01kyoto-higashiyama-japan-architecture-travel

I wish I had spent more time in Kyoto because two days were certainly not enough! I could easily stay for 5 or 6 or an entire week! We took the bullet train from Osaka to Kyoto and checked into Node Hotel. Let me just say... this hotel checks every box! The aesthetic is spot on and reminds me of The Line hotels with the gray concrete details. Node Hotel kindly hosted us for two days and gave us the most beautiful suite. It felt like a penthouse apartment and we enjoyed every second of it.

Arashiyama was our first stop. Upon arriving at the Arashiyama station (which by the way is the last stop of that line), we noticed how hustling and bustling it was! Lots of shops and tons of food, we couldn't resist so we grabbed some jumbo shumai and fishcake to snack on! Yum! We began our walk toward Arashiyama and stopped again for strawberry mochi. But wow, I've never seen anything like it! So many bamboos and such beautiful landscape, there were cats too! I love it! We went around 3 or 4 in the afternoon and it was completely packed so I highly going there first thing in the morning if you have the option to do so. Next, we squeezed in Tenryu-ji and explored its garden before it got dark. Going to Kyoto in the Fall was such a treat, bursts of red and orange and yellow everywhere and the Tenryu-ji Garden is no difference!

The next and final day, we woke up bright and early and headed up to Kiyomizu-dera Temple which is one of the most celebrated temples in Japan found in 780. The ground around the temple was lovely as well, garden, other shrines, pagoda, not to mention you can get a great view of Kyoto on a clear day! We headed down the hill and walked around Higashiyama District and stumbled upon Ryozen Kannon (a war memorial commemorating the War dead of the Pacific War with a giant statue of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara). We also checked out Kōdai-ji real quick before heading to AWOMB for lunch nearby (I wrote a separate blog post on AWOMB here). After lunch, we went to the infamous Fushimi Inari-Taisha and hiked all the way up to Mt. Inari Summit.

Here are a few things I learned from Fushimi Inari:

  1. When you first see all the torii gates, you're gonna want to try to take pics. DON'T! There will be a sea of people and everyone is trying to do the same. Keep moving, there are SO MANY MORE spots just like this, if not better, for you to take pics with no one around!
  2. Definitely do the full hike up Mt. Inari! The further you go, the less people you'll see. Set aside enough time for this though!
  3. If you love cats, you're in luck! There are so many cats there and they are all super friendly!⁣
  4. When you're done and heading back down the hill. Do stop at the cafe (sadly I forgot the name of it but you shall see it, it's the only one there) and get a hojicha latte. It's the best I've ever had!

Where to stay:
Node Hotel
New, modern, luxurious

04kyoto-nodehotel-luxuryhotel-japan-decor-travel05kyoto-nodehotel-luxuryhotel-japan-decor-travel
06kyoto-nodehotel-luxuryhotel-japan-decor-travel07kyoto-nodehotel-luxuryhotel-japan-decor-travel

Japan Day 6-7: Kyoto

March 29, 2020

01kyoto-higashiyama-japan-architecture-travel

I wish I had spent more time in Kyoto because two days were certainly not enough! I could easily stay for 5 or 6 or an entire week! We took the bullet train from Osaka to Kyoto and checked into Node Hotel. Let me just say... this hotel checks every box! The aesthetic is spot on and reminds me of The Line hotels with the gray concrete details. Node Hotel kindly hosted us for two days and gave us the most beautiful suite. It felt like a penthouse apartment and we enjoyed every second of it.

Arashiyama was our first stop. Upon arriving at the Arashiyama station (which by the way is the last stop of that line), we noticed how hustling and bustling it was! Lots of shops and tons of food, we couldn't resist so we grabbed some jumbo shumai and fishcake to snack on! Yum! We began our walk toward Arashiyama and stopped again for strawberry mochi. But wow, I've never seen anything like it! So many bamboos and such beautiful landscape, there were cats too! I love it! We went around 3 or 4 in the afternoon and it was completely packed so I highly going there first thing in the morning if you have the option to do so. Next, we squeezed in Tenryu-ji and explored its garden before it got dark. Going to Kyoto in the Fall was such a treat, bursts of red and orange and yellow everywhere and the Tenryu-ji Garden is no difference!

