When spending a month this Summer in Asia, Tiffany and I were mainly stationed in Vietnam. With that in mind, we wanted to spend a week in one of the nearby regions while we were there. We had Thailand, Singapore, and Cambodia on our radar but Hong Kong took the cake.
We awoke at 3AM on a Wednesday morning and took a taxi to the HCM airport. After a two hour flight we were back in Hong Kong. I say back in Hong Kong because we had a layover there on our way to Vietnam and our views from the airport of the area essentially sealed the deal that we would be back to explore.
After spending a week, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite spots that I recommend you make sure not to miss when you visit the city!
windowshop in causeway bay
If you’re looking to get your real shop on in Hong Kong, I definitely recommend checking out Causeway Bay. You will find stores to meet all budgets, but I recommend at least doing some window shopping in the higher end market. Being an interior design junkie, I was obsessed with many of the high-end stores like Comme des Garçons pictured above.
Take a ferry ride across VICTORIA harbor
For real cheap, you can take a ferry ride across Victoria Harbor from downtown Hong Kong to Kowloon. I think it provides gorgeous views of the city. The harbor is constantly packed with various boats and ships yet the air still feels really clean.
explore the markets in kowloon
Many of the locals recommend that you check out the street markets in Kowloon. If you’re looking to get away from the busy city-vibe, Kowloon is a great place to get away for a bit, and remember the ferry I mentioned above? That’s exactly where it goes! The markets are a great place to find some local treasures sold to you by locals!
take in the views outside of the city
I hope I wasn’t the only one that thought Hong Kong pretty much was just a city and nothing else… I was wrong! There is actually a lot more than just the downtown areas that occupy the region of Hong Kong. Tiffany and I spent time visiting a friend who was studying abroad at one of the local universities out of town. The views were absolutely gorgeous. One the most beautiful sights I’ve seen traveling.
Relax in hong kong’s victoria park
I had already arrived in Vietnam before we explored Hong Kong so coming from 100+ degree weather each day to heat in the 70’s was such a treat. It was nice to be able to roam the city without dripping with sweat and made for many wonderful evenings spent in Hong Kong’s various parks. My favorite was Victoria Park which is great for observing the locals while you’re in the city.
observe the architecture
I am a complete freak for architecture and building design. While most kids were reading Magic Tree House as children, I was checking out architecture books with hundreds of buildings from different famous architects. One of my favorite things to do when I visit a new city is see how the buildings differ from other places I’ve been to. Hong Kong is really ahead of the game when it comes to the amount of diverse and unique buildings they have. They also host one of the most famous buildings in the world, the Bank of China Tower.
Take a ride on the hong kong observation wheel
If great views and ferris wheels are your thing, then take a spin on Hong Kong’s Observation Wheel. The wheel is situated right on the harbor and a short walk from downtown and the views are amazing. The vibe reminded me much of The London Eye which is London’s ferris wheel.
End the night with drinks in lan kwai fong
The Lan Kwai Fong district is usually bumping on most nights. Locals and tourists raid the 7/11s for cheep beer and flood the streets. Out here there are no public drinking laws so the parks and streets become a free-for-all at night which is actually really fun! I’ve noticed a lot of the bars have some pretty decent deals as well. Just remember, drink responsibly!
Things to note
- The subways do become quite crammed during rush-hour. I recommend catering your travel times to times that are less busy.
- Mentioning the subway, many of the stations do not run 24 hours like other city metro systems. This is something to remember when you are going out for a night partying.
- There are three types of taxis in Hong Kong that are easily recognizable by color. You will find most red taxis in the urban areas, green taxis mostly in the New Territories, and blue taxis on Lantau Island including the airport.
- Buy. An. Octopus. Card. These cards are refillable currency cards that are used for the metro system and are also accepted by many of the stores and restaurants in Hong Kong. You have to pay a deposit to receive the card but you can get the deposit back if you return your card at the end of your stay.
- Many of the locals walk very slow in public; much slower than I’ve noticed in other international cities I’ve visited. This might be due to my stature, but just remember to remain patient and maybe bring headphones to ease your mind when doing treks of walking.
- If you plan on driving while in Hong Kong, they drive on the left! I find it much easier to travel by public transport when I travel, but if you do plan on renting a car and are from the West, keep that in mind.
Hong Kong by far is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. While the crowds can feel overwhelming at times, I really recommend anyone visiting the far east spends a few days in Hong Kong. There is plenty to see and plenty to discover. I could say I would definitely be back to explore some more!
Have a good one, readers.