Here we are, Hong Kong. The final leg of a 6-month trip. And my, what an adventure it’s been. To provide some context, Mike and I were due to fly back to the UK from Fiji, stopping in Hong Kong for a few hours for a connecting flight. As luck would have it, we ended up stranded in Fiji due to a couple of cyclones, resulting in a change of plans.
Following a series of unfortunate events, the earliest flight we could get out of Fiji also coincided with the Rugby Sevens in Hong Kong. Meaning we had to stay there for a few days rather than hours. And I really didn’t want to stay in Hong Kong. After 6 months on the road and a terrifying final week in Fiji, all I wanted was to get back to London. But, as is often the way in life, it’s the unexpected that brings the most joy. Which is exactly what happened to us in Hong Kong.
With no money left and absolutely no clue where we were going to stay (all the hotels were booked by rugby fans), things seemed desperate. Lo and behold a couple of family members blasted our cry for help out on Facebook and an unknown family friend, who is also conveniently a Hong Kong ex-pat, offered us her spare room. Usually, I’d be a little more hesitant to accept offerings from a stranger, but sometimes it’s the only option. Plus, if family members can vouch for their sanity, it isn’t too risky.
Arriving in Hong Kong
We landed in Hong Kong at 3pm, collected our battered luggage, and swiftly ordered an Uber. To the mysterious address. Thank goodness for Uber in other countries. Between the language barrier and the perils of being in a completely unknown destination, I don’t think we would have made it very far otherwise. But away we went.
We began making our way uphill to an area of Hong Kong known as the Mid-Levels. Also known as the ex-pat neighbourhood. Suddenly, we pulled up to one of the immense skyscrapers. The building staff whisked us inside, to a lobby far more luxurious than expected. We were shown into a lift and sent up almost 40 levels before the doors opened to an even more luxurious lobby area. But which door was ours? None of them had numbers on them…
As it turns out, all the doors were ours. We had exclusive access to the whole floor. Dreamy. Our lovely host, Sarah, welcomed us into what I can only describe as the most beautifully decorated apartment I’ve ever seen. So chic, so stylish. We soon discovered that Sarah worked in the interiors industry, designing furniture for some of the worlds most famous luxury homeware brands. Figures.
We chatted for a while and soon felt right at home. After a few hours, Sarah’s husband and children came home. Instead of feeling as though we were burdening them, they very generously ordered pizza for all of us and we enjoyed it together with a glass of wine. Not the kids, obviously. We were also very happy to meet Flower, their beautiful poodle.
The whole evening was made even more incredible by the floor to ceiling windows in the living room area, providing incomparable views of the city. Mike could even see (and hear) the rugby stadium in the distance, so he was pretty chuffed with the whole set up.
Exploring the City of Hong Kong
As it turns out, we only had one full day in Hong Kong. Determined to make the most of it, we packed a lot in. As the best way to explore any new city is on foot, that’s exactly what we did. We left the lovely Mid Levels, walked through the park and simply wandered around for a while. Stopping off whenever we saw something that caught our attention and taking it all in. Naturally, we also stopped for some delightful refreshments at a place called Osteria Felice.
Next, we took the ferry over to Hong Kong Island. It was a lot easier than anticipated, and super cheap too. Typically I wouldn’t head straight for a mall whilst travelling, but in Hong Kong, you should really try to see at least one. If only to see what all the hype’s about. So, we hopped off the ferry and over to the mall. More specifically, to the restaurants in the mall.
Enjoying the Cuisine and Cocktails
Opting for an authentic Chinese restaurant was a dining experience I will never forget. We attempted to order dim sum… but had no clue what was going to turn up. It was complete guesswork. We also didn’t get served for about a million years. Mainly, because we were too nervous to thrust our menus in the air like a schoolchild desperate to use the bathroom. But you know, when in
Hong Kong Rome!
Our last activity of the day was cocktails at The Ritz-Carlton. The glamourous bar there, OZONE, is one of the highest sky bars in the world, 118 floors up. We were hoping for some incredible views, however, Hong Kong was particularly foggy that day. So foggy, there was genuinely no point in us looking outside. Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in OZONE as the interiors are amazing and it was nice to indulge in a little luxury again.
Lastly, we headed back to our Hong Kong home (I wish it was our real home) where our hosts were holding a dinner party. They had very kindly invited us to join them and we did so with pleasure. After a week in solitude, I can’t describe how lovely it felt to chat with other people with great food and great wine. And of course, the aforementioned exceptional view of the city.
The Morning After
With merely a few hours to go before our flight home, we dashed out into the city once more. This time, to sample the best noodles ever, pick up some thank you gifts for our kind hosts, and sneak in another cocktail.
I honestly can’t believe how much we saw of Hong Kong in such a short space of time. And despite my reluctance, I would be keen to return. Mostly because we were so underprepared that I think we missed many of the highlights. But heyho, we had a great time. Which is all that really matters, right?!