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Pitstop at Hong Kong - Things To Do in Fragrant Harbor

This excursion was completely unexpected and went against all advice. I had a brief layover at the airport in Hong Kong while traveling back from the exchange program. A little bit of curiosity turned into something, and now I'm writing about my time in Hong Kong. A sequence of events led me to be in the Special Administration Region of Hong Kong and this article covers my excursion of the city in five hours between the flights.

The Seed of Curiosity

Actually, I arrived at the Los Angeles airport far earlier than I needed to for my trip, and like any of us, I turned to the internet to pass the time. At that point, I overheard an Indian traveling companion discussing how simple it was to enter Hong Kong. This was clearly meant to pique curiosity, therefore I ended up on their immigration webpage. The page informed me that the fellow passenger was in fact correct. Indian passport holders were not required to obtain a visa in order to enter the city for a period of 14 days. At that point, I made the decision to take a chance on getting into the city and increasing the number of nations I have traveled to!

Hong Kong - An Introduction

Hong Kong, a bustling metropolis on the southeastern coast of China, is a city that seamlessly blends tradition with modernity. With its towering skyscrapers, vibrant street markets, and rich cultural heritage, Hong Kong has captivated the hearts of millions. One of the most striking features of Hong Kong is its stunning skyline. The cityscape is dominated by gleaming skyscrapers that seem to touch the heavens.  Hong Kong is an enchanting blend of modernity and tradition that leaves visitors in awe. 

Hong Kong Sky Line From Ferry

Formalities at Hong Kong Airport

The enthusiasm peaked when the plane touched down in Hong Kong. I hurriedly exited the aircraft and headed toward the information counter. I had to spend a few of hours in a new place and wanted to make the most of it. However, the man at the information desk gave me a look that could have made me reconsider my choice. But I was acting as I normally do: insane. I had to enter the city right away, no matter what, so I did.

Navigating the Airport in Hurry

I went directly to the immigration after taking the map from the information desk. With the exception of a 15-20 minute wait in line at the counter, everything went quite smoothly. When do you plan to leave the city, the person behind the counter asked me. I'd just handed him my boarding pass for the subsequent trip. Despite his confusion, he placed a stamp on my passport to signify my arrival into the nation, and there I was, legally, in Hong Kong.

A tourist desk was located right outside the immigration counter, and I asked directly how to see as many sites of interest as possible in the least amount of time. He marked a number of locations on the map and provided some fast directions, urging people to watch out for time. He was a little more helpful than the man at the information desk. After saying "thank you," I went to the ticket machine for the airport express. I had to spend a few pricey seconds acquiring the change and getting onto the train, which was mostly due to my anxiety and partially due to the absurd restrictions on the denominations that the machine would accept.

Onboard the Hong Kong Airline Express Metro

Starting with the Quick Tour

There was nothing that could stop me once I boarded the train. After an hour-long ride that provided me a brief look at the city, I got out at Kowloon station and took the complimentary shuttle to a pier for an amazing view. However, time was of the essence, so I was unable to linger too long to take in the vista. I continued on to the Hong Kong Cultural Center from there. It is a beautifully constructed three-hall structure that offers performance spaces for cultural events.

Things to Do in Hong Kong - Studio Theatre

Things to Do in Hong Kong - Historical Center

Things to Do in Hong Kong - Space Museum

The Planetarium and Space Museum were the next stop. It was split into two sections, one for performances and the other for exhibits. I was only able to visit the show during the allotted time before I had to continue to the Museum of Art. The museum presented Chinese cultural history in a very organized way. A fountain area that was next to the museum greatly enhanced its aesthetic appeal.

Views of the Bay

The Modern City with Skyscrapers

A trip to Hong Kong wouldn't be complete without exploring the city's markets and commercial districts. I therefore went to the commercial district. Rolex and Canon had major offices and showrooms, as did a few other foreign businesses. A little further on, I could see devices being sold like they were groceries. If one had the leisure, it would be difficult to resist the urge to go shopping. The Harbour City, a structure resembling a Super Mall, was the next building I entered.

It was time to proceed to the main Hong Kong Island after this little tour of the island. Once more, getting to the intercity subway was necessary for this (although the airport express did enable pick-up at stations on its way out of the airport). The transportation helpdesks were very helpful in pointing me in the appropriate directions, which allowed me to ride on the MTR more quickly. 

There are Congested Streets Too

Taking a Ferry to a Different Island too!

I ran with a native while exploring the main island, and they advised that I might even get the chance to take a ferry to one of the country's islands. I disregarded all of the deadline warnings and carried out this action. The person directed me to the relevant pier for the purpose. Reaching Pier 7, from where I was to catch a ferry for Tsim Sha Tsui, was not that difficult. It was a well-deserving ferry ride to the island and back. Once I was back on the main island, I hurried back to catch the first available airport express train and reached the airport within the next hour. I had already missed my flight by then.

Things to Do in Hong Kong - Getting on a Ferry

The Central Pier

The airline was kind enough to put me on the next flight, so I took advantage of the extra time to buy souvenirs (and, of course, spend the foreign currency I had acquired). I eventually got on the next flight to India. My brief trip to Hong Kong included sightseeing, shopping, taking four different types of public transportation, including a ferry excursion, and missing my flight. Everything was completed in a matter of hours!

Harbor City - An Upmarket Shopping Complex

Waiting at the Airport for the Next Flight

Parting View of Hong Kong Skyline

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