Preserving History – Remember The Time When People Grew Mushrooms Underground In Belgium

Preserving History – Remember The Time When People Grew Mushrooms Underground In Belgium

Preserving History – Remember The Time When People Grew

Mushrooms Underground In Belgium?

By Alan & A Good Friend | A Belgian Duo

MVRDV - Expo 2000 Hannover

© Alan Cuypers | Mine Shaft

A Good Friend

And not just a friend.

It wasn’t just by coincidence that we met in the first place! We were as a matter of fact working for one and the same company, although not at the same office and only 65 kilometers away we did got to know each other after all.

It was because of the internal magazine from ENGIE Axima that brought me to him. I mentioned my love for urban exploration and this meant that I had another friend to explore abandoned places with. Yay! 😃

He, the person in question, wrote me an email with subject: Vu dans le Blablaxi, date: 19 September 2011, and even pictures from his favourite explores.

Quote: “Salut collègue.

Désolé mais je ne parle pas un mot de flamand, mais si tu veux que je te parle en anglais, je devrais pouvoir me débrouiller.

Tout ça pour te dire que une de mes passions c’est la photo industrielle (genre site derelicta ou forbidden places) et aussi la photo nocturne en pose (de sites abandonnés ou d’industries métallurgiques).

Une autre c’est la visite de mines souterraines (avec mon appareil photo bien sûr).

Je ne faits quasi plus de varappe mais j’aime encore bien faire une belle descente en rappel ou une via ferrata et bien sûr de la randonnée à la journée.

Bien a toi et serai heureux de te rencontrer à la remise des vœux de Pissens au mois de janvier.”

He became my tutor when it came down to knowledge, he knew so much about all these derelict places. Places like military bunkers from WOI and WOII, as well as industrial plants like steel manufacturing sites.

Really! Thank you! I mean, I felt so honored that someone out there at the other side of Belgium read my short interview presenting myself in the internal magazine of the company. It was crazy and I was so psyched. And that even in another language!

My hobby wasn’t so famous as it later became and photography isn’t a practice that gets a lot of attention as well. Although it should get more rewarded and respected because to me a photo isn’t just a photo. It is a moment or object or anything really captured on camera which could potentially freeze time forever.

Photography is magical as these captured photos can be picked up again from the (dusty) shelve or from your hard drive on the PC and you can look at them for hours to come where beautiful memories can be brought back to life once again.

One can make a photo album or print a picture and hang it on the wall or even use it as your favourite background on your PC or smartphone.

To me taking photos means protecting any kind of memory in time stored forever in the palm of your hands.

MVRDV - Expo 2000 Hannover

Van Damme Quarry Ciply by Alan Cuypers

Underground

Why we want to explore beneath our surface?

It can perfectly being said that we humans have built many things on our planet, both above ground and underground. For all sorts of reasons we have considerably altered the face of our surface, be it in a good or bad way, we changed it according to our needs, experiments, unfortunate events or bad habbits. You name it, we changed it and it can’t always be undone.

Above ground it’s easy, we only need to keep in mind that gravity is a real thing.

Underground there’s also gravity, but also other things to keep in mind. The soil can be wet, cold, hot, muddy, dry, it can even shake and collapse which could leave huge sinkholes all the way to the surface.

This time I will talk more in depth about underground activities and why they can be very beneficial to us.

Resources

Mother Earth is a resource-rich planet which could serve our needs for many years to come, although sometimes these vulnerable resources are rather hard to reach or difficult to extract and process.

Today, I will bring you only a handful of meters below the surface where massive mazes of human activity carved their memories in the ground for a lifetime to come.

Belgium is rich in chalk, clay, pig iron and many more resources from the underground world. We explored just a small fraction of what once was a very big booming industry of mining.

Although I do am very satisfied with the chance of being stood there, under the surface away from the sun, for just a couple of hours. This experience was already enough to fulfil my dreams as an urban  explorer.

The Brick

Quarry

Mushrooms

Why growing mushrooms underground?

