I arrived in Hong Kong in the morning ready to hit the ground running. I had flown there in Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy Class and thanks to the larger seats, greater pitch, and other comforts I felt pretty great given the 12-hour time change. I only had a few days before heading on to Myanmar and I wanted to make the most of them. Of the many things I did, here are my top tips for Hong Kong.
Tips for a short stay in Hong Kong – Day 1
- Take the bus into the city from the airport. It doesn’t take long and not only will you save money, but you’ll also get to see this beautiful city from a number of angles.
- Check into your hotel and freshen up. Assuming that you arrive in the morning as I did, check into your hotel and have a shower. If you aren’t able to get into your room, ask if you can use the shower in the gym facilities.
- Take the Hop-on, Hop-off Big Bus. With five packages to choose from, this is a great way to see the city in a day. They offer commentary in a number of languages and where you get on and off the bus is up to you.
- Look up. The buildings of Hong Kong are amazing. Sit on the upper deck of the bus and don’t forget to look up to see the interesting architecture.
- Go to Stanley. One of the Big Bus routes goes to Stanley Market and the beach. Explore the town. Go out on the pier. Sit back, relax, and watch the locals swim and sail.
- Take the Big Bus back to the Star Ferry. Your Big Bus tour includes two tickets for the Star Ferry. Take the ferry across Victoria Harbour to the Kowloon side to view the Symphony of Lights show that takes place every evening. The best vantage point is from the Avenue of the Stars.
- Go to Temple Street Night Market. This is where you’ll find the knock-offs of all the luxury brands. It’s crammed with goods and people. It’s worth a visit, though I’m uncomfortable buying from the markets as those cheap prices and reports I’ve read suggest that the products are made in factories where human rights are not observed.
Tips for a short stay in Hong Kong – Day 2
- Go to the Big Buddha. The Tian Tan Buddha is not a historical Buddha but one of the largest seated Buddhas in the world and a tourist attraction in Ngong Ping. Take the MTR subway to Tung Chung and the 25-minute cable car ride up the mountain. At the top in Ngong Ping are the Buddha, shops, and restaurants as well as the Po Lin Monastery which was established in 1924.
- Eat noodles. Whether you get them in Ngong Ping or in the city, eat noodles in Hong Kong. They’re a specialty and offered in most restaurants.
- Go shopping in Causeway Bay. Shopping is a major pastime in Hong Kong. There are markets and high-end stores everywhere. I recommend going to Causeway Bay as it offers a range of stores from luxury to affordable fashion and electronics.
- Take a Break in Victoria Park. After walking Ngong Ping and a few hours of shopping, you’ll want a break. Go to Victoria Park in Causeway Bay and enjoy the greenery. If your feet need it, soak them in the boat pond.
- Go to the track in the evening. Hopefully you’re in Hong Kong on a Wednesday because that’s the night that all the action takes place at the Happy Valley Racetrack. It’s centrally located and walkable from Victoria Park and Causeway Bay.
Are you a shopper?
What are your favourite shopping cities in the world?