Final day in China, after one month. It went by so fast, we definitely want to come back and explore a little more of this fantastically huge country.
Out first stop of the day is Shenzhen, before we cross into Hong Kong. We take the train from Guangzhou to Shenzhen for 79.50CNY per person (about USD 13).
What do we do with a couple of hours in Shenzhen ? We got on the metro and decided, based on the metro stations, a couple of things to check out to get a feel of the city. May not be the best strategy but without any Internet connection, this was our best bet We made it to Window of the World, the amusement park located right in front of the metro station where you immediately see replicas of the Eiffel Tower, pyramids, Pisa towers and even Disney look alike characters walking around outside the park. No time for a fun day but it was impressive to say the least.
Back at Luo Hu station to cross into Hong Kong. We got to Hong-Kong by foot from Shenzen.
The process was extremely smooth and easy and within no time we were in the train to Kowloon. We were greeted by a metropolis filled with busy people, skyscrapers and a beautifully lit skyline.
We have little time and many more countries to visit so we do not want to spend our entire trip budget in this archipelago, as easy as it can be.
From Kowloon, you can get to Hong Kong International Airport by taking the Airport Express service offered by MTR or take a taxi. A taxi should cost less than 300HKD (less than 40USD) including toll fee. Hong Kong International Airport offers free WiFi access, in case you need to use your Internet to book your hotel at your next destination.
To get around in HK, the best way is by MTR and getting an Octopus Card. You can get a single pass ride or get day-passes, available for tourists. See here for fares.
We decided to stay in Tsim Sha Tsui, the touristy area filled with shopping malls, restaurants and the amazing view of Victoria Harbor. Some hotels suggestions are : Kowloon New Hostel for USD $29 for a double room with air-conditioning and free WiFi in common areas. WiFi in the room is also available for a fee. HK Downtown Backpackers is also another option for USD $28 with shared bath. Private bath is also a possibility at a higher cost. Free WiFi and air-conditioning available.
Our first activity was to walk along Victoria Harbour and admire the view, check out Avenue of the Stars and the clocktower. The next day, we enjoyed delicious dim sum before heading over to Hong Kong island and go to Victoria Peak. The ride up costs 80 HKD (less than USD$10) , 160HKD (about USD $21) for a round-trip to get to the top and get a 360-view of Hong Kong. We did not go up because the weather was foggy but I am sure that on a sunny day, it is a gorgeous sight.
Going to Lantau island is another must do in Hong Kong to visit the big buddha. Here is a great article to find out how to get there and what to expect.
From Tsim Sha Tsui, on 33 Canton Rd, there is the HK-Macau Ferry Terminal, which takes about an hour to get you to Macau. Click here for fares (in HK dollars) and timetable. It is quite an impressive visit if you have an afternoon to spare from all the shopping and eating. Once you get to Macau (no visa needed, you get one on arrival) multiple shuttles buses are available to take you to their hotels and enjoy the casinos. Macau is a little Las Vegas of Asia, with only impressive hotels and casinos in sight.
All in all we enjoyed the modernity and energy of Hong Kong but being on our backpacker budget, the islands deserve another visit, and we cannot wait to go back !
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