If you’ve seen my pictures on Instagram, Twitter or my Facebook Page – you already know my fascination for Hong Kong Streets. I have a million pictures of various streets, and half of them are of me in those streets, failing to pose well. During both my Hong Kong trips, I have explored the city on foot, like the locals do. Hong Kong has a strong walking culture – wherever you turn, you’ll see people walking towards metro stations, ferry terminals or bus stands.
And it’s slightly overwhelming at first, to witness this city on its vibrant, lively streets. Literally everyone is out and is walking. Hong Kong is the world’s fourth most densely populated sovereign state or territory, so imagine the sight.
The glorious Hong Kong streets will first stun you, and then make you a part of the buzzing energy, and wherever you go from here – these streets will always be a part of you. Take my word for it.
During my latest trip to Hong Kong, I decided to walk the walk in all literal senses, and to experience the magic of the animated and sparkling Hong Kong Streets on foot. Of course I was well equipped with a water bottle, a floppy hat that I got from Israel, my good walking shoes and the very handy Skyscanner Car-Hire App – for times when you get exhausted by all the walking and picture clicking and need an instant pick-me-up-from-the-road, because trust me it does happen at the end of that day and this app works in various countries.
I loved walking the Hong Kong streets because every street in Hong Kong has a different vibe, a distinct character. What’s amazing is the fact that for a city that has almost it’s entire population walking to various spots, it is extremely well organized. Rules are followed, streets are clean and well maintained and I can only imagine the joy of driving a car on these streets. Maybe next time, right? Ha ha.
Because this post is about Hong Kong streets, I will share some interesting trivia about it, but my main motive is to share my heartfelt, almost tangible love for the streets that never sleep, and my passion for doing things the local way while I travel. Walking around a place and exploring it on foot is the best way to experience it, isn’t it?
Fun Trivia About Hong Kong Streets:
- Although Hong Kong has a huge population, and the terrain is hilly and most island roads are narrow and winding – the roads here are rarely clogged for long stretches like in Delhi or even in Dehradun during rush hours. Even in a traffic jam, you would not feel the stress because – no honking! Everyone follows the rules and you know why? There are close to 115 closed-circuit cameras located on the streets for almost real-time monitoring of traffic flow. This makes the heavy traffic, manageable and at times, even enjoyable because the view outside the taxi / bus is often enchanting. Yeah, I am a city person alright!
- In Hong Kong, you can dress a bride, redo a house and amuse a child one street at a time. The South China practice of grouping similar businesses on one street means you can do much more: goldfish, birds, clothes, electronics and shoes – if it’s worth shopping, it has a street here, says the Discover Hong Kong website. How apt! This totally justifies my fixation for these streets, right? RIGHT?
- Hong Kong has a street dedicated to bars and pubs and did I mention that I am in love with Hong Kong? Yes sir, this street is called Lan Kwai Fong, and is a hilly street with buzzing bars and pubs on both sides, bustling with expats, locals and tourists alike. What’s super fun to observe is that these bars seem full all the time, even on weekdays. From HardRock Café to Zinc, from Graffiti to Gorkha – I think I’ve tried almost half of them already! At one of the sessions during RISE Conference 2016, Jonathan Zeman, chief executive officer of Lan Kwai Fong Holdings Ltd, said to a captivated audience – ‘We are the original Social network.’ I raise my pitcher of Margarita to Mr. Zeman and agree. LKF is one of my favourite Hong Kong Street, obviously.
- I have already written in details about Ladies’ Market which is about a kilometre long and is a street-market that is full of clothes, accessories and souvenir bargains. This is the best place to buy fun souvenirs for folks back home – for Bart Simpson shaped pen drives in 5 HKD, to fridge magnets for the same price.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to haggle in all street markets!
- Because Hong Kong is all about streets and life in theses streets, they have one specifically for Antiques. Yes! Tread to Cat Street which is a historic street bursting with antiques and curios.
- Breezy Path makes an appearance on this list purely because it is beautiful and partly because I lived here. This is a narrow road that goes up and down a steep hillock, surrounded by high-rise apartment buildings all around – and yet, this path gets strong and refreshing gusts of wind that once took my hat with it.
Pro Tip: If you get down to Breezy Path and feel cold, do not rush home to add another layer of clothes on you because everywhere else will be much colder and you’ll regret that extra layer with all the walking. Trust me, I’ve been a victim.
- Apiliu Street in Kowloon is the place for you if electronics are your thing. This is sort of a flea market street offering very reasonably priced new, as well as second-hand electronic devices, audio-visual equipment and telecommunications products. Fancy wireless speakers to antique watches, you’ll find everything here.
- How much do you like sneakers? If your answer is Way Too Much – I guide to you Sneaker Street in Mong Kok, you’re welcome. You can see the coolest kicks from around the world in this Hong Kong street. Seriously, a street dedicated to sneaker -What’s not to love?
- Interested in ancient Chinese medicines and remedies? Head to Ko Shing Street and explore the world of old world Chinese herbal medicines. You will also find dried seafood here, which is the main ingredient in most traditional Chinese health foods.
- Elgin Street – you have to be there to believe it. I mainly mean Soho, the area south of the Hollywood Road, because I love the restaurants there and also the wall art that seems to give it a distinct character. You HAVE to go to Awtar for delicious Middle Eastern cuisine and some really good Sheesha (I am not even a Sheesha/ Hukkah person, Jeez! So you know it was out of this world.) and to Santorini for – surprise! surprise! – Greek food. In fact, I am going to do an entire post on Soho food trail very soon because this tiny mention won’t do it justice. Stay tuned.
So, you see that I walked a lot during my Hong Kong trip and relished every second of it, except for those when I almost couldn’t walk another step and had to resort to a pitcher of margaritas, like mentioned earlier. Ha! I wish all this walking translated to some fitness aka weight loss for me, but thanks to my sister and brother-in-law and their particularly good taste, I ate yummy food as much as I walked.
Yes, I took a lot of pictures of streets – I warned you at the very beginning, didn’t I? My random stopping-mid-sentence to click pictures used to make my sister and bro-in-law mad, but I clicked away regardless for greater good, i.e. to share the love and experience in visual format with you, my darling readers. You can now replay me in cash, or by leaving a good comment on this post – your pick. 😉
So. Has this post inspired you to take a trip to Hong Kong and explore it on foot? If yes, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Keep Walking, Keep Exploring!
PS: I was invited to attend the RISE Conference in Hong Kong, and Skyscanner sponsored my trip. The opinions, as always, are my own. Keep reading Aditi’s Monologue for more Travel Tales and Travel Tips from Hong Kong, Israel, Singapore, Greece, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and India. Through this travel blog, I intend to share my love for travelling and exploring, combined with my love for life. Hope you stick around!