Hong Kong. Asia’s World City? Hard To Argue.

Two years since I was last there, and I returned to what is still probably my favourite city in the world.  I’ve been to Hong Kong 6 times now, and feel very comfortable with the city. Hong Kong didn’t disappoint, and was just as exciting, vibrant and stimulating as always.

The Causeway Bay district is one of my favourite districts in Hong Kong. It is always super busy and is full of contrasts. High end luxury shopping shares streets with alleyway vendors selling cheap bowls of noodles. At night, the lights are so intense in some areas that you don’t even realise nightfall has come.

Lan Kwai Fong is one of the main nightspots in Hong Kong. It might be full of tourists (especially so this weekend as the Rubgy 7s were on), but it’s still great fun.

The Po Fook Memorial Hall, is a great place to relax and clear your mind. A lot of people mistake this with the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Tsz), including me! If you want that, you have to keep walking up the mountain for about another 20 minutes.

Mong Kok is another one of my favourite districts in the city. It’s one of the most densely populated areas in the world, and is intense and exciting. You can find great street food here, and it’s a sports/casual shoe and electronics mecca.

The Tian Tan Buddha is very big, and is certainly worth seeing, however it’s not what it used to be. When I first went to Hong Kong ten years ago, it was isolated and you had to spend close to an hour on a bus to get to it from the train station. It was very peaceful. Today, you take a cable car from the train station to a fake ”traditional village” and walk amongst hordes of tourists who are drinking their Starbucks that they got from the ”village”. A very disappointing development to what was such a tranquil place.

The Po Lin monastery is only a few minutes from the Buddha and is, in my mind, the real reason to come out here. A lot of the tourists just avoid it and you can walk through most of it. It’s much more of a ”real” experience.

Hong Kong doesn’t exactly do suburbia.

Tsim Sha Tsui is a great district with lots of interesting shops and places to eat. One thing I have noticed over the past ten years is that the area is starting to become more gentrified. Some of the independent places have given way to international brands and chains. I’m all for progress, but in a city like Hong Kong where there are so many areas that have their unique character, it would be a shame to see them make way for yet another mall of luxury shopping brand, the likes of which can already be found all over the city.

I finally got to check out Victoria Peak at night. After not being able to capture the shots I wanted this night, I decided to by a tripod a week later. I can’t wait to use it!

To have a look at some of the amazing food that I ate on this trip, click here.

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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