Hong Kong is a dynamic and vibrant city known for its sprawling architecture, great food, shopping and theme parks. Despite having been to Hong Kong several times, I’m still discovering new things to do. It is a destination that I find myself returning to again and again.
If you’re thinking of taking a short trip to Hong Kong, here’s a guide to convince you to make that trip!
1. Visit Hong Kong DisneyLand
Going to Disneyland always delights the child in me. Despite having been to Hong Kong Disneyland, I find myself returning time and again. After all, it’s the closest Disney theme park to home. I had the chance to check out Hong Kong Disneyland’s latest attraction, the Iron Man Experience, which is also the first ever Marvel-themed ride at a Disney theme park. Could not resist having the Disney-themed food as well!
For those planning to go to Hong Kong Disneyland, here’s an exclusive limited time promo for you! Book a pair of tickets via Klook and get S$10 off with the code <HKDISNEY10>, valid till 31 Aug 2017. Extra perks include skipping the queues with mobile e-vouchers and instant confirmation! Definitely a fuss-free booking experience I’d highly recommend.
2. Stay in a Disneyland Hotel
While you’re at Disneyland, why not book a night at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel? It was my first time staying at a Disneyland Hotel and it won’t be my last. I love the fact that I head back to the hotel to relax after a long day without having to jostle with the park crowds. There are plenty of food and activities at the hotel as well, such as Breakfast with Disney characters, Disney dimsum at Crystal Lotus Restaurant and Tai-chi with Goofy. Do also check out the newly opened Disney Explorer’s Lodge. that features unique adventure-themed accommodation with ocean views.
Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel; Lantau Island, Hong Kong.
3. Sail on a Chinese junkboat
A highlight for me was cruising on a traditional Chinese junkboat over Victoria Harbour. I would highly recommend the AquaLuna evening sail, a full hour cruise that comes with a complimentary alcoholic/ non-alcoholic beverage onboard! You will get to witness breathtaking views of the sunset and the illuminated Hong Kong skyline. Choose to board from either Central or Tsim Sha Tsui but the drop off will be at Tsim Sha Tsui. Tip: Board at Tsim Sha Tsui so you get first dibs on the best seats.
4. Visit Tai O for a different side of Hong Kong
Tai O in Lantau Island is a refreshing break from the usual cityscape. It is home to a community of fishermen who live in stilt houses above water for many generations, no wonder it is also known as ‘Venice of the East’. If you are lucky, you will be able to spot beautiful pink dolphins from the fishing village boat tour. A picturesque and charming place that is great for photographs. It was easy for me to access Tai O by booking the Lantau Heritage tour that includes cable car and coach transport.
5. Dine at an old-school chachaanteng set in the 50s
Chachaantengs (HK cafes) are everywhere in Hong Kong, and they are also infamous for their brusque and fast-paced service. I always feel the need to gobble up my food whenever I dine at one. Get your tummies filled at Mido Cafe, a chachaanteng with a retro vibe that is nostalgic of Hong Kong in the 50s. My favourites include the French Toast and Macaroni set. Apparently, many HK dramas are filmed here too!
Mido Cafe; 63 Temple St, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong. Closed on Wednesdays.
6. Explore the speakeasy culture in Hong Kong
Apart from Lan Kwai Fong, do check out the bustling speakeasy scene in Hong Kong. Be prepared to wander through a hidden alley for your night tipple. I visited Iron Fairies and was pleased with the overall ambience and drinks. It had a gorgeous interior. and was not too loud. A live band played soothing jazz music while we enjoyed our drinks.
Iron Fairies Bar; LG, 1 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong.
7. Eat roast goose
One cannot leave Hong Kong without eating the iconic roast goose. This particular fowl is not allowed be served in Singapore, so the only way to have it is in Hong Kong. It is not uncommon for people to buy an entire roast goose to take back home.
Visit Yung Kee if you want to have a taste of one of the oldest roast goose restaurants in Hong Kong. Back in late 2015, it was reported that the restaurant was set to close down due to a family conflict. One of the grandsons later went on to start Kam’s Roast Goose, which is my personal favourite.
Yung Kee Restaurant; 32-40 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong.
Kam’s Roast Goose; Wan Chai, Hennessy Rd, 226號地下 Po Wah Commercial Centre.
