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10 Must-Do’s If You’re Visiting Hong Kong For The First Time

10 Must-Do’s If You’re Visiting Hong Kong For The First Time

As one of the most vibrant and bustling cities in the world, Hong Kong’s east-meets-west allure beckons travellers from all around the globe. However, with so much to see and do in this fast-paced, dynamic cosmopolis, it can be overwhelming for the first-time visitor.

To make your life a little easier, here are the 10 absolute must-do’s to tick off on your first trip to the “Pearl of the Orient.” Planning your travel itinerary has never been easier.

Marvel at Hong Kong’s Breathtaking Views from Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak is one of Hong Kong’s most iconic landmarks, providing the best vantage point for panoramic views of the city’s towering skyline. Take the Peak Tram up to the Peak Tower and aim to arrive half an hour before sundown to watch the city lights come alive in all their multi-hued glory.

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Hong Kong Panorama View from The Peak

    Eat Dim Sum at the World’s Cheapest Michelin Star Restaurant

    No trip to Hong Kong is complete until you’ve tried dim sum. Make a beeline for Tim Ho Wan, the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant, for delicious morsels of authentic Cantonese snacks like siu mai (pork and prawn dumplings) and har gau (prawn dumplings). The much-lauded baked barbeque pork buns are also a must-order.

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      Battle the Adrenaline-Pumping Rides at Ocean Park

      Save Disneyland for the kids and spend your day at Ocean Park instead, a marine-life theme park designed for adults that’s located on the southern end of Hong Kong Island. With no shortage of animal exhibits, exciting attractions, and thrilling rollercoasters, adrenaline junkies can expect a full day’s worth of blood-pumping fun.

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        Shop Til You Drop

        From bustling street markets and trendy boutiques to some of the most upscale multi-story shopping malls, Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise. Head to Causeway Bay to shop at landmark areas like Time Square Mall and Sogo. Then check out Tsim Sha Tsui, an area in Kowloon that’s home to some of Hong Kong’s best luxury shopping, including the grand Harbour City Mall. Schedule rest breaks in between — you’ll need them!

         

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          Enjoy High Tea at The Peninsula Hotel

          One of the lingering legacies of British occupation in Hong Kong is the widespread popularity of high tea. Indulge in the quintessential high tea experience at The Peninsula, Hong Kong’s oldest hotel. Help yourself to an assortment of delicious sandwiches, cakes, scones, and pastries from the three-tier stands and enjoy music from the string-quartet. No reservations are permitted, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

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          The Peninsula Hong Kong

            Take the Star Ferry for the Symphony of Lights Show

            Witness dazzling views of Victoria Harbour with the classic Star Ferry ride from Central to Kowloon. Hop on the boat just before 8 PM to catch the nightly Symphony of Lights show and see the city’s skyscrapers come to life. Picture a sensational multimedia bonanza of coloured lights and laser beams synchronised to music and narration. For a nominal ferry ride ticket fee (the show itself is free), this is one performance that can’t be missed.

            Hong Kong skyline at night

              Haggle and Score a Bargain at the Street Markets

              For a unique shopping experience, venture out to Hong Kong’s lively street markets, where you can find and buy almost anything and everything. Temple Street Market is a popular favourite for cheap clothes, watches, and everyday items. Ladies’ Market, home to over 100 stalls selling clothing and accessories, is also a must-visit. Don’t be shy about haggling to negotiate a bargain — it’s all part of the experience.

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                Party It Up at Lan Kwai Fong

                In Hong Kong, the mentality “work hard and play hard” is widely recognized and adopted. There’s no better place to do the latter than at Lan Kwai Fong, the city’s most vibrant nightlife district and where you’ll find the trendiest night spots. Home to over 100 restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops, Lan Kwai Fong is popular among locals and expats worldwide.

                young asian friends couples enjoying party in pub.

                  See The Big Buddha on Lantau Island

                  Take a day trip out to Lantau Island to see its biggest drawcard — The Big Buddha. Go via the Ngong Ping 360 cable car, which shuttles you from the town of Tung Chung to the mountaintop Buddha, a 25-minute journey with sweeping views of the bay and mountain peaks. Sitting at 34 meters high, climb the 268 steps leading to the stature to marvel at the massive bronze Buddha up close and personal.

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                    Maximize Your Time or Stopover at Hong Kong Airport

                    Considered one of the best airports in the world and the gateway to Asia, Hong Kong airport is a destination in itself in terms of all that it has to offer. From miniature gardens to an IMAX Theatre, Aviation Discover Centre, and sports simulators such as soccer, basketball, car racing and golf, any time spent at the airport will fly by in a flash. If you’re travelling business or first class with Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific, arrive a little earlier to enjoy exclusive access to their premium lounges. 24-hour shopping and dining is also available at the airport — what more could you ask for?

                    Hong Kong, China - September 26, 2013: Inside view of Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1 (HKG) in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok is the second busiest airport in China with 56.1 million passengers in 2012.

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                      Last Updated on July 3, 2020

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                      I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

                      If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

                      1. The Inner Critic

                      This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                      • Other people’s words—many times your parents
                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                      The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

                      Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                      2. The Worrier

                      This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

                      The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                      3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

                      This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                      This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                      The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                      The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                      How can you control these squatters?

                      How to Master Your Mind

                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                      1. For the Inner Critic

                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

                      This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                      • They rile up the Worrier.
                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                      • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                      • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                      • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                      Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                      2. For the Worrier

                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tense

                      Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

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                      Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                      For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

                      Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                      3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                      Breathe in through your nose:

                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                      Breathe out through your nose:

                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

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                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                      4. For the Sleep Depriver

                      (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                      2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

                      From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
                      • Shut down your thinking
                      • Calm your feelings
                      • Simply focus on the present moment

                      The Bottom Line

                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

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                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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