Hong Kong has one of the best and most widely spread happy hours I’ve seen in any large city. Most happy hours run from 4 – 7 pm and usually consist of a buy-one get-one free or 50% off standard drinks, house wines, and beer. No complaints if you’re looking for somewhere to unwind after a long day of work (unless of course you work past 7 pm, in which case you’re much more limited in bar choice and should maybe, probably, definitely consider switching careers).
If you’re not quite up to speed on Hong Kong’s history, Kowloon Walled City was an extremely densely populated section of Kowloon that housed an interesting mix of residents. Prostitution, gambling, and drug use were very common in this area. The Walled City was predominately ungoverned by HK, instead it was controlled by the Triads for the last few decades before the HK government decided to begin evicting all residents in order to demolish the city.
As summer is upon us in Hong Kong (as I’m sure we can all painfully feel the second we step outside and into a brick wall of humidity), the majority of my coworkers are heading back to Canada, where the weather will be much more forgiving and enjoyable. In lieu of this, we decided to enjoy a nice Sunday afternoon tea at the W Hotel.
This is a great hike if you live east on the island or Kowloon, as it is one stop across the harbour from Quarry Bay on the purple line. It’s also ideal if you’re looking for a quick hike; you want to get up a mountain, get some exercise in, see some great views of both the island and Kowloon skyline, and then get out. I mean, your schedule is booked solid from now until your last days in this city that never sleeps, so you need to squeeze in as much as possible every single waking moment of your time here. Am I right, or what?
I have been wanting to do this hike for quite some time, but was waiting for a clear day to appreciate the views a bit more. Since clear days come few and far between in Hong Kong, we decided to just try our luck one morning when we didn’t have much planned for the day. At the top of Lion Rock, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking, panoramic views of Kowloon and the Hong Kong Island harbourfront (if the smog isn’t in full force that day).
You’ve been living and working in Hong Kong for well over a year now and are starting to notice some changes (or you are completely oblivious to them and your friends are not-so-kindly pointing them out to you): either a magician has waved his magical wand and miraculously made this crazy city irritate you less, or -let’s face the truth here- you’re becoming more like a local.
What better way to spend a day off than exploring the city? We decided to head over to Kowloon side to do a bit of touristy sightseeing and weren’t disappointed!
We first went to the 10,000 Buddha Monastery, which is a Buddhist temple in Sha Tin. Construction of this Monastery (though not actually a Monastery as no resident monks live here) took place in 1949, where it then took eight years to finish construction on all the buildings and another ten years to finish making all of the Buddha statues. As you enter the site and begin walking up to the top, you pass literally thousands of different Buddha’s. It was really quite fascinating.