Killing a few hours in Hong Kong
With many international flights to the Far East connecting through Hong Kong what do you do with a few hours or an overnight layover to kill in Hong Kong?
On a recent trip to China, I had an overnight in Hong Kong, something I was relishing after an absence of nearly 30 years. Arriving in the afternoon heat and after a quick shower and with comfy shoes on I was ready to explore this bustling metropolis. In 1997, China took back the governance of Hong Kong from the British and I was looking forward to seeing the changes.
I was in for a bit of a shock. I expected it to be a bit tatty, teaming with loads of people and the “copy watch man” hounding you at every turn. Not at all. Hong Kong actually seemed quieter than I remember. I was no longer dragged along the street when stepping out of my hotel into a sea of people. I actually had control of where I was going and could make that decision without having to navigate round many bodies littering the street in ‘Shaun of the Dead’ fashion. The air was clean, the atmosphere was vibrant and the “copy watch man” was almost nowhere to be seen. In fact the only time we did see him was at the Temple Street night market, still an amazing place to visit, although it did seem somewhat smaller than I recalled? He popped out occasionally from between buildings to gently hound you in a less brazen, almost in a sneaky underhand way before retreating back into his dimly lit gap between buildings, as a spy into the dark slinking away into the abyss.
Temple Street night market is the place to visit if you’re only there for one night. It is littered with local street food vendors but you’re guaranteed a good local meal despite possible cleanliness issues. Napkins are by way of a small box of tissues provided by a quick toss onto the table in the fast pace restaurants where more than 2 sittings per table are not uncommon in one night.
But, with just a few blocks of buzzing life, you get the feel for Hong Kong, Temple Street night market with its canvas covers protecting make-shift stalls being used to showcase their wares of cheap Chinese non CE or kite mark goodies on sale by the masses. An exotic atmosphere with smells of waffles accompanies you as you bump along in a stream of locals and tourists alike in the centre of Chinatown in Kowloon. As you return to the sanctuary of your pristine hotel or back to the airport for your onward flight, you leave this exciting city with good memories and with self-made promises to return to explore more on offer in Hong Kong.
Break up your long haul trip, if only for a few hours in the vibrant and exciting city of Hong Kong