I recently traveled to Hong Kong. It’s somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go, the streets, the neons, the vast amount of people.
I finally ended up going in September as a birthday spoil, (we booked without really realising how incredibly hot it would be). I can almost still feel the humidity when I think back. The air was thick with it, it took a lot of adjusting to finally get semi used to the heat. But let’s be honest, I don’t think you ever do.
As you walk down the streets you see men with their shirts off. Fans are set to high, air-conditioning working on overdrive leaving behind small pools of water on sidewalks which seem to evaporate at a steady pace. The markets are packed to the brim and I couldn’t drink water fast enough.
There really aren’t many words that can fully describe the energy of Hong Kong, and how that energy transforms from day into night. It’s magical, the sun dips and gives way to a sea of neon signs as they flicker alive. The evening commute begins and a new energy starts pulsing through the very heart of the city.
We met up with two of my favourite Hong Kong based photographers, Irwin Chan and Billy Gor, they showed us around their city and took us to some really amazing spots. I finally got my cliche shot of Temple Street market by night :p thank you Irwin!
The food was out of this world, and yes, maybe I’m biased since I live for dumplings, but it was great. I avoided eating street food from markets since I didn’t want to risk it :p (we we’re only in the city for a week)
Here are some of my top picks for places to eat at:
*Disclaimer – I barely even skimmed the surface here, so I’m sure there’s a million other gems to go to! Please leave me a comment with any other recommendations and I’ll be sure to go there on my next trip
Din Tai Fung
Okay, so the interior and setting doesn’t look like much, but let me be clear – it’s basically heaven. They started in 1958 as a cooking oil retail business, but then in 1972 they changed things up and opened a steamed dumplings and noodles restaurant. The Hong Kong branch received a Michelin Start in 2010, which is amazing since no other Taiwanese restaurant has ever received a Michelin Star before. And the best part? IT’S AFFORDABLE. If you go you must have their Xao Long Bao, it will blow your mind. Find them here.
This gem in tucked away in the heart of the Central-Mid Levels (which in itself is a must to walk around in) they serve a frozen coffee ball, which you pour chocolate milk over, it’s amazing and life saving since it was a million degrees out. Their avo on toast is also great, especially if you’re in the mood for a simple breakfast. As a bonus – there were usually one or two super adorable doggo’s around to give some love to.
Tin Lung Heen
Tin Lung Heen is situated on the 102nd floor of the Ritz this is a must see – the views alone will make you feel like you’re on top of the world. It was hands down best Cantonese food that I’ve ever had. Unfortunately I couldn’t enjoy their three Michelin Start tasting menu since most of the dishes include shellfish (which would kill me) so we ordered off the al la carte menu, but it was truly incredible. Honestly, if you can save up and spoil yourself with a meal there you will 100% not regret it at all.
We stayed at the InterContinental which is in Tsim Sha Tsui, it’s right on the edge of the city and over looks the promenade, the view from our room was incredible – it overlooked the skyline of Central and Wan Chai. But there are tons of places to stay so booking.com / AirBnB are your besties for recommendations.
Where to Shoot
Everywhere. I’m not even kidding. I wasn’t there long enough to thoroughly explore the city and deep dive into the different neighbourhoods, but the spots that I got drawn to the most were the streets around the Yau Ma Tei area and Mong Kok – there are so many markets and busy streets and pockets of energy all around.
I also loved Central, Wan Chai, and the Mid Levels – be ready to walk a lot, and be prepared to deal with some steep roads in the Mid Levels. If you go during summer – hydrate!! They do have an outdoor escalator in the Mid-Levels so there’s that for when you feel a bit lazy. (I got some pretty rad shots from the escalator so I’d recommend it) Just note – check which direction the escalator is going durning peak hours as it does switch from going up to down depending on the time of day. Fun fact: The Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system in Hong Kong is the longest outdoor covered-escalator system in the world.
Walk everywhere, and stay out after dark, the city never sleeps and it’s a whole different world when the lights turn on.
Scroll down to see some of my favourite shots from my trip
Huge shout-out to Simon for making this happen and dealing with me in that heat (which in itself deserves a medal), and spoiling me with so many treats. Thank you.