The Asian hub of lights and color, Hong Kong, welcomed my most spontaneous trip thus far. I was in India for less than 3 days when I was asked to fly out to HK for an assessment centre! Adventure in disguise.
A colorful mix of India and Singapore, Hong Kong charmed me with its mountaineous landscape and windy winter. A refreshing blend of corporate city life and nature. After a day and a half of rigorous testing, I let my hair down and became a tourist.
I stayed with some distant family at the palatial Park View Apartments, up in Hong Kong island, which is home to some incredible hiking trails. I ventured on one with a couple of friends who frequent such trails. Our aim was to conquer Mount Parker. After a relatively simple stretch of 45 minutes, we reached the base of the mountain. I had anticipated adventure, but not exactly the kind with a narrow, undefined, uphill climb amid rocks, mud and bushes. Did I mention deadly?! It struck me midway that I had never been mountain climbing or on a real hike before. The thrill was indescribable, the climb HARD, and the view breathtaking! I exhausted my physical stamina midway on the second hill, but given the slope of the path, turning back wasn’t even a choice. Plus I wouldn’t have traded the triumph of conquering the third hill and echoing victory at the peak, for all the world! It was the adventure of a lifetime (until the next time). Apparently, Hong-Kongers are avid hikers, and when they tread unknown trails, they mark the path with ribbons to help other hikers find their way. God bless them!
I spent the rest of my time in HK dragging my sore feet (from the 4 gruelling hours of the climb) around more touristy places. Victoria Peak has some spectacular vantage points and feels a lot like the hill-top of Mussoorie. The ride down on the tram is rather interesting; the track is inclined at 45 degrees and we sit facing the back of the tram, experiencing mild vertigo!
The cable car ride from Tung Chung to Lantau Island is picturesque, though incredibly long, bordering on boring. At the island is a gigantic Buddha statue and a gorgeous view of the hilly landscape.
The skyline of HK is very vibrant, and unlike Singapore, no two buildings look the same. Each night at 8 pm, these buildings co-ordinate their lights and put together what is claimed to be Asia’s largest light & sound show. I watched it from Victoria harbor, and thought it was a bit of a let-down, rather uncoordinated and nothing too fancy. It was almost worth it though, for the breezy sea view and a shaky ferry ride. Avenue of Stars, the Asian version of the Hollywood walk of fame, is another hot-spot to watch the show, and a nice place to hang, as long as you are well-equipped to cope with the cold sea breeze.
The highlight of my trip, beside the hike, was really meeting a childhood friend, who is spending 2 semesters at Hong Kong University. The last time I’d seen her consisted of a lot of 7th-grader stuff, science projects and birthday parties. 8 years later, life’s a lot more complicated and friends a lot more valued. Digging into our bag of memories was awesome, and catching up felt so much like old times!
So that was quite a start to the December I hadn’t anticipated. At least the week was cold, (fake) white, and very Christmasy!
Welcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes in the transformative power of travel.
Nice pics… didnt get to see the gigantic Buddha statue tho 🙁 Life is complicated eh?? Come off it…. its only as complicated as you think it is 🙂
Awesome! That’s an amazing place! A friend of mine recently came from HK and I was seeing all the pics – heavenly place! 🙂
MeRRy ChristMaS 🙂
Merry Christmas! Coool pics Gurl!
Nice pics. Makes me wanna go on a trip to HK too :).
It was so good to see you! It was so surreal and so wonderful…and made me so nostalgic 🙂 I loved reliving all our childhood memories…and yep, it felt just like old times! I’m glad you liked Hong Kong! Come back soon (while i’m still here!) and come to Texas 🙂 Lots of hugs and will send you my pics soon too.
Thank you for the lovely view of HK. I’ve always wanted to go and live there, someday I know, someday.
Happy New Year. 🙂
@ Amit: Thanks 🙂
@ Jayesh: I meant more in a there’s-so-much-freedom kind of good complicated 😛
@ Nikhil: It is. Your next trip’s decided then? 😀
@ Rahul: Same to you!
@ Neilina: Thanks. Same to you!
@ Ranajay: You should go! Welcome to the shooting star btw 🙂
@ docmitasha: Yes yes 😀 I’ll send you mine too! Hopefully I’ll see you again soon!
@ Crow: Yeap, someday soon 😀
@ Harsh: Thanks! Same to you 🙂
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I wanted to see where it all started from.. your wanderlust so I went to the first of your journeys (that you blogged about). Which was your very first journey (in real?) and which was the life changer (which made you realize this is what you want to do for the rest of your life ?
From a fellow curious globetrotter ….