Hong Kong is such an exciting, lively and vibrant city, that really lives up to the term: “East meets West”. It is a great mix of both Western and Eastern culture, food, shopping and architecture. It is a city that has “everything”. On any given day, you can head to a fishing village less than an hour from downtown, lie on a beach and go on a shopping bonanza in one of the many flashy shopping malls or back-alley markets. After a busy day, you can wind down at one of the city`s restaurants that holds world-class standard, before heading out in the evening some of to the endless numbers of cafes and bars. What`s not to like about Hong Kong?
Here are our top 10 things to do and see in Hong Kong:
1. Eat breakfast at the Flying Pan
Start your day at the famous Flying Pan (9 Old Bailey Street, 2140-6333; 3F, 81-85 Lockhart Rd, Wanchai, 2528-997), and splurge yourself with a big american breakfast with pancakes and waffles. This will definitely keep you going through the day! What diet?!
The cafe is a cool retro American diner, open 24 hour. They have everything you could ever think of when it comes to breakfast/ lunch, with over a doxen omelets, waffles, bagels and pancakes.
2. Relax in Hong Kong Park
In the middle of the city, on Hong Kong Island, is a big park in between the big sky scrapers.
Come here to find some peace and quiet, and wander around looking at the pretty trees, flowers and animals. The park also contains a city zoo with monkeys, reptiles and other animals on display in cages. Honestly, I am not a big fan of that part of the park, but the rest is nice for a little time-out from the city`s noise and hustle.
3. Go shopping
Hong Kong is one of the BEST shopping cities in Asia, yeah I will actually say the world! It is not a cheap city though, so dig deep and find your credit cards. There are sooooo many huge shopping malls here, both on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, as well as some great street markets.
4. Take the Star Ferry
Hong Kong harbor is probably one of the most photographed and most famous harbors in the world, and for a good reason. It is spectacular, especially in the evening with all the lights from the sky scrapers. Taking the Star Ferry is great way to experience the harbour.
To hop on one of the Star Ferries between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon is so worthwhile. Star Ferry also offers harbour tours which takes you for a half hour tour around the harbour. If you have had enough of the city, you can also explore the outlying islands if you have time. For instance the islands: Sai Kung, Lantau, Lamma and Cheung Chau. Here you will find gorgeous scenery, good hiking trails, beaches, sea food restaurants, small villages, temples and monasteries.
5. Take the Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak
Yes, it is touristy, and the queue to take the tram is ridiculously long! But the view once on top is worth it, believe me! The tram trip takes 8 minutes, and departs from Garden Road.
Breathtaking views from the top!
At the top there is a big shopping mall full of shops, cafes and restaurants.
6. Enjoy the Tram-a-rama
Taking the tram through the Hong Kong Island is a fun, colorful and cheap way to see the city. The colorful, narrow, old, double-decker trams, dating from 1904, goes from Central to Causeway Bay. The fare is 2 HK$ (0,26 US$, 1,50 Nkr). Super cheap!
7. Eat Dim Sum
They still do it the “old way”, with trolleys rolling by in between the tables, where you can pick the Dim Sum you want. They also serve delicious desserts from their trolleys. Lovely Jasmine tea is included. Yummi!
8. Drink Chinese Tea
Luk Yu Tea House (Stanley St, 24-26) is an authentic vestige of a lost era. It is a real old-school Chinese tea house, and the most famous traditional and authentic tea house left in Hong Kong. It is beautifully decorated with black ceiling fans, wooden booths, ornate wood paneling, stained-gass murals and marble tabletops. They apparently also serve Dim Sum. Their opening hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but when we were there around 4 p.m. they were already closed. So we didn`t get the chance to try out their tea and dumplings unfortunately. But we will definitely try again next time!
Luk Yu Tea House, one of the very few authentic Chinese Houses left in Hong Kong.
9. Look up at all the Sky Scrapers
Lift your head and look up towards the sky when walking around the busy streets of Hong Kong, and look at all the spectacular sky scrapers. There are over 7 million people living on Hong Kong, in a fairly small area, making it one of the world’s most densely populated area. The lack of space has turned Hong Kong into the world’s most vertical city, full of sky scrapers. Some of the sky scrapers are quite good looking and fancy decorated if I might say!
10. Just walk around
Last but not least, one should just wander around the streets of Hong Kong and experience the atmosphere and the sights of every day life. Take in all it`s smells and noise. It is such a busy city, full of colors!
In Shelley Street (from Des Voeux Rd, Central to Conduit Rd) there is an escalator! Yep, IN the street. So cool! It is definitely worth a ride, and it`s free! The whole ride takes about 20 minutes. The escalator goes downwards 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and upwards 10 a.m. to midnight.
Next to the Peak Tram, is lovely St. John`s Cathedral. Step inside, sit down, and enjoy the peaceful silence for a moment to clear your head from the city`s noise.
St. John’s Cathedral is the oldest surviving Western building in Hong Kong, and the oldest Anglican church in the Far East. It had its first Sunday service on Sunday, 11 March 1849. During the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong, the cathedral was converted into a club for the Japanese. Many of the original fittings were stripped out, including the original stained glass windows. The site of St. John’s Cathedral is actually the only freehold land in Hong Kong, granted the Church of England Trust Ordinance. All other land in Hong Kong is leasehold in nature.
We really enjoyed our five days in Hong Kong. It is such a vibrant and modern city! We enjoyed the shopping, especially finding Indiana Jones at the Hot Toys, eating good food, and admiring the views from Victoria Peak.
Where To Stay In Hong Kong
Hong Kong is packed with hotels at all price levels. It is however not a cheap city to stay in when it comes to accommodation. below are some of our favorite hotels.
Island Pacific Hotel
We stayed at the Island Pacific Hotel on Hong Kong Island. We really liked it! Nice rooms, clean, big bathroom, great and very helpful staff. The hotel is located a little away from the main action on Hong Kong Island, but the hotel has a free shuttle bus that goes into the city center. The tram also stops close to the hotel. We walked into the city center several times, so it is absolutely doable.
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The Langham, Hong Kong
If you want a little bit of Hong Kong luxury, then this is the place! It is located next to Harbour City Mall and numerous other shops and restaurants. The entrance to MRT TST station is across the street.
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We used Lonely Planet`s Hong Kong guide book on our trip. It was very good! Click on the pictures below to read more about each book on Amazon (affiliate links):
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Have you been to Hong Kong? What are your top things to do in Hong Kong? Please share your thoughts in the comment area below! If you like this blog post, and find it useful, please share and like on social media! Thanks! 🙂
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