My second Hong Kong experience was as equally hazey and majestical as the first. After making the 9 hr 20 minute flight, trying to keep my eyes open from a turbulent ride overâ€¦I was greeted by a brightly lit and very festive Hong Kong; celebrating Christmas the way its meant to be celebrated with twinkle lights wrapped around the city from ground to sky scraper. I consider myself a bit of a Ms. Kringleâ€¦but to be honest, its difficult getting into the Christmas spirit with the lack of snow in Sydneyâ€¦(surprisingly, no matter how many times you watch Elf, Love Actually and Home Alone). Carols filled the decadent halls of our accommodation at the Shangri-La Hotel on Hong Kong Island and although the next 24 hours consisted of traveling from floor to floor via elevator as opposed to exploring the grounds of the cityâ€¦for the first time yet in December, it finally felt like Christmas.
When the work event had finished, we set out into the very crowded streets of Hong Kong island; making the short trek to the highly anticipated Star Ferry, which takes you from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon. Although Iâ€™ve been to Hong Kong once before, this short journey made me feel as though I was seeing the city for the first timeâ€¦finallyÂ and I strongly recommend this trip for any traveler restricted on time, as it allows you to see a beautiful view from both sides of the city in about 15 minutes, from point A to point B.
After a short wander throughout Kowloon, desperately seeking the infamous Flower Markets as well as last minute dumplingsâ€¦I made my way to â€˜Holly Wood Blvdâ€™; an area of the city infamous for its â€˜vintage marketsâ€™ and rustic feel. It was only here that I truly regretted not being able to explore this fascinating city deeper as I had about an hours time to buy as many souvenirs possibleâ€¦clicking away on my iPhone, desperately hoping to catch a glimpse of the red lanterns as the sky began to turn.
To be honestâ€¦apart from the stamp in my passport and the abundance of images on my phone, Hong Kong round 2 feels just as brief, tiring and confusing as the first time around. But I know that Iâ€™ll be back for a much longer visitâ€¦hungrier, more curious and awake than the times before.