What word pop up in your head when you hear “Hong Kong” ?.

Before I really knew about Hong Kong, Shopping, expensive food, and luxury accommodation were for the whole idea because every Korean tour operators said so.

Even the one I got for free handout from Hong Kong tourism website is an entire book of shopping and expensive eat out places.

This is why Hong Kong is not on my list even though it is not far from here.


However it changes after short trip to Taipei. You may remember my serendipity story in Taipei. Friends I’ve met, who are living in Hong Kong. We started to chat, and I found out there are many un-shopping and un-luxury Hong Kong. Of course! It hit me real hard. It is still people live there so, yes!Never heard of someone enjoy hiking in Hong Kong before. Camber was the one who taught me that..

So okay, I put Hong Kong on my list. Also I have friends there now!  So, why not? All i need to do is just set the date. After few month the time has come.

Buddha’s Birthday of May of 2010, I’ve decided to go Hong Kong.

1.Tsing Yi

Tsing Yi is in little island between New territories and Lantau island. I feel really lucky to found this place because Tsing Yi is the most Hong Kong feely place to me. Tsing Yi is not even on the little guide book I have! I hung out around here because this is where my couch was. My friend Meaghan is living here in one apartment.

Tsing Yi appartments

Tsing Yi feels like a little bit of Suwon or little satellite town of Seoul. It is not too country side but modern enough, it is not too crowd but not too empty. You can still enjoy little bit of nature but you can hit the mall as soon as you need something.

Location is also perfect for first visitors.

From the airport, you can take a train to Tsing Yi, it is just one stops away, takes about 10 mins. Once you get off the MTR, you can get out to town through huge mall.

All the stores you can find at Tsing Yi mall

As soon as you get out of front gate of the MTR station, you can see this wide harbor in front of you. Ocean is just right in front of you. Across the harbor you can see Hong Kong island, bridges connect Tsing Yi to other places and boat village. This is my favorite part of Tsing Yi.

From station to home, you walk along with this ocean. How cool is that?

View just in front of MTR station


Also there are lots of great, local, and cheap restaurants. Being a not touristic place at all, I can see what they eat, how they eat and how great that is. First dinner I had was on the little restaurant just right beside of Meaghan’s place, and I loved it. It is cheap, delicious, and it’s on a huge bowl.

We had honey sausage with bean sauce on rice, deep fried port with bean sauce on rice and pepper sauced beef. Man it was huge! We didn’t finish this. I miss them.. It was just around 30HK for a plate.

Huge amount of delicious dinner!

And I could not leave out Dim Sum we had. This place was inside of the Tsing Yi mall, on the first floor. According to Meaghan this place is always crowded with people. So we tried the day I left.

Long story short, It was the best Dim Sum I’ve ever had.

Delicious Dimsum!

We ordered 5 basket of Dim Sum and it costs just 110 HK.  Taste? Check, Price? Double check!


Dim Sum place.

And few other places I checked out, they looked pretty amazing.

Popular duck place

It was such a sweet little town. So nice to see how Hong Kongers live.


2. Stanley

Stanley is old English village. Lots of western style fancy hotels are there as well. On the way when you see colorful buildings then you could think I’m almost there. Stanley is very different then any other street of Hong Kong.

First, lots of westerners. On the other hand Tsing Yi area, according to Meaghan, about 4 westerners live there among all these many apartments as far as she knows, give or take.


at Stanley

When I arrived to Stanley first I thought ‘wow I am in the most tourist spot of Hong Kong’ but turns out they are all locals. Family, walking their dogs, having lunch at a pizza place, play with kids. Like a scene of some soap opera. In my opinion Stanley is the least and the most Hong Kong-y place.

We got there by bus (double deck!!). After got off the bus, you get through a Stanley Market.


Stanley Market

Personally, I got my best souvenirs here. Magnets!  Very good, cheap stores are there. Really relief that I didn’t buy any souvenir at touristic shops except Disney Land. I got the best ones here! And remember. You can haggle the price here!

