I am calling this trip the ultimate HK trip because I got the time to do everything I personally wanted to do and I packed each of my day to the fullest. I do want to mention though that because I arrived in the evening and had to leave really early in the morning, this post gives you an ideal full four days itinerary. Anyhow, I had so much fun in Hong Kong.
I arrived around 5:20PM, but it took forever to get my luggage. I waited at least 30 minutes and started to worry they lost my precious bags. :’D I took the Airport Express+MTR to get to my hostel, but I later learned that the bus was a cheaper version. All of this took a lot longer than expected and by the time I was fully installed, it was already 8:00PM. I decided to take a shower, enjoy some wifi time and head out for a late supper.
I ordered some wonton+noodles at a local restaurant and it was delicious. I especially loved the wonton and the soup. The noodles were chewy and tasty, although it feels weird for me to have noodles .. inside my wonton. Haha.. I also ordered beef skewers from a different stand and it was juicy and tasty.
My breakfast was simple yummy street food.
For day 2, I started off by going to visit the Hong Kong University campus. I took the MTR again, which was surprisingly cheap for this ride. And let me tell you, it was beautiful! I just can’t believe a university can get such an amazing view of the city. I went to see their Mathematics and Actuarial Science building, which is celebrating its 50th years anniversary this year. Overall, I was just shocked at how amazing the campus is.
After that, since I was HKU, I decided to start the Victoria Peak’s morning trail. It is about 3.3km or 1 hour to walk. On the way there, I met a nice girl from Hangzhou, China and we walked together for one third of the way (she couldn’t finish it as she had to be back to the downtown area by 11:00AM). A lot of locals were walking toward the peal too. Anywhow, the walk was hard and long, but also very satisfying. I reached the top and saw the beautiful promised view.
There, I decided to buy an egg waffle ice cream dessert which was perfect to accompany the view. If you wanted, you could also buy a ticket to see the view from the top of the Peak Tower. After that, I took the bus to come down to downtown.
The bus stopped at Centrale which is a 5-10 minutes walk from the Star Ferry station. I really wanted to ride the Star Ferry and took it to arrive in Tsim Ha Tsui. The ride was nice, but be careful because the boat was pretty shaky..
Arrived on the other side, I used the opportunity to walk around and arrived at the famous Clock Tower and the multiple museums near by. The promenade was the most beautiful place to be in Hong Kong as it had a breath taking view of Hong Kong Island. I was pretty lucky too because there was a blue sky on the day I came.
Because of the construction, the Avenue of Stars was closed for the time I went. However, they moved all the stars, hand prints and status to another location called Garden of Stars. I hence followed the hints and arrived to this say garden. It was so cool to see the stars/hands of stars like Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Aaron Kwok, Brigitte Lin, etc. I also took a picture with the statue of Bruce Lee. *_* So happy.
Afterward, I came back to the Hong Kong Island. I used the time to visit the City Hall where an art exhibition was held and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center Building. It was nice to go to both places, but due to the construction around, it wasn’t the most accessible attractions. I wouldn’t recommend these places specifically.
Finally, I walked to the SOHO district where the night life was crazy. So many shops and bars were still open and there were tone of people around. I went to the recommended Tai Cheong Bakery for egg tarts. It was fluffy and tasty and the proportion of egg yolk was definitely the biggest I had tasted in my life.
Because I enjoyed the view from the Clock Tower and the promenade side, I decided to wake up earlier to go back again and enjoy the view. It was definitely a great decision because it was windy and there weren’t as many people as the day before. I was really able to enjoy the view properly and was even able to make friend with an Indonesian tourist.
Afterward, I went to the fancy Harbour City which is a shopping mall with a LOT of brand names. Sadly, it was still early and the shops only open at 10:00AM. I was sad because I saw a Laduree shop for macaron and I really wanted to taste it.. I walked a bit around more and then headed out.
I went to visit the Kowloon Park which was recommended for being gorgeous. It was indeed a really nice park as they even had a fountain and a labyrinth. A lot of locals were in the park to exercise and enjoy the early morning.
At the end of the Park, I saw a McDonald and entered to order a late breakfast. Surprisingly, it was really cheap and I got a ham+egg hamburger as well as a hot soy milk drink. It made me feel energized to continue.
Afterward, I went to Sky100 which is famous for being the highest building in Hong Kong and 7th highest building in the world. The top floor offers the most amazing 360 degree view ever. Why? Because Hong Kong is an island and every angle is a beautiful scenery.
