A mountain to the South West of the Island and the biggest tourist attraction in Hong Kong with spectacular views of the city and bay. The Peak Tram is worth the visit alone, though be sure to skip the official viewing platform in favour of ‘Governor’s Walk’, which – after 10 minutes – will bring you to a magnificent clearing with the best view of the city. The Peak also has a branch of Madame Tussards and several restaurants.
Peaceful and tranquil, a small chilled out outlying island (one of Hong Kong’s 248 islands) with no cars or multinationals – just small shops, restaurants, clean air and a beach.
The Big Buddha
The famous monastery on Lantau Island features the biggest bronze, seated outdoor Buddha in the world. Free to see, and great for an afternoon trip. Accessible by ferry, cable car or MTR – reserve at least half a day to get there, explore the complex and return.
In the capital of capitalism, is it possible to sell a ‘nothing’? During the 2006 New Year holidays I joined Phil and friends at the beach on Lamma, Hong Kong’s nearest outlying island. It was to become not only the greatest day trip ever spontaneously conceived but testament to the dumb crap that can occur when a group of young guys join forces. They said it couldn’t be done, but that day – as an experiment in ‘anti-real estate’ – we built and sold a hole. We also put a Buddhist monk in it, albeit briefly.
Upon arrival, and worried that building a sandcastle could damage our masculinity, we began digging a giant hole to emphasise our heterosexuality and perhaps trap a few small animals. We invested in a HK$25 bucket and spade and dug down to chest height in just under two hours.
Our first buyer was ‘Kevin’ who agreed a price of 20 cents – we wrote out a contract. He joyfully took photos in and around the hole with his friends blissfully unaware that he had been conned. Since we hadn’t furnished Kevin with a copy of the paperwork we were able to sell the hole again, half an hour later, to a frighteningly excited ‘Gary’. Gary agreed a price of 50 cents and proceeded to fit no less than 4 of his friends in the said cavity. We calculated a net loss of HK$24.30
The good, bad and ugly in The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of The People’s Republic of China…
- An early morning MTR blow dry – because you’re worth it.
- Being told “your Cantonese is so good”, after saying two words in Cantonese.
- Wearing a jumper when it dips to 20 Celsius.
- Never being more than one hour’s travel away from anybody.
- Streets composed entirely of shoes, flowers, birds, wedding shops etc… Convenient but surely bad business sense!?
- MTR fun run challenges when changing at Admiralty.
- Very fresh fish and meat, killed upon purchase.
- Defunct shops which suddenly become fully functional supermarkets in two days flat.
- School kids with backpacks bigger than themselves.
- The harbour National Day fireworks, with a million people yelling ‘WAAHHH!’.
- Market traders willing to accept any major currency. Only in the capital of capitalism!
- Octopus card – it’s brilliant.
- The tax-free cheapness.
- Mobile reception in tunnels and on the underground.
- Hilarious product/shop/road names – e.g. Sod/Wanko/Man Fuk Road (funny for the first week anyway)
- Mirrored interiors in lifts so you can check yourself out before your grand entrance.