June 14, 2011

Hong Kong Part 2

I spent half of my trip to Hong Kong with my friend Sara Greenberg. We are old friends from Martha's Vineyard and I was so happy to hear that we would both be living in Asia at the same time. I could not wait until we could spend some time traveling together. As a matter of fact, she is coming to Seoul next weekend :).

Sara was an awesome tour guide and we did tons of amazing stuff around Hong Kong. I stayed with her in Central (great location) and we made our way around from there.

One morning we met up with her friend Justin and my friend, Quinn, from Korea for a hike in the New Territories.

We took the metro to Sai Kung and then a cab to a small path opening on the side of the road. This path took us on a 5 hour hike over Sharp Peak to Tai Long Wan (Big Wave Bay).

Hiking in Hong Kong is notorious for being a paved cement path through a jungle. However, we came accross this trail, Sharp's Peak, which was everything but paved cement. The sign read "The trail leading to Sharp Peak is very treacherous and difficult. For saftey reasons you are not advised to proceed." And then we decided we had to take the challenge.

We hiked for a couple of hours up and over many mountains and into the clouds. We knew the trail would dump us out on Thai looking beaches, so we kept going!

We ended up grabbing lunch and large Tsingtao's at a small place on the beach. It was one of hardest, and most rewarding hikes I have ever done. After relaxing on the deserted beach for a little, we hired a small taxi boat to take us back to the main land (we were far too tired to make the 2 hour hike back (the only way to reach the beach)). Here is what the harbor/wet market looked like when we got back from the beach!

Sara and I also spent an afternoon at Stanley Market, near Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island. It is a famous market area where you can bargain for the typical Hong Kong tourist goods. I bought a couple of silk bathrobes and some post cards while we wondered thought the tiny stalls. Right near the market, there is a cute water front with outdoor bars and restaurants.

We spent some time walking around the city and eating great food (Mother's Day Dinner). Hong Kong is truly an amazing place to live as an expat. There is so much to do and it is easy to navigate, because most everyone speaks English.

On my last day in Hong Kong, I joined Sara and some of her friends on a "Junk". We all chipped in to rent a boat and a captain for the day. We sailed around Victoria Harbor and then back to the New Territories (this is where the cleanest and nicest beaches are in Hong Kong.) We stopped at a small seafood restaurant for lunch and then docked near a beach for the afternoon. We jumped off the top of the boat into the water and basked in paradise. GREAT DAY!

As we took the boat back into Victoria Harbor the sun started to set. It was so beautiful and felt so surreal. It was the perfect ending to my trip to Hong Kong before I jumped on the red eye back to Seoul and started the most miserable day of work ever.

Overall, Hong Kong is amazing. It is a massive beautiful city that has the best of the city and beach life. It is a perfect place for a "young professional expat" to live. There are tons of young expats living in Hong Kong looking to make the most of everyday. The only thing is that it is a much more expensive city than Seoul and many other cities in Asia. I would say it is more comparable to New York City. I loved Hong Kong and I hope one day I may be able to live there; adding another city to my list.

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