The next and final day, we woke up bright and early and headed up to Kiyomizu-dera Temple which is one of the most celebrated temples in Japan found in 780. The ground around the temple was lovely as well, garden, other shrines, pagoda, not to mention you can get a great view of Kyoto on a clear day! We headed down the hill and walked around Higashiyama District and stumbled upon Ryozen Kannon (a war memorial commemorating the War dead of the Pacific War with a giant statue of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara). We also checked out Kōdai-ji real quick before heading to AWOMB for lunch nearby (I wrote a separate blog post on AWOMB here). After lunch, we went to the infamous Fushimi Inari-Taisha and hiked all the way up to Mt. Inari Summit.

Here are a few things I learned from Fushimi Inari:

  1. When you first see all the torii gates, you're gonna want to try to take pics. DON'T! There will be a sea of people and everyone is trying to do the same. Keep moving, there are SO MANY MORE spots just like this, if not better, for you to take pics with no one around!
  2. Definitely do the full hike up Mt. Inari! The further you go, the less people you'll see. Set aside enough time for this though!
  3. If you love cats, you're in luck! There are so many cats there and they are all super friendly!⁣
  4. When you're done and heading back down the hill. Do stop at the cafe (sadly I forgot the name of it but you shall see it, it's the only one there) and get a hojicha latte. It's the best I've ever had!

Where to stay:
Node Hotel
New, modern, luxurious

04kyoto-nodehotel-luxuryhotel-japan-decor-travel05kyoto-nodehotel-luxuryhotel-japan-decor-travel
06kyoto-nodehotel-luxuryhotel-japan-decor-travel07kyoto-nodehotel-luxuryhotel-japan-decor-travel
01AWOMB-kyoto-japanesefood-japan-food-travel

I've been thinking about AWOMB in Kyoto ever since I visited there back in November. It's a dining experience I've never had before! Most tourists are unaware of this place, hence we were the only foreigners and everyone else was local when we went. Part of me want to keep this a secret... but here I am, sharing with you this hidden gem. Let's see, I am not even sure how to explain what "teae sushi" is. I read all about it before going but I was still a bit lost when I got there even after looking at their cute little illustration/instruction. Basically for each of the little dishes, you mix it with different condiments and you can choose to mix it with matcha shredded eggs and/or rice as well. There's also a tea soup which you can drink alone or pour into the rice. This tea soup!!! I've been dreaming about it since, the broth is just so delicious, so light yet flavorful. Where can I get it? How do I make it? That's all I wanna know! You can tell that everything was thoughtful curated and everything tasted so fresh and incredible. I really enjoyed AWOMB for so many reasons. Obviously I loved the food. I also really appreciate the fact that this restaurant was basically in/structured as a house. We even sat traditionally on tatami. I loved it! I hope that when you go to Kyoto, you'll have a chance to eat at AWOMB. I went to the one in Gion district but I believe there are two other locations in Kyoto as well. Also, please note that it is reservation only.

04AWOMB-kyoto-restaurant-architecture-japan-food-travel
02AWOMB-kyoto-restaurant-architecture-japan-food-travel03AWOMB-kyoto-japanesefood-japan-food-travel
05AWOMB-kyoto-teaesushi-japanesefood-japan-food-travel
06AWOMB-kyoto-restaurant-tatami-japan-food-travel07AWOMB-kyoto-restaurant-japan-food-travel
08AWOMB-kyoto-restaurant-architecture-japan-food-travel

