So you thought Hong Kong was
only about great shopping. Well think again, ladies. Journeywomen
worldwide have travel-tested over twenty terrific female-friendly
activities that any woman traveller can enjoy on her own or with
friends and have an absolutely wonderful time. Whatever your pleasure
-- museums, eco travel, learning a new skill, exercise, being a
culture vulture -- Hong Kong offers all these opportunities and
more. Happy doing, everybody!
First and foremost, learn
how to get around on your own. Try the transportation. Its
a do it yourself inexpensive intro to Hong Kongs
delights. Hop a double-decker streetcar as it makes
its way from one end of HK Island to the other. From your
second story perch sit back and take note of the pace and
pulse of this wonderful place. If you see something you absolutely
love, get off and explore. Dont worry. Theyll
be another tram along shortly and it costs little to reboard.
Then, test the spotless
Hong Kong MTR (subway system) designed with female
safety in mind. This immaculately clean system is well lit
and constantly monitored by the railway police and MTR staff.
Within the subway cars women are protected from potential
trouble as open-ended cars allow for free movement throughout
the train. Someone bothering you? Just move to the next compartment.
Hows that for female-friendly transportation?
Finally, use Hong Kongs
inexpensive system of ferries to visit outlying islands or
to cross Victoria Harbour on the famed Star Ferry.
The first time on this world-renowned ferry promises to be
magical. Do it at night when both shorelines and skylines
are neon-lit. Youll never forget the experience.
are relatively cheap and available to take you wherever you
need to go. However, many Hong Kong taxi drivers do not understand
English. No problem! Just ask the concierge at your hotel
to write your destination in Cantonese. Show it to your driver
and youre on your way.
Tip -- Take a walk...
great way to explore many historic and modern landmarks
of Hong Kong is by taking a self-guided walk. With the help
of a practical walking guide and portable audio equipment,
you can tour such areas as the main commercial centre of Hong
Kong Island as well as a tourist mecca on Kowloon Peninsula
-- and all at your own pace. For prices, and other inquiries
call the HKTB Visitor Hotline at: (852) 2508 1234 or
contact your nearest HKTB office
and request a copy of their tour leaflet entitled: HKTA Tours
Be a culture
find the Hong Kong Cultural Centre harbourside in Kowloon.
Take time to explore the interior of this performing arts
venue complete with gold-trimmed stylized Phoenix. Check the
display wall for upcoming programs. Stop in at the Performing
Arts Shop to pick up a CD by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra.
Make note of the free noon concerts, buy your ticket for a
scheduled backstage tour and take a coffee break at the tiny
Curtains Up Cafe.
For easy evening entertainment,
women will want to know about The Fringe Club, an alternative
arts venue in Central. Bar atmosphere is welcoming and women
alone wont feel awkward. The Fringe Club hosts theatre,
live music and dance along with contemporary art exhibits.
Each January, it becomes the home of the HK Fringe Festival,
an excellent arts-op featuring performers from around the
world (2 Lower Albert Street, Central).
At the end of a long
day of sightseeing, going to the movies is a pleasant way
to unwind. Its exciting to choose from the many Chinese
and international films available in their original version.
Dont worry; theres never a problem with understanding
since all Asian films have English subtitles. A new complex
called Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong has twelve cinemas
showing both English and Chinese films. The Art Centre
on Harbour Road in Wan Chai screens non-commercial movies
while Pacific Place in Central offers mostly Hollywood flicks.
P.S. Another cinematic
tidbit --When Easter is on the horizon, film buffs plan their
holidays to coincide with the HK International Film Festival.
-- Hong Kongs Festivals & Events...
find out whats on in HK on the dates you plan to be
This Interactive calendar
of events is a great way to make sure your next visit to Hong
Kong will include an exciting festival or cultural
event. To find out what's on simply fill in the starting
and ending dates and click "GO". You don't need
to specify exact dates, months will do. If you know of a specific
event, you can find it by typing any word related to the event
into the search box and clicking the "SEARCH" button.
love and wedding traditions interest you, then make your way
to Shanghai Street for some interesting window shopping.
On view are the beautiful red silk bridal outfits traditionally
worn at Hong Kong wedding banquets. Ditto for the intricately
embroidered black silk outfits reserved for the female elders
in the wedding party. On any given day youll see Chinese
brides-to-be making the rounds of these shops with their moms,
sisters or very best girlfriends.
Sunday is a great day
for bridewatching outside of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre
in Tsim Sha Tsui. On the long entry stairway, beaming brides
will be posing for their formal wedding photos. Expect a wonderful
parade of couples with everything from full length lace to
basic black leather. Love is definitely in the air and youll
smile just being there.
And, if you are praying
for a husband for yourself, then do as the Chinese do. Every
August 20th, the mothers of Hong Kong traditionally visit
Lover's Rock in Mid-Levels to leave food offerings,
praying to the deities for kind, prosperous husbands for their
daughters or at times, even for themselves. You can get there
via Bowen Road. Just ask your concierge for tram or walking
directions. Journeywoman knows that a little prayer or two
can never hurt!
At the Taoist Wong
Sai Tin Temple youll find that it is predominantly
the women who come to the temple to burn incense. These wives
are praying for special luck in gambling as well as the good
health and prosperity of their families. In return for possible
favours granted, offerings of fruit, meat and wine are laid
out for their god, a mythical shepherd boy called Wong Sai
Tin. The sights, sounds and smells make this stop an exciting
cultural experience. Dont forget your camera and bring
lots of film. (Wong Tai Sin MTR, exit 2B)
Those in the know claim
that the resident fortune tellers at the Wong Sai Tin Temple
are the best in town. Journeywoman had her palm read by Joyce
Chan who spoke English reasonably well. She can be found
at Soothsayer Stall #15 and #23. Her fee was the equivalent
of about $60 (Canadian) and, she was good!
a cooking class...
For a change
of pace, join the locals for a Chinese cooking class at the
Towngas Cooking Centre (Tel: 2880 6988). Watch a demo
or take part in hands-on instruction yourself. This school
is well recognized and the teaching facilities are spotless
and inviting. In fact, many Hong Kong women enroll their Filipino
nannies at this Centre in order that they learn how to cook
for the family. Interested in veggie cooking classes? Be in
touch with the Raja Yoga Centre (Tel: 2806-3008). The
YWCA at 1 MacDonnell Road in Mid-Levels also offers
courses throughout the year.
If youre lucky
theyll be offering a class when youre in town
(Tel: 2522 3101) Who knows? You could come home a dim sum
Recently this Hong Kong cooking school became a member of
our network of classified advertisers. We thought our readers
would like to know about it.
For those Journeywomen who have a close attachment to their
kitchens, there's a great place next door to the Feel
Good Factor (Lyndhurst Tower, Lyndhurst Terrace )
called Siam Thida that runs Thai-cookery classes. The
owner, Pam can be reached at telephone number 2530 1062.
The courses are reasonably priced about $HK300 for 2 classes.
All you need is an apron. Pam provides all the ingredients,
a folder with the recipes and you get to take your meal back
to your hotel room.
Anna Cheung, Hong Kong
Ed. note: Not happy with
how your food turned out? Dont despair! Pam also sells
Thai food takeaway.
More things to do...