Impressive skyline. Vibrant culture. Exquisite food. Dynamic nightlife. An island city with endless water views. Sounds like the perfect getaway? Well, that’s Hong Kong for you.
A former British colony, Hong Kong is now a territory of China. It’s made up of two main areas: Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
Although having a dynamic history of rule and handover, the city has never lost its core culture and has developed and evolved into an enticing cosmopolitan city.
This was my third time visiting and there’s always something new to see and explore.
For a short stay, here’s my itinerary to make the most of the cosmopolitan, the traditional and the natural aspects of Hong Kong.
Things to do in Hong Kong
Hop- on hop-off Junk Boat ride
The Chinese Junk Boats are an iconic fixture of Victoria Harbour. They create moving pictures and entice you to climb aboard.
We found a wonderful hop-on, hop-off deal through Get Guide which allowed us to explore the city from the water.
You’ll receive a refreshing drink upon arrival and then it’s time to lay back on wide lounge chairs in the shade of this traditional boat.
You can stop at three locations: Central, Wanchai and Hung Hom. The boat will come around every hour for you to head on to the next destination.
Or you could stay on for an entire loop and enjoy the sun shining on your face, the waves lapping at the boat and the impressive skyline of this city.
Directions: Tsim Sha Tsui Public Pier No1, behind the Cultural Centre on your right (close to the Clock Tower).
Visit the Big Buddha at Lantau Island
Feeling somewhat like a pilgrimage to stand at the feet of the great Buddha, you must first go on a magnificent journey.
To explore Lantau Island, travel over the sea in the fabulous Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car and arrive into a charming village that feels like old China.
Try not to get distracted by the charming shops and wafts from the tasty eateries as you continue to greet the Buddha. Marvel at the stone carvings and archways. Say hello as you stroll past the friendly island cow. Then walk up what feels like 1000 stairs.
Your reward for reaching the top is marvelling at the magnificent panoramic views over Lantau and Hong Kong islands.
There’s a temple beneath the Buddha you can explore or just take some moments to enjoy the peace and stillness where this icon of Hong Kong sits.
Directions: Start with the cable car ride from Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal, 11 Tat Tung Rd, Tung Chung, Lantau, Hong Kong.
Places to eat and drink in Hong Kong
Din Tai Fung
As soon as we landed in Hong Kong, we knew that dumplings had to be our first meal.
Fortunately, a quick Google search will pull up an abundance of choices.
Din Tai Fung is a famous dumpling house that now has locations all over the world, including in my old home town of Sydney.
Each city brings its own flavours and flare to the food at Din Tai Fung. Mouth-watering prawn dumplings and delicious pork buns were my top pick.
Din Tai Fung: G3-11, 68 Yee Wo St, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Luk Yu Tea House
For a true taste of Hong Kong, you must visit a tea house.
Highly recommended by a friend, Luk Yu Tea House offers the quintessential Chinese meal. Tsing Tao beers washed down special fried rice and shredded beef.
We finished with some refreshing jasmine tea before exploring more of central Hong Kong at night.
This place offered service with a smile and flavours with tradition – a delight.
Luk Yu Tea House: 24-26 Stanley St, Central, Hong Kong
What’s a holiday without a cocktail?
Locals and visitors alike are lured to the famous bar scene of Hong Kong, and if you love cocktails then these are the must-visit bars:
- Quinary has master cocktail makers. With smoking bags and Earl Grey caviar, you’ll be mesmerised by the creation and the flavours of these cocktails. Almost more lab than bar, the divine flavours will blow you away. Quinary: 56-58 Hollywood Rd, Central, Hong Kong
- Sip a delicious cocktail while admiring the incredibly detailed and well themed decor at Iron Fairies. This funky little speakeasy is ambience central and incorporates live music along with fairy features (including butterflies on the ceiling and iron fairies at your table). Iron Fairies: LG, 1 Hollywood Rd, Central, Hong Kong
- Wander down an alley and don’t miss the secret door to this alluring bar. J.Boroski has ‘mixsultants’ ready to design your perfect cocktail with just a few tips about your favourite flavours. There’s a menu, but for a unique experience, let the drink masters be your guide.
J. Boroski: Ezra’s Lane, Central, Hong Kong.
Where to stay in Hong Kong
Hotels in Hong Kong can be a little on the pricey side, so we recommend staying in an Airbnb.
Ours was located in Wan Chai near Causeway Bay, a central area with great access to the harbour, trains, buses and more. It’s definitely the more affordable way to experience all this city has to offer.
Getting to Hong Kong
Hong Kong has one of the busiest airports in the world. You can fly direct from many major cities.
You can also get to Hong Kong from China very easily, with the option to take a bus, train or ferry from Guangzhou.
Disclaimer: The writer travelled at their own expense.