Learn from my Mistakes: Hong Kong Arrival Survival Tips

Time is passing by so quickly here in Hong Kong; I’m worried that my time in Hong Kong will be ending soon. I’ve been here for almost a month, but there’s no end to everything I can explore. I arrived on a Thursday, bright and early at 5am. Unfortunately, I could only check into my hotel after 3pm and most shops were closed until 10am.

Tip #1: Get there at night if you are planning to stay at a hotel. You’re going to be tired from the plane ride regardless of if you slept the entire time (which I did, since there was no wifi). Getting there at night may give you the chance to fight off some of the jetlag. To make matters worse, the airline lost my luggage and it was close to 90 degrees outside.

Tip #2: If you’re arriving in Hong Kong during the summer, and maybe even during the fall, bring a change of clothes. Also pack a toothbrush and basic travel sized necessities in your carry-on. I thought I was being clever when I wore a light long sleeved shirt on the plane, since it would be cold, but after stepping outside I regretted not packing a shirt I could change into.

Tip #3: Figure out the transportation system before you get there. Make sure to check what time the subway or bus starts running as well. Since I have family here in Hong Kong, my cousin came to pick me up from the airport, saving me from the trouble of figuring out the subway system in an unfamiliar country. My cousin took me around Mongkok which is home to many street markets including the ladies market, temple street night market, and a fruit market. Mongkok is very busy, but also very lively.

On my third day in Hong Kong, there was a typhoon. It was not as strong as the one a few days prior (the same one which caused all the flights before mine to get cancelled), but it left us gloomy rain the entire day. Tip #4: Bring/buy an umbrella or a raincoat. Many times, though, the rain is short. It intensifies very quickly but then lightens up to a drizzle.

The first week I spent in Hong Kong wasn’t that eventful since I was working on fighting jetlag, but my friend (who also came early, but a day after me) and I got to eat good food every day. We got to try the Michelin rated dim sum place called Yum Cha, which was pretty good, but fairly expensive. On the cheaper side, we went to the famous Hing Kee Claypot Rice Restaurant nearby our hotel in Yau Ma Tei.

Overall, however, my first week/weekend in Hong Kong was pretty good. There was no stress from school yet and so I could fix my sleep schedule (more of an excuse to sleep in). I ate a lot of good food, though surprisingly, I only ate once a day since I felt quite full from the one meal I was eating a day—from a health perspective, however, you should probably eat more than once a day. First week in Hong Kong gets a 8/10 rating from me (2 points deducted because of my lost luggage and how hot it is).

Till next time!

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