Welcome to My Place . . . Hong Kong

For Jessie Gogan, the best thing about living in Hong Kong is the mix of city and nature

 

Jessie Gogan, originally from Bray, Co Wicklow, has lived in Hong Kong since 2014, after moving from London with her then-boyfriend (now husband) Chris.

Living in Tai Hang on Hong Kong Island, Jessie is a director in a PR agency.

Where is the first place you always bring people to when they visit Hong Kong?

I love the mixture of city and nature in Hong Kong. I usually start by introducing guests to the view of Hong Kong Island at night at Hutong Chinese restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui, where you can enjoy the famous 8pm light show from the 28th floor of the One Peking building.

Tai Long Wan is one of Hong Kong’s most beautiful beaches. It is never what people expect in Hong Kong; a gorgeous bay on the Sai Kung Peninsula. In Chinese, Tai Long Wan translates as Big Wave Bay, but it is usually calm, and one of the cleanest places to swim.

You can camp on the beach with local cows roaming around, but if you don’t want to stay the night, a speed boat takes you back to Sai Kung village. I love whizzing along, watching the sun go down.

On a sunny day, you can see for miles from the Peak. Photograph: Getty Images
On a sunny day, you can see for miles from the Peak. Photograph: Getty Images

The top three things to do there, that don’t cost money, are...

1. The Peak: Hong Kong Island’s tallest viewing point is best visited on a sunny day when you can see for miles. A flat path circumnavigates the peak, with a gelato bar at the end where you can cool down and take in the view.

2. Visit the Man Mo temple: One of Hong Kong’s oldest temples, Man Mo is dedicated to the gods of literature and war. It is one of the last remaining heritage buildings of its type. It is so atmospheric inside, with incense burning and beautiful red painted decor.

3. The markets in Mong Kok: Totally free if you aren’t tempted to buy something, the flower market is all hustle and bustle. The goldfish market has hundreds of thousands of fish for sale, and if you’re looking for Hong Kong trinkets and tack, you’ll find plenty at the “ladies market”.

The Aqua Luna, one of Hong Kong’s last traditionally-built junk boats.
The Aqua Luna, one of Hong Kong’s last traditionally-built junk boats.

Where do you recommend for a meal eaten outdoors?

Cruising the harbour on the Aqua Luna, one of Hong Kong’s last traditionally-built junk boats, is a memorable outdoor experience. You can watch the sunset on board with a glass of bubbles, or cruise to Stanley Beach, followed by fresh seafood at The Boathouse restaurant with views over the water.

Where is the best place to get a sense of Hong Kong’s place in history?

The Maritime Museum at Central Pier 8 tells the story of Hong Kong’s beginnings as a thriving trade port, and the Opium Wars. The many artefacts showcase the historical intricacies of this rock we now call home.

What should visitors save room in their suitcase for after a visit to Hong Kong?

I doubt they would travel well, but I recommend all visitors try a warm egg tart; I wasn’t sold at first sight but these little custard pies, first brought by the Portuguese to nearby Macau, are to die for. The tarts are a local favourite, kept warm and ready-to-eat from the windows of Hong Kong’s many bakeries.

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