Footsteps in Hong Kong…Main Island Escapades

Having adventured in Kow Loon, Lantau and their environs, our escapades the last few days of our visit in Hong Kong finally took us to the Main Island. Compared to Kow Loon, adventuring on the main island is a whole different side of the story. Kow Loon is what I would imagine mainland China to resemble whilst the main island of Hong Kong has a vibe very much like the buzz of bustling New York City! We found there wasn’t very much to do on the Mainland (if you did then I’d love to hear from you on what I missed out) and now that this series is coming to a close, I am glad that we had chosen to stay in Kow Loon as it turned out to be the ideal place for a tourist. If I were fortunate enough to visit Hong Kong on business some day, then I would probably stay on the Main Island. Here then, dear Wanderlusters are my main island escapades!

Star Ferry
Leaving from the terminal at Tsim Tsa Tsui, this is the most scenic (and affordable ) mode of transport from Kow Loon to the main island, at a mere HKD 2.50 per person! I would say that it is a great way to see both sides of Hong Kong – Kow Loon with its string of hotels lining the TST parade on one end, and the Main Island with its skyscrapers looming tall and all business like on the Main Island side being a perfect symphony of business and pleasure, both elements that Hong Kong is known for!

Skyline view from the Star Ferry

Skyline view from the Star Ferry

Central Pier and the Hong Kong Ferris wheel

Central Pier and the Hong Kong Ferris wheel

Man Mo Temple
Being cultural aficionados, M and I had read about this mystical temple and we were pretty keen to see it for ourselves. Research suggested that the temple’s ceilings are decked with coiled incense hanging from them, and these are lit and continue to burn slowly for months with their smoke wafting and swirling around the temple thus giving it a magical, almost other worldly feel. Indeed, I was glad to see that this was the case, and we happened to visit on a particularly busy day so it was nice to be milling amongst the humdrum of worshippers whilst ambling around the smoky interior whispering a few prayers of our own!

The incense lanterns burning away at Man Mo Temple

The incense lanterns burning away at Man Mo Temple

Ceiling of Man Mo adorned with incense lanterns

Ceiling of Man Mo adorned with incense lanterns

Hanging out by the wishes!

Hanging out by the wishes!

Victoria Peak
Of all the things that I read about to do in Hong Kong, riding the Peak Tram was something that was top of my WanderList and of course, was an adventure that I could not miss! Now, what I wish we had done was go to the website and purchased tickets in advance to avoid standing in the long queue that snaked its way down the road, but hindsight is always a great teacher.

After waiting for what seemed like hours (but in reality was a little over 45 minutes) we finally managed to buy round trip tickets at the Tram Lower Terminus and got into yet another line to board the little tram that would be chugging its way up to the peak. If I thought that my experience in India with queues was bad, then this was even worse. As soon as the tram opened its doors, any form of queue was quickly forgotten and people were literally pushing and shoving to get into the tiny tram. Now this kerfuffle turned what I had hoped to be a picture perfect ride up to the peak to a jostling mess and totally took away any iota of joy that I was feeling!

But, there were even more lessons at the top. Between waiting in line to get to the top and actually getting there, the weather had turned which meant that the skyline was foggy and so I didn’t even manage to get a decent picture! *insert sad emoticon here*. And then I found out that to get that “signature” skyline view, you have to go the Sky Terrace 428, and if you didn’t purchase the combo from the Tram Lower Terminus then you will need to fork out another HKD 48 to get to this view. Hmmmm. Completely deflated, we just decided to take the next bus down because the line for the tram was oh so long and we just didn’t have the energy for any more pushing and shoving! Not the best experience but perhaps one day my footsteps will take me back to Hong Kong and I may just get that signature shot after all! When you see beautiful pictures of a place, the writer very often forgets to throw in a snippet of reality. Well, my dear Wanderlusters, my reality on this experience is twofold. One – a lesson that I have learned and now implement everywhere I travel to, is to try and get advance tickets wherever possible. And two – I have chalked down my less than magical experience to my choice of day, which I am convinced wasn’t the best and now I try and choose off peak times to visit popular attractions.