Awesome Magnets! Favorite kind of souvenir!

After market, ocean is greeting you. It was little windy day, so sound of wave and water was so good. On the side walk, many people walking their dogs, family on the picnic, eat out, and couples. It was such a nice area.



We sat down a little restaurant, out on the terrace, I had second best Fish and chips and Meaghan had the world largest ginger ale.

Meaghan with her Ginger ale! Look how big it is.


Buildings are extraordinary at here in Stanley. Light pink, yellow and green painted, beautiful window frames. If you’ve been to Singapore, it looks like little bit of harbor front of Singapore. Well, they have same background, so sound about right.

Western Pub.


Tsing Yi and Stanley has really different vibe, and I am so glad I catch both sides of Hong Kong while I was there on such a short break. Hong Kong is certainly deserve to second visit and explore more. It felt really good because my little trip break wrong images I had about Hong Kong before. Well, you have to experience something to critic, right?

I just want to say, I assure you, Hong Kong is not  just for expensive shopping and fancy dinning. Of course you can do here. Hong Kong is great for shopping and fancy meals, true, but that is not all. So dearest Korean tour operators, please stop saying that. We all have different purpose to visit some places but you are losing someone like me to visit Hong Kong.

And last but not least, thanks for Meaghan, my local guide and my dear, dear friend who organizes all these places for me.




“How was your experience in Hong Kong? Or what do you expect to experience in  Hong Kong?”



10 thoughts on “Hong Kong You Knew is Wrong”

  1. Hey, I’ve been to Hong Kong in 2009 and I love it. I’ve seen the Big Buddha, the skyscrapers, Mongkok, where I stayed. I love Nathan road and the Kowloon area. I also bought the octopus card for tourists, where you can ride the subway for 3 days all the time. I toured the whole city in one day. I loved the Chi Lin monastery somewhere in Kowloon. Beautiful wooden temples and a nice garden. Victoria peak was fun, too. HK is small, but lots of fun. I hope to return one day.

  2. I really liked Hong Kong and I had a lot of fun outside the tourist-y areas also. Although I only had two days I went around the Island and Kowloon too. I loved Victoria Peak and hiking up the side of the Peak. My brother ordered me a chicken but I couldn’t eat it! It still had a head!! Haha. 🙂

  3. Can’t wait to visit HK again. I am going in June for the 2nd time…didn’t make it to the outlying islands. This time I will try to make time for it =)

  4. I just got back from Hong Kong and I loved it! I know four people living there (two expats and two locals) so I got a really varied perspective on the city. I explored a lot on my own, did some touristy stuff (Big Buddha, the Peak, the markets), and some not so touristy stuff (took a junk ride from Sai Kung, lunch at a “Hong Kong-style Western” restaurant in Mongkok). Loved it! We also did dim sum at Tim Ho Wan (the Michelin-star one) and it was delish – and so cheap! I managed to keep to a pretty reasonable budget in HK and bought a few nice souvenirs and gifts, but didn’t really go shopping at all. I want to go back and explore more! Didn’t get to Stanley or Tsing Yi, and definitely want to see the fishing villages in Lantau. Oh, I also did a Hong Kong Urban Adventures tour and lovvvved it. Saw / learned so much!

  5. I actually love Hong Kong and how easy you can travel around the small island! I’ve been there for more than three times and it’s always a fun place to find good food and nice shopping destinations, though not all are that expensive!

    I can’t wait to actually explore other parts of Hong Kong if ever my friends and I go on May 2012! 😀

    Absolutely great post. Will take note of the places you visited! :

  6. Did you try the Hong Kong Milk Tea as well? or the Coffe Milk Tea drink? I love HOng Kong, not really a city but more like a jungle of skyscappers. Next time you go, make sure you go on a wednesday to The horse races….best part of hong kong for me!

  7. Great article!! I love Hong Kong, it is such a myriad of everything from luxury shopping, cheap eateries and as you mentioned the best dumplings ever tried.

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