AWOMB, Kyoto, Japan

March 24, 2020

01AWOMB-kyoto-japanesefood-japan-food-travel

I've been thinking about AWOMB in Kyoto ever since I visited there back in November. It's a dining experience I've never had before! Most tourists are unaware of this place, hence we were the only foreigners and everyone else was local when we went. Part of me want to keep this a secret... but here I am, sharing with you this hidden gem. Let's see, I am not even sure how to explain what "teae sushi" is. I read all about it before going but I was still a bit lost when I got there even after looking at their cute little illustration/instruction. Basically for each of the little dishes, you mix it with different condiments and you can choose to mix it with matcha shredded eggs and/or rice as well. There's also a tea soup which you can drink alone or pour into the rice. This tea soup!!! I've been dreaming about it since, the broth is just so delicious, so light yet flavorful. Where can I get it? How do I make it? That's all I wanna know! You can tell that everything was thoughtful curated and everything tasted so fresh and incredible. I really enjoyed AWOMB for so many reasons. Obviously I loved the food. I also really appreciate the fact that this restaurant was basically in/structured as a house. We even sat traditionally on tatami. I loved it! I hope that when you go to Kyoto, you'll have a chance to eat at AWOMB. I went to the one in Gion district but I believe there are two other locations in Kyoto as well. Also, please note that it is reservation only.

04AWOMB-kyoto-restaurant-architecture-japan-food-travel
02AWOMB-kyoto-restaurant-architecture-japan-food-travel03AWOMB-kyoto-japanesefood-japan-food-travel
05AWOMB-kyoto-teaesushi-japanesefood-japan-food-travel
06AWOMB-kyoto-restaurant-tatami-japan-food-travel07AWOMB-kyoto-restaurant-japan-food-travel
08AWOMB-kyoto-restaurant-architecture-japan-food-travel
01osaka-castle-japan-fallfoliage-autumn-travel

To tell you the truth, Osaka isn't my favorite. It's not as cool as Tokyo and not as unique as Kyoto. If you're making a side trip out of Tokyo and you don't have too much time, don't even bother going to Osaka but Kyoto is a must and I highly recommended Hakone as well. Now don't get me wrong, Osaka is a lovely city but it just doesn't have much going on. You've got the Osaka Castle, Dotonbori, Shinsekai, Kuromon Ichiba Market, Umeda Sky Building, the Tempozan Ferris Wheel, and that's pretty much it. We were only there for a day and so I didn't even bother going to some of these places.

Let's talk about the castle... Not gonna lie, I enjoyed Osaka Castle Park and the grounds around it way more than the castle itself. The castle was beautiful on the outside but the inside was underwhelming. It was more like a museum and you don't get to see what it actually looked like back in the days. I wish they had at least preserved a section of it to show. Anyways, the ground of the castle was stunning. We went in the fall and all the trees were all sorts of red and yellow. The moats were cool, the rocks were cool, and we actually explored both during the day and night. I highly recommend heading over at night, no one was around, it was slightly eerie but mostly magical.

Other than that, it was fun walking around Dotonbori at night. This is the area where there are bridges and waterways with lots of shops and restaurants, as well as the infamous Glico "running man" sign. We tried some takoyaki (did you know takoyaki originated from Osaka?) and melonpan and just enjoyed all the lights from buildings and billboards reflecting on the water.

As for accommodation, we stayed at Hotel Noum which is a fairly new hotel right on the river. Upon checking in, I knew I would love this hotel. They have a cute little cafe next to the lobby (the breakfast there was so tasty and fresh), a rooftop patio, and even bikes for you to rent out! The room is minimal yet modern and I love the giant floor to ceiling window and view! Thank you Hotel Noum for hosting us!

Where to go:

Where to stay:

Japan Day 5: Osaka

March 22, 2020

01osaka-castle-japan-fallfoliage-autumn-travel

To tell you the truth, Osaka isn't my favorite. It's not as cool as Tokyo and not as unique as Kyoto. If you're making a side trip out of Tokyo and you don't have too much time, don't even bother going to Osaka but Kyoto is a must and I highly recommended Hakone as well. Now don't get me wrong, Osaka is a lovely city but it just doesn't have much going on. You've got the Osaka Castle, Dotonbori, Shinsekai, Kuromon Ichiba Market, Umeda Sky Building, the Tempozan Ferris Wheel, and that's pretty much it. We were only there for a day and so I didn't even bother going to some of these places.