Industrialization brouth people to the cities where work was and where people could earn enough to support their hungry families in the countryside. Today isn’t any different. We have our cities and farmlands and for some it is a beautiful sanctuary somewhere in a hot place where they work an online job and can relax at the same time. Today and in the future we’re growing towards a digital online world, but for most of our products we still need agricultural and industrial factories. Aren’t we right?

Meanwhile underground everything was empty and excavated by many men. Rock formations were split open by either dynamite, immense machinery or hand-crafted tools and these tunnels formed huge underground galleries which eventually could still be used as a second purpose.

And so these quarries were also considered practical for growing mushrooms. Rows of mushroom beds were made with the help of horse poo or compost as a fertiliser and in the picture below this practice can still be found today.

MVRDV - Expo 2000 Hannover

© Alan Cuypers | 23/12/2016 @ 16:42 | Canon EOS 5D Mark III | f/8 | 25 sec. | Mushroom beds at the Van Damme Quarry, Ciply Belgium

Underground

Network

Rediscovering Possibilities

What are we going to rediscover?

Managed quarries

To my surprise there was still active water pumping going on in some visited quarries, of course, otherwise the quarry would have been completely flooded by rainwater. If it were flooded the mine wouldn’t be still accessible to us.

Although these mines are actually forbidden to enter, I was guided by an expert who explored many mines before. Deep underground and open-pit ones alike.

We knew what we were doing and we did it carefully.

So, what did we rediscover?

The Rediscovery

Equipment was in some of them still there and ready to use at any given moment. Fresh truck tracks leading in the angled mine were a sign of recent life inside this rocky cave where water was being pumped out.

These scenes gave us beautiful pictures as a result.

Small lakes can be seen here and we remind you to not dare to take a swim in it as it can be very cold water and it isn’t the best water to swim in.

Small volcanoes under the water can be seen, which was a very cool sight, I admit.

The crystal clear water was perfect to photograph and the ground beneath it could be seen from afar.

Be sure to bring enough light in case you want to enter this exquisite underground maze of tunnels!

MVRDV - Expo 2000 Hannover
MVRDV - Expo 2000 Hannover
MVRDV - Expo 2000 Hannover
MVRDV - Expo 2000 Hannover

A Greener

Future

A Greener Future

Nobody wants a dark future! Right?

Ecological struggle

Currently, there are only a handful of small start-ups that invest their piggy savings 🐖 into greener and more efficient life-oriented industries like farming and transportation from the farm field to the consumer.

How hard we’re all trying to conquer the ecological strugle this world comes with, we can only do even more to help protect us from our doomsday that might come sooner rather than later.

Although we’re not trying to be less optimistic here, we’re supporting businesses who try to make our lives better. And so can we!

But how?

By supporting local produce or growing your own vegetables and fruits. Yes, this is possible and completely safe to do, plus you help our beloved planet to survive even longer. It’s a win-win situation for you and us.

Take this amazing company for example, PlantLab 🌱, a startu-up business from The Netherlands is doing everything it can to go global and they’ve reached the US with one plant launched in December of 2020.

They are doing an amazing job 😊

MVRDV - Expo 2000 Hannover

© PlantLab ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

GO GREEN or GO HOME

How are we helping?

One of us, that’s Alan, loves to read about all things with better environmental impact which could only benefit us in the right way possible.

Yes, friends, there are solutions to our global threats out there. We only need to go big on this one and we will succeed! 💪

The answer to this is BAMBOO.

We understand and know it grows like crazy, we have tested this ourselves and have proof. There is an extensive blog about this in the making!

Benefits of bamboo

 

One can manage without eating flesh; but one cannot manage without the bamboo.

Su Dongpo, Song Dynasty poet

Flowers of Hong Kong

© Alan Cuypers | Flowers in Hong Kong

Holland creates space | MVRDV – Expo 2000

Holland creates space | MVRDV – Expo 2000

Expo 2000 | Hannover, Germany.

By the architecture and design practice MVRDV.

