Hong Kong Trip Notes 🇭🇰
Jordan and I traveled to Hong Kong from April 17-April 24, 2018. We flew non-stop on Cathay Pacific. I took notes every day of all the things we did.
Day 1: Arriving in HK & Kowloon
16 hour flight was not as terrible as I expected. I did wear compression socks, had a neck pillow, & noise-canceling headphones. Jordan was smart and got us seats at the back of the plane so we had no one in between us.
I slept probably ~12 of the 16 hours. We landed around 4:45A.
We got off the plane & immediately went to the arrivals lounge with our priority pass access. I took a shower as soon as I got there so there was no wait. Jordan ended up getting stuck with an hour wait for the shower so he skipped it.
We then spent $300HKD to get Octopus cards & take the Airport Express to Hong Kong Central. The HKD (Hong Kong Dollar) is pegged at 7.8 HKD to 1 USD.
Octopus cards are like WMATA (the DC metro) cards on crack. You can use them for transit but also at convenience stores & even Starbucks!
We got off at Hong Kong Central station & took our 2 backpacks to Left Baggage so that we would not need to lug them around. The station is connected to the IFC Mall so we wandered around a bit but nothing opens until 10A. We saw a Lululemon though so I knew we’d be coming back. IFC Mall is very high end. Tons of designer stores but it is also an office building & we saw hundreds of people streaming in.
Then it was time to hop on MTR & make our way across the bay to Kowloon to the Chi Lin Nunnery. MTR is the metro system and it is well organized and very easy to navigate.
We passed a station named Jordan & of course had to hop off and snap a picture.
Our first stop was the Nan Lian Garden which is maintained by the nunnery. It was so bewildering to walk into a peaceful oasis but the look up and see skyscrapers. We walked around and took lots of photos while enjoying waterfalls, lotus ponds, bonsai, & a “rockery” (which was just a room full of rocks).
Then it was time to make our way to Choi Hung Estates which is one of HK’s most ‘grammable spots. But prior to that we wandered into Ngau Chi Wan market which was WILD. There were fruits & veggies of course but then meat and fish that had just been freshly slaughtered. It was smelly & noisy and definitely unlike any market we had ever been to. The craziest part was a man walked by with a cart of pig faces. Yes, faces. No bones. Just floppy faces. Poor Jordy almost puked.
We then finally found Choi Hung Estates & the colorful building & basketball courts. A couple people pointed us in the right direction which was nice. We took tons of photos & Jordan played pickup basketball with some of the kids.
Jordan was totally hot & sweaty & my phone was low on power so we rested for a sec and made our way to TOOLSS, a little coffee shop. We sat there & I had an ice latte and Jordan had a sweet potato latte. For the next hour we enjoyed free WiFi & charged my phone.
Finally we were getting hungry so we made the trek to Tim Ho Wan, the Michelin starred dim sum place. Honestly, we didn’t love it! The only totally delish thing was the BBQ baked bun with pork. Everything else was only so-so but the bill was just $31 and we got SO MUCH FOOD! Totally worth it for the experience. Our favorite part was that the locals were washing their plates and cups in tea prior to starting which really baffled us until I had the sense to Google it & figure out it is a dim sum tradition.
We then walked through Kowloon through the Bird Market, Flower Market, & through a market in Mong Kok. By this time both our feet were killing us so we hopped on MTR but got off just before crossing into HK so that we could enjoy the Star Ferry.
The weather was foggy & overcast but even so you can tell the skyline is magnificent. It lights up at night so we vowed we would make it back to see it.
After crossing back into HK we picked up our bags & headed to our Airbnb. It is a tiny room, maybe 200 sq ft with a bathroom & shower in the same room. It is right next to Hong Kong University and a McDonald’s.
We dropped our bags, headed to McDonald’s for a sweet treat (sea salt ice cream with a chocolate shell) & then headed home to call our first night in HK a success!
Day 2: CrossFit & Hong Kong Island
Surprisingly no issues with sleeping! I definitely expected there to be more of an issue with the time change. I fell asleep around 8:30P & woke up at 1:00A briefly before falling asleep until 6:30A.
CrossFit was at 8A at CrossFit Asphodel but we had some time to kill before then. I really wanted a cup of coffee so we walked around until we found a Starbucks that was closed. I knew we could do better than that & right across the street was a tiny shop that had egg tarts right in the front. I knew I wanted one so I worked up the courage & asked for 2 cups of coffee & 2 egg tarts. $46HKD later we walked out victorious.
We walked over to Belcher Bay Park & ate our tarts while watching some old ladies do Tai Chi. Then it was time for class! The gym was huge & had a ton of equipment. Our coach was a Brazilian girl named Victoria & the class was a terrible metcon of Assault bike & deadlifts. I was totally gassed. My partner was a med student named Ada who gave us a ton of tips on what to do. Jordan also made a friend named Andy who works in banking. He is originally from Bournemouth (which is the UK somewhere).
After class we trundled over to “Instagram Pier” which was underwhelming & then to our 2nd coffee shop of the trip: Winstons. We sat there to plan our day!
After coffee we headed back to the Airbnb to shower & change. The night before we thought the AC was broken because there was this really loud tapping noise when it was running—we realized it was just the rain hitting the sheet metal of the unit. Jordan and I had a good laugh over that.