The former British colony has a plethora of activities and local gems that continue to captivate worldwide wanderlusts.
It might be small, but Hong Kong has a myriad of thrilling things to do. From tasting ultra delicious local food, to cultural centers transformed from a former prison and police station. Follow this list, and you’ll have the best few days in this cosmo diamond!
DO: Ride the MTR.
The MTR will literally save your life on-the-go. Built under British rule in 1966, the MTR has 11 lines that connected Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories. Today, it’s one of the most profitable metro systems in the world.
* A normal single ticket costs HK$11.50 which is around USD $1.46 (2019.)
EAT: Dragon Noodle Academy 龍麵館.
“Baby cabbage florets with parma ham” was a personal favorite at Dragon Noodle Academy. With red lanterns and golden dragon statues, the decor might be a bit of an overkill but food here is anything but ordinary. Get the “lobster tail soup noodles,” which is made with 5-hour slow-cooked broth. Don’t miss their rock star dish: “BBQ pork rice,” they’ll even bring the dish to dissect it by your table. It’s showtime!
EAT: Dim sum for breakfast!
It’s no question that you have to eat dim sum in Hong Kong, but do it for breakfast because traditionally it’s for daytime meals. Steamed buns, dumplings, rice noodle rolls. It’s a fabulous way to wake up!
STAY: Tung Nam Lou Hotel 東南樓.
A workspace, art shop, and hotel, Tung Nam Lou Hotel is where art and design come to life with local community beating on its own dynamic drums. Every corner of the hotel oozes profound creativity with works from local artists. If you’re an entrepreneur, stay here to enjoy the co-working space.
EAT: Fu Rong 映水芙蓉
Do you like it hot? Fu Rong is a Sechuan cuisine restaurant where every dish is spicy and packed with heat! Also known for its presentation, enjoy the pouring of the sauce at the table. Devour not just the food, but also the view of the incredible Victoria Harbour.
SEE: Victoria Harbour 維多利亞港.
Speaking of Victoria Harbour, it separates Hong Kong Island from Kowloon Peninsula to the north. It’s imperative to Hong Kong’s growth as a British colony due to its strategic position on the South China Sea, hence becoming the perfect world trade center.
DRINK: Hong Kong Beer 香港啤酒.
Hong Kong Beer is Asia’s first craft brewery established in 1995. You can pretty much find this everywhere.
SHOP: Central 中環.
If you want to shop ’til you drop, Central has countless commercial brands and is always bustling. It has tons of bars and restaurants to rest your feet if shopping ever gets tiring!
DO: Ride the Star Ferry
For another scenic way to travel between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, ride the Star Ferry. With a fleet of 12 ferries that connect Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, they carry over 70,000 passengers a day. That’s 26 million every year!
DO: Afternoon Tea at The Peninsula 半島酒店.
There is simply nothing more iconic to do in Hong Kong than to have afternoon tea at The Peninsula Hotel. Situated in Kowloon’s Tsim Sha Tsui, the afternoon tea is the hotel’s signature experience with live orchestra in the background, paired with busy footsteps in the lobby.
STAY: The Jervois.
The Jervois offers an apartment-style, local experience perfect for business travelers. The entire hotel offers solely one-bedroom or two-bedroom suites with tremendous space.
SHOP: Sheung Wan 上環.
In Sheung Wan, you can find antiques, local spices, herbal oils and anything that ooze hipster cool. Here’s 100+ years of history as a hub of knick-knacks and authentic local pieces along with a combination of designer shops and thrift stores sure to make any millennial go wild.
DRINK: Mrs. Pound 磅太太.
When you walk around the ever-so-charming Sheung Wan district, you’ll come across a lock shop with a banner that says: Mrs. Pound. This isn’t a place to get your keys made. Mrs. Pound is, in fact, a speakeasy bar.
SEE: Man Mo Temple 文武廟.
Located on Hollywood Road, Man Mo is a Taoist temple dedicated to literature god Ma Tai 文帝 and martial god Mao Tai 武帝. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Chinese students and scholars began to pray to these two gods for better placement in school and civil exams.
DRINK: Hong Kong-style milk tea.
Made from black tea and milk, Hong Kong-style milk tea is typically consumed during lunch and it’s super yummy!
EAT: Sai Yung Kee 細蓉記
Nothing fancy, but Sai Yung Kee has the best local wontons and thin noodle soup in the city. Get a side of veggies. It’s casual, but oh-so-good.
SHOP: PMQ 元創方.
PMQ stands for Police Married Quarters. It was originally the site of Queen’s College in 1889, turned into a police station after the war and then transformed into a cultural art center. The venue now hosts a series of studios, boutiques, exhibitions, and offices for creatives and artists. PMQ promotes local crafts and provides a space for travelers to enjoy Hong Kongers’ creative juices. This might be one of the coolest places to shop in HK!
EAT: Queen Sophie 酥妃皇后.
You can’t come to Hong Kong and not taste its famous egg tarts, so hit up Queen Sophie. I got the original because I’m not a big fan of fussy desserts. But if you prefer tasting new flavors, Queen Sophie’s egg tarts have creative spins: nuts, cream, fruits…etc.
STAY: The Olympian 香港遨凱酒店.
Perfect for families and couples, The Olympian is, by far, our favorite stay in Hong Kong because of enormous space inside coveted rooms and suites. Refined luxury can be indulged with less than USD $200-250/night. It’s perfect for travelers looking to be away from city centers, in need of calm and tranquility. Who can say no to this harbor view?
SEE: The Peak.
The Peak is the highest hill on Hong Kong Island. If you don’t want to wait in the long lines for the tram to go up, taking the taxi is also an option, then you can tram your way down.
SEE: Pottinger Street 砵甸乍街.
Also known as the Stone Slabs Street, Pottinger Street is very dangerous to walk on! Named after Henry Pottinger, who was the first Governor of Hong Kong in 1843, the street was once a divider between Chinese and European residents. Today, it’s lined with street vendors selling souvenirs.
DRINK: The Envoy.
Already, The Pottinger Hotel is a popular spot among the plethora of hotels in Hong Kong. Its sophisticated bar, The Envoy, is a gathering of posh expats and locals who are also globetrotters.
SEE: Tai Kwun 大館.
Tai Kwun is where you want to be with the most trendy options to drink and dine. Tai Kwun is an old prison turned into an arts and cultural center, and it’s also a fantastic spot near Central to walk around and learn about HK’s history as a British colony. The entire space is made up of 3 areas: a restored Central Police Station, Central Magistracy, and Victoria Prison.
EAT: Madame Fu-Grand Cafe Chinois.
Tai Kwun also hosts the ultra chic Madame Fu-Grand Cafe Chinois. The food is traditional Hong Kong/Chinese cuisine, so definitely get the BBQ pork. Dim sum for lunch here is ideal, and weekend brunch is divine!
DO: Take the airport shuttle express train.
What’s amazing about Hong Kong is that its infrastructure has made it so easy for travelers! Get yourself in Central or Kowloon Station, and you’ll be 20 minutes from the airport via the Express Train. Trains depart every 10 minutes so you’ll never miss a flight!