Day 2 in Hong Kong
The next morning I woke up well rested, cleaned up in the beach bathrooms and started my day. (Side note: Having to use public bathrooms to shower was probably the biggest downside to camping while traveling. I’ve camped plenty with the understanding that I may not be quite as clean, but doing it while traveling made me feel a little gross when also exploring the city and travel spots.) I headed to a different area of Hong Kong as I had spent my first day on Lantau Island. I got a pass for the metro and headed closer to the city center. Of course I started my day off with a breakfast of champions from a convenience store and well-known bakery. It probably sounds lame, but I actually love checking out convenience stores in other countries. I always look forward to see what kind of drinks and snacks they have. I know the Snapple isn’t unusual, but I had to get it because it was cheap and they aren’t super common or cheap in Shanghai.
My first stop was Kowloon Walled City Park which has a pretty interesting history which is summed up here. To explain the basic history in one sentence, it was originally a Chinese military fort that become a highly populated, ungoverned and extremely dense area that was notorious for crime before being demolished and turned into a park. It’s really interesting to see pictures of the city before it became the park that it is today.
After exploring the park, I headed to the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery which was really amazing. It was so interesting walking the path to the top while being continuously surrounded by Buddha statues. I didn’t count them, but I easily believe that there are actually that many Buddhas along the path.
After that I was super hungry so I headed back from the station I had come from and found food in the shopping mall connected to it. The place was busy enough that they were seating strangers together. I got put with two other women, who were friends, and as one left to go buy something the other woman was really nice and we chatted for a bit. I ordered a special kind of dumplings that she recommended and Hong Kong style milk tea.
I feel like I must have done something between this and eating popular Hong Kong pudding, but that’s the next picture I have so maybe I ate then took the subway to another area to eat again? I wouldn’t put it past me. This type of pudding is a popular dessert in Hong Kong so I had to give it a try. I believe I went to the popular Yee Shun Milk Company in the Jordan area.
At one point, I had to have gotten my tent which I had stored in a locker at a shopping mall near the subway. It was a pop up tent in a round bag which got inconvenient to carry around sometimes so I used locker storage to save myself some trouble.
Anyhoo, via bus, I made my way to the Rotary Park Campsite at Tai Mo Shan. By the way, this site and this site helped me do my research for campsites in Hong Kong. That one was easier to find and get to from the bus stop. It was only a short walk away. BUT, because of my camping luck of course, it was super crowded. It must have a big group there together because they all seemed to know each other. There were a ton of tents. I don’t mind so much that it was crowded as I was just there for a night of sleeping and not really for hiking or doing other outdoor activities. But, they were so loud and stayed up until 4 in the morning so I couldn’t sleep. I think I maybe got an hour of sleep at the most.
Day 3 in Hong Kong
I eventually gave up and got moving. Unfortunately the buses weren’t running yet so I decided I would start making my way to the next bus stop and so on so I could kill time instead of sitting there waiting. The weather was nice and so was the scenery so I figured the morning walk would be refreshing. Overall, it was refreshing though at one point i decided to stop moving on because there was a big pack of dogs blocking my path and honestly, they scared me a bit. They were definitely wild, and I did not want to fend off a pack of dogs if they were aggressive. After seeing them I made my way back to the last bus stop I had reached. I think I still had to waste at least 30 minutes before the bus came. I needed to charge my phone so I didn’t want to do much with that and kill the battery.. I mostly just turns pacing and sitting on a bench I found. I spent a lot of time on this trip having to waste time. I like to think that it gave me a lot of time to reflect, but in all honesty, I think it made me bored and tired more so than reflective. Don’t get me wrong though, I had a blast on this trip and really loved Hong Kong.
This was an interesting breakfast I had at what I assumed is a chain shop in Hong Kong. It was pretty good and definitely filling.
I walked by this cathedral on my way to the Peak Tram. It is St. John’s Cathedral, and it is the oldest surviving Western ecclesiastical building in Hong Kong. There was a service going on as i walked by.
Views from Victoria Peak
Here is random street art as I was coming down after riding the Mid-Levels Escalators which are the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator system.
The Observation Wheel looked cool at night.
I got some really cool night views, thought my pictures weren’t great, on a short cross-harbor ferry ride.
One thing I’m still not sure about is the Symphony of Lights which is a light show that can be seen from both sides of the harbor. I checked times for it, found a nice little area to sit at and I felt like it never really came. I was expecting some grand show but never really saw anything other than simple light changes on some buildings. While thinking about it just now, I searched what the show is supposed to be like, and I definitely didn’t see that. I guess it will remain a mystery why no extravagant light show occurred. After the “light show” was finished I headed to the airport where once again I had a lot of time to kill. My flight was super early in the morning so I figured I’d just try to sleep there so I wouldn’t have to worry about camping or transportation early in the morning.
Instead of sleeping, I ended up meeting two interesting people. One woman was a very passionate woman from Beijing who went on… and on… and on about communism and how China show become a truly communist country again instead of leaning more towards capitalism.
The other person truly was interesting to me, in a more positive and sincere way. I don’t mean to offend the woman mentioned above, but it got to the point where she was just talking at me and trying to shove her ideologies down my throat. Anyway, the man basically was just telling me about his life and travels. The sad thing is now I’ve forgotten the details. But I remember him and remember thinking how interesting he was and how much I enjoyed talking to him. It honestly makes me a bit sad that I can’t remember that much about him.
And then I eventually got on a plane back to Shanghai.
(I feel like I had much better pictures than some of the ones I included, but I’m constantly having phone issues so I’m sure they are mediocre for a reason, haha.)