Travel Guide: The Top Things to do in Hong Kong
Ever since my Dad travelled to Hong Kong a few years ago and told me how amazing the place was, it’s been on my travel bucket list. Luckily, it fit in well as a stop off on a trip from Australia to England last year so I took advantage of this opportunity and decided to stay for a few days. Hong Kong is an incredible place to visit and somewhere I definitely plan on going back to. With so much going on and so much to do there though, it can be hard to experience Hong Kong in just a few days. So to help you out I’ve put together a travel guide featuring the best things to do in Hong Kong…
Have the best Wednesday night at Happy Valley Racecourses
When I first heard about the night races I was so confused. Horses racing at night? It sounded so bizarre! However, you literally can’t go to Hong Kong and not visit the night races. The night races at Happy Valley racecourse are famous in Hong Kong and they’re so much fun! The race track is strategically positioned in front of Hong Kong’s skyline so whether you’re interested in the actual races or not, you’ve got a good view regardless! The atmosphere at the night races is amazing as crowds of people gather to the racecourse on a Wednesday night. There’s bands playing, along with stalls selling food and alcohol and of course, there’s the betting if you fancy a gamble.
Take in the beautiful views at Victoria Peak
One of the main things you have to do whilst you’re in Hong Kong is to take a trip to Victoria Peak – the highest point in Hong Kong. If you only do one thing on this list then make sure it’s this! I’d recommend timing a trip to Victoria Peak before sunset so you can see it both during the day and at night. As you would expect from the highest point in Hong Kong, the views from the top of the peak are amazing. As one of the must-see spots in the city, it’s also extremely busy so expect to queue for the tram up and back down again. It’s worth the wait though, I promise…
Eat at one of the cheapest Michelin star restaurants in the world
Crazy huh? If you’re like me and have never been lucky enough to be wined and dined at a super fancy Michelin star restaurant then take advantage of the cheapness of Tim Ho Wan (Sham Shui Po) and indulge in delicious Michelin star ranked food without forking out a fortune and feeling guilty. You’ll more than likely have to queue but it’s an interesting experience and a must whilst you’re in Hong Kong. Plus, they literally do the best Dim Sum…
Take the Star ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island
Forget the tram, it’s all about getting the ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. It’s super cheap and you get to experience the Hong Kong skyline along Victoria Harbour. If you time coming back at night too then you’ll see the skyline all lit up – it’s gorgeous! The journey only takes about 10 minutes and the views are amazing. On a tram, you miss out on all of this so we always used the Star Ferry to get from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island and vice versa.
Watch the Symphony of lights
For a pretty magical moment, head to the harbour to witness the Symphony of Lights which starts at 8pm every night. It’s a light show against Hong Kong’s skyline so get your cameras at the ready! Oh and try and arrive a bit earlier to secure a good view. It’s nice to watch and doesn’t last too long so you can fit it in before you head out for dinner.
Shop ’til you drop at the markets
If you’re a shopoholic then you will literally love Hong Kong! The shopping there is incredible and I’m not just talking about the malls (more on those later…) but the markets are also amazing! You’ll get lost in them and convince yourself that you need some (seriously impressive) designer dupes. Just remember to haggle! And walk away. They’ll call you back and accept your offer! Mong Kok Ladies Market was my favourite market in Hong Kong. I could have spent hours, if not days there! It’s so interesting and there’s so many nice things. Basically, it’s known to be the best place in Hong Kong for designer knock-offs and honestly, they’re the best dupes I’ve ever seen! Slightly further past the market, you’ll come to Tung Choi Street which is probably one of the most fascinating streets you’ll ever walk down. It’s crazy! There’s pet shops selling all sorts of animals, gold fish in bags, insects hanging up and strange foods. It’s so weird but you just have to see it.
Splash some cash at the designer malls
As well as the cheap markets, there’s a luxurious side to the shopping scene in Hong Kong. Their shopping malls are so nice and a million times better than any mall I’ve ever witnessed in England. Although not quite on the same scale (but then again what is) they certainly gave the Dubai malls a run for their money. Basically, if you have money to spend, the malls here are heaven! The best ones? Definitely head to Harbour City, Pacific Place, Times Square and The Landmark. Basically, go visit them all…
Experience Hong Kong’s culture with a trip to Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery
One of Hong Kong’s most famous attractions sits on Lantau Island and goes by the name of Tian Tan Buddha or more commonly, Big Buddha, the largest outdoor seated Buddha in the world and yep, it’s pretty big. Oh and it sits on top of a hill so be prepared to climb a whole lot of steps to get up there (268 to be exact). If possible, try and pick a clear day for visiting Lantau Island. We went when the weather was bad and so the views from the top weren’t the best which was slightly annoying. Whilst you’re visiting Big Buddha, also have a wander around Po Lin Monastery which sits next to it. It’s a Buddhist Temple and a must-see whilst you’re at Lantau Island. On a clear day, I’d recommend getting the Ngong Ping cable car to get to Lantau Island but unfortunately due to the weather it wasn’t running on the day we went so we got the bus instead which is cheap and pretty easy to figure out.
Sample Hong Kong’s street food at the outdoor markets
You simply can’t go to Hong Kong and not sit on one of the plastic chairs and share a plastic table with complete randomers, ordering a dish you’re not 100% what it’s got in it. It’s an experience and a good one too. There’s several food markets throughout Hong Kong but I’d recommend Temple Street night market. Don’t expect them to speak English or for 5* service because this is far from it. My best advice would be to choose the places that are the busiest because they’re popular for a reason! I found the street food in Hong Kong to be more expensive than other parts of Asia but it’s still probably the cheapest way to eat out in Hong Kong.
Get the Ding Ding tram
Okay so it doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing in the world to do but hopping on one of Hong Kong’s trams is a cool way to see the city. They’re these super cute double decker trams and although they’re not the fastest mode of transportation, if you sit at the front at the top, you can get great views of the city and it’s so cheap too.
Ride the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator
Okay, so you’ve kinda gotta do it right? Or is it just me? I mean you never know, one day you might be able to boast to someone that you’ve been on the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator…Plus, you can get off at any time if you seriously cba anymore!
Try an egg waffle
You’ll see egg waffles everywhere in Hong Kong and it’s kinda impossible to walk past them all without finally deciding you’re gonna indulge and try one. Oh and they’re worth it…
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at picturesque Nan Lian Garden
There’s no denying that Hong Kong is a busy place but when you step foot in Nan Lian Garden you will literally feel like you’re a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre! It’s peaceful and so pretty and worth a relaxing wander around if you have the time.
If you’re staying in Hong Kong for longer than a few days then definitely try and do a day trip to Macau in China. We unfortunately didn’t have enough time to do this but I think it’s a great opportunity to explore another country whilst you’re so close!
If you’re heading to Hong Kong and want any advice then feel free to drop me a message!