Hong Kong on an 8 hour layover
We took the quick 2 hour flight to Hong Kong and you would of thought we arrived in a whole new world. We went from cold and gloomy, to warm, sunny, and tropical. The locals were prepared. They dressed so cute and stylish on the plane. Girls in mini skirts and sweaters with their hair in clips. Spring colored designer bags. Boys in linen jackets. I’m telling you, the couture was off the chain. This time we were on a true layover, so no need to pick up our bags, just step off the plane and go. Oh, and guess what?!? EVERYONE SPOKE ENGLISH!! We found an airport luggage storage section where we could drop off our carry on bags and head into the city like true tourists. We easily grabbed a cab and headed on out.
Ahhhh the trees, the water, the skyline. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s just not what I expected. The cabby was playing fun upbeat music, which was a stark difference to the silent Shanghai rides, and the windows were down. Smiling from ear to ear I looked over at Brooks and said, this is going to be a great day!!
Our first stop was the Choi Hung Estate to see the iconic pastel colored apartments and basketball court. SIDE NOTE: Choi Hung means rainbow in Cantonese. I knew my hubby would be in heaven here, so we made it our first stop. Gotta butter him up before I take him shopping wink wink! What you must know about the courts are you can’t see them from the drop off point. It literally looks like you are being dropped off in the middle of a run down apartment complex. Look for the parking garage, and take the steps up. The court is on the roof of the parking garage, and the backdrop is stunning. You just can’t see it all from down below, but have no fear, you are in the right place! Exact address is 2 Tse Wai Ave, Ngau Chi Wan, Hong Kong if you need to give to your driver.
We were shocked to see how many people were already on the courts at 10 in the morning. Many other girls and guys lined up to take their iconic picture. Oh, and no basketballs to be found. Brooks was dying to play some hoops, so I caught him faking it. He even attempted some fake dunks, which made me laugh. I could just picture him as a boy playing like this for hours. We spent about an hour here waiting our turn to make sure we got all the shots we wanted, and honestly just soaking it all in. I couldn’t get over the fact that I was living in a Pinterest picture I had stared at for months. Brooks was almost certain his grandfather had coached a team there many many years ago so needless to say, we were both just in awe.
Time to eat! But not before seeking out another “world’s tallest tower” for my tall building loving husband. We headed to the Sky100 building and climbed all around it to get the best view. Unfortunately it was a very foggy day. This changed our plans of taking the tram up the Peak, or trying to go up to any observation decks. Instead we found park like paths that took us around the buildings and ended with an amazing view of the skyline and the water. I believe it was called the skybridge?! Over by the Sky100 building. Really stunning, and I can only imagine on a clear day how enjoyable this would be.
Next we headed up Nathan Road, picked the most cultural experience for lunch we could handle and tried to fit in. I wish I would of gotten advice on exact restaurants to try, because I hate wasting time deciding food. There were so many sites to see!!! After eating the most bland Asian food (probably because we are silly American’s who didn’t know what to order) we grabbed a boba tea, which I'm pretty sure was strawberry flavored topped with cheese, and headed to the market.
I can’t tell you for sure what road we were on, but it was off of Nathan road. Most likely somewhere near Kowloon Park. The streets were lined with vendors selling goods. Again, I found myself in the middle of a Pinterest picture. Walking the streets was surreal, it felt magical. Almost as if my great grand parents had walked these exact roads and I could feel their spirit. I know Brooks could feel it too. In this moment we decided we HAD to come back. We shopped around, oohed and ahhhhed, got trigger happy on the camera, and sunk deep into culture. It had been a long day of walking, but a 5 hour plane ride was ahead of us, so we wanted to squeeze every ounce of time out of our day so we headed to the expensive part of town, the mall!!
Over near the west cost where the ferrys dock there is a road called Canton Road. Every Single Store you can imagine is there. from H&M and Zara, to Dolce and Gabbana and Prada. It’s all there. It’s like NYC, but shiny and pretty. I decided this is where the cool kids go, because THIS is where all those stylish girls from the plane were!! I could of spent hours and hours but our time had run out and we grabbed a cab back to the airport. Oh, Hong Kong, we WILL be back!
Other areas on my list that time and weather did not permit.
Walk the Harbor
High tea at the Peninsula
Take a Ferry
Ride the tram up Victoria Peak
Tian Tan Buddha in Ngong Ping