Hong Kong: Skyscrapers, Temples and Nature

So we finally left London! Our first destination was Hong Kong via a very comfortable journey with Cathay Pacific.

Update #1: We’ve now finished and published the vlog from our week in Hong Kong if you’d like to see this trip in video format! Check out the video below and subscribe to Joe’s channel for more videos like this!

Update #2: The Hong Kong Cine Scenes short film is now finished too! Check out our adventure in epic cinematic visuals!

Seeing the mountains with the tall buildings out of the train window on the way into the city kicked our excitement for the fact that we’d finally begun travelling!

Everything was going well… until we made our way to our Airbnb. In the pouring rain. Let’s just say; it was memorable.

As soon as we got off our stop, we essentially trekked through the heavy rain with our luggage up some very, very, steep hills. We forgot just how steep the hills were in Hong Kong. Even though there were escalators to get most of the way to the top, it felt like we went up one escalator and then down some steps multiple times trying to get there!

Finally we got to our apartment, soaking wet, tired and very cold. Most apartments in Asia don’t have central heating, so when we discovered the heaters in the cupboard about 2 hours later it was an absolute dream!

That Skyline

The skyline in Hong Kong is continually amazing – we honestly couldn’t stop taking photos of the buildings from all angles available, whether we were at the top of the Peak, the back of a boat or in Hong Kong park. The density of the high buildings is something we’re not really used to in London, so it was an Instagram around every corner!

Hong Kong Harbour Day Skyline

Even the view from our apartment was something we couldn’t get used to. We were on the 23rd floor, the highest for our building but certainly not the highest in the area around us.

Hong Kong Park view
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Hong Kong Skyline Peaks

One of the first things we did was take the ferry crossing over the harbour from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon. It’s the most inefficient way of crossing the river, but very scenic and ridiculously cheap (about 30p each way)!

We then stayed on the Kowloon side of the city waiting for the Symphony of Lights — a nightly light show across the skyline. It sounded fantastic, but in reality it wasn’t quite up to the standards of Disneyland’s nightly light show that we were expecting. It’s definitely great to see, but probably not worth waiting 2 and a half hours for…

Hong Kong Night Skyline

Luckily, the power of a long exposure photograph can emphasise the light show to look make it look glorious!

Being tourists, going to Victoria Peak was definitely on our list. Walking the Circle Trail is something we’d highly recommend doing as you get different views of the whole of Hong Kong at every break in the trees.

Hong Kong Skyline from the Peak Circle Trail

The very top of The Peak (Sky Terrace 428) is packed with tourists, their selfie sticks and a seemingly apparent lack of spacial awareness. Good luck trying to get a good spot to take photos; and even more luck trying to secure multiple angles as the sun dips for the night.

Hong Kong view from the Sky Terrace 428 at the Peak

If we’re really honest, the Sky Terrace 428 probably isn’t worth it for views of Hong Kong Harbour. You’re better off saving your money and doing the circle trail. But if you’re looking for views across to Lamma Island, the South China Sea and the surrounding forests, definitely get yourself up there!

Hong Kong sunset view across to Lamma Island

Macau

On one of our days in Hong Kong, we grabbed our passports and left for Macau; only an hours boat ride away! We got so much content from the day that we decided to dedicate a specific blog post and video to Macau.

Check back soon to see the photos and videos, or follow us on Instagram for a sneak peak!

Elly filming in Macau on a day trip from Hong Kong

The Temple City

Another of our highlights from the trip, was the Chi-Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden; a collection of temple and peaceful gardens amongst the city in North Kowloon.

Hong Kong Chi Lin Nunnery

We didn’t intend to stay there for as long as we did (about 2-3 hours), but it was super peaceful walking around and we’re not kidding when we say that every step and turn provided great photo opportunities.

Hong Kong, you’re just so photogenic!

Hong Kong Nan Lian Garden view
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Lantau Island

The Big Buddha on Lantau island is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Hong Kong (literally and figuratively). Nestled at the top of a mountain on Hong Kong’s largest and greenest island, it’s a huge statue and group of temples overlooking the city. It’s got all the properties of a landmark that looks as though it’s full of ancient history and religious sentiment.

Imagine the disbelief when Joe found out that it was actually built in 1993 😂 Probably with cranes, modern equipment and structural engineers. Not quite the outcome of decades of physical struggle and immense man-power.

Hong Kong Big Buddha on Lantau Island

Part of the excitement for seeing the Big Buddha is getting there. The fastest way up into the mountains is with a 20-minute cable car ride. Unfortunately for us, since the Chinese New Year was coming up, they’d shut them down for maintenance which was such a disappointment. Even though it was cheaper to take the bus, the cable car was one of the things we were looking forward to the most.

Hong Kong Lantau Island Temple

It ended up being pretty quiet when we visited Buddha; so much so that half of the restaurants were closed!

Whilst we were on Lantau Island we decided to take the bus to Tai O and make the most of the daylight we had left. A very good decision in hindsight.

Hong Kong Tai O Harbour

Big Buddha is a great attraction to Lantau Island, but we enjoyed exploring places like Tai O and Mui Wo (Silver Mine Bay) much more as it felt like more of a local experience. Again, these little fishing towns are insanely photogenic!

Hong Kong Tai O Square

We were lucky enough to be taken around Mui Wo with Joe’s YouTube friend, Craig (DestructivePixels); who grew up in Hong Kong. It was so great to spend our last day with the locals in an area that’s so peaceful and laid back.

We did some light rock climbing up some waterfalls, drank plenty of local beers (yum!) and generally just hung out with Craig. It definitely set the tone for transition onto our next journey; Thailand.

Hong Kong Lantau Island Waterfall View

Check back on Joe’s YouTube channel for our videos from Hong Kong and other destinations! We got so much footage that it’s gonna take a while to edit it all, but we’re excited to share it with everyone!

If you missed it up top, here’s that epic cinematic video for our time in Hong Kong — enjoy!

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