Danish blogger Camilla Riis shares her tips for solo travel in Hong Kong that she picked up while interning in the city in today’s Women Who Travel Solo.
How did you get started traveling?
I’ve been traveling with my parents since I was ten months old and visited my granddad in the United States for the first time. But my first solo travel was in 2013 when I decided to study abroad in Arkansas for one semester.
Why did you decide to travel to Hong Kong alone?
For my 8th semester in uni, I had the opportunity to do an internship. While most of my classmates decided to stay in Denmark, I wanted to go abroad. I had been studying Chinese language and culture for two years, so I decided to go to Hong Kong, which is a great mix of both Western and Chinese culture. Along with that, it is the perfect location if I wanted to visit other places in Asia.
Tell us about your experience with solo travel in Hong Kong.
Honestly, in the beginning I just really wanted to go home. Before arriving in Hong Kong I had been traveling through China with my French boyfriend, and I had suddenly gotten used to having him around. So when he left me all alone in a big city where I didn’t know anyone, I was almost ready to give up.
But during the four months I spent in Hong Kong, I meet some local girls and also a few expats with whom I started exploring the city, and eventually I fell in love with it. Before arriving, I would never have thought that there would be more to it than the peak, nightlife and shopping, but I’ve gotten to experience so many aspects of the city, and I can’t wait to return to Hong Kong one day.
What recommendations do you have for solo travelers in Hong Kong?
Although the peak,Tsim Sha Tsui, and the area around Central and Causeway Bay are a must to experience in Hong Kong, I would definitely also recommend visiting the many islands in the area and go hiking. If you don’t have much time in Hong Kong, definitely visit Dragon’s Back for some beautiful views of Hong Kong Island.
EAT! There’s so much awesome food in Hong Kong from egg tarts and pineapple buns to dim sum and congee.
What was the best part of solo travel in Hong Kong?
The best part of the trip was without doubt exploring the little villages in the city. I’m not a big fan of big cities and shopping, so the fact that Hong Kong has other things to offer just made me love the place even more.
Oh, and lets not forget about the food. Oh boy, do I miss it!
What was the worst part of your time in Hong Kong?
It is difficult to socialize in Hong Kong. Since most people only go there for work, it is difficult to make new friends. However, I did find other people in my situation, with whom I started exploring the territory with.
Also, Hong Kong is so expensive! But that shouldn’t hold you back from going. There are definitely also cheap things to do in the city, like hiking, going to the beach, or visiting the small villages on the islands.
Are there any safety concerns for women traveling alone in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is very safe! However, I have heard that the TST and Mongkok area can be less safe for women, so definitely go there with a friend during night.
What advice do you have for female solo travelers?
For me, the worst part about travelling alone, is the fact that it for some destinations can be difficult to make new friends, especially for Hong Kong. So I would definitely recommend joining different meet up groups or groups on Facebook to find likeminded people to hang out with.
However, you should never let this hold you back. The world has so much to offer, and it would be a shame to stay home just because you got no-one to travel with.
Do you have anything else to add to inspire women solo travelers?
Stop caring about what everybody else thinks. Just go!
About Camilla Riis
Camilla is a 24-year-old girl from Denmark. In 2013 she spent a semester studying in Arkansas, and since then she’s fallen in love with travelling and has travelled either alone or with her French boyfriend to China, Hong Kong, France, England, Norway, Italy, and back to the US. On her blog cammi.dk, Camilla shares her thoughts and experiences while travelling, along with sharing her passion for beauty.
About Women Who Travel Solo
Women Who Travel Solo is a weekly column that shares the stories of women’s solo travel adventures in hopes of spreading the message that traveling alone is not only safe, but wildly rewarding. Inspire other women to travel solo by sharing your story with Something In Her Ramblings. Email Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org.