By Alan & Lourdes | A Belgian & A Filipina

MVRDV - Expo 2000 Hannover

MVRDV

What does it stand for?

MVRDV is an acronym for the founding members of the architecture and design practice with the same name: Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. Founded in 1993 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Current offices with 250 employees are located in Rotterdam, Shanghai and Paris. Check out their amazing creations, click here to learn more.

Expo

2000

The Netherlands

Pavilion

Expo 2000

A world’s fair

World’s fairs or world fairs haven been in existance for quite a long time and can be officially traced back to The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London where the Crystal Palace was made out of cast iron and glass by architect Sir Joseph Paxton.

These fairs, or World Expos as we modern Europeans call it, are designed to showcase a nation’s achievement through architectural pavilions. Participants of the World Expos usually build their own pavilions and are thereby the most expensive exhibitions out there.

In the year 2000, the World Expo was held in Hanover, Germany from Thursday 1 June to Tuesday 31 October 2000. For this event the Hanover Fairground (Messegelände Hannover) was chosen, which was originally a place where military aircraft were created.

At the Expo 2000 were 40 million visitors expected but a mere half appeared at the event and it unfortunately became a flop and financial failure as a result. Nevertheless the Dutch pavilion present at the exhibition seemed to be very successful for the Dutch Economy despite a generally failed expo at the time.

MVRDV - Expo 2000 Hannover

Dutch

Open-mindedness

Dutch

Landscapes

Our Visit

Another perspective

As Alan’s friend Hannes was studying architecture in Antwerp at the moment of their travel they planned their trips to fulfull their needs with either empty buildings or architectural highlights in places less explored. They visited Berlin 2 years earlier in April 2012 when they had seen leftovers of the winter’s snow and took father’s tent to accommodate their nights to make their trip a little less expensive.

Yes, that’s the way they loved travelling, but now in 2021 we de enjoy a little more comfort and book sweet hotels when travelling afar destinations. Although it’s not me and him that travel very often nowadays, it is now Alan and his lady Lourdes who explore the heart of the Philippines every other year or so.

Back to Hanover 2014, where Alan & Hannes took the car from Antwerp to Germany & Poland to attend a Belgian/Polish family wedding. Our trip lasted about 3 weeks and on our schedule was the Netherlands Pavilion from the Expo 2000 exhibition event located in Hanover.

We well knew it was abandoned for years and that is exactly why we wanted to take a glimpse of this extraordinary building. Just to see with our own eyes what the Dutch had created 14 years earlier.

It was painful to see such an inventive creation to be in such despair and actual state of decay. Vandalists came long before us…

MVRDV - Expo 2000 Hannover

Decay

Urban exploration unsuccessful

In the picture above you can see Alan posing for a photo while sitting near the edge of a huge building in decay.

This is called urban exploration at its best. No guard, no fence, no people, well almost no people, no rules, no nothing. Well, haha, we wish right!

Actually these properties still belong to someone or the government, but are usually left behind unattended and neglected for years. So basically one can freely enter, but beware to enter with caution and great awareness of hidden dangers are always lurking around the corner. Take full responsibility if you want to enter, especially when taking other people with you and we suggest to explore at least with two or even three in case something bad might happen. You never know!

MVRDV - Expo 2000 Hannover

Future Plan

Is it going to be preserved?

Plans are on the table to preserve this creative piece of architecture from the MVRDV team.

But no sketches of it have been shared as of yet.

Its

Future
Spreepark – Der Freizeitpark der DDR! Our squeaking adventure while exploring Berlin.

Spreepark – Der Freizeitpark der DDR! Our squeaking adventure while exploring Berlin.

Spreepark – Der Freizeitpark der DDR!

Our Squeaking Adventure While Exploring Berlin.

By Alan & Hannes | A Belgian & A Belgian

Our Explore

14.07.2014

As we, Alan & Hannes, were invited to attend and also film the marriage of Alan’s 2nd cousin Nicky and Mateusz who is of Polish descent, we planned our trip by car to Poland through Germany with a couple of stops on the road.