Let's talk about the castle... Not gonna lie, I enjoyed Osaka Castle Park and the grounds around it way more than the castle itself. The castle was beautiful on the outside but the inside was underwhelming. It was more like a museum and you don't get to see what it actually looked like back in the days. I wish they had at least preserved a section of it to show. Anyways, the ground of the castle was stunning. We went in the fall and all the trees were all sorts of red and yellow. The moats were cool, the rocks were cool, and we actually explored both during the day and night. I highly recommend heading over at night, no one was around, it was slightly eerie but mostly magical.

Other than that, it was fun walking around Dotonbori at night. This is the area where there are bridges and waterways with lots of shops and restaurants, as well as the infamous Glico "running man" sign. We tried some takoyaki (did you know takoyaki originated from Osaka?) and melonpan and just enjoyed all the lights from buildings and billboards reflecting on the water.

As for accommodation, we stayed at Hotel Noum which is a fairly new hotel right on the river. Upon checking in, I knew I would love this hotel. They have a cute little cafe next to the lobby (the breakfast there was so tasty and fresh), a rooftop patio, and even bikes for you to rent out! The room is minimal yet modern and I love the giant floor to ceiling window and view! Thank you Hotel Noum for hosting us!

Where to go:

Where to stay:
01hakone-japan-fuji-travel

Hakone is a crazy beautiful mountainous town in the Fuji area that reminds me of something out of a Miyazaki film. It was raining for the majority of the time we were there but the fog only made it extra mystical. The only regret I have from this part of the trip was that we only stayed for one night and I wish we had stayed for at least two, perhaps three.

Where to stay:

Where to go:

Where to eat:
Since Hakone is very mountainous and transportation is limited. There aren't many restaurants around and most places to eat are at hotels. But do get some black onsen eggs at the gift shop in Owakudani!

02hakone-japan-lakeashi-travel

Japan Day 4: Hakone

March 16, 2020

01hakone-japan-fuji-travel

Hakone is a crazy beautiful mountainous town in the Fuji area that reminds me of something out of a Miyazaki film. It was raining for the majority of the time we were there but the fog only made it extra mystical. The only regret I have from this part of the trip was that we only stayed for one night and I wish we had stayed for at least two, perhaps three.

Where to stay:

Where to go:

Where to eat:
Since Hakone is very mountainous and transportation is limited. There aren't many restaurants around and most places to eat are at hotels. But do get some black onsen eggs at the gift shop in Owakudani!

02hakone-japan-lakeashi-travel

01japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-travel

I have put off working on these blog posts on Japan for SO long because of a few reasons. First of all, I did a crazy amount of things during this trip that I feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Second of all, I've been contemplating about the format, whether I should group things by days or by categories. And lastly, I want these posts and guides to be helpful to you and therefore I want them to be perfect. Truth is, they won't be perfect and I have to understand that it's ok. So here we are, let's dive in!

Japan has always been a familiar yet strange place to me. I grew up in Hong Kong so traveling to Japan is just a little over 3 hours and I've gone countless times during my childhood (especially when my dad was living in Tokyo). This trip last year was truly the first time I went there as an adult. I've been to Tokyo and Osaka before but not Hakone and Kyoto which is why we only spent 3 days in Tokyo so that we can explore other places...

Where to stay:
Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho
Luxury, sky view, cool bar, lovely room
Candeo Hotels Tokyo Roppongi
Convenient location, close to (some rooms have view of) Tokyo Tower, nice spa.

04japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-travel06japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-couple-kimono-tea-travel
02japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-travel03japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-travel05japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-bar-travel07japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-travel

Japan Day 1-3: Tokyo

March 13, 2020

01japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-travel

I have put off working on these blog posts on Japan for SO long because of a few reasons. First of all, I did a crazy amount of things during this trip that I feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Second of all, I've been contemplating about the format, whether I should group things by days or by categories. And lastly, I want these posts and guides to be helpful to you and therefore I want them to be perfect. Truth is, they won't be perfect and I have to understand that it's ok. So here we are, let's dive in!

Japan has always been a familiar yet strange place to me. I grew up in Hong Kong so traveling to Japan is just a little over 3 hours and I've gone countless times during my childhood (especially when my dad was living in Tokyo). This trip last year was truly the first time I went there as an adult. I've been to Tokyo and Osaka before but not Hakone and Kyoto which is why we only spent 3 days in Tokyo so that we can explore other places...

Where to stay:
Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho
Luxury, sky view, cool bar, lovely room
Candeo Hotels Tokyo Roppongi
Convenient location, close to (some rooms have view of) Tokyo Tower, nice spa.

04japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-travel06japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-couple-kimono-tea-travel
02japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-travel03japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-travel05japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-bar-travel07japan-tokyo-princegallery-kioicho-luxuryhotel-travel
01higashiya-tea-ginza-tokyo-japan-shop-travel

Japanese cares a lot about details and that is exactly what you'll get at Higashiya. A hidden gem above the busy street of Ginza, Higashiya is a green tea and wagashi (confectionery) shop and cafe where you can slow down and experience tea drinking in the most respectable level. I am not doing an individual write-up on every place I ate during my Japan trip, but I wanted to highlight Higashiya because it was such a memorable experience and I highly recommend visiting if you are ever in Ginza. I opted for the tea and wagashi pairing, but if you're a sake lover, you can do the same pairing but with sake instead of tea instead! What I love most about this experience is that it forces you to slow down and truly enjoy and appreciate your tea and wagashi. Each tea is roasted/prepared and poured right in front of you to ensure its freshness. It was also lovely to watch how the staff carefully handles everything!

02higashiya-wagashi-confectionery-ginza-tokyo-japan-shop-travel

Here are some tips for you if you plan on visiting Higashiya:

1. Make a reservation. Although this was on my list, I didn't have time to squeeze everything in on my itinerary so when my day opened up, I hopped over to Ginza to see if there was any opening and luckily, they told me to come back in an hour! But I would definitely make a reservation as this place is becoming very popular.

2. When I say hidden, I mean really hidden. When you get to the address, it looks like an office building or something. Take the elevator on your right to the second level and ta da!

3. Be prepared to spend at least 2 hours, close to 3 here. When I say it makes you slow down, I really mean it. You take your time to drink each tea and eat every dish, in the best possible way of course!

4. Phone photos are ok but don't make the same mistake as I did and pull out your DSLR with loud shutter sound. I didn't know but as soon as a staff kindly told me to put my camera way, I quickly obliged.

5. Don't forget to check out the shop and grab some tea and wagashi when you leave! They make perfect souvenirs!

Higashiya, Ginza, Japan

March 12, 2020

01higashiya-tea-ginza-tokyo-japan-shop-travel

Japanese cares a lot about details and that is exactly what you'll get at Higashiya. A hidden gem above the busy street of Ginza, Higashiya is a green tea and wagashi (confectionery) shop and cafe where you can slow down and experience tea drinking in the most respectable level. I am not doing an individual write-up on every place I ate during my Japan trip, but I wanted to highlight Higashiya because it was such a memorable experience and I highly recommend visiting if you are ever in Ginza. I opted for the tea and wagashi pairing, but if you're a sake lover, you can do the same pairing but with sake instead of tea instead! What I love most about this experience is that it forces you to slow down and truly enjoy and appreciate your tea and wagashi. Each tea is roasted/prepared and poured right in front of you to ensure its freshness. It was also lovely to watch how the staff carefully handles everything!