8. Indulge in matcha desserts
Tea-Kha is a must-go every time I’m in Hong Kong. It is known for their Japanese-inspired cakes, scones and freshly steeped tea lattes (Houjicha, Keemun Rose, etc). A must-order is the Matcha cheesecake- well-balanced flavours and a creamy texture that is not overly rich. My favourite Matcha cheesecake till date.
Don’t miss Via Tokyo cafe too! I’ve been back countless times and it never fails to impress me. The softserve is consistent and the bitter notes of the matcha shine through. It will please matcha aficionados out there! There are also new seasonal flavours from time to time, such as Goma (black sesame) and Hojicha (roasted tea).
Tea Kha; 18 Tai Ping Shan St, Tai Ping Shan, Hong Kong.
Via Tokyo; Shop nos. 1A-1B, G/F., Leishun Court, 106-126 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay (various outlets)
Read here for a more detailed guide to 7 Matcha Desserts in Hong Kong.
9. Drink milk tea and eat Hong Kong sandwiches
Hong Kong milk teas are one of the best- thick, creamy and flavourful! Would recommend pairing it with toasted condensed milk buns. These buns are perfectly crisp and buttered, a sinful indulgence that is perfect for breakfast or at any time of the day. I honestly can’t find a similar version in other parts of the world.
Tsui Wah restaurant; 15 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong (various outlets).
Lan Fong Yuen; 2 Gage St, Central, Hong Kong.
10. Eat beef brisket noodles
Another must-eat in Hong Kong is their braised beef brisket noodles, a quintessentially Cantonese fare. My favourite place for a hearty bowl is no other than Kau Kee. You won’t miss the snaking queues outside this cozy eatery located in Central’s Gough Street. Choose to have your tender beef brisket in a broth or curry sauce. Kau Kee is great for a quick and tasty meal that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Kau Kee Restaurant; 21 Gough St, Central, Hong Kong. Closed on Sundays.
11.Check out Mongkok for street snacks and budget shopping
Mongkok is great for street snacks and budget shopping. How does eating cold green noodles from a plastic bag sound to you? The fun part is customising it with the various toppings and sauces available. Depending on your choices, it can taste sweet, salty, creamy or spicy. Pretty addictive too! Each bag usually costs around $HKD10 (SGD2). It is located next to Argyle Centre, a place for shopping at affordable price points, so you can stop by for a refuel in between shopping.
12. Get in touch with nature at Dragon’s Back
As if walking along the cobbled and hilly streets of Hong Kong is not enough, challenge yourself further by hiking at Dragon’s Back Trail. Its easy accessibility from the city makes it an urban hiking trail. The trail offers stunning views of the coastal scenery. No wonder it is a popular escape for many urbanites.
Read more on how to get there.
13. See Lantau island from a Glass Cabin Cable Car
Take the Ngongping 360 cable car for a stunning bird’s eye view of the beautiful Lantau Island. Opt for the crystal cabin which allows you to see the views through a glass floor. I booked the Lantau Heritage tour that includes a round trip crystal cabin cable car tickets (departing from Tung Chung station) which also brings you to Tai O Fishing Village. The all-inclusive tour also consists of a boat excursion to the Tai O coastal areas where you get a chance to sight pink dolphins.
- Getting around is easy with the Octopus Travelcard, which is a reloadable value card. The stored value in the card can be used for transport and small purchases, such as food and convenience items. Purchasing it from here includes HKD50 stored value, and furthermore it’s a souvenir card different from the typical Octopus Card. Tip: Pick up the Tourist Octopus Card from the Hong Kong International Airport to start using it immediately.
- I used a portable Wifi device that is available to pick-up at the Hong Kong International Airport. The device can connect to multiple devices and the best part? It only costs SGD$3 a day!
- As we traveled in a group, we opted for a convenient car transfer to get from the airport to our hotel safely. Our driver contacted us 2 hrs before pick-up time. Tip: Utilise the WiFi at the Airport to contact the driver via Whatsapp or WeChat.
- Alternatively, purchase the Airport Express Pass with the option of single or return trip to the airport. With the Airport Express, it will only take 30 mins for you to reach the city centre. What makes it worthwhile is that it includes unlimited train rides for 3 Days (72 hours)! It is currently the most affordable option in the market.