Ocean Park

View across the bay at Ocean Park

View across the bay at Ocean Park

Ocean Park is also close to the Main Island and is easy enough to get to on the Ocean Park bus. Having been bitten by the Victoria Peak Tram experience, I did try and google an option to purchase tickets in advance but at the time there was no option to reserve advance tickets and so we chanced it, being fully prepared to wait for a while to get in! The Universe must have wanted to make up for my disappointment because surprisingly there was no queue for getting in, and before we knew it, we were exploring the park.

The raison d'être at Ocean Park!

The raison d’être at Ocean Park!

You may be wondering why we chose to visit Ocean Park, having been to Disneyland a couple of days before. Well, I tell you what, we really really really wanted to see Giant Panda bears and Ocean Park is THE place to see them if you haven’t got time to find them elsewhere! And boy, we were not disappointed. Based in the Waterfront area of the park, Ying Ying and Le Le are two cute, cuddly giant teddy bear looking creatures that I wanted to snuggle up against! Perched in their grassy exhibits, they were pretty content to much on bamboo, letting the chewed up sticks fall on their rounded bellies! We could have watched them all day…check out the video below…isn’t this just so adorable?

Also in this exhibit are the Red Panda, which are the Giant Panda’s mainland cousins but look nothing like them (no big cuddly red looking creatures) but look starkingly similar to red foxes with their bushy tails.

Isn't this Panda like a cute cuddly teddy bear?

Isn’t this Panda like a cute cuddly teddy bear?

The closest I will ever get to hugging a Panda Bear!

The closest I will ever get to hugging a Panda Bear!

There are a number of rides at Ocean Park for all ages, but none that we actually felt inclined to try out as the prospect of hanging out with penguins and arctic foxes at the North and South Pole encounters at the Summit, and wandering amongst sharks and giant manta stingrays in the Marine Exhibit was way more exciting!

And so, in the blink of an eye our adventures in Hong Kong come to a close. I must say though that like a lot of cities, we are not quite done yet and I feel like this was a mere taster of what Hong Kong has to offer and the surface of this cosmopolitan city has just been scratched. I can’t wait to be back someday and I hope that you have enjoyed this series! I always love hearing from you, so leave me a comment on what you thought about my escapades in this part of Asia below! Thank you for hanging out with me xoxo

WanderNuggets
On getting to The Peak
Make your way to Peak Tram Lower Terminus on Garden Road from MTR Central Station Exit J2r. I would recommend that you get a return the Peak Tram Sky Pass which combines both the Peak Tram & Sky Terrace 428. I wish we had!

Costs:
Adult Return HK$ 90; Child Return HK$ 35

Check out the website http://www.thepeak.com.hk which is packed with information and will help you plan your trip out to The Peak.

-On getting to Man Mo Temple

Get to MTR Sheung Wan Station on the Metro, and use Exit A2. Walk along Hillier Street to Queen’s Road Central. Then proceed up Ladder Street (next to Lok Ku Road) to Hollywood Road where you will find the Man Mo Temple

-On getting to Ocean Park

You can get to Ocean Park using the special Citybus Ocean Park Express (Route 629) which you hop on to just outside the Star Ferry Terminal on the Main Island side.
Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm
Costs: Adults: HKD 438, and Children: HKD 219

*Legalese: this was not a sponsored trip. My experiences are my own and as at the date of publishing this blog post, prices and routing information is correct however like anything in life, can change. Please do re-check before you travel! Thank you!

26 thoughts on “Footsteps in Hong Kong…Main Island Escapades

  • Reply Michelle Langi 27/06/2017 at 23:47

    I am loving this Hong Kong series. Beautiful pictures and those lanterns are gorgeous.

  • Reply Nessy 28/06/2017 at 00:36

    I’m jealous. Would love to spend some time in Asia

    • Reply harpreet 10/08/2017 at 15:50

      Awww Nessy, I hope you do get to travel to Asia soon and spend a good amount of time out there!

