After being requested for so long… Finally a new article about China! On this third chapter, we are taking you to Hong Kong – 香港. Living in mainland China for 6 months gave me the chance to travel locally and explore amazing places like Hong Kong. I have visited Hong Kong a few times, therefore we created this travel itinerary to make the most of this sleepless city!
As said, I had the chance to visit Hong Kong at different occasions and different seasons. And though Hong Kong seems to be a rather small area, there is a lot to do and see. I really encourage you to do your research prior to going there.
Transportation and accommodation
There are so many different options to travel to Hong Kong. Of course you can fly there, but while living in mainland China, I went to Hong Kong using the train. It was a short 2 hours ride from Guangzhou East (广州东站) to Hung Hom Station (紅磡站) located in Kowloon district. But if you don’t have a visa for China, you can go from Macau to Hong Kong, or the other way around, using the fast ferry. The view is really pretty and the ride goes quite fast! And arriving to a new place by the sea, has something kinda magical.
When visiting Hong Kong, you will see how good, well organised and reliable the local transportation is. The metro will take you almost everywhere, and if there is no metro, as it can be the case in some islands, there will be local buses. Note that, if you are planning on taking a taxi, you should have some cash.
Accommodation wise, the prices are rather high and for the price you will pay, you will probably have a tiny hotel room. When staying overnight, both time I have been staying in the district of Kowloon, where the rooms are more affordable. For instance, during my first overnight stay, I got a room in Casa Hotel, which is a good option location and price wise (check out beforehand if there are discounts). Keep in mind that in many hotels, they offer breakfast and sometimes it is really affordable. And a hearty breakfast is always great before a full day of walking and sightseeing!
Hong Kong Unmissable
There are a lot of things to see and do when in Hong Kong. And despite the fact that this is a small area, you can adapt your programme according to your interests. For instance, if you’re into shopping, sightseeing or hiking, you will find things to do there!
When going there for the first time, I just wanted to “see it all”. So, here below, find my must-sees and reasons why you should also check out these places!
If you are visiting Hong Kong but don’t go to Victoria Peak, you are clearly missing something! Victoria Peak (太平山), though extremely touristy and busy was one of my favourite sights. Especially, around sunset time. The view on the harbour is stunning, and it also shows how the city is built, between sea and mountains.
There are different options to get up there. Either taking the bus (15HK$), which takes longer but is cheaper, or use the Peak Tram. The tram might be shorter but there are often long queues to get in. And if you are craving some food, you will be able to find a lot of restaurants or snack stalls there!
Lantau Island (大嶼山) is, in my opinion, a must do when visiting Hong Kong! And I believe you have heard about it already. In fact, this island is home to the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery. These two sights are absolutely stunning and impressive, fully surrounded by nature. Not only this is a beautiful place to visit, but it is also great if you are a bit sick of the crazy city life that Hong Kong offers.
Regarding transportation, you can reach the island with the metro and from there, you can either take the cable car or the local bus (n°24). The bus being a lot cheaper, has always been my preferred option. In addition to being cheap, you can see the whole island, from bottom to top! However, note that this bus tour takes about 45 minutes to reach the top of the island where the sights are. Both the bus and the cable car will drop you in the Ngong Ping village, which honestly, is not worth spending too much time.
I recommend you visit these places early in the morning to avoid crowds of tourists. Starting by visiting the Tian Tan Buddha is good as the sight allows you to have a beautiful view on the island and the monastery.
Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade & Star Ferry
After a long day walking in the busy streets of Hong Kong, I highly recommend you enjoy a short and peaceful walk on the Tsim She Tsui Promenade. This walkway along the harbour and water is really beautiful both during the day or at night. There are always things happening but no cars, which makes it really safe. The walk overlooks the island of Hong Kong, where you can see the skyline and all the buildings lighting up in the evening. On the promenade, you can also check out the avenue of Stars and the Kowloon-Canton clock, located where the former railway station was. And if you happen to be visiting Hong Kong over New Year’s time, this is the best spot to see the fireworks!
If you are walking along the promenade, you will probably end up next to the Star Ferry Terminal. This iconic ferry takes you from one side of the harbour to the other for only 2,5 or 3 HK$. The ferry runs really often and is a great and fast alternative to go from one side of the harbour to the other.
Man Mo Temple
When in Hong Kong, you must visit at least one temple. From the various places I have been to, one of my favourite was the Man Mo temple (文武廟), located next to Central. What is special about this temple is that it is located right in the middle of skyscrapers. The building remained unchanged and kept its traditional architecture, creating a beautiful contrast.
When going to Man Mo temple, make sure to walk by the very narrow Ladder Street, where you will be able to see a lot of traditional items being sold. The Man Mo temple has a very particular atmosphere, with a very strong smell of incense.
Temple Street Night Market
Going to Asia and not going to a night market is clearly wrong. One of the most famous night markets in Hong Kong is the Temple Street one. This market is located in the district of Kowloon, and is really easy to find. The temple street night market is extremely large and you can find a lot of accessories, objects and other fake branded items, but also, and most importantly, the best street food!
If you are interested in seeing how this whole setting up process works, go there before sunset, when it is still light and walk your way along this street. In no time, you will see this large street being packed with different stalls and a lot of people!
Food & Drink Wise
Well, there are a lot of very cool places in Hong Kong. A lot of very expensive place and a lot of cheap ones. So no matter what’s your budget, you’ll find some great places and yummy food.
My all time favourite: Hutong, on Peking Road!
But except from this, most of the places I have eaten at were in food halls and night markets! There are so many food stalls where you can go to, which, in my opinion, is the best way to try different types of food. There, you will always find something you like!