A FRIEND once recommended that for my first trip outside the country, Hong Kong would be an ideal start to a series of adventures for many reasons: the food, the culture and most of all, the weather, which during non-summer months, is completely different from our own. One gets all this in a neat little package, for just a short plane ride away.
Coincidentally, it did happen to be my first trip for work reasons. Together with strangers-turned-friends from different media companies, our three-day excursion at Hong Kong comprised of hitting up attractions both time-honored and new ones to watch for both locals and tourists.
My initial introduction to the city was a visit to beloved Ocean Park Hong Kong located at Wong Chuk Hang Road in Aberdeen. Pretty much an institution since it was built in the 70s—you can’t go to Hong Kong without including this in the plan. Made for kids and kids-at-heart, the place is packed with thrill-seeking rides, theme park landscapes, souvenir shops and animals from China to Southern Australia. Visitors get an educational experience too, as programs orient families on how to interact with the animals and take care of them. First up, we met giant pandas and red pandas, and got to learn about their habits and conservation followed by a close and cute encounter with dolphins. The visit ended with a retro spin as we stumbled upon Old Hong Kong, a street corner that re-imagined the 50s to 70s era of the city.
By the second day we found ourselves at Tsuen Wan to visit The Mills, a landmark revitalization program that was completed in 2018 by the Nan Fung Group. What was once a place utilized for manufacturing back in the 60s is now the point where culture, tradition and innovation blend well against old Hong Kong. Bits and pieces that serve as reminders of the past are still present, from chipped walls painted in green, a red bucket once used to put out fires, old window frames, to the NF5 metal gate