The other side of Hongkong

HONGKONG, Asia's ultra modern city, skyscrapers, chic, OFW's, vibrant, tachycardic pace, cultural melting pot, Disneyland, Ocean park and is synonymous to shopping! Coming from a small sleepy town in the Philippines made me awed and enthralled by its concrete jungle.

This is my second visit and was treated to appreciate the other side of the island where majority of the mass tourists dared not to tread, not by a local but by a Frenchman who got a dented heart over HK. We flew to HK from Cebu via AirPhilippines availing of its promotional seat sale. After settling down in our hotel, the adventure begun...

DAY 1 : Cheung Chau

Cheung Chau in Cantonese means long island, its one of the famous weekend getaways among the locals. A quiet fishing village but its population can be doubled during weekends and holidays. Its about 30-55min ride from Central. Tai Hing Tai is the main road teeming with restaurants specializing mostly on seafoods. Baccarat Seafoods Restaurant is located at the far left end of the main road near a small plaza. Whetted our appetite with garlic grouper, 2 orders of steamed scallop in ginger with vermicelli, rice and a bottle of Chardonnay for a total of HK$500, not a bad price for HK standard. It was sumptuous!

A few meters away from the restaurant is the Taoist Pak Tai Temple built in 1783 dedicated to the sea god. One can leisurely walk within town passing some villages. We hiked up to the hill captivated by the beautiful seascape. The hiking trails are paved and properly marked so one has a reason to get lost.

 We were not able to cover the rest of the trails as my feet were sore from the series of ascents and my unprepared body becomes weary...need to get back to my former form :).

Day 2 : Old Kowloon
Kowloon gained its notoriety during the British period where drugs, crimes and other illicit activities abound. Part of  the area was a walled city just like our Intramuros and was demolished in 1993 converted it into a park. Walking around the area will give you a contrasting glimpse from the other districts.  
Due to Kowloon's close proximity to Kai Tak airport, building constructions were limited by flight paths. Compared to Hong Kong Island, Kowloon resulted architecturally in much lower skyline.
Nine dragons is the literal translation of the city name. Kowloon side has escaped some British influences, traditional Chinese restaurants abound in Kowloon City like the Chiu Chow cuisine, originated from the city of Swatow in the coastal region of Guangdong where seafoods,goose,ducks are eminent features of this cuisine. Had my fill with fresh water eel  stewed in brown sauce...heavenly taste!We hurried up to Tsim Sha Tsui and witness the amazing symphony of lights. This is the most touristy part of Kowloon.


Took the MRT from Central station to Diamond hill, a bus to Sai Kung and another bus to Pak Tam Au trail. We got off by the park and started treading the paved trail. The area is blanketed with the greenery of a second growth forest in contrast with the concrete jungle of the main city. The 2hours hike can be bloody to the uninitiated but the scenery will pay all the sweat and the grunts as you reached the breathtaking Ham Tin beach.  Considered to be the best beach in Hongkong...its a perfect tropical beach sans the coconut trees and the maddening crowd.