  • Reply Sonyo Estavillo 28/06/2017 at 01:52

    I’ve never been to Hong Kong, but love to travel and hope to do more sometime in the near future. You look like you had a blast.

    • Reply harpreet 10/08/2017 at 15:49

      Hi Sonyo! I did have a blast out there and hope that you make it to Hong Kong soon!

  • Reply Womenlite 28/06/2017 at 10:40

    The pictures are seriously lovely. I’m bit shocked to know that the queues were worse than India!

    • Reply harpreet 10/08/2017 at 15:48

      Thank you! Yep, I was shocked with the queues too…but, there you have it!

  • Reply Phaytea's Pulse 28/06/2017 at 12:36

    Love how descriptive this post is…I almost feel like I’m on the trip too..you had a nice experience…Thanks for sharing…lovely Pictures too

    • Reply harpreet 10/08/2017 at 15:48

      Thank you so much! So glad to hear you enjoyed this!

  • Reply Chloe 28/06/2017 at 17:12

    Hi, I enjoyed how much detail you went into about your trip to Hong Kong. It made me relive memories from our fab holiday there.

    • Reply harpreet 10/08/2017 at 15:47

      Thanks so much Chloe! I am verbose by nature and glad you enjoyed the detail and that it brought back beautiful memories for you!

  • Reply Reginald 28/06/2017 at 20:32

    Wow…. This article is very comprehensive and it is a great thing you had a wonderful experience. Looking up to some day to have such experience. Thanks for this great information you have shared here.

    • Reply harpreet 10/08/2017 at 15:47

      Thank you! I am so glad to hear you found this helpful! Yay…inspires to me to keep on sharing thanks to people like you 🙂

  • Reply Reginald 28/06/2017 at 20:39

    One good thing I love about this article is the beautiful photos you have displayed here, which shows how beautiful this places are and it is a nice thing you had a beautiful outing. Though I have not been there before but I strongly believe that one day I will apply for visa and come and visit this places.

    • Reply harpreet 10/08/2017 at 15:46

      Thank you Reginald! I do hope you make it out to Hong Kong soon!

  • Reply Mercy (Zen Maud) 28/06/2017 at 21:23

    I love your photos! The Man Mo Temple sounds aromatically magical (haha), I’d love to see it some day. And since I’ve never seen a Panda before Ocean
    park is definitely a must! I live in Asia so I have no excuse. Thanks so much for the tips!

    • Reply harpreet 10/08/2017 at 15:45

      Thanks Mercy! Absolutely, you must see the Pandas…and Man Mo is indeed mystical.Glad you found this article helpful!

  • Reply Kristal 28/06/2017 at 22:04

    You made me feel apart of your trip. Just added Hong Kong to the bucket list

    • Reply harpreet 10/08/2017 at 15:45

      Awww Kristal thank you SO much! So so happy to read this! Yay!

  • Reply blackgirlzen 28/06/2017 at 22:38

    I ‘ve been to Hong Kong. Your post brings back good memories.

    • Reply harpreet 10/08/2017 at 15:44

      Thank you! I am so happy to hear that!

  • Reply natasha 28/06/2017 at 23:49

    great piece love HK , i got the bus up to the peak from the fery station avoids all the crowds and you gt a great view over the city.

    • Reply harpreet 10/08/2017 at 15:44

      Thanks Natasha! I will remember that for next time, still need to get my “signature shot” wink, wink!

  • Reply Finja 29/06/2017 at 09:38

    Awww… I always wanted to go to HK & now you’ve taken me there. 🙂
    x finja ~ http://www.effcaa.com

    • Reply harpreet 11/07/2017 at 18:42

      Thanks Finja! Thanks for stopping by and for your beautiful comment! xoxo

    • Reply harpreet 10/08/2017 at 15:43

      Awww I am SO happy to hear that! Thank you so much Finja and thank you for stopping by!

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