That Time I Was Headed Back to Hong Kong

So my last adventure of the year has turned out to be a bit of a bigger one that I honestly expected…

It seems that the Hong Kong itch I previously told you about just won’t go away, and thus – as I revealed at the end of my 100th post celebration – I’m heading back to make up for the missed opportunities of last time!

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Serious signage overload awaits!

Well I’d said I wanted to make it to five countries this year despite my full-time position, and this is the way to emphatically hit that target!

Still although I previously hinted that Hong Kong might be on the radar for an end of year escapade, I didn’t truly think it would happen. In fact I was only two clicks away from heading to a completely different and significantly closer destination, but the low temperatures put that temporarily – pardon the pun – on ice.

As such time was drifting by with my indecisiveness seeing me make no plans for the ten day stretch I have off of work. And although I surely wouldn’t have just let those cherished free days go to waste, the push I really needed came from an unexpected source – my mother! She kindly reminded me that I wouldn’t want to be sitting around next year – when I may not be able to take such a far away trip – regretting not heading back when I had the chance. And that I’d mentioned it enough times this year already so I should damn well do it!

It sealed the deal though – And I’ll be heading east for the second time this year on Friday 29th!

Bring on the ding-ding!

Bring on the ding-ding!

I have to admit that it definitely feels quite indulgent to be taking my second long-haul trip of the year, however I certainly wouldn’t be taking it had I not received almost the entire cost of my flights to and from Japan back in compensation. Who knows, maybe that was a sign that it was just meant to be…

Adding that stroke of “luck” to the fact that I won’t have to deal with the stifling humidity this time around due to the more favourable Hong Kong climate in November/December, along with the much increased chances of sunnier days and better visibility, and it seems as if all the pieces have fallen into place.

So what’s on the agenda for my return visit? Erm, that’s a good question…

Chilling out might not be a bad idea after the 12 hour flight...

Chilling out might not be a bad idea after the 12 hour flight…

Well as adjusting to the time-zone is a priority due to my trip only being a week long, I’ve decided to make sure I have my own private room for the first couple of nights so that I can catch up on sleep at my leisure. That said I’m sure my inability to sleep on flights will see me attempting to pull another 32 hour sleepless stretch or similar to avoid the dreaded jetlag and get my body clock in sync with HK time.

I’ll be bunkering down in the hustle and bustle of Tsim Sha Tsui again for those first couple of days, as I’ll attempt to get my surely knackered self reacquainted gently with the one area that I know reasonably well. Plus I need to do some serious snapping after not making the best photographic use of the crowded Kowloon streets last time around. Oh and also get up to Mong Kok and check out the markets and general busyness – we didn’t even make it up there once last year!

After a couple of days I’ll probably head over and base myself on the island, with the aim of making sure I see more than just Central and The Peak this time around. I’m particularly looking forward to checking out Aberdeen, Stanley and Repulse Bay on the southern side of the island for a different slice of Hong Kong life slightly away from the hustle of Central and TST.

No doubt plenty of other trips will be taken though, with the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau being a must after I didn’t venture out there last time. I’m more than open to any suggestions too, particularly in regards to any activities in the New Territories and smaller islands – I intend to be busy! Although I can’t say Disneyland is high on the agenda…

With six full days to make use of though it seems daft just to restrict myself to Hong Kong, even if I do have a lot to see and do. But with another country/territory just an hour’s ferry away it’s too tempting not to go…

So I’ll be adding Macau to the visited list too!

Truth be told I don’t know a great deal about Macau outside of the fact that it’s a gambling mecca – certainly not something I’ll be participating in – but I’m definitely curious to explore the mish-mash of Portuguese and Cantonese culture that makes up the tiny region. I may just make it a very packed day-trip as I have no real plan on staying there, but we shall see. As you can tell, I’m so organised right now with just a few weeks to go…

Decisions decisions...

Decisions decisions…

In fact the plan all round is pretty damn un-organised past the first couple of nights. Truthfully you could probably just narrow it down to these three key points:

  • Explore
  • Photograph
  • Enjoy!

And that’s exactly what I intend to do! I’m looking forward to getting up in the air with Cathay Pacific again (same can’t be said for the bus journey to Heathrow first though…). I’m looking forward to arriving and being blown away by the numerous skyscrapers on my way in from the airport. I’m looking forward to chowing down on much more Chinese food this time. And I’m looking forward to photographing the heck out of this awesome city.

In fact, I’m just really looking forward to getting back to Hong Kong – So bring it on!

Do you have any tips for my upcoming Hong Kong return? And have you visited at this time of year?

18 responses to “That Time I Was Headed Back to Hong Kong

  1. I just started planning my Hong Kong trip. I do not leave for another 196 days but I have enough excitement that I am confident I can spread it out and still have enough left over to last me until my flight lands.

    • Ah that’s awesome Jennifer. Excitement is definitely the right word to describe the build up for me too! Are you just heading to Hong Kong or elsewhere afterwards?

      • (Sorry if this posts twice, my computer flipped out the first time!)

        I am going from Hong Kong to Xian, to Chengdu, to Tibet and then overland to Nepal!

  2. Haha I love your plan, that’s how I travel too (and it drives my parents absolutely nuts). Have a blast!! :)

    • Haha thanks Sally! I might try and have a bit more of a think about what I want to do once I’m back from Dublin, but I’m more than comfortable with just going with the flow. Either way I’ll definitely do my best to have a great time :)

  3. I visit Hong Kong every 2 weeks as we live so close to the border, but every time I go there there is still something more to explore. Love dim sum and busy streets! Enjoy your trip!!

    P.S. You definitely need to visit Macau! :-)

    • Ah I never realised you guys lived so close – guess my knowledge of Chinese geography is lacking haha! Thanks though Miss, very excited to get back :)

  4. Your agenda looks good so far! Stanley is a must. There is much to see in Aberdeen but I mean you can always go to get a feel of the area. If you like hiking or outdoor activities, you can consider Sai Kung or the Shek O beach/village. The weather will be perfect for outdoor exercise; in fact, I hear that most people go camping in the winter here. Maybe also Lei Yue Mun if you’ve never been before?

    • Thanks for the suggestions Jasmine! Yeah I’m looking forward to seeing some different sides of HK this time around. I haven’t heard of Lei Yue Mun before though so I’ll have to look that up.

  5. Sounds fantastic, you’re so lucky to be going again! Would love to visit HK one day, have a brilliant time Carl.

    • Well this time I did have a bit of luck admittedly, with me getting the money back from my Japan flights to pay for this. I can’t believe it’s so close though… I will certainly do my best to have a great one thanks :)

  6. Pingback: That Time I Recapped My 2013 | That Time In·

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