A skyline full of neon lights and skyscrapers, a mouth-watering street food scene and an insane crowd…
Hong Kong is surely one of the most popular destinations in Asia despite the current protests that cause unrest. It is also a regular stopover destination, especially during flights from to Oceania. In such a large metropolis, it can be a challenge to plan your itinerary to cover everything you need but you wouldn’t want to just sit at the airport while this charming city is right under your nose. Luckily, there are many attractions in the central area, which are also accessible via the super-convenient subway network. Click here for more flight information.
Here is a Hong Kong travel guide that can help you spend a productive day.
1- STAR FERRY: A RELAXING WAY TO GET PANORAMIC VIEWS OF THE CITY
Visiting the harbor is a must-do activity in almost all the big cities in the world. The Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong is particularly a popular spot since it boasts a promenade full of interesting landmarks, and a scenic ferry route. Walking on the promenade, you will see statues of important figures like Bruce Lee. When you reach the Central Pier 7, you must take the Star Ferry across the harbor to capture stunning views of the skyline for only 0.4 USD one way. You can also embark on guided cruises to get more information about the history of the harbor.
2- TAKE A TRAM TO THE VICTORIA PEAK
Without a doubt, the most scenic point of Hong Kong is Victoria Peak. The good news is that you don’t have to travel far away to reach this spot. All you have to do is to take the historic Peak Tram up the hill. The departure point is only 1.5 km from the Central Ferry Terminal. It’s not only the peak that is exciting but also the slow ascend that gradually reveals the best views of the city and outlying islands. Once you reach the top, you will come across The Sky Terrace to observe the city from every possible angle. A side benefit is the Peak Tram Historical Gallery that depicts the story of the historic tram through old pictures and paintings. Although a return ticket is much more expensive than the Star Ferry ticket (11 USD), it is definitely worth the splurge.
3- TAKE THE TRAMORAMIC TOUR
TramOramic is the Hong Kong version of the red Hop On & Hop Off buses, driving through essential landmarks as well as some hidden spots. This double-decked tram has been operating since the 1920s; however, it mostly serves a touristic purpose. The two departure points are Western Market and Causeway Bay, where the trams depart regularly. The tour takes roughly an hour through the historical and modern landmarks. You are also provided with an audio-guide with 8 language options that will unravel the secrets of Hong Kong’s history.
4- SHOP LIKE IT IS THE LAST BLACK FRIDAY EVER
Your family and friends will probably ask for a lot of gifts, or they will just be curious about the items you will bring along. Hong Kong’s street market scene will never disappoint in that regard. The crowd, the noise, and the variety might make it look like it’s a scene from Doom’s Day, but you are guaranteed to find great value for money. The Goldfish Market is an open-air aquarium with hundreds of fish species sold for different purposes. The nearby Ladies Market is full of stalls selling authentic accessories, toys, and traditional clothes. With other spots such as the Flower Market and Sneaker Street, your shopping options are endless. While Hong Kong is not the cheapest city in the world, bargaining at these markets is surprisingly common. So, here is your perfect chance to practice your skills.
5- SPEND YOUR AFTERNOON IN TRANQUILITY
If you are not a fan of the concrete jungle, you must visit Tai Ping Shan Street. The street is home to one of the most famous spots in the city, the Man Mo Temple emerging among the skyscrapers like a snowdrop blossoming in winter. Dedicated to the God of Literature, the temple was a center of religious and historical studies among Chinese students ever since it was built in 1847. With its ornate granite columns, carvings and murals, Man Mo is the best example of Chinese influence in Hong Kong. It is also in a central location nearby museums, art galleries, cozy coffee shops and top restaurants where you can try dim sum.
6- DIM SUM
Speaking of, you complete a Hong Kong stopover without trying dim sum. This traditional Hong Kong meal is a fusion of Chinese food and the tapas culture, comprising dumplings stuffed with various ingredients. There are numerous places for dim sum with a wide price range. Places like Tim Ho Wan and Lock Cha Tea house are quite affordable, while Lung King Heen, Mott 32 and Dim Sum Square are much fancier and pricier. If you are in a rush to catch a flight, you still can’t go wrong with any street food stall that offers dim sum; and it will be even cheaper than the cheapest dim sum restaurant. The best part of Dim Sum is that it is a great fit for any type of meal, be it breakfast or dinner. So, you don’t have to wait for darkness to roll in to go to a restaurant; all you have to do is try it as a brunch option with a pot of traditional tea on the side.