First stop, Hanover, Germany, where we checked out the MVRDV building from Expo 2000, which was, off course, inaccessible due to abandonnement and closure of the site. Read the post here.

Second stop, Berlin, also Germany, we found out about the once famous Spreepark, which closed its doors in 2002 and opened in 1969.

We didn’t regret our secret explore of this exciting theme park!
Read on to find out what we came across.

Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin

Two Sad Faces

Let’s Face History

It must be said that, at the time of the event, we both were 24 years of age and we were kind of stunned by the fact that a place like this was left behind for more than a decade, just because it went bankrupt as less visitors came to the park.

We didn’t understand quite well where all those kids and parents would go to if they like to enjoy a good theme park likes this.

There’s a lot of amazing cool rides in here, yes, they are a bit old and outfashioned. But when refurbished and with a fresh layer of paint, it would be good enough for many kids out there. At least that’s what we think.

Now, 7 years later, we’re writing about this place and to our surprise the government of Berlin has plans to reopen the park step by step.

Our sad faces turned into happy ones after all.

Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin

Finding The Ferris Wheel

It Wasn’t That Hard

All of us know that there is a ferris wheel in every theme park in the world and every explore is about finding that first and explore the remaining later. For us, we were in unknown territories as Germany isn’t our country of birth, so we were very cautious and didn’t want to get noticed. So we stayed out of sight most of the time and we had a great amount of fun too.

We’re always psyched about our urban explorations. This “thing” is so much fun, although actually not very nor always legal to trespass a property that still belongs to an individual or city. There’s always an owner who might have guarded their property, or maybe not, but always be careful when considering intruding such big scale of properties as it isn’t always safe to hang out.

Always go with at least two people, so if one gets into trouble for any reason, then the other one can search for help or try to control the situation himself or herself. Advice for the young people out there who love exploring abandoned stuff. People do die in abandoned buildings because they are not careful enough or explore on their own.

Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin

Its Location

Treptow-Köpenick, Berlin

The Spreepark is located right next to the Spree river, hence the park’s name. Mitte Berlin, or the heart of the city of Berlin, is located just 7 kilometers away, which makes the park easily reachable for those who want to dive into Berlin’s history or enjoy a relaxing walk in the Plänterwald’s park, where the Spreepark is located.

The park has in fact a whole path around it where one can enjoy the view of the Spree river and the old park at the other side of the fence. Hiking, biking or strolling around with the kids is a very nice activity on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

Spreepark Berlin - Aerial Photo Google Maps
Spreepark Original Map
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin

The Attractions

1969

The GDR built it’s first and ever only Kulturpark in the GDR in 1969.

With the highest attraction being the Ferris Wheel standing tall at a height of 45 meters. This Wheel still spins and makes creepy noises, check out our video here.

Spreepark Berlin

A New Concept

2018-2026

Concept drawings were created in 2018 with the intention to open the park once again in three main stages.

From 2022, the Eierhäuschen (Egg House) will be open for the public, then, in 2024 the area around the ferris wheel will be accessible, and at last but not least, in 2026 the entire Spreepark will be completed.

All five stages are properly explained on the website of the Spreepark, which you can check out here.

Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin

The Official Website

2021

Check out the Spreepark’s official website here.

Now you can officially visit the park with prices at € 5 for adults & € 3 for children from 6 to 14 years old.

Get your tickets here.

Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin
Spreepark Berlin

What to do in Hong Kong? A short guide from a backpacker’s perspective!

What to do in Hong Kong? A short guide from a backpacker’s perspective!

What to do in Hong Kong | A Short Guide From A Backpacker’s Perspective!

By Alan & Lourdes | A Belgian & A Filipina

Street Market Hong Kong

About Hong Kong

An exceptional city in Asia

Hong Kong is still one of the most famous cities in the world for its huge amout of shopping malls, street markets, nearby mountains, many beaches, Disneyland, once scary airport, and so much more.