02higashiya-wagashi-confectionery-ginza-tokyo-japan-shop-travel

Here are some tips for you if you plan on visiting Higashiya:

1. Make a reservation. Although this was on my list, I didn't have time to squeeze everything in on my itinerary so when my day opened up, I hopped over to Ginza to see if there was any opening and luckily, they told me to come back in an hour! But I would definitely make a reservation as this place is becoming very popular.

2. When I say hidden, I mean really hidden. When you get to the address, it looks like an office building or something. Take the elevator on your right to the second level and ta da!

3. Be prepared to spend at least 2 hours, close to 3 here. When I say it makes you slow down, I really mean it. You take your time to drink each tea and eat every dish, in the best possible way of course!

4. Phone photos are ok but don't make the same mistake as I did and pull out your DSLR with loud shutter sound. I didn't know but as soon as a staff kindly told me to put my camera way, I quickly obliged.

5. Don't forget to check out the shop and grab some tea and wagashi when you leave! They make perfect souvenirs!
01gaigehouse_ryokan_sonoma_travel

I miss Japan so much ever since traveling there back in November (those posts are coming up next) that I was so excited to find a piece of Japan in Sonoma over the holidays. Gaige House + Ryokan is the most perfect getaway hidden in Glen Ellen deep in the Sonoma Valley. Upon arriving, we walked pass a mini bamboo forest that reminded me of Arashiyama to our ryokan suite. Our suite was so incredible! I loved every corner of it, from the vaulted ceiling to the stone bathtub to the zen garden to the river being in our backyard... There were even sake (nigori is my favorite) and cookies waiting for us! We enjoyed wine tasting in the lobby during happy hour each evening as well as the endless amount of homemade cookies available (they were sooo delicious). If you love Japan or Japanese lifestyle, than you'd love Gaige House + Ryokan. This might be the closest thing to Japan you can find in California! Thank you Gaige House + Ryokan for hosting us!

Gaige House + Ryokan, Sonoma

January 17, 2020

01gaigehouse_ryokan_sonoma_travel

I miss Japan so much ever since traveling there back in November (those posts are coming up next) that I was so excited to find a piece of Japan in Sonoma over the holidays. Gaige House + Ryokan is the most perfect getaway hidden in Glen Ellen deep in the Sonoma Valley. Upon arriving, we walked pass a mini bamboo forest that reminded me of Arashiyama to our ryokan suite. Our suite was so incredible! I loved every corner of it, from the vaulted ceiling to the stone bathtub to the zen garden to the river being in our backyard... There were even sake (nigori is my favorite) and cookies waiting for us! We enjoyed wine tasting in the lobby during happy hour each evening as well as the endless amount of homemade cookies available (they were sooo delicious). If you love Japan or Japanese lifestyle, than you'd love Gaige House + Ryokan. This might be the closest thing to Japan you can find in California! Thank you Gaige House + Ryokan for hosting us!
01hongkong-victoriapeak-cityscape-travel

Visiting Hong Kong for the first time in nearly 11 years was emotional and I never imagined I would  return to a place I once called home in such a state (the aftermath of all the pro-democracy protests). I had booked this trip months ago but things got more heated as it got closer to my departure date, at one point it was so bad that I thought about cancelling the trip. In the end, I went over there as planned and I am so glad I did. I saw a different HK than the one I knew but I got to experience this piece of history first hand.

HK is unlike anywhere else and I highly recommend visiting. It's bilingual (English remains one of the primary languages even after Britain handed HK back to China in 1997) meaning getting around is a piece of cake, the public transportation system will get you anywhere, shopping is great (no sales tax) and the food is even better! I recommend doing HK in a week but 5 days could work too if you pack everything in. I've shared with you the most time-efficient itinerary below grouping by location...