Afterward, I went to a local Cha Chaang Teng which can be translated to Tea Canteen (or Tea House/Tea Cafeteria). I ordered the Iced Lemon Coffee and the Ribs on rice with tomato sauce. This is a popular dish with locals and tasted like comfort food. Really good.
After lunch, I went to Mongkok which is a famous area for shopping and eating. There, I would strongly recommend the specific markets such as: Goldfish market, Flower Market, Bird Market, and Pet Market. Especially, I was shocked at the diversity of birds been sold there.
I also went to the Ladies Market to buy clothing and gifts. There are tone of good stuff there, but be ready to bargain a lot. Hong Kong is an amazing place to shop for anything you need so even if you don’t find what you are looking for there, you may find them later somewhere else. Keep walking, keep exploring!
I also checked out the famous Temple Street Night Market. It was just starting to set up, but there were a few nice things out already. I didn’t feel like staying though since I was sooo tired from the day.
I started day 4 by going for Dim Sum at the famous Tim Ho Wan (one Michelin star yooo). I went to the Centrale one which was really good and especially loved the Cha Siu bread. The creast was soo good. I ordered too much though so I decided to pack the rest for supper. If you want the most authentic experience though, I would recommend going to their Mongkok location.
After a satisfying meal, I took the MTR to go to Lantou Island. There, I opted to take the Ngong Ping 360 cable ride to arrive at the top of the mountain. It costs 130HK$ but it was totally worth it. After all, you already spended so much to get there, right? 😉 The view was amazing!! It was a super long ride too and you really get to see the Hong Kong Island and the airport from far away. The view of Lantou Island itself is also crazy as the island was really well preserved and covered in trees. A must ride.
Arriving at the top, I got the time to visit the Ngong Ping village, go up to the Tian Tan Buddha and visit the Po Lin Monastery. The walk up wasn’t particularly long, unless you stop every few steps to take pictures like I did. 😛 The Tian Tan Buddha is extremely pretty, but was only finished building in 1980. I love how well protected the Buddha is, as it is protecting Hong Kong. If you were hungry, you can opt to try out the vegetarian meals from the Po Lin Monastery.
Now, pay attention. A lot of tourist go up the Tian Ta Buddha and then call it a day. However, the Lantou Island had so much to offer. I would first recommend going up the hill a bit more and walk down the Wisdom Path. It is a beautiful place with really nice installations (Chinese proverbs on wooden stick are installed on the path). If you walk a bit more up even, you will arrive at one of the most beautiful view ever. I sat on a rock there and loved the feeling of being at the top of the world, without many other tourist (very few people finish the walk).
Afterward, I took the bus from Ngong Ping village to Tai O fishing village. The ride was fairly short (maybe 10-15 minutes) and we arrived at a true gem. The Tai O village is sooo beautiful and feels so friendly. There was a fish market and many people were selling seafood products. You can really smell the freshness of it all (I love seafood, don’t judge me) and even buy some of their local specialties. I bought an iced milk tea sine I was super thirsty by that time of the day. I also saw a lot of locals and tourist line up for egg waffles, which made sense because it smelled so good.
The best part of Tai O however in my opinion was the view. It is just so amazing to me that this kind of view co-exists with the busy Hong Kong city, a bit further right. I honestly think this was my favorite view from the whole trip and that says a lot considering how many beautiful places I went.
The trip back to the MTR station however was a lot more tedious. I took the bus which drives directly to the MTR station and it was really shaky. It took about an hour so I would really recommend to take it only if your heart permits and you get a seat. Else, wait for the next bus.
Another alternative to the Tai O village is the Pui O village. Indeed, the Lantou Island has many villages on top of it, including some amazing beaches: Cheung Sha Beach, Stanley Beach, Repulse Bay. These may also be fun to visit although I didn’t have time to do so.
Day five was my super extra lazy day. I had so much fun traveling around the city in the previous three days that I was too tired to do much. The good thing is that I already went to most places I wanted to go to, so I took a more relax approach for that day. I took the famous Ding Ding Bus (HK old school tramway) which is really cheap. I rode it from right to left, all across the city which allowed me to see the beautiful local life in Hong Kong while being seated the whole time. Haha, I know, so lazy.
I came down a few time. At the right end side terminus, I walked down to visit a local morning market which was selling the local products the people needed: vegetables, legumes, fish, bread, street food