For the last month and taking advantage of a sweet in-between jobs time, I have been pampering and treating myself in a globe-trotter-deserving experience. First, I was invited by the OpenStack Foundation, where I volunteer in the translation team, to attend the OpenStack Summit at Hong Kong. I attended the technology open source summit in the mornings and discovered the wonderful and hectic city of Hong Kong in the afternoon. Although I was not at my very best physical condition, I have to say I am very happy and pleased I discovered a city like Hong Kong.
I stayed at the Regal Airport Hotel which is connected to Hong Kong downtown by means of a 24-minute train. These are a few things I did during my trip:
- I was invited for a boat trip from Victoria Harbor around the Hong Kong bay at the Women of OpenStack Gathering. It was a beautiful (rather touristic) boat trip called Aqua Luna where I had the chance to meet some other women colleagues collaborating with OpenStack. Such a shame it was rather cloudy and rainy, which seems to be something very frequent in this city. I managed to see some of the skyscrapers and buildings in the bay, so if you ever happen to be there on a sunny and clear day, I am sure you will enjoy taking a boat trip like this one.
- I took a walk in different street markets. I spent some time in the Mong Kok area, in Kowloon, where you can find a lot of shops and street markets. If you are looking for a market well stocked with fakes, this is your place. You can buy anything: clothes, bags, wallets, souvenirs, notebooks, gadgets…
- I took a trip to see the Big Buddah, a giant bronze statue of a buddah placed at Ngong Ping in Lantau Island. You will need to take a cable car to get there. All in all is quite an experience and once again, clouds followed me everywhere and I did not have proper visibility to enjoy the ride. Still, it must be quite delightful if you go on a sunny day. You can even pay for a cristal cabin, where the floor is completely clear and you can see what is beneath you (a little bit scary too!).
- I went to Victoria Peak, or The Peak, as it is locally known. Views here are amazing, you cannot imagine how the city truly lives up until you are at this very top and look at all the buildings around you. Hong Kong is a hectic and vibrant city! At the top, there is some kind of shopping centre with shops, restaurants and bars, in case you want to grab a bite or feel the urgent need of buying anything once at the top!
- And basically, walked and walked around the city. That is what I love the most about visiting new places (although I get tired pretty quickly, but let’s not talk about it!).
- Eating: you have a never-ending possibility list of restaurants, whether you want to have a bite or eat abundantly, Hong Kong will always have a good option for you. You can always wander around Kownloon or Central, and find some local spot to enjoy Chinese food. If you want to be sure to find some good place, go to Soho: there is plenty of international restaurants. I did not take note of every place I ate but I remember some of them:
- SushiO, at Bridge Street (Japanese restaurant, my mouth waters again when reminiscing it).
- Classified Café, at Hollywood Road (wine and cheese bar, I will hate myself forever for not being able to eat cheese and drink alcohol during this time) (Sorry about the quality of the pics, they were taken with my phone!)
- Torimen, at Elgin Street (Japanese restaurant)
(This last pic is from OpenRice)
(I know, I am a victim of Japanese cuisine)
That is all I can tell you about my trip. I hope you can find some tips, although they are very typical and tourist-like. I am sure Hong Kong will leave you speechless! It is a frantic and hectic city, full of colors and different smells. I had the feeling I was being conquered by thousands of people, and the truth is Hong Kong is always crowded. I am still reading reviews and travel guides from other bloggers and have found I did not see anything at all! So, maybe next time?
I am already preparing a post of what was my next destination: San Francisco. Stay tunned!