Hong Kong: How To Stay Active On A Layover
Steal My Schedule!
Imagine a layover in the mad bustle of Hong Kong that isn?t driving around with a tour, wishing you didn?t miss your workout. In this post, I?ll share a super easy-to-follow plan that?ll have you doing sunrise yoga, hiking on Victoria Peak, getting in a double workout (and gorgeous swim), visiting the heart of Soho, grabbing a well-deserved foot massage, eating in alignment with your food values, and being back at your hotel by dinner.
If You Only Have One Day…
Here?s what I did.
5:00 AM Order room service coffee! It?s the best wakeup call. Plus, you?ll probably be jet-lagged anyway, why not start early. Get up and get going on your streamed yoga class while the sun rises.
6:00 AM Around 5.45 AM, get the concierge at the hotel to call a cab to go to Victoria Peak. Sunrise felt like the best time to visit, as many locals are out running and biking in this gorgeous trail network.
8:00 AM By this time, I?ve finished the loop and ordered coffee from the espresso bar on top of Victoria Peak.
9:00 AM I cabbed back into the hotel, lifted weights for an hour or so. There?s usually nobody in the gym at that time. I always choose hotels that have a great workout facility ? it?s a no-brainer if fitness is a priority for you.
10.00 AM I freshened up with a lovely swim? just as the day was beginning to get warmer. Felt really great to have done all that, before most people here at the hotel were getting started on their day.
12.00 PM After lunch, Soho shopping district. You?ll find some of your known brand names from back home, which is quite nice to have a taste of Western culture if traveling through Asia for a while.
Hong Kong feels incredibly peaceful and chill.
It?s famous for shopping, but there?s good places for the snobbiest of food snobs to eat. Similar to Times Square in New York, it?s a fast paced city square with everything happening. The place is a reflection of the hectic bustle that Hong Kong is famous for.
With so many massage places here, don?t leave without having a famous Chinese foot massage and pedicure. It?s the cheapest (and most competitive) place that I found in Hong Kong to get bodywork.
Tip: If planning on going here, the best thing would be to ask the concierge as there are loads of different ways to get there. My hotel gave me a handy phone with wifi and google map on it.
4.00 PM Head back to the hotel. Be sure to look out the window at the dragon boats and fishermen by the water. You really get a sense of the old Chinese feel when you look closely.
5.00 PM Sneaky treadmill session before dinner? Yes please. There?s something incredibly fulfilling and rewarding about seeing both the sunset AND sunrise in the same day.
How I Put Together This Schedule
Now that I?m here in HK, I?m getting into the groove of training next door at a fantastic fitness facility, and (sort of) being able to find half decent foods to support my workouts. I visited nearly all of the major tourist attractions, and checked out many different areas of the city.
I feel like I?ve been here long enough to say that Hong Kong is just okay, it?s not awesome. I?m not a city person, and with nine million people living here, really I don?t have the clothing with me on my travels to ?fit in?. I?ve always wanted to visit New York city, but if I went there, I?d probably pack with fashion in mind. Here I?ve only got workout gear and Thai dresses that I bought for less than $10 at the bus station haha (nice one Cat)!
On A Personal Note?
With all due respect to people who live here, if you?re not visiting loved ones, two weeks in Hong Kong is about ten days too long.
This place is positioned as ?foodie heaven? but seriously it was the opposite for me. Perhaps I?m too much of a food snob with my dairy, soy, wheat, gluten, salt, sugar and meat free life that is as ketogenic as possible (and it really hasn?t been possible on this trip). There are lots of local places apparently that I didn?t find, and when I posted my woes on facebook, many an expat shared amazing suggestions. So definitely the ?foodie heaven? places are here, but I didn?t find them.
Meanwhile I soldiered through the time without eating restaurant meals of the hotel that I was staying (crazy expensive) and eating whatever I could find off the Starbucks menu. Gosh that makes me sound like the seriously worst traveler but hey, arguing with my gut health isn?t my idea of a good time.
So why am I here?
Good question. I?m waiting for my trip to Nepal. Essentially I messed up ? rookie travel mistakes! I booked non-refundable flights that couldn?t be changed easily before fully understanding what was involved to get the visas for 2-weeks traveling in China. The tour company that I booked with made it seem so easy, but in reality it would?ve been 2 trips to the Chinese Embassy in Vancouver, which would?ve been 2 days off work.
I also would?ve had to be without my passport for an ?unknown duration? as they processed my visas? something I really couldn?t be bothered with. With Hong Kong?s friendly entry policies, you can basically visit as you please. So I went with the 144-hour visa on arrival in China, and hunkered down in Hong Kong for all the extra days I?d accidentally booked away. Maybe you’ll enjoy HK a bit more than I did, but for me, two days would’ve been plenty.