We had the absolute perfect location for our stay in Hong Kong over Boxing Day. The luxurious Langham Hotel in Fashionable Tsim Sha Tsui Shopping District, close to Victoria Harbour. In fact, so convenient, it is within walking distance from the Star Ferry at the waterfront and hundreds of shops and designer outlets. The metro subway entrance is literally around the corner.
The Langham was great, with some old-world charm in the decor – I really loved all the pale pink touches. They serve a very popular afternoon tea with a huge selection of sweets, pastries and teas to choose from.
On Boxing Day, off course we went shopping. Luxury brands were on sale and literally flying off the shelves. At some shops, like Cartier, they only let in a few people in at a time and there were queues down the road. Shoppers dressed to kill in Versace and Prada were walking away with arms full of shopping bags. It was madness, but truly an experience. We were extremely lucky to get a table after just a short wait at BLT Burger in the Harbour View mall. It is a very popular place and the burgers are truly delicious – go try it!
The day after, we jumped on the Big Bus Tours bus for a hop-on-hop-off tour of the city. We took the tram ride (included in the big bus tour) up to The Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong island, for spectacular views over the city and harbour. You do have to pay extra to go out on the viewing platform, though. It was a great, but tiring day.
The last day before our flight back, we took a short walk to the train station from the Langham to catch a train to Lantau island. The queue to buy tickets for the cable car up to the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery was enormous. It took about 40 minutes to reach the front. We were also freezing! The cable cars do not seal tight and icy winds were blowing on us all the way up. December is winter in Hong Kong after all, but apart from this last day, we had great weather. The big Buddha is the largest outdoor sitting Buddha statue in the world and well worth the effort to see. The monastery is home to many monks and you can enjoy a meal at its popular vegetarian restaurant.
- It was rather wet when we were in Hong Kong late December, keep an umbrella handy!
- In the Tsim Sha Tsui area you can pretty much walk everywhere, you will appreciate wearing comfortable, non-slip shoes.
- If you do take a Big Bus or any other kind of tour, some things are not included – we had to pay extra to go out on the viewing platform, The Sky Terrace, at The Peak.
- Depending on the weather when going up to the Big Buddha, dress warm and take a scarf or something to wrap around your ears in the cable car as the winds were icy. Even gloves are not a bad idea!
- Don’t be scared to take the train, the routes are all pretty well marked and announced.
Our short stay in Hong Kong was busy, but magical and we only saw a fraction of what Hong Kong has to offer.
I would love to go and visit again.