People thought I was crazy when I told them we would only be in Hong Kong for 4 nights and 3 days. It does seem like a long way to go for a short visit. But I have come to enjoy our short trips. Being gone for a week or longer can really be exhausting. For example, on our first trip out of the US to Paris we were gone for 9 days. I think we started to run out of steam on day 4, but with so much to see we just kept going. When we got home it took me days to catch up and to start to feel like myself self again.
I’ve also accepted the fact that no matter how long your vacation is you can’t see everything. This allows me to just BE while we are there. We pick a couple of highlights we “must” see (mostly for Brian’s photographing purposes) and then just go where the mood strikes us the rest of the time. There is no agenda or schedule of events.
In fact, this short jaunt to Hong Kong was one of the best trips we’ve had in some time. We did splurge a bit for our anniversary. We cashed in a lot of frequent flyer miles and hotel points to travel first class on Cathey Pacific and stay at the lovely Conrad Hotel. The vacation truly started the moment I settled into my private pod on the flight to Hong Kong. Both the flight crew and hotel staff knew it was our anniversary and treated us like royalty. I can’t thank them enough for how special they made our adventure.
I absolutely loved Hong Kong. I loved the understated hum of their big city. I loved that it is an interesting blend of British and Asian culture. On the subway they reminded you to “Mind the Gap” just like London. Afternoon tea was offered many places including our hotel. (Plus I came back with a suitcase full of tea, hopefully enough till Brian’s next trip to the Far East.) This mash up of cultures was reflected not just in trains, tea, shops and food but also their fitness. The range of options runs the spectrum of old world ways to the latest fitness trends.
On a short trip, fitness may not be front and center. Walking the city is a workout in itself thanks to some San Francisco style hills. However if your trip will keep you there just a little longer, here are some things I would recommend to keep you fit and active while you are there.
Tai Chi in Hong Kong Park
Our first morning we made a tour of Hong Kong Park as we oriented ourselves with the Central district of Hong Kong Island. We passed by the Tai Chi garden and watched a few practitioners flowing through their movements. It was truly a beautiful thing to watch. The Visitor’s Bureau holds free classes in the park on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8 am.
XYZ (Xpin Your Zenses) Indoor Cycling Studio
With a high energy DJ and a no phones allowed on floor policy, this is a workout meant to strengthen the body and focus the mind. It’s unlike any spin class you’ve been to before. Be sure to read the code of conduct before arriving.
Running on Victoria Peak
The more we travel, the more we try to avoid the usual tourist spots. However, the trails and views of Victoria Peak simply cannot be missed. Even with the heavy fog we experienced, the lights of the city were amazing. The nature trails that take you in a circular path around the peak are paved and lighted, making running there any time of day enjoyable.
Hiking Lantau Peak to visit Big Buddha
The hike up Lantau Peak is estimated to take 4-6 hours. Since we only had 3 days in Hong Kong, we opted to take the tram ride instead. Either tram or hike, once you get to the top of the peak, you still have another 268 stairs to reach Big Buddha. Take a rest once you reach the top and soak in the peaceful gaze of this serene being. If you’re hungry skip the tourist trap “village” and have a vegetarian meal from the monks at Po Lin Monastery.
Another big plus in Hong Kong was vegetarian food was easy to find. Not only could you find Chinese options but Thai and Indian cuisine seemed plentiful as well. Many restaurants offered English translations on their menus (or you can look ahead on the English version of the restaurants web site). My top pick: vegetarian dim sum at Lok Cha Tea House in Hong Kong Park.
Ever ventured to Honk Kong? What did I miss?
How do you feel about short vs long stays in far away places?