not so happy to have given you travel envy. Probably best not look at some of my next photo essays then… eek. ;-)

Cheers
Josh

I can’t believe this is just one post, there are so many amazing shots. I love the street shots – really captures the life of the city! Serious travel envy :)

Wow, amazing photo essay! Those cable cars look like a good time :D

Josh Aggars says:

Hey Seattle Dredge, they are indeed. Not as scary as sky diving from 10,000 feet or going on a rickety high old cable car through the French alps without a barrier holding me in but up there. A graceful way to take in the scenery that’s for sure.

Cheers
Josh

Connie says:

Wow! Four months ago, I paused my travels to live in Hong Kong and I haven’t done all the things that you did in just a few days! I’m going to have to step up my game! =)

Josh Aggars says:

Ah Connie such is life. I’ve lived on and off in London over the years and barely scratched the surface compared to Mexican and Kiwi friends when they come to stay and go out for the day. I’m always thinking ‘now why haven’t I done that yet?’… before heading off to my local pub as usual. Habits are part of life I guess.

Definitely worth trying next time you’re over though. Cheers Josh

amazing collection

Josh Aggars says:

Thanks Michael, much appreciated.

megan says:

Great shots – Hong Kong is a lot of fun to visit. I admire your self control at the chocolate buffet – I don’t think I would have been able to hold back!

I’d also suggest Hong Kong Disneyland as a great way to spend a day – sure it’s cheesy but it’s just like the rest of the city – big, loud, colourful and lots of fun!

Josh Aggars says:

Thanks Megan, to be honest I didn’t really have much of a choice as my budget was the south side of OK. I figure next time I go I’ll make a beeline for that on the first day whilst I still have some cash.

HK Disneyland could be good. You can never have enough cheese so long as you can tolerate the cheese (I’m sure there’s a wise saying in there somewhere but unfortunately inspiration is waylaid temporarily as I need a glug of my tea… I am English afterall).

Great shots. I *think* the buses are my favorites but I scroll and change my mind, then scroll again and change again. Thanks!

Found you via Wes Nations of JohnnyVagabond via Twitter

Josh Aggars says:

Thanks, that’s much appreciated. I loved the whole few days but as ever with me it’s the first night/day that are the most exciting when all the potential is laid out in front of you and you’re just winging it whilst you get a handle on the place. That’s why I love that first pic of the market as it reminds me of how tired but excited I was.

Any travel plans on the horizon?

Stephanie says:

LOVE Hong Kong! I’m going back next week and I really can not wait- it’s such an interesting and diverse place.

Josh Aggars says:

Hi Stephanie,

Have a great time. Hopefully the smog will be light for you as well. Anywhere particular in mind for a visit or are you going to do ‘the works?’

Oh, so that’s what HK is supposed to look like! When we spent time there in March 2010, the pollution was so bad, we literally couldn’t see the tops of buildings or trees. It was horrible. When we rode the gondola to the Big Buddha, the gondolas ahead of us disappeared into the haze. Everything was brownish-gray and our eyes and lungs stung the whole time. So sad. I’m glad it’s not always like that! I’m also glad you included the photos from the aviary — an oasis downtown. I’m glad our family spent time there and saw its unique intersection of East and West history and culture, but in spite of all there is to see there, I’m not eager to return.

Josh Aggars says:

Hi Sarah, I’m sorry to hear that. I can imagine it was off putting to say the least. I hope you get another chance to visit as it is definitely worth it.

Yes the aviary is great. An oasis of green in a concrete jungle. I think I prefer the Mayan idea of an oasis of concrete in a green jungle myself! ;-)

Where are your next travels planned for?

Those trams are wild! When I was biking through Nagasaki a few weeks ago on my end to end cycling tour of Japan, I saw similar trams but with only one level.
Also, I really like the photo of the people look out at the foggy city with the caption “Star Ferry Terminal Hong Kong.” Sweet shot. Best on the post IMHO.

Josh Aggars says:

Thanks Andrew, I’m humbled. Your comment is much appreciated.

How did your ride through Japan go? Was this pre or post the Earthquake?

Great photos! I was all gung ho to explore Hong Kong during one of my long layovers to or from Nepal, but once I got there I lost all motivation. The airport has some pretty amazing travelers lounges though. :)

Josh Aggars says:

Thanks Christy. Sorry to hear you didn’t make it out the airport. It really is a fascinating city so I hope you get a chance on your next layover. It’s definitely well worth at least a day.

How was Nepal? I’ve always wanted to go and remains on my to do list. Where and when should I go in your opinion?

Great bunch of photos of HK mate. I went there for the first time in March last yea and absolutely loved it. It’s like nowhere else, with the British heritage and Chinese culture clashing but complimenting each other so well.

Josh Aggars says:

Thanks Justin, much appreciated. Yes I totally agree. An amazing blend of east and old colonial west. I spent a lot of time with my eyes facing up so left with both neck ache and great memories.

Where else did you go on your travels after Hong Kong?

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