My Hong Kong Journey

The Avantguardian Igrien

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July 2017 Created for Cathay Pacific


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Hong Kong may not be the place that I can officially call my home, but it has certainly stolen my heart.

Throughout my younger years, I’ve always had a certain fascination for the Cantonese culture. When I grew up, there weren’t a lot of Fujian dialect-speaking people around me besides my family (still aren’t mind you). Most of the Chinese children around me were Cantonese. And they always seemed so cool and laid-back – and funny, with their particular Cantonese humor. All of my mother’s friends happened to be Cantonese so it was sort of part of my childhood.

And then of course there was K – who in my eyes at fourteen, was the epitome of Cantonese coolness. Composed, slightly arrogant, and funny in the Stephen Chow sort of way.

Last month I travelled with Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong – for the first time on my own. It was the time alone I needed. To reflect, to relax, to recharge myself again after a hectic period. All for which Hong Kong was the perfect destination. Hectic as it is, Hong Kong has this great energy that works like a calming 

The Avantguardian Igrien

The Avantguardian Igrien

The journey…

Of course the quality of a trip depends for a great deal on air travel. There’s nothing more stressful than starting your journey cramped up in tiny seats and little leg room. Not that I need the latter by the way – one of the advantages of my 5ft tall self is the incredible leg room I have. But a little extra space in economy plus never hurt anyone!  

…the stay…

And then there’s the accommodation. Nothing ruins a holiday like a small no window bedroom in the attic of a mall.

No – if you want to jetset through life in class, you fly & stay in class.

The ease and comfort of choosing for a travel package that covers both air travel and accommodation is something that is somewhat underestimated. With the competitive airfare prices nowadays, it seems like you are getting the best deal already. But a package that covers both surely is the preferably option!

And so I ended up in the Ritz-Carlton. Not too shabby – not too shabby indeed!

Located in the tallest building in Hong Kong, a room on either side of the hotel (harbor or city side) guarantees you of the best views that Hong Kong has to offer. During my stay, it was tempting to take a photo every moment I could. A photographer will always try to take a photo if there’s a guarantee it’s going to be a good one. Read all about my stay at the Ritz-Carlton here.

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The Avantguardian Igrien

The Avantguardian Igrien

…The essentials…

I wrote about my beauty essentials here already. On a trip to Asia, be sure to pack lightly because you’re going to want to shop Asian skincare brands that aren’t available here – trust me! As for my camera bag – on my travels I try to not to overpack. All the lenses I carry have to have a full purpose! I brought my trusty Canon 17-40mm f4.0 L lens for wide angles (to capture those wide shots of high rises), my Canon 50mm f1.2 L lens for portraits and a tripod. This was my standard set up (and I brought my Canon 85mm f1.8 lens with me only on days I knew I would be shooting with it).

The Avantguardian Igrien

…The itinerary…

In Hong Kong you can be sure that you’re never going to be bored. There’s a ton of restaurants to visit (including the Ritz-Carlton’s Tin Lung Heen – Michelin star dim sum like you’ve never had before), malls that we can only dream of here in the Netherlands and plenty of opportunities for every photographer or visual creative to go loose with their cameras! I have covered some of the must-sees in my guides already (below) so here’s some favorites that I find myself going back to every time I visit Hong Kong.

(Window) shopping in Elements
The mall has one of the best selection of shops. Sure, it’s high end and you probably won’t be shopping a lot here, but I always love wandering around here!

Discovering new restaurants and boutique shops in Central and Sheung Wan
I feel like there are new restaurants and bars every time I visit. This is a hip and artsy neighborhood. Great for photos as well!

Wandering around Kowloon
A great contrast with Hong Kong Island
I love them equally, but if I could choose, I see myself living in Kowloon more. To me, Kowloon feels more like the old Hong Kong. What can I say, I’m a Kowloon girl!

…The journey continues…

Thank you for following the journey with me so far! The journey didn’t stop in Hong Kong – I continued my trip to Beijing. Stay tuned for more on that!