Getting to know the place you’ll be living for 4 months is extremely important. Even if you think you know all the hot spots of the city through research and word of mouth, it is great to go out and see it with your own eyes. In this post, I am going to talk about some of the areas in Hong Kong that I have visited so far. Other than going to Hang Hau, I have been to some of the main places to go in Hong Kong. The first place I visited after Hang Hau was Tseung Kawn O (TKO). HKUST has a residence hall in this area for off campus housing. Two Drexel students, Ada and Julie, live in Jockey Club Hall, so we tend to visit there often. In TKO, there is the Popcorn Mall, which is attached to TKO MTR Station. When my friends and I wanted to submit our application for the Octopus Card, we went to that station. The mall is pretty big and has a lot of really great shops. We went to a Korean restaurant for dinner and the food was great! While we were eating dinner, Tiffany taught me one way to say thank you in Cantonese (Ng goi sai), so that I could thank the waiter for bringing me food or more tea. When we all said it to our waiter after he poured us tea, he was very impressed.
One of my favorite places so far is Causeway Bay – Hong Kong’s version of Times Square. Just like NYC, there are huge LED boards with ads going across and many lights everywhere. It isn’t as big, but it is a great site to see. When we first went, we wanted to get some Cantonese street food and looked around at the different shops in the area. We walked around the area and found some familiar clothing stores. We went to a section where there was a lot of local vendors and looked around at what they were selling. Since we all love socks, we ended up buying 10 socks for HK$100. The woman who was selling the socks was so happy that we came and we were happy that we found her booth.
The next time we went to Times Square, I was able to meet up with my mentee Ariel from Drexel, who is from Mainland China. She was really happy to see that I am enjoying my time here in Hong Kong so far. We all went to dinner at a local dim sum restaurant near the local vendors and then got matcha ice cream. It was the first time I ever had matcha ice cream and it was surprisingly very good.
Another place that we went to was Kowloon Bay for shopping. Since some of us didn’t get bedding and towels right away, we went shopping at IKEA with Jessica’s exchange buddy, Wendy. It was a really fun time because Wendy really wanted to show us around and make sure we took it all in. MegaBox (the mall we went to) has a free shuttle service for its customers, so that they wouldn’t have to walk really far. I thought that was super convenient because if you don’t have a car you could take the MTR to the shuttle stop and get on the bus, instead of walking. The IKEA was the best IKEA I have ever been too. I don’t know why, but I thought it was great!
Since I didn’t want to buy expensive towels, Wendy took us to another shop where we could get cheaper items. After that she really wanted to show us the HK$12 Shop, where everything is HK$12. We ended up buying so much, but it was definitely worth it. After shopping, Wendy took us to a Dai Pai Dong, which is a traditional causal eating spot, where we sat outside in an alley on stools with the locals. The food was amazing and I tried some foods I have never thought I would eat before.
The last place that I really enjoyed was Victoria Peak. HKUST took the exchange students on a Hong Kong Day Tour where we could either go to historical museums or to Victoria Peak and Mong Kok. At Victoria Peak, Tiffany and I took a lot of pictures of the amazing view. The Peak is the highest point in Hong Kong and you can see over Hong Kong Island. The view was so breathtaking because you could basically touch the clouds. It is definitely a place to visit in Hong Kong because you can see most of the island and just take in how beautiful nature is.
After the Peak, we went to Mong Kok where the cheapest shopping can be done. The Ladies’ Market is in Mong Kok and it is where you can buy a lot of good quality products for very little. The vendors sell items like cell phone cases, purses, toys for kids, scarves, and much more. Tiffany and I bought some stuff there and looked around to see what else we could get at another time. Everything was very cheap and good quality. After Mong Kok, the two groups had a Cantonese dinner and then saw A Symphony of Light, which is a light and music show that takes place across Victoria Harbor and on the tall building. It was a really cool show and the lights were synchronized with the music that was playing on the pier. All of these places are very unique in their own way and has something different each time you visit them. There are more areas that I will visit and I can’t wait to share my experiences!