It had been a long day – after waking up at 3AM to get to the airport in time for our eight hour flight to Hong Kong, and then waiting two more hours while an issue with our transfer accommodation was resolved, the last thing my friends and I felt like doing was sight-seeing. But it was the start of our girls’ trip to South East Asia, we only had one night in Hong Kong, and we were determined to explore the city.
We’d stayed indoors for most of the day after beginning the morning with a wintry twelve degrees in Adelaide and remaining inside as we made our way through Hong Kong International Airport to the adjoining Regal Airport Hotel – our transit accommodation for the night. Also under the same roof was the airport’s train station, where we jumped on the Airport Express line to make our way in to the city. We were not prepared for the wall of heat that hit us as we stepped out of the station at Central. Even though the sun had set, the temperature was still well over 30 degrees.
We intended to wander around and see the city all lit up, perhaps be lucky enough to catch the nightly Symphony of Lights show, and then get back to our hotel for an early night.
The heat held us up. We willed ourselves to instantly acclimatise to the change in weather as we made an attempt to walk along the harbour. We challenged ourselves to see how far around it we could get. Victoria Harbour was pretty, surrounded by clusters of skyscrapers with coloured lights. We wanted to take the perfect photo of it.
We didn’t make it very far. Once we’d had enough of the heat, we turned back towards Central station, ready to get back to the hotel and sleep. Hot, tired, and looking for a cool drink, we saw a junk with distinctive red sails docking at a nearby pier. We had seen it circling around the harbour. We’ll go and take a closer look, we said to each other, and then we’ll head back.
It was the Aqua Luna, one of the last Chinese junks that sail on the harbour. Although sailing on it was pricey at $195 HKD ($35 AUD) we jumped on with the promise of a complimentary drink and an amazing view of the harbour lights.
We snapped up the last seats on the boat and settled in to enjoy the sights. As the boat left the pier, the breeze picked up. We forgot about the heat and the humidity and, with drinks in hand, watched as we drifted past the lights of Victoria Harbour. Mellow music played as the boat sailed in a large loop around the harbour, giving us the chance to take in the entire skyline of central Hong Kong.
The cruise lasted for forty-five minutes, and stopped to pick up and drop off passengers at Tsim Sha Tsui before returning us to where we started at Central. Not only had the cruise provided an enviable position from which we could take our perfect photos of the pretty city lights, it had given us a welcome break from the heat, and we headed back to our hotel feeling refreshed.
The Aqua Luna cruise on Victoria Harbour came at just the right time and made our one night in Hong Kong truly memorable!