One Way to do Hong Kong

Welcome to this, my take on something different to do while in Hong Kong.

Both my wife and I have visited Hong Kong on numerous occasions over the years and have been fascinated by its development. So when earlier this year we arrived in Hong Kong aboard Hapag-Lloyd’s cruise ship, Europa 2…

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2017/04/07/europa-2-asian-island-explorer/

…we thought about doing something a little different, while also taking in  the recently added ‘Sky Terrace’ on Victoria Peak.

Cruise ships visiting Hong Kong generally berth at one of two terminals. They are  the  Ocean Terminal in the Kowloon district of Tsim Sha Tsui – literally  in the heart of Hong Kong…

…or the more modern Kai Tak Cruise Terminal – a state of the art terminal at the old  Kai Tak airport runway…

Seen here are their  positions in a panoramic perspective…

The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is not served by the Hong Kong MTR and getting to and from there is best served by either taxi or cruise line shuttle bus.

The Ocean Terminal is within easy walking distance of ‘The Star Ferry’ and is still the most traditional way to cross Hong Kong Harbour –  here are the ferries waiting to depart from the Kowloon side…

…and arriving on the Hong Kong Island side…

Before crossing from the Kowloon side do spend a little time on the promenade taking in the views across the harbour…

…while enjoying a little bit of history around the ‘Old Clock Tower’…

Standing 44 metres high the Old Clock Tower was erected in 1915 as part of the old Kowloon to Canton railway terminus. Though the terminus has long gone the tower is a preserved monument to the age of steam….

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For our day out we are heading for the  Central (Exchange Square) Bus Terminus.  It is situated on the ground floor of the Exchange Square commercial complex on the Hong Kong Island side, a short walking distance from the Star Ferry Terminal, Central Pier…

It’s well signposted…

For anyone already on the Hong Kong side the Exchange Square  Central  Bus Terminus is also served by the ‘Central’ and ‘Hong Kong’ stations of the MTR Metro system.

We intended to travel to the opposite side of the island and visit the towns of Stanley and Repulse Bay.

Boards at the terminus indicated that Stanley was a number 6, 6X or 66

…and it was easy to find the right bus stop…

Buses run frequently and the cost is extremely low. One of the highlights is driving through the island to reach the other side…

The bus does drive through Repulse Bay, but it was our intention to do Stanley first. On arrival the various parts of the town are well signposted…

In days gone by, before British rule, Stanley was a thriving fishing village with a number of adjacent sandy beaches. Today it’s a residential enclave of wealthy commuters which is gaining a reputation as a gourmet hot spot with a distinct seaside-village feel…

Actually Stanley has been , for in excess of 50 years, more famous for its street market, a real pull for tourists and ex-pats alike…

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…a maze of stalls and shops vending everything under the sun and at prices considerably less than the glitzy shops now found on the other side of the island.

Apart from the market there are a number of places to see in Stanley in addition to the pleasant walk along its promenade…

 

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…at the end of which is Stanley’s famous  restored Blake Pier...

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Blake Pier has had a strange existence, wandering around Hong Kong until finally it has come to rest in Stanley Bay. It was always the traditional landing place for Hong Kong’s Governors, visiting royal dignitaries and other VIPs.

Another colonial building gem sits at the end of the jetty to Blake Pier, Murray House…

This 170 year old, restored colonial building was originally part of  Murray Barracks  and was situated in what is today the business district of Hong Kong.  At this time  it served as Officers’ quarters.  In 1982 it was dismantled and transplanted to the Stanley waterfront, where is is now home to a number of restaurants,some of which have great sea views….

 

Close to Murray House  can be found Tin Hau Tmple…

The entrance to Tin Hau Temple

…and one of the interior shrines…

Moving across to the opposite Western side of the promenade, a 5 minute walk will discover one of the two Stanley beaches, St. Stephen’s Beach…

Reasonably secluded St Stephen’s beach benefits from  changing rooms, toilets and showers, and netted perimeters to protect swimmers from sharks, in addition to a number of barbecue pits….

A further 5 minute walk from St Stephen’s beach is one of Hong Kong’s two Military Cemeteries…

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Having enjoyed our morning in Stanley, including an ‘interesting’ lunch at the Stanley Cave Restaurant…

…we caught the next No 6 bus back in the direction of Repulse Bay, for our next stop…

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There are some nice garden walks around Repulse Bay, one of which supports a ‘Literary Trail’…

though the greatest photographic attraction remains the Repulse Bay De Rocou Apartment block, from the gardens…

…and the beach…

Having enjoyed our time in Repulse Bay we  again caught  the  No. 6 bus and headed back to Hong Kong Central’s bus terminal and our Peak Tram ride to Victoria Peak.

Leaving Exchange Square and crossing the dual carriageway…

 

we headed along Connaught Road in the direction of The Cenotaph…

On reaching the Cenotaph we then headed towards the HSBC building seen behind the former Legislative Council Building…

passing underneath HSBC…

….after admiring the Lions outside….

Crossing the road behind the HSBC building it is now a matter of following the numerous signs to the Peak Tram…

The route will take you up Garden Road, past St John’s Cathedral, eventually arriving at the lower Peak Tram station…

Actually the Peak Tram station entrance is just to the left and behind the monument above…

Tickets are on sale and I would certainly recommend purchasing the package that allows entrance to the ‘Sky Terrace’ – more about that later.

While waiting for the next tram…

there are a few interesting displays celebrating the trams development…

Boarding the tram is number controlled…

…and the ride commences, meeting the descending tram half way…

At the top there is a large complex of shops, restaurants and cafes. Those passengers who have opted for the Sky Terrace just follow  the signs for same.

The Sky Terrace is a relatively new feature and offers the best views over Hong Kong Harbour though there are other walking routes along Victoria Peak.

The Sky Terrace does get busy but the ‘postcard’ view is well worth the journey…

and there’s plenty of space for those personal accompanied photo shoots…

That concludes this edition of One Way to do Hong Kong. Of course it didn’t cover a lot of the island but it did cover what we fancied doing on our day out:

It should also give an idea to those who may wish to spend a day on the beach while on a return visit, or find somewhere a little more laid back than in the districts of Wanchai and Kowloon.

Summary:

 

If you have enjoyed this review of Hong Kong and would like to be amongst the first to hear of new reviews including  a forthcoming cruise review of  Carnival Dream and a Mississippi  river cruise onboard the American Queen, plus  Solent Richard’s next  port reviews featuring  New Orleans,   why not join over 600  followers by clicking on the ‘Follow’ link on the front page.

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©2015 – 17 * Solent Richard’s Cruise Blog * All Rights Reserved

Duplication in part or whole without prior written consent is prohibited by international laws.

 

Disclosure to potential conflict of interest:

It is common throughout the travel industry for travel journalists and many cruise bloggers to be provided with complimentary cruises for the purpose of their reviews.

Solent Richard has no ‘conflict of interest’ as he is not an accredited journalist, he pays for his cruises, and is happy to confirm that all his reviews are his own given without fear or favour.

 

 

One response to “One Way to do Hong Kong

  1. Hong Kong is such a fantastic place! We fell in love with the city as we visited first time this year. It is an exiting mix of things from East and West. We stayed some nights in HK, some on the Kowloon side and actually before arriving, also in Macau. A warm suggestion to that one too, if you haven’t been. And before going home, we visited Taipa as well.

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