We visited Hong Kong many times because one of us was working there for three years straight and we planned our holidays too see each other once again. Hong kong became our destination for three times, year after year, until the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in November 2019.

Our fourth holiday was right around the corner and planned for August 2020, but it quickly sunk to the bottom of the ocean as more positive cases arose throughout the world and sadly enough also in Belgium the numbers went up instead of down.

So, almost two years later, June 2021, we still can’t make any plan for our next unity. Vaccinations are going on all over the world since the beginning of 2021, but unfortunately not all at the same pace. We can only hope they open our closed international borders anytime soon. Oh please!

Hong Kong Skyline at Night as seen from Victoria Peak

Highlights of Hong Kong

Let’s surprise you

Shopping malls are just everywhere in Hong Kong, wherever you go you’ll find one. Further away from the city are many supermarkets to fill your needs and in every MTR station are plenty shops just in case you’re out of snacks or drinks. The tasty scent of fresh bread spoils your nose while commuting from A to B, ah how badly we miss this.

Asia in general is quite unique for its street food markets and Hong Kong isn’t any different. A must-see street market is the Manly street market in Quarry Bay! Highly recommended to get the full Hong Kong street market experience.

Mountains are also present all around the city and on the many islands around Hong Kong. It’s easy to reach them by MTR or minibus for just a couple of Hong Kong Dollars, which you will spend with the Octopus Smart Card, which we explain right here. Super easy!

Another option for the beach lovers among us is the many beaches Hong Kong counts. It’s more than you think in this not-only-skyscraper city. Also reachable by minibus and all have free entry with restrooms and showers. Every beach also has BBQ places for your beach-perfect romantic lunch or dinner.

Hong Kong even has a Disneyland Resort, which sadly enough we didn’t go to as we didn’t have the time. It must be magnificent to try with your kids! Standard park tickets are HK$ 639 or € 67,6.

Street Market Hong Kong

Tai Tong Sweet Gum Woods

We recommend to stop at Long Ping MTR station as it is much easier to get a bus to the start of the hike to the Sweet Gum Woods.

Take Bus K66 to Tai Tong, it’s a 40 minute drive.

Street Market Hong Kong

Observation Wheel

The harbourfront area is one of the best spaces near Victoria Harbour to spend your free afternoon when enjoying the calm noise of the 

Lantau Peak

Either get the Airport Express or ferry to Mui Wo and bus for a sightseeing tour of Lantau Island. We assure you this island has beautiful mountains to admire.

Take Ferry Pier No.6 from Central to Mui Wo and bus No.2 to Ngong Ping. 30 minutes by fast ferry and 1 hour by bus.

Street Market Hong Kong

Monster Building

Quarry Bay is famous for only one thing and that is it’s impressive Monster Building, located a bit hidden behind rather ugly skyscrapers and actually not really wanted to massively get too populated with tourists by local residents. They live here in peace after all…

Monster Building Hong Kong
Street Market Hong Kong

1881 Heritage

This gun might be orientated toward a fancy building near the Victoria Harbour, but this was once the Old Marine Police Headquarters. 

It’s located at TST or Tsim Sha Tsui next to The Peninsula Hotel.

Street Market Hong Kong

Macau

A former Portugese colony about 70 kilometres to the east of Hong Kong, with a gambling industry 7 times larger than that of Las Vegas.

You can get a fast ferry from Hong Kong Macau Ferry terminal near Central and it will take about an hour and 20 minutes.

Street Food Markets

Wet and dry markets in Hong Kong

Street markets in Hong Kong are simply famous for exotic smell, but also for its broad range of Asian products they have to offer and that for a very affordable price too.

Not only they sell food, but in Hong Kong they fill whole streets with clothing, souvenirs, toys, even technology like smartphones and watches can be bought here. Not sure where all that stuff comes from, but at least they try to do business.

Don’t forget to get pineapple shortcakes, mooncakes or your favourite set of chopsticks on your next holiday.

