If you regularly tune into this blog, you’ll already know that a trip to the zoo ranks pretty highly on my list of things to do if there’s one in the area. (See Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2, no pun intended, if you need to be brought up to speed.) We therefore set aside a full day (and evening) to explore everything that the award-winning Singapore Zoo and Night Safari had to offer.
Singapore may be a teeny weeny territory, but what it lacks in surface area, it more than makes up for in its vibrant cultural landscape. Catch the MRT to Kampong Glam, Little India or Chinatown (or all three, if you have time), and while away the day in their bustling hawker centres, picturesque side streets and local markets.
Singapore is a fusion of untamed jungle and slick skyscrapers, a melting pot of cultures, traditions and cuisines. We only spent a few days in Singapore – slap bang in the middle of our trip to Hong Kong – but the little time we had there was enough to cement Singapore’s place on my mental list of favourite places.
There are hikes, and then there are hikes – those that push you beyond your limits; those that demand more from you; those that stay with you long after you’ve washed off the grime from the trail. Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak, when done together as one thru hike, fall decidedly into the latter category. We’d ummed and ahhed over whether or not to conquer the two of them in one fell swoop, and ultimately decided it was the best option for our itinerary, as it freed up a day later in our trip for adventures elsewhere.
Hong Kong has miles upon miles of hiking trails, but perhaps the most popular amongst visitors is Dragon’s Back. Whether you’re a Lonely Planet lover or a DK Top 10 devotee, you’ll almost certainly have stumbled upon a passage or two on this well-loved walk as you flicked through your guidebook (or a bookshop’s – I’m not judging) ahead of your trip. I’ve been there, hiked the trail and would happily do so again tomorrow if it weren’t for the fact I’m now 5,000+ miles away.
Clinging to the verdant hillside above Sha Tin, in the heart of the New Territories, is Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (also known as Man Fat Tsz), a complex which marvels and mind-boggles in equal measure.
Hong Kong Island is synonymous with skyscrapers (and stellar hiking opportunities, but more on those another day), but islands replete with traditional temples, colourful fishing boats and three-storey tong laus aren’t far away. Cheung Chau is the third-largest of Hong Kong’s Outlying Islands – the largest and second-largest being Lantau Island and Lamma Island, respectively – and is best known for the Cheung Chau Bun Festival, which takes place annually and attracts hundreds of visitors to the island. Our visit didn’t coincide with this event, but fortunately there’s more than a mountain of red-bean paste buns to this islet.