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Tuesday, July 16, 2019 Hong Kong

Hong Kong Part I: Kowloon

Hong Kong has finally been crossed off the list! When planning our trip to the Philippines for a wedding, we saw flights that had a quick layover in Hong Kong. And then we thought, why not spend a few days exploring the city too. We booked our flight to HK where we would spend 5 days and 4 nights. In this post, I'll share with you guys what we did, where we stayed, places we took photos, where we ate, and more!

Over the years, my traveling style has shifted. I used to be such a detailed planner with a lot of to-do's per day, but now, I have a few places bookmarked and a lot of exploring and walking on foot in between.

GETTING TO HONG KONG

The direct flight to HK from EWR is 15 hours and 50 minutes. Rough. We flew with Cathay Pacific and in general had a good experience, except for our luggages and a weight restriction that made traveling with our carry-ons very difficult. I'm used to a weight limit of 25-26 lbs. for a carry on, but Cathay had us limited to 15 lbs. per carry on. Difficult considering my suitcase is probably 10-11 lbs. on its own. Just something to keep in mind if you plan on traveling with them. Also, upon arriving in Hong Kong, our luggage did not. It was placed on a later flight for the entire aircraft and it seems like this was planned prior to take off since no one had luggage when we arrived. 

Our first day in Hong Kong was rough in terms of not being able to fully freshen up because of our missing luggage, and the fact that I had to move my skincare and emergency bonus outfit to my checked luggage because of the carry-on weight restriction. But enough about the luggage drama, we had our suitcases delivered to us that evening, but it definitely put a damper on our first day in Hong Kong.

PART I: KOWLOON
WHERE WE STAYED


We landed in Hong Kong around 5:30 in the morning and took a taxi to our hotel from the airport. Luckily for us, despite the luggage mishap, we were staying at Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong for the first half of our trip. We were able to freshen up, rest, and settle in while waiting for our luggage. We had an incredible view of the harbor and Marco and I loved being within walking distance to a lot of things on the Kowloon side.

Our room was spacious and was right on the water. Marco and I enjoyed our breakfasts at the hotel, a buffet that was well stocked with both western and Chinese dishes. Because Hong Kong was very humid during our trip, we often found ourselves diving the day in 2 or 3, often going out then coming back to the hotel to rest and refresh. Also whenever I stay in a Shangri-La hotel, it somehow just always feels like home.

WHAT WE DID ON THE KOWLOON SIDE
As I mentioned, we did a lot of walking. From the hotel, we walked the harbor towards Tsim Sha Tsui. I did a little shopping the first day at Harbour City. Snagged an outfit on sale at Zara just so that I could change out of my sweatpants and shirt that I had already been in for nearly 24 hours on a 90 degree and humid day.

SHOPPING: There is no tax in Hong Kong, so this was a benefit to the shopping I did on my trip. I did snag a Bottega Veneta bag and Chanel earrings on this trip. There are also a lot of family owned shops in the area, was tempted to take a look at some second hand pieces, but only did so through the windows.

FOOD: For breakfast, and due to us waking up at very early hours, we stuck with the buffet at the hotel. For the rest of our meals, we just wandered around the area and popped into whatever looked/smelled good to us in the moment.
  • We ate at DimDimSum in Jordan. 
  • I had The Alley every day that I could, my favorite bubble tea. 
  • Shangri-La hosted us at their restaurant, Shang Palace, for a very delicious lunch. It's on the fancier side but we had some really memorable dishes there!
  • You guys gotta go to Australian Dairy Company. It's a little intimidating because it's rushed, it's fast, and you can tell there are a lot of locals that go there, but that egg sandwich is bomb and I highly recommend checking it out.
  • I enjoyed being able to grab %ARABICA coffee in Hong Kong as well.
If you're a big foodie, there are a ton of lists out there that include dim sum spots, noodle bars, where to get egg waffles, try the stinky tofu, etc.

SHOOT: My one bookmarked site that I definitely wanted to check out was Choi Hung Estate. It was fairly cheap to Uber there and back. Definitely a dope site and place to shoot. We got there on a somewhat drizzly morning, which worked out in our favor because it was pretty easy getting a shot without a lot of people in the background.

Other places I took photos in were just the Hong Kong streets that we discovered while walking around! We also booked a photographer through Sweet Escape and got some really great shots along the harbor and in the Tsim Sha Tsui area. If you're interested in booking a photographer, you can use my code "ALYSSA" to get $50 off your session as well as 30 additional images!
TRANSPORTATION: It's really easy to get around in Hong Kong! The metro is air-conditioned and very clean and organized. Would definitely suggest making sure you carry HKD with you to purchase your passes. If not, Uber is available in the city and fairly affordable compared to NYC prices.

OTHER THINGS WE DID: There's definitely a ton of things to do and check out on the Kowloon side. We rarely had a precise plan, just wanted to walk around but then took detours into the malls to cool down from the humidity.

  • At night, make your way to Victoria Harbour and check out the light show which starts at 8:00PM on the dot and lasts about 10 minutes.
  • Check out Temple Street Night Market or Ladies Market. We were told they have similar things so we only went to Temple Street Night Market.

That's it for Part I of my Hong Kong posts! Part II will consist of what I did and where I stayed on the Island side of Hong Kong. If you have any questions, please leave them down below!

A special thank you to Kowloon Shangri-La for hosting us during our stay.

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