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Returning to Hong Kong felt bittersweet – it is the place where my winter escape to South East Asia started and now came to an end. For my second visit to this fascinating city, I was armed with lots of energy, adventurousness and a plan of action (a sharp difference from my first visit when I was jetlagged, poorly prepared and burned out). I was excited to be back, because even though my first visit felt like a bit of a failure, I had loved the dynamic atmosphere of the city back then and was eagerly awaiting my second visit.
I had nearly a week in Hong Kong which allowed me to explore the city at a leisurely pace instead of rushing around. I visited several neighborhoods, saw the main sights, went for long runs, hung out in trendy coffee shops, ate amazing food, caught up with friends and finally hiked up to The Peak, Hong Kong’s famous viewpoint that offers sweeping views over the harbor, Hong Kong Island and Tsim Sha Tsui from the island’s highest peak, Victoria Peak at 554 meters (1,818 feet).
I stayed in two different neighborhoods during my visit – first in Wan Chai, which many people claim is the heart of Hong Kong, filled with traditional shops and markets but also offering a booming restaurant scene; and then in Lan Kwai Fong, known as the city’s nightlife center with a maze of narrow streets that is home to more than 90 bars and restaurants.
During my last visit, I was staying on the Kowloon peninsula, but this time around I spent most of my time on Hong Kong Island, which I immediately grew fond of when I was visiting back in January. My favorite thing to do was – like last time – just walking around the neighborhoods, soaking up the city and randomly stumbling across quirky and exciting happenings, like an Annie Leibovitz exhibit that made my photographer’s heart beat faster, a free wine festival, free outdoor gym classes or a cat cafe (I couldn’t resist!).
Hong Kong charmed me once again, and I am sure I will be back soon.