12 Hours in Hong Kong

On my way from Los Angeles to Manila, I elected to have a long layover in Hong Kong so that I could explore another city along the way. I’m traveling alone — which is incredibly scary as a woman — so I thought that a few hours in Hong Kong would be a good way to challenge myself to be more adventurous.

If you have a United States passport you don’t need to apply for a visa, so the actual process of exiting and entering is pretty simple. However, make sure your check-in luggage is going where you want it to go! I had to go to baggage claim and then recheck in because I flew American Airlines into Hong Kong but my flight out of Hong Kong was through Cathay Pacific. Additionally, if you have carry on luggage you don’t want to lug around, you can drop it off at in Terminal 2 and have it stored for an hourly fee. I wandered around the airport for half an hour before finding the area to store luggage because I misinterpreted the signs as “Lost and Found.” I believe the signage says “Left Baggage.”

There’s a train that goes to and from the main station and the airport. A round trip and one way ticket cost the same, so make sure you purchase a round trip ticket! The train also has wifi and charging ports.

While in Hong Kong I walked around Victoria’s Peak, browsed the flower market, and then got a couple of souvenirs at the ladies market. I would have explored more but my anxiety got the best of me and I went to the airport earlier than anticipated. However, I like to think that the my day trip was a success! 

I kept trying to figure out how to get to the peak via minibus, but I couldn’t find the bus I wanted and eventually gave up and opted for a cab. However taking the minibus back was super easy! Make sure you have small denominations of cash. I believe it was ~80 HKD to take a cab to the peak and ~10 HKD to take the minibus back. If you’re able to figure out the minibus going to the peak you’ll save a lot!

It was super chilly and a bit misty when I went and, of course, I left my umbrella and jacket at Left Baggage. To warm up I got my favorite drink, a Hong Kong styled hot tea. After I warmed up a bit I wandered around and took in the views. Below is a map of the route I took, more or less. I got lost a lot and went back and forth around some interesting looking side streets and (failed) shortcuts. The entire time I was in Hong Kong I walked a little over 12 miles. The Health App also said my hike around Victoria Peak was equivalent to 80 flights of stairs. 

In the map I also noted the markets I visited. I didn’t take any photos of the flower market because I wanted to really take it in. Additionally, some shops explicitly say not to take photos. I almost wish I lived in Hong Kong just to buy fresh flowers for my apartment every week.


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