When Thinking about the Top 3 things to do in the Top 3 Cities I have lived in, it is interesting to note that mostly the pattern seems to be enjoying the natural beauty of the places I have lived, shopping… and eating! I guess that probably says more about me than what the top 3 things actually are!
Sydney has one of the most amazing harbours in the world (in my humble opinion) and walking across the bridge (i’m talking about at road level, not even climbing over it as you can do) at any time of the year is amazing and makes you realize how beautiful the world really is. I once walked over it with my brother in the spring, and the whole North Shore side was purple with blooming Jacaranda flowers. I’ve walked across it when the weather was foul and rainy (I felt like I was in a music video the whole time) and I’ve walked across it at sunrise and sunset. If you’re in Sydney, do yourself a favour this week and do this.
I miss the Paddington Area with it’s cute cafes and funky restaurants, sun-dappled side streets and big glorious townhouses. But what I miss the most is Paddington Markets with their blend of laid-back boho style clothing, intermingled with weird art and cool foods. I would spend many a luxurious day wandering around this market, sipping hot chocolate, enjoying the sunshine.
Since moving to Canada, the one thing I can TRULY say that I miss (aside from friends and family of course) is the Ocean and the beach. There is something so cleansing and cathartic about walking along a strip of sand, staring out into the vastness of sky beyond the curve of the coast. Bondi beach is supposed to be all touristy now, and there are pictures of the sand covered end to end in white pasty bodies, but regardless, Bondi is the beach I love. It is close to the city and the suburb of Bondi has a great feel.
Whenever I’m feeling down, I like to walk through Trinity Bellwoods park and along Queen Street West. This happening hood has treats and gorgeous stores galore. Simply getting out amongst these trendy stores makes you feel like your life is cooler than it is. Grab yourself a Macaroon, pick a table at one of the many adorable cafes and take the time to watch the world go by. I’m never disappointed by the plethora of interesting characters strolling by, ripe fodder for creative stimulation.
Toronto Island is possibly one of the most luscious gorgeous places I have ever been to. It is located in the lake Toronto borders and is a short ferry ride away. I’ll never forget jetting over there for the first time with my two friends both named Alex. It was a hot, fresh Toronto summer day and as we pulled away from the city we got a wonderful view of the whole Toronto skyline (a visually interesting city). When we got to the island we biked, we paddled our feet in the water and ate ice cream on the long cool grass. Definitely a must-do for picnics in Toronto.
Kensington Market is smack bang beside Chinatown (so I obviously found it pretty quickly). It is a hodgepodge of cheese stores, cafes, vintage clothing sellers, art stores, random ethnic spice stores and little tiny tucked away bars. At night the scene can be a little bit dodgy, but during the day and on the weekends, this place is hopping with music and creativity. Plenty of places to chill out and enjoy so more people watching.
Hong Kong is a highly populated city that certainly knows how to cram a lot of people into a small space. Despite this fact, there are places you can go to get some peace and quiet and Victoria Peak is one of them. Sure, there are often plenty of tourists stuffed into the mall that the Peak Tram drops you off at, but when you walk around the top of the Peak, you are treated to spectacular views of this island metropolis. Like the photo I have chosen, I like to go at night to see all the buildings light up. Truly a stunning sight to see.
Hong Kong is synonymous with shopping and by-god there is shopping to be had. Whether you head to the Mong Kok Markets, Temple Street Markets at Yau Ma Tai, Bird Market at Prince Edward, Sneaker street, The Lanes in Central, Wanchai markets… I could go on. Pretty much in every district is a side street where wheeling and dealing is taking place. Food, electronics, clothing, jewellery, you name it, it is there and it is overwhelming. Hold onto your wallet!
For those that know me at all, the knowledge that I LOVE Dim Sum is something so totally obvious as to be startlingly stupid. I could eat Dim Sum evert weekend (and pretty much have since moving to Toronto I think!) If you ask me if I want to do brunch on Sunday, this is probably where I want to go. And Dim Sum in Hong Kong is obviously the best in the world. Fresh, delicious and totally cheap, I’m probably going to turn INTO a dim sum dish because of how much I eat it. My Dim Sum recommendations for Hong Kong are pretty general because I will eat it anywhere and everywhere. Sorry I can’t be more specific!
And there you have it, my Top 3 things to do in my top 3 cities (so far!)
Sydney, Toronto and Hong Kong. Three pretty diverse places to live, but all offering awesome ways to spend this precious time we have called life.