Bright lights and neons in Hong Kong, cliff jumping and visit to cat cafe

30/12/2012

Asia, Hong Kong

Hong Kong is my last stop on my 1 year travel around the world. It’s not a stop that I intended to visit because my parents are from Hong Kong and I’ve been here several times before. It was a required stop on my way back to Belgium. In the previous visits I haven’t ever really traveled around in Hong Kong. Most of the time, I’ve just been visiting relatives, taking care of paperwork, eating and shopping. So I had no idea what Hong Kong really had to offer. This time around I wanted to really TRAVEL in Hong Kong. Eventhough I still did a lot of shopping and eating though. :D

Hong Kong Island skyline

People gathering at the Kowloon waterfront

People gathering at the Kowloon waterfront

Hong Kong Island skyline

Hong Kong Island skyline

I stayed in Tsim Sha Tsui, which was close to the Kowloon Waterfront. It offers stunning views of the Hong Kong island shore and skyline. I didn’t walk down the promenade though, but I do recommend it to people if you’ve never been to Hong Kong before. You can eventually get to Avenue of the Stars, something like Hong Kong’s version of Hollywood’s walk of fame. You might not know most of these stars, but that’s because it’s mainly targeted at tourist from mainland China.

Tall apartment buildings are everywhere in Hong Kong

Tall apartment buildings are everywhere in Hong Kong

Tall apartment buildings are everywhere in Hong Kong

Crowds at night in Mong Kong

Crowds at night in Mong Kong

Plenty of lights and neon signs in Mong Kok

Plenty of lights and neon signs in Mong Kok

I turned to couchsurfing to find out what other travelers liked to do when they are in Hong Kong and apparently, Hong Kong is a great place to do some hiking, so I joined some of the groups and off I went!

Ladies market in Mong Kok

Ladies market in Mong Kok

Soho Mid-Level escalator, longest outdoor covered escalator in the world

Soho Mid-Level escalator, longest outdoor covered escalator in the world

View on the way to Sai Wan village

View on the way to Sai Wan village

Panoramic view of Sai Wan beach

Panoramic view of Sai Wan beach

Panoramic view of Sai Wan beach

First I went to Sai Kung to check out the Sheung Luk Stream. It has a small waterfall and “huge” cliff where you could jump off. Sheung Luk Stream behind Tai Long Sai Wan is located in Sai Kung East Country Park. Around a 10 minutes’ walk from Sai Wan are the four pools. The upper pool with a 40 ft high vertical cliff standing on its side is the largest and deepest among the four, where you can jump off from a cliff and take some cool pictures. To get there you can follow the directions here.

Cow blocking the way in Sai Wan village

Cow blocking the way in Sai Wan village

Sadly, as I was running late in the morning, I forgot to bring my swimming trunks so I didn’t get the chance to do the cliff jumping. The other people in my group all did it though. Really bummed out that I didn’t even get to swim in the pool either. :( There weren’t that many people there as the route there wasn’t that clearly marked either. Before you get to the stream itself you need to walk about 40-50 minutes from the busstop to Sai Wan beach area, from here it’s about 15 minutes walk to the cliff/waterfall.

The pool and cliff and Sheung Luk stream

The pool and cliff and Sheung Luk stream

The short walk from the bus stop wasn’t that difficult and it was on a paved path so all the easier. The bus doesn’t run often though so you’ve gotta check the schedule and time your return trip wisely. We kinda lost track of time and had to return to the bus stop in 30 minutes. We actually had to run the last 5 minutes or so and just missed the bus down. We managed to find some other people there with a van and negotiated a ride down to the main bus stop.

View on the way back to Sai Wan Village

View on the way back to Sai Wan Village

All in all I was suprised that Hong Kong had these landscapes and such a nice stretch of beach eventhough it’s way out of the way.

After some good travel motivation, I randomly tried searching out some nice places for dinner or drinks. I remembered that I had a great time at the cat cafe in Seoul last time and I was curious if Hong Kong had a place like this being a big metropole and all, and they did!

Interior of the cat cafe in Causeway Bay

Interior of the cat cafe in Causeway Bay

Cat in a basket!

This is how I found Ah Meow Cat Café in Causeway Bay. The place itself wasn’t as big as the one I visited in Seoul though. It seems like they focused more on it being a cat CAFE rather than a CAT cafe. Maybe it’s also because of the limit space, but it all seemed just bit cramped to me. Still, there were cats around, but they weren’t that playful though. We did manage to lure a cat with a cone around its neck for us to pet.

Furry cat in the cat cafe

The cat related food menu

The cat related food menu

Cool thing about this place was their menu, they had a lot of cat inspired food on the menu. You also get a cute membership card when you visit for the first time, apparently something to do with law, food and cats. They also had cool cat related decorations all over the place though which was better than in Korea. I didn’t even notice all of them or else I would’ve taken more pictures I think.

Cat pancake with ice cream

Cat pancake with ice cream

Cat with the cone of shame

Cat with the cone of shame (Up! Reference)

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About Alex Yip

Alex Yip is a web enthusiast who put his online marketing career on hold to travel around the world for a year. This blog is his virtual journal and logbook to keep people updated on his backpacking adventures on the road.

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