We Europeans are maybe not so fond of the outdoor, smelly stalls from Asia, but in Hong Kong they are usually very clean and strictly checked for their quality and cleaniness. Think of our temporary weekend markets, which sells not only food, but also clothes, candy, fruits, vegetables, burgers, and so much more.

It’s quite the same really, except they don’t have enough space with huge squares to spread out their stalls. So they need to occupy a whole street instead and there it does work like this. They also have their own favourite spot to place their stalls as they are used to and the locals can keep it organised too.

Street Market Hong Kong

Manly Street Food Market @ Quarry Bay

Top 5 Things to do in Hong Kong

Bying the latest and greatest new tech

Shopping

We don’t need to explain why Hong Kong is famous for it’s huge amount of tourists who just go there for shopping, do we?

Well here’s the thing with this very commercial and financial city of the east…

This city is perfectly situated for the export of goods coming from China and other nearby countries and thereby it has a strong connection with the mother of all good production on the rather cheap side as far as are aware. Although also very expensive stuff can be bought here, yeah sure.

It can be said that all the latest and gratest tech arrives at Hong Kong first and will later be delivered to the rest of the world by overseas transportation.

Shopping in Hong Kong is not on the cheap side, but it’s very extensive range of products is insane to say the least. There isn’t a place without a store wherever you point your eyes at. Unless you’re on a beach or somewhere on a mountain peak, of course.

Here’s one photo not for the vegetarians among us, as we are both not vegetarians we do respect them a lot and we agree that most animals are not treated like it should.

Below a photo of a fresh meat vendor in an indoor street market.

Street Market Hong Kong

Not only grocery shopping but technology is a key here as well, gadgets, smartphones, laptops, cameras, all the latest and greatest can be found here.

Prices aren’t cheap, but still respectable.

Hiking

One can hike practically everywhere in Hong Kong and a grand extra is that it has a lot of surrounding nature, which is easily accessible by either MTR, Green Bus or ferry. Just be sure to have enough balance on your Octopus Card!

Ngong Ping, a very small but very special village in the mountains of Lantau island where one can enjoy a relaxing day off from the busy city life. Be it a short hike to the start of the Lantau Peak or bringing a visit to the Tian Tan Buddha statue in combination with the Po Lin Monastery better known as The Grand Hall of Ten thousand Bhuddas, or even exploring the abandoned tea houses that once had a rich history slowly fading away.

Street Market Hong Kong

Culture

Local culture is everywhere, but as this city is growing day by day at a rapid pace, it’s past history is slowly making place for new history and, yes, sometimes this is good, although this is not always the case. We like to chase history, maybe not necessarily the bad sides of it, though. We do love to see past historical things left behind by our ancestors. Like local heritage, art, architecture, buildings, parks and temples.

Fortunately most of it’s heritage is kept safe within its museums and it is definitely worth it to check it out.

Below is a photo of the Man Mo Temple.

Street Market Hong Kong

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Tucked away on a pieceful mountain slope just above the Sha Tin MTR station, the magnificant path with the golden Buddha statues lead you to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. The climb is steep and counts many steps, although it is possible for people with a baby stroller as well. There is a smooth path next to the steps, but keep in mind that it is steep., although we assure you there’s plenty people who are likely to help a hand if needed.

Tip #1

Bring enough drinking water and a snack with you as the hike can be a little challenging for some.

Tip #2

Don’t feed the monkeys, they can be rather aggressive if you’re carrying a snack in your hands.

Tip #3

Be sure to bring your camera, this place is a holy sanctuary and has many beautiful pieces to capture.

Street Market Hong Kong

Swimming

Yes, we admit, December can be on the cold side. At least for the temperature of the sea. Trust us, we tested that. Starting from March till November it is perfect to enjoy the warm temperatures of the sea.

Beaches are plenty on the 261 islands of Hong Kong, to name just a few of our top favourite beaches.