09hongkong-central-cityscape-travel10hongkong-central-dingding-tram-travel

Day 1
Lantau Island
Causeway Bay
Wan Chai

If your flight arrives in HK earlier in the day, I suggest heading to the Tin Tan Buddha straight from the airport. The airport, Tin Tan Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and Tai O Fishing Village are all on Lantau Island and it is outside of the city so why not get those things out of the way! And don't you worry about your luggages, there will be lockers for you store them once you get to Ngong Ping. Ngong Ping is where the 360 cable cars are and going over the mountains to the Buddha is quite beautiful. Climb up to see the Buddha up close, enjoy a vegetarian meal at Po Lin Monastery and then catch a bus over to Tai O. Known as the Venice of Hong Kong, Tai O is a fishing village with the infamous stilt houses built on water. While you are there, make sure you try out all the yummy seafood snacks like curry fishballs, pet plenty of cats, and enjoy the nature before surrounding yourself with high rises in the city. Grab dinner and shop around Causeway Bay and then end the night with some drinks at Wooloomooloo Rooftop Lounge in Wan Chai. This secret gem is low key and has a beautiful view!

02hongkong-lantau-tintanbuddha-travel03hongkong-lantau-tintanbuddha-travel04hongkong-lantau-tintanbuddha-travel
05hongkong-lantau-polinmonastery-travel
06hongkong-taio-fishingvillage-travel
07hongkong-taio-fishingvillage-travel08hongkong-taio-fishingvillage-travel
15hongkong-night-cityscape-rooftop-travel14hongkong-night-cityscape-rooftop-travel

Travel Guide: 5 Days in Hong Kong

January 7, 2020

01hongkong-victoriapeak-cityscape-travel

Visiting Hong Kong for the first time in nearly 11 years was emotional and I never imagined I would  return to a place I once called home in such a state (the aftermath of all the pro-democracy protests). I had booked this trip months ago but things got more heated as it got closer to my departure date, at one point it was so bad that I thought about cancelling the trip. In the end, I went over there as planned and I am so glad I did. I saw a different HK than the one I knew but I got to experience this piece of history first hand.

HK is unlike anywhere else and I highly recommend visiting. It's bilingual (English remains one of the primary languages even after Britain handed HK back to China in 1997) meaning getting around is a piece of cake, the public transportation system will get you anywhere, shopping is great (no sales tax) and the food is even better! I recommend doing HK in a week but 5 days could work too if you pack everything in. I've shared with you the most time-efficient itinerary below grouping by location...

09hongkong-central-cityscape-travel10hongkong-central-dingding-tram-travel

Day 1
Lantau Island
Causeway Bay
Wan Chai

If your flight arrives in HK earlier in the day, I suggest heading to the Tin Tan Buddha straight from the airport. The airport, Tin Tan Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and Tai O Fishing Village are all on Lantau Island and it is outside of the city so why not get those things out of the way! And don't you worry about your luggages, there will be lockers for you store them once you get to Ngong Ping. Ngong Ping is where the 360 cable cars are and going over the mountains to the Buddha is quite beautiful. Climb up to see the Buddha up close, enjoy a vegetarian meal at Po Lin Monastery and then catch a bus over to Tai O. Known as the Venice of Hong Kong, Tai O is a fishing village with the infamous stilt houses built on water. While you are there, make sure you try out all the yummy seafood snacks like curry fishballs, pet plenty of cats, and enjoy the nature before surrounding yourself with high rises in the city. Grab dinner and shop around Causeway Bay and then end the night with some drinks at Wooloomooloo Rooftop Lounge in Wan Chai. This secret gem is low key and has a beautiful view!

02hongkong-lantau-tintanbuddha-travel03hongkong-lantau-tintanbuddha-travel04hongkong-lantau-tintanbuddha-travel
05hongkong-lantau-polinmonastery-travel
06hongkong-taio-fishingvillage-travel
07hongkong-taio-fishingvillage-travel08hongkong-taio-fishingvillage-travel
15hongkong-night-cityscape-rooftop-travel14hongkong-night-cityscape-rooftop-travel
© it's not her, it's me. - Los Angeles Fashion Lifestyle Travel Blog. Design by Fearne.