60 Photos of Hong Kong (And 3 Pleasant Surprises)

15 Nov
by Ami Sanyal

The last few months have been eventful—packed with ups and downs. The highlight reel includes an arduous (but successful) job hunt to find Cecily a new teaching position, and the abrupt expiration of our visas.

Renewing our visas meant we needed to make our first journey to Hong Kong. We decided to treat it like a quasi-vacation and spread the trip over six days at the end of August.

To be honest, we weren’t expecting a whole lot out of Hong Kong, but we were pleasantly surprised. Read on to learn more and see images of:

  • Hong Kong streets
  • Dragon’s Back Hiking Trail
  • Views of Shek-O
  • Tian Tan (The Big Buddha)
  • The Po Lin Monastery
  • Mong Kok
  • Victoria Peak
  • Lan Kwai Fong
  • and our overall impression of Hong Kong

Hong Kong Streets

Pleasant Surprise #1: Going in, we expected Hong Kong to have a similar feel as Shanghai. As we explored the city, we quickly discovered it has an identity that is altogether its own.

Sunday morning at the market.

Electric trams have been traversing Hong Kong’s busy streets since 1904.

Dragon’s Back Hiking Trail and Views of Shek-O

Surprise #2: Hong Kong has over 300km of designated trails, and is home to many avid hikers. My kind of town.

At the recommendation of a friend, we decided to try Dragon’s Back trail to Shek-O Beach. While it was sweltering hot, it was great to get back to nature for the first time since Anji.

The view from one of the peaks of Dragon’s Back trail. Apparently it was a record-breaking day for smog, but we didn’t mind spending it on the trails and the beach.

Surprise #3: Hong Kong’s sub-tropical beaches are amazing! Swimming in warm seawater is something I haven’t experienced since I visited Spain in ’02. Cec fell in love with the water and I enjoyed Shek-O’s quiet surfer-town vibe.

Hong Kong’s metro system is exceptional. Stations are air conditioned and people are courteous.

Tian Tan (The Big Buddha)

We decided to spend a morning visiting the Big Buddha—a 112-foot statue perched on Lantau Island.

Buddha up close.

I found the Buddha statue itself to be a bit of a tourist trap, but the view made the visit worthwhile.

Po Lin Monastery

Big Buddha was completed in 1993, but Po Lin Monastery (located in the same area) has been here for over 100 years.

The 25min gondala-ride back covers 5.7km and gives you a birds eye view of forested hills.

Fishers busy working in the shallows below the gondola.

Mong Kok

Mong Kok is famous for for it’s many shopping streets, night markets and food stalls. It’s the Guiness Book for having the highest population density in the world. Locals call it ‘Wong Gog’, which means “prosperous and crowded corner.”

I really loved capturing life in the streets of Hong Kong. This is one of my favourite frames from the trip.

Performers play on makeshift drums.

Many restaurants in Hong Kong (and the rest of China) are busy and small—hence we are often seated beside other diners. Communal tables take a bit of getting used to, but it’s a good way to meet new friends!

Stalls set up at one of Mong Kok’s many night markets.

Cecily eying out a mahjong set.


A true Vancouverite always has a pal or two in Hong Kong! We were lucky to meet Cec’s friend Monique and her boyfriend for coffee.

A private service happening in a back-alley.  Practicing Buddhists are much more evident in Hong Kong than they are in Shanghai.

Victoria Peak

One of Hong Kong’s most famous attractions is Victoria Peak. Most of the images you see of Hong Kong’s skyline were taken here.

Cec posing beside the tram to Victoria Peak.

A wax statue in the tram station gets some love.

The tram made it’s steep climb to the peak, and we were greeted by this famous view.

Dinner at Mak’s Noodle’s.

Lan Kwai Fong

On our final night we decided to go out and meet some new people in Hong Kong’s party district.

In the first pub we sat down in we met two Canadians. Here’s Arthur trying to beat the bar’s Carsberg challenge.

He didn’t win.

Our newfound friends invited us to an awesomely-terrible cover band show. The place was full beyond capacity of expat bankers showing support for their friends on stage. After closing down the club, we decided to call it a night.

Here are some fellow partiers finding their way home.

The Verdict

Coming from Vancouver, any city with an ocean, tree-covered mountains and pleasant citizens gets points in our book. Hong Kong has all that, with a bonus of warm-water and sandy beaches.

While visa renewals are always a pain, I’m glad to know I’ll be spending more time in this beautiful metropolis.

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One Response to “60 Photos of Hong Kong (And 3 Pleasant Surprises)”


  1. Jobless In China « Cecily Sanyal - February 18, 2013

    […] the trip to Hong Kong was amazing, our return to Shanghai was followed by an excruciating job hunt. One month passed without […]

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