  • Clear Water Bay First Beach
  • Shek O Beach
  • Big Wave Bay
  • Repulse Bay Beach
  • Cheung Sha Beach
  • Mui Wo Beach
  • Pui O Beach
  • Golden Beach
  • Deep Water Bay Beach
Street Market Hong Kong

Chirstmas & New Year

We have met each other during Christmas of 2017 and it was luck that brought us together in Hong Kong. Alan would have never thought about finding his other half so far from his home country Belgium, but he did.

The New Year came and we celebrated together and we’re going stronger and stronger day by day.

This city is an amazing location to spend your Christmas and New Year combined, although keep in mind our European New Year isn’t on the same day, the Christmas lights will be present everywhere in the gigantic city all for you to admire and there’s even a countdown to the Gregorian New Year at the former Kowloon-Canton Clock Tower at Tsim Sha Tsui.

Street Market Hong Kong

Staying for the Night

Sleep cheap or sleep wisely

It isn’t difficult to get lost in the massive amount of sweet hotels to nap in in the beautiful city of Hong Kong. But please do beware of the Tsim Sha Tsui disctrict where amany Idian people try to convince you to book a hostel. Yes, those guesthouses are cheap, but they’re dirty and not safe areas to walk freely. It’s better to search a little further away from the Chunking Mansion at all times.

A true fact is that The Peninsula 5-star Hotel is right around that corner lurking over the Victoria Harbour. Luckily they – the Indian people – don’t go so far and you can walk around without any worries.

Probably one of the most famous hotels of Hong Kong is The Peninsula, unfortunately this is far above our budget. Are you ready to pay only HK$ 8,580 for a king-size bed for 1 night?

Silvermine Beach Resort

A true relaxing getaway near the beach of Mui Wo, Lantau island. This hotel is easily reachable by fast ferry from Central Ferry Pier No.6 and it takes only 30 minutes.

Starting from € 77, US$ 94

Book here

Pentahotel Kowloon

Just a short walk away from Diamond Hill MTR station, this sweet hotel will let you sleep quietly and it overlooks the Lion Rock and Kowloon Peak mountains.

Starting from € 71, US$ 86

Book here

Holiday Inn Kowloon East

Tseung Kwan O is simply a beatiful place to explore as it is rather a new part of the city. The rooms are extraordinary perfect for the price. Our personal favourite.

Starting from € 79, US$ 96

Book here

This beautiful dining room is the restaurant of the Holiday Inn and Crown Plaza Hotel in Tseung Kwan O and oh boy, was this great!

Public Transportation

It doesn’t have to be expensive

Getting around in Hong Kong is easy, very easy. No car rental needed, just only one pass is required for you to enjoy as many days as you plan to stay in Hong Kong.

Our short answer is getting the Octopus smart card, this card saves you a lot of hassle and worries. Don’t be, just buy an Octopus smart card as soon as you arrive at the Hong Kong International Airport at Chep Lap Kok for just HK$ 100. You’ll need to buy this in cash at the MTR machine at the arrival hall, which leads to the Airport Express Train that will bring you to Hong Kong station, located on the Hong Kong Island.

Be sure to exchange some of your home money to the local Hong Kong Dollars right at the airport, but leave the rest for when you arrive in the city as the exchange rate is much cheaper there. Just get around HK$ 500 and you’ll be fine.

Check the link for current prices and options here. There’s even an option for a cross border travel if needed.

The Octopus Smart Card, it’s a must have item in Hong kong. This contactless payment system is valid in many stores all spread over the city. From coffee shops to bakeries, convenient stores, all public transportation systems, tram, bus, MTR, taxi, you name it, it’s all possible with one single card. We love it!

Hong Kong Public Transport Map
Hong Kong Public Transport Map

MTR

Hong Kong MTR Map Plan

Bus

Hong Kong MTR Map Plan

Green Mini Bus

Hong Kong MTR Map Plan

Red Mini Bus

Hong Kong MTR Map Plan

Ferry

Hong Kong MTR Map Plan

Tram

Hong Kong MTR Map Plan

Taxi

Hong Kong MTR Map Plan

Resident’s Service

Hong Kong MTR Map Plan
MTR Hong Kong