Going to Hong Kong? Thinking about going to Hong Kong? Well firstly, DO IT! And then read this blog for the best tips on how to spend a whirlwind few days in this magical city. Hong Kong was never high on my bucket list but when Jetstar puts on a $270AUD return deal then my bucket list priorities are easily changed.
I imagined a big and smoggy city with bright lights, disney and tourist attractions.. Which is exactly what I found, but on top of that soooo much more. The city is surrounded by beautiful green mountains and islands scattered everywhere.
We crammed so much into 6 nights in Hong Kong and Macau; taking the peak tram to Victoria Peak for the most incredible view of the city, mountains and surrounding islands. We took the cable car on Lantau Island to Nging Pong village to visit the Big Buddha & some amazing temples. We had a wild night out in Lan Kwai Fong.. A little in the style of “the hangover” minus the tiger. We went to both Ocean Park theme park and Disneyland. Visited some amazing street markets on a Sunday, ate at a Michelin star Yum Cha restaurant. We took a ferry to Macau where we did the highest Bungy in the world!! (233m, woo!) We saw “House of Dancing Water” theatre show and partied at Macaus casinos.
Here is how to spend your time in Hong Kong.
24 hours – Grab yourself an open top sightseeing bus pass. If you only have 24 hours you don’t want to be stuck underground, despite how good the MTR transport is. Check out the city sights, but make these 2 places your priority; Victoria Peak & Lantau Island. You can take a tram up Victoria Peak for the most amazing 360 views. Then jump off the bus on Lantau Island where you can take the cable car to Ngong Ping village to see one of the biggest Buddha states in the world, amazing temples and incredible views. And make sure you eat Yum Cha! Don’t expect cheap, but the dumplings are worth every penny.
2-3 days – As above but add in either Disneyland or Ocean Park. Disneyland is more aimed at small children, but has the magic that disney does. However, if you’ve been to Disney in Florida then I would say don’t bother. We finished the entire park including rides in 2 hours. Ocean Park is more for the bigger kids & adults with some cool thrill rides and it’s set on a mountain overlooking Lamma Island which is stunning!
4-5 days – For 4 days do all mentioned above; Victoria Peak, Lantau Island, Disney and Ocean Park + at least one wild night out in Lan Kwai Fong. For 5 days then throw in a day trip to Macau! There are organised tours or you can just take the return ferry. Macau wasn’t overly impressive to me as a city.. It’s like Vegas minus the fun. EXCEPT of course the Bungy! AJ Hacketts Macau Tower, 233m Bungy, the highest in the world and the best thing I’ve ever done! If you’re too chicken for that (?) then there is also the Skywalk which is a walk outside the 61st floor of the building.
For any longer then just enjoy the food and drink. Have a free day in a resort in Macau that has a pool and day spa. Macau resorts are generally cheaper than central Hong Kong and are that touch of fancy. Although don’t expect anything with typical backpacker prices there.
What about the Hong Kong light show? This question was on our mind for our entire stay in Hong Kong and we finally saw it on our last night. Just as Id read; if you happen to be in the vicinity or have some free time then do watch it because “why not”? But if you’re rushed for time or have other plans then it’s really not something you should feel bad about missing.. Really. It was not a highlight for us at all.
Eat – Maxims cakes! Most MTR stations have them and YUM. Or any cake really. The locals love their sweets and they are delicious!
Yum Cha – the best I’ve ever had!
Drink – If you want to save a few bucks do as the expats do and grab a beer or shot from 7/11 and drink outside. The bars are superrrr expensive so this is a good way to save some money, especially on your way between bars. The best nightlife is Lan Kwai Fong which is a strip of bars that actually forms a big street party.
Stay – If you’re staying in a hotel stay in one that provides a Handy phone. I never thought I would say this, but it really made our trip! Handy became my boyfriend “Andy” who I relied on for all of our tips, maps and information. The best places to eat, drink, visit, get massages.. You name it! This trip wasn’t a backpacking trip for me so unfortunately I can’t give any tips on hostels to stay in.
Have questions? I’d be happy to help!
Sounds like you had a great time. So sorry I was traveling as I would have loved to meet you. Totally agree on the light show except I’d take it a step further. I actually dislike it. Just a few laser beams shooting here and there and buildings illuminated in colours switching on and off. Worst of all, the colours don’t match. I think is is extremely UNimaginative, and I think it should be scrapped. Hong Kong used to shimmer like a pearl at night – that’s why it used to be called Pearl of the East. Now it sparkles like a rhinestone.