The great thing about studying in Guangzhou, is the proximity of HongKong and Macau, and so why not a spontaneous trip to “escape” China Mainland for a couple of days!
HongKong (香港) is 2 hours away from Guangzhou, and the train goes directly from GZ East Railway Station (广州东站) till Hung Hom Station (紅磡站), Kowloon district in HK. You can buy the ticket in advance, or the day of the departure, knowing that you have to be in the station at least 30 minutes before departure due to custom and immigration procedures. Actually there aren’t much to do, just fill in the “departure card” with the usual info, and give your passport. Once you’ll receive the stamp, you can go for security checks, and board. If there isn’t too much people, in 15 minutes you’ll be done. In GZ, you can buy your tickets either in HK$ or in Yuan, the price is 210 HK$ or 173¥, however in HK you can only buy it in HK$. Make sure to take a sweeter or a scarf in the train because the A/C is pretty cold.
Also make sure you’re OK with your visa, for most of people you don’t need a visa to go to HK (for turism, and a certain limit of time), but you also need to have the right visa or residence permit to go back, for example in China. You won’t have any problem leaving China, if you have a single entry visa, but you won’t be able to go back, and so you’ll have to apply for a new visa in a Chinese ambassy.
Regarding housing, HK is kinda expensive, and so finding a good and cheap place is almost impossible! I’ve been staying in Casa Hotel for 3 nights, which is good, but kinda expensive (around 40€ per night). The room was super tiny, but very clean, and providing everything you need. So yes, the quality was good according to HK standards, but you have to be prepared of small spaces, showering over the toilets, and not having lots of space!
Then I wanted to sightsee a bit more, and you know also just walk around the city to discover what’s not in guides, but 2 days are definitively too short. Which btw is a good excuse to go back!
But luckily I’ve been able to see most places from my list! And these are the places I’ve been to:
- Victoria Peak: I went there around 17, and as the sun goes down around 18, it was nice to see the sunset. Dinner there is good because you’re able to see HK by night from the top, and the rooftop terrace offers a great view.
- Victoria Tram: I took the bus to go up (around 15 HK$), because you have a nice view, it takes around 45 min due to traffic, so the Victoria tram is a bit more expensive, but it totally worth it! It takes around 15 min from top to bottom (arrival next to Central metro station). You’ll feel like you’ll fall, and the tram will crash but at the end, everything goes well, and turns out it’s very fun!
- Big buddha and Ngong Ping village: The village has no interest, just made of gift shops and food places, where prices are at least doubled! However Po Lin monastery and the BigBuddha are so nice and completly mind blowing! So, these places are in Lantau island, but you can use public transportation to go there, which is very convinent, and quite cheap, then from the metro station you can either take the cable cars, or the bus. Knowing the price of the cable cars I took the bus (N°24), and it’s super nice because it goes all around the island, from the forest to the beach, and finally after 45 min it arrives at the village! The entrance is free, for both buddha and the monatery, the view from the top of the buddha is great, and if you go before 11 there won’t be too much people (I left around 13 and it became crowded).
- Star Ferry: a must do in HK! Going from Kowloon to HK island on the famous star ferry is an unmissable, and it’s super quick, like 10 minutes, with a crazy view! (cost: 2.5 HK$)
- Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade: On Kowloon district, great promenade to see HK skyline, the Kowloon-Canton clock from the former railway station, and you can keep going on the Avenues of Stars, but it’s actually close for works.
- Man Mo Temple: the atmosphere is so particular and actually super nice, the temple is beautiful, and very typical, which is nice to see in the middle of buildings!
- Temple Street Night Market: And another fake market! It start around 6 PM till midnight, and it’s so fun to go there just to see the kind f stuff they’re selling and all this environment!
Regarding food, I won’t give any address here, because most of the time I was just grabbing so street things, but if you’re go to temple street market, you can go to the small restaurent next to the stands. I’ve been eating fried noodles singaporean style there, and it was awesome!
I hope you liked it, and if you have any address or things to shares, just comment down here! (I’ll go back in December, so I’d love to know any good plans!)
See you on the next post, xx