Brussels to Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific

business

In March, Cathay Pacific announced a direct flight from Brussels to Hong Kong. I had the chance to go as one of the first ones on their new flight and discover this metropolis. It was my first time visiting another continent, so I was a bit nervous to experience a whole new culture.


The flight was very comfortable. As we had business class we had a lot of space to store our backpack and other luggage. Each business seat has its own privacy with storage for your phone, wallet, laptop etc... After our delicious Chinese meal it was time to sleep. I turned my seat into a complete bed with just a few buttons. But first I wanted to enjoy some new movies on the big tv screen. It’s a complete Inflight entertainment system with a lot more to offer. After a good night rest it was time to set first steps on the Hong Kong island.

Room

Together with my girlfriend we arrived at our hotel. On our first 3 days we slept at the Pentahotel in Kowloon. It was a pleasure to have such a comfortable room in this metropolis. We stayed on the highest floor and as you may guess we had quite a nice view from here. After a little power nap, we were ready to explore Hong Kong. Just a few minutes from our hotel was the Chi Lin Nunnery. This nunnery was founded in 1934. It’s completely built without using a single nail. It’s incredible to see these huge statues and wooden constructions.

Room

After the nunnery we went to Wong Tai Sin. Immediately when leaving the metrostation, you can see the impressive entrance of the Temple. The great majority of the population in Hong Kong mostly follows Chinese traditional religions. That’s why on every corner you can smell the typical scent of incense and perceive good luck charms. It’s a typical way to worship their gods.

Indence

Day 2

Every morning we could choose between traditional or western breakfast. We tried both. The traditional breakfast includes dim sum, typical egg pancakes, rice … For us it was a little weird to eat these things in the morning, but surprisingly we liked it. After we enjoyed our tasteful breakfast at the Pentahotel we took the metro to Hong Kong Island. In just a few minutes you can cross the ocean. The public transport here is so well organized, if I compare it with the public transport in Belgium. We arrived at Hong Kong Central Station and headed to our second monastery.

Temple Temple

This one is called ‘Man Mo Temple’. Welcoming worshippers coming to pay respect to it's two gods, Man and Mo, as they have been coming for the last 150 years. Suspended from the roof are one of the temple's trademarks, dozens of giant incense coils that have been hung to burn by worshippers. We enjoyed our afternoon snack at the Victoria Harbour and decided to see something completely different. After a few minutes in the metro we stopped at Quarry Bay Station. Also known as the ‘Monster Building’ for it's conglomeration of five incredibly dense and stacked residential complexes. It’s insane but at the same time quite hallucinatory that people actually live in these tiny places. Both of us where a little overwhelmed.

hoodtelefoon Temple

Day 3

On our last day in Kowloon, we decided to be a little more adventurous. We found a nice spot where you could oversee those enormous skyscrapers. So we took the metro to Sha Tin and from there on, we went by bus into the mountains. The trip by bus was a little risky, because the driver only spoke Chinese. So we didn't knew when we had to jump off. In the afternoon we wanted to visit the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. As I was planning this trip I saw that there where some places where you could see some wild monkeys. But you have to be lucky.

hoodtelefoon

We accidently stopped at a cemetery, there where some local people paying some respects to the gods and their beloved ones. But suddenly someone shouted that there was a wild monkey. For some reasons they knew I was a photographer. I looked at the place he was pointing to and there I saw a wild monkey enjoying his fresh fruit that he found on the roof. After some hours we finally managed to start our hike to the Ten Thousand Buddhas. It was very exhausting and tough, but quite impressive. Along the way you can see hundreds of golden Buddha statues. Unfortunately you couldn’t take any pictures inside the Monastery but I promise you, it was worth the hike.

monkey Ten Thousand Buddhas

Day 4

One of the first things that come to mind when you think of Hong Kong, are big skyscrapers, a lot of people and rice. But Hong Kong has much more to offer. Pentahotels offered me a second residence to sleep. This time we stayed at the Pentahotel in Tuen Mun. It’s surrounded by mountains. Our room was very pretty. It had an industrial look and we had plenty of space. We were welcomed by the hotel manager, got some welcome drinks and typical Hong Kong specialties.

Sea Buddha

Day 5

On Thursday we decided to go to Lantau Island. That day was probably the one I was looking forward to the most. The rough mountains and the big Buddha statue were one of  the things you could see at this Island. When I go back to Hong Kong, I definitely have to stay a few days on Lantau Island. We had to take the cable car all the way to the top. It was a 360° cable car, something I never saw before.

Buddha

On our last day I became sick. It was a minor discomfort but that couldn’t bother us because we had a great and unforgettable time in Hong Kong. I couldn’t thank Cathay Pacific enough for making this dream come true. Such an amazing experience I haven't expected. Go check out the other destinations where you can enjoy the hospitality and the good service of Cathay Pacific. You can find more information about the new announced direct flight here. Looking forward what my next destination will be...