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Hong Kong is the perfect destination for a short break. Whether you’re looking to pack everything in to one jam packed weekend break, or pick your highlights from Hong Kong’s’ Top Things To Do, we’ve got options and ideas to suit every budget and every style of traveler. From Temples to the iconic Victoria Harbour (Hong Kong Harbor), an awesome variety of Asian food and a couple of hikes thrown in, you can build your own itinerary to make sure you see all Hong Kong Points of Interest on your trip. And with recommendations for Hong Kong tourist spots, the best Hong Kong sightseeing plus Where to stay in Hong Kong and What to eat – we’ll have your long weekend break to Hong Kong organized before you know it!
Hong Kong Points of Interest – Things To Do, Where To Stay & Where To Eat!
A Guest Post by Aaron Radcliffe from Nomads Nation
I’ve been living and teaching English in Hong Kong for a year now, and I gotta say – it’s one hell of a city! It’s got it all. Skyline, food, hikes, beaches, shopping malls – whatever it is that you like, Hong Kong’s got you.
It doesn’t matter if you have 48 hours or a lifetime, Hong Kong has so much to offer you’ll never get to experience it all. As someone who has lived in this city for a year, I’m going to give some obvious recommendations and some that are a bit less conventional. Here’s my top ten things to do in Hong Kong.
Table of Contents
- 1 Hong Kong Points of Interest & Top Things To Do
- 2 Where to Stay in Hong Kong
- 3 Extra Hong Kong Adventures
- 4 Essential Visitor Info
Hong Kong Points of Interest & Top Things To Do
No, I mean, stay here on this site reading this article, but when you are in Hong Kong, do yourself a favor and just walk around get completely lost.
Statistically speaking Hong Kong is one of the safest cities on the planet. Crime really just isn’t a thing here. It’s also incredibly compact and navigable. Add the two together, and you have a formula for the greatest walking experience ever!
Really though, my number one recommendation for Hong Kong is to start walking, and start following the vibes. Wherever you are attracted to – go there! Feelin’ like pulling a left? Do it. Curious what’s around the corner? Check it out. What are all those people doing? Find out! What’s in that cool looking building? Investigate!
Hong Kong is so safe and so freaking interesting that I truly believe this is the greatest way to experience it. This is my favorite thing to do in any city, but not all cities are as safe as Hong Kong. There’s no dodgy neighborhoods. There’s no areas to avoid. You can be an oblivious, lost tourist, and not have to worry about a thing. And with the amazing train system, you’re only ever a five minute walk away from getting your bearings again.
How often do you get that opportunity? This is why it’s one of the best countries to visit.
And once you walk around enough you’ll spark up an appetite which brings me to my number two recommendation…
Hong Kong is an absolute monster when it comes to food, and not just Cantonese or traditional Chinese cuisine. Being a world city you can find restaurants from all around the world and all at a very high standard of quality. Chungking Mansion has got you covered on Indian/Pakistani food. Kowloon City for world class Thai. If you want traditional Cantonese, check out Wellington Street, Tsim Sha Tsui (especially the night market), and Sham Shui Po for great consolidation of local street food and restaurants.
If you love street food, don’t miss the Kowloon Street Food Tour – its 3 hours of Foodie heaven!
So much fun. Horse racing is the most popular sport in HK, and every Wednesday the city goes mental. There are two enormous venues – Happy Valley Racecourse and Sha Tin. Happy Valley is on Hong Kong island. It’s much more western, with more tourists, and an amazing view of the city. Sha Tin is almost 100% local, but gives you a much more authentic experience. Both venues are equally as impressive, so flip a coin and check it out.
While booze is a bit pricey, the entrance fee is pennies. Gambling can be cheap, just throw down a couple bucks on the horses you think look awesome and let the games begin! Highly recommended.
This is the easiest Hong Kong point of interest to recommend and it is the one thing to do that you simply cannot afford to miss! It’s one of the most impressive views of the single most impressive skyline in the world. And it’s free! For more incredible not-to-be-missed Photo spots check out the Most Instagrammable Places in Hong Kong.
Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha)
Touristy but worth it. Big Buddha is the largest outdoor bronze statue in the world (quite the title isn’t it?) but it’s not just the statue that makes it a top attraction. The experience as a whole is what makes it a must do. If you get the chance try and take the Skyrail – which is actually a cable car – and is also known as Ngong Ping 360, and check out the Big Buddha and the surrounding areas. (NOTE: Renovation works are being carried out on the Skyrail for the first half of 2017)
*Pro tip – if you have the time, try and stop by Tai Po (an amazing fisherman village) on the way back. You shan’t regret it and is A great spot for some Hong Kong sightseeing.*
Chi Lin Nunnery
Amidst the concrete jungle and constant madness that is Hong, lies the beautiful, serene gem known as Chi Lin Nunnery. It’s gorgeous, tranquil, and a great way to get some peace as you are literally transported from the madness of Hong Kong.
Also, Chi Lin has a world renowned vegetarian restaurant that is spectacular. A bit pricey ($15-$20 per person) but totally worth it if you can swing it.
Once you’ve visited a Nunnery – how about a visit to a Monastery? If you’re out Lantau Island you could drop in on Po Lin Monastary, or on the mainland – Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery.
Again, touristy – and definitely one of top places to visit in Hong Kong, but if you can fit it in it’s highly recommended. The view is unreal. And a great place for Hong Kong Sightseeing.
But! Do yourself a favor – don’t just take in the view and bail. There are series of hikes and trails at the top of the peak, all of which are well maintained and show a different perspective to Hong Kong. And you can always take the peak tram ($33HKD+) to either help you up to the top or back down to the bottom if your legs have had enough for the day!
HK History Museum
Warning – if you aren’t particularly interested in history or culture, than pass. But if you are then PLEASE go to the history museum. It’s a gorgeous venue that takes you through the chronological history of HK. I’ve been five times. As far as history museums go, this one is particularly impressive and it will really give you a cultural insight into what Hong Kong is really about. Plus you can’t really go wrong with a $1.29 USD entrance fee.
The biggest reason I love HK (aside from the food) is the ability to escape the city, and quickly. In mere minutes you can start walking, and be in the midst of epic mountains and completely forget that you were in one of the most condensed cities on the planet.
If you quite enjoy hikes, there are too many to mention, but my personal favorite is Dragon’s Back. On the difficulty scale it’s about a 6/10, and the views are spectacular.
With over 600 temples in Hong Kong, you’d need a lifetime to visit them all, but if you’re short on time I recommend visiting Man Mo Temple (dedicated to the gods of literature) and Wong Tai Sin Temple which is built with Feng Shui elements and is considered a source of luck. the temples are offer up so many of Hong Kong Points of Interest and shouldn’t be missed.
Get Lost (again)
I can’t emphasize enough, the best way to really get to know a city is to walk it, and given Hong Kong’s safety, you should really take advantage and walk til you drop. Doing so will give you a deeper and more authentic understanding of HK, and will challenge you and put you in more interesting situations. You won’t regret it. Walking will take you to many places to visit in Hong Kong.
Where to Stay in Hong Kong
Madera Hollywood offers comfortable accommodation and is within a 10-minute walk of Sheung Wan Station. This property is ideally located in Central.
The hotel has 38 well-appointed rooms that are accompanied by a variety of essential amenities to ensure guests have an enjoyable stay.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews
Set in lively Central, just five minutes from Sheung Wan Station, Ovolo Noho offers a coffee bar, a concierge and a 24-hour reception. It is situated a brief stroll from Lan Kwai Fong, The Center and Soho
For those arriving by public transport or wanting to discover the local area, Ovolo Noho is conveniently minutes on foot from Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal. For guests wishing to dine out, the hotel is near a variety of local cafés and restaurants.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews
Situated in Tin Wan, this modern hotel offers a 24-hour reception, an express check-in and check-out feature and a coffee bar. It features panoramic harbour and mountain views and 4-star rooms.
After a day of discovering the area, guests can unwind in the comfort of their air conditioned rooms. They feature an in-room safe and slippers.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews
Extra Hong Kong Adventures
IF YOU CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF HONG KONG, TAKE A LOOK AT THESE GREAT TOURS TO EXPLORE THE SURROUNDING AREA:
- Why not combine you’re trip to Hong Kong with a quick visit to Macau? This day trip will see you sail across on the ferry to the island peninsula where you can wander taking in the architecture or have a little flutter in one of the many casinos!
- Take an organsied tour of the Aberdeen Area – where modern meets traditional. Watch local fisherman that live on traditional junk boats before heading via Repulse Bay to Stanley Market before finishing the tour at the top of Victoria Peak!
- Visit Hong Kong Disneyland! Everyone is a big kid at heart and Hong Kong likes theme parks!
- Check out these tours and activities that start at a super low $10!
Essential Visitor Info
How To Get To Hong Kong
- Hong Kong has long offered exceptional transport links with visitors arriving by air, land and sea. Over 1000 International and Domestic flights arrive into the country every day; the ferry network connects Hong Kong with ports along China’s Pear River Delta; and trains arrive daily from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Foshan, and Zhaoqing.
- From the airport, visitors have several options to get into the city. A Private taxi will cost around $48USD; The HK Express Link is a direct train from the airport to city departing every 12 minutes and taking 24-30 minutes to reach the Central and Kowloon Stations. From the Central and Kowloon stations, there are free shuttle buses that take you to the hotels around their respective areas. Tickets are approximately 100HK ($13USD) to Central and 90HK to Kowloon. For those on a budget, the Airport Bus is the most economical option. A journey of the CityFlyer Airbus costs 40HK one way with stops announced along the way. The Airport Hotel Link offers door to door convenience for 100 hotels in Hong Kong and Kowloon. With fares starting at 140HK ($19USD) for central hotels and 130HK for Kowloon hotels. More detailed information about all these options can be found here.
How To Get Around
- As mentioned above, Walking is one of the best ways to explore the city, but there are also excellent public transport links.
- Like many major cities, Hong Kong has a very efficient subway system that operates on a singular card basis called Octopus (similar to London’s Oyster and Sydney’s Opal cards) which can be used for most public transport, as well as purchases in convenience stores, fast food shops, supermarkets, cake shops, vending machines and more. There are two types of card most suited to visitors: Sold Tourist Octopus card at HK$39 and On-loan Octopus card with a refundable deposit of HK$50.
- As a coastal city, Hong Kong regularly operates ferry routes that connect Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the Outlying Islands – and can be a fun way to explore the area.
- Double-decker street cars are a great way to explore the bustling north corridor of Hong Kong. No matter how far you travel, each tram ride costs a flat fare of $2.30 and exact change is required if you are paying by cash. All trams accept Octopus cards (above) and you need to get on the tram at the back and then pay the exact fare at the front when you’re getting off.
When to Visit (Climate)
- The high season in Hong Kong is between October to early December, when the weather is sunny, cool, and pleasant and around late January/Early February when the Lunar New Year is celebrated.
- The low season falls when the weather is at it’s most severe between May and October where there are occasional typhoons and violent thunderstorms.
- The coolest times of the year from mid-December to February, the temperature may fall to 10 °C (50 °F). In the warmest times (late May to mid-September), it averages 28 °C (82 °F). However, it may reach 33 °C (91 °F).
There you have it! Your ultimate Hong Kong travel guide. All the Hong Kong Points of interest, things to do and travel tips to make sure you have a great short break! And don’t forget to grab these everyday travel essentials to most of your trip:
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Aaron Radcliffe is the founder of Nomads Nation and cofounder of Ditch Your Desk – two projects with the same goal, teaching you how to live a life of freedom!