July 28, 2019

Memoirs: What It’s Really Like Solo Travelling in Hong Kong

Now before I get into this post I owe Evie a huge apology because it’s taken SO long for me to put pen to paper to write this up. Or hands to keyboard in this case. And I will always say travel content is evergreen, if you catch me writing about by 2007 trip to Shanghai on here, mind ya business. 

*record scratch* Let’s take it back to June 2018 

My trip to Hong Kong was booked whilst I was under the influence of alcohol.  I woke up the confirmation email from Cathay Pacific and thought to myself “I really did this”. AND I OOP. It may not seem like a big deal to you but I knew it was going to be a personal challenge to me. I’ve travelled solo many times before but all my trips have been in simple Europe or Middle East. And not to insult European cities, they all kinda look the same once you’ve been to a couple. Yeah I said it.

https://twitter.com/char_x0/status/1004813747477676033

An Ode to Solo Travel

I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve stopped asking the dreaded question “Do you want to come?” to friends and selected family members. I used to feel a little disappointed when they’d say no or the phrase “I’ll let you know” when chased, so that’s when I thought hmmm:

Nobody

Not a soul

Me to me: Do you wanna book a flight?

*2 minutes later*

[insert airline + flight confirmation]

Hong Kong had been on my bucket list forever and to me it was the “New York of Asia”. The perfect blend between old and new and best of all a direct flight from London – even if it’s 13 hours long. I’m the kind of traveller who wants to get in and get out but this time I decided to do 10 days in the city rather than a long weekend.

1st November 2018, 8.20am UK time  [#trippinwithchar]

Fast-forward to 1st November 2018, I checked in my heavy suitcase at the Cathay Pacific desk at Heathrow Airport and made my way to the terminal. I was excited to fly Cathay Pacific as I’d heard nothing but good things about them and if I was going to Asia I knew an Asian airline would be better.

2nd November 2018,  8am Hong Kong time

Hong Kong is a jet lag inducing 8 hours forward from London time and that does strange things to oneself when you’ve left one day and arrive another. As soon as I’d landed in Hong Kong I remember thinking to myself “Wow, I’m really here”.

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

Finding a hotel in Hong Kong that was affordable, suited my tastes and was in a central location was a challenge. Hong Kong is expensive if you didn’t already know. I found the Dorsett Wan Chai was in my budget at approx. £700 for 9 nights and the Trip Advisor reviews weren’t too scary. Well, the only drawback was the fact it was situated next to a cemetery (I’m not joking), but as my mother once told me: “it’s not the dead you should be scared of, it’s the living”. 

Of course there are other options when staying in Hong Kong like hostels, Air B & B and Couch surfing but its down to your preference.

Oyster card or Octopus Card?

As a devout Londoner, my Oyster card is like an organ – I don’t feel right without it. Hong Kong have adopted a similar card called an Octopus card and it’s much better. Not only can you use if for travel but it’s widely accepted at convenience stores throughout the city. As a traveller this is a great way to keep an eye on your spending but also make sure you’re not constantly using an unfavourable exchange rate on credit or debit cards.

“The world is your Oystercard”.  

Overwhelming?

There were times I found solo travel in Hong Kong overwhelming, hard to navigate and anxiety inducing but I chose to see it as character building. With the help of technology an open mind I explored at my own pace, did things with me in mind and didn’t let any stares get to me. As a black female in Hong Kong you could say I was a rarity but I’m not the kind of traveller who stops visiting places based on other’s pre-concieved perceptions of me. Anyway, the only way I can describe the pace in HK is: 

A New York minute is a Hong Kong second. 

Worth the Weight Gain

Yep. I doubt anyone has left Hong Kong without gaining a little weight. Even the food in the airport is good. Eating is a huge part of Asian culture and part of the fun of being in this city is eating everything in sight. I ate at one of the cheapest Michelin starred restaurants in the world for less than £20 for the whole bill and it made me think that I’m getting seriously ripped off in London. My Foodie Guide to Hong Kong is coming next…  

A few more things I noticed in Hong Kong:

The number 4 and 13 are cursed. My hotel didn’t have a 4th or 13th floor! 

Lots of buildings have a gap (kinda like the letter U) for the dragon to enter.

Hong Kong is the perfect blend of old and new, the food is incredible, the buildings are literally out of this world and it makes for a great city break. 

Have you been to Hong Kong or is it on your list to visit?

Read more:

Char xo 

7 responses to “Memoirs: What It’s Really Like Solo Travelling in Hong Kong”

  1. Alghashiyah says:

    This trip look amazing and I love how brave you are for traveling alone and not letting that stop you. I definitely would like to visit Hong Kong 🇭🇰 I enjoyed the pics beautiful buildings and food doesn’t look too bad. Great post

  2. Sarah says:

    Love this!

    Hong Kong is so expensive! I actually stated in a hostel when I was there. I agree with the time for waiting for people is over. Just book that flight lol

    I actually feek Hong Kong is great for a first solo trip to Asia because poeple speak English and there are similar shops like M&S etc and its not too big.

  3. Debbie says:

    Yesss the long awaited Hong Kong blog post!! I loved reading this! HK has been high on my bucket list for a while now, so I’m looking forward to reading your foodie guide!

  4. Bugo says:

    I haven’t been yet but it is on my Asia travel list!!

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A Little Bit About Me

Welcome to my little space on the internet, known as Memoirs and Musings. I’m Char, short for Charlotte and my blog/website/diary is dedicated to documenting my Memoirs and Musings, hence the name. I wouldn’t say I was your ‘typical’ blogger either. I don’t care about getting the perfect flatlay or feeling bad for not posting, I just enjoy writing. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Anyway, I love to travel, indulge in a glass of white wine, when plans are cancelled and purchase overpriced make up.  I guess that’s me in a nutshell, trying to figure out this thing called life, have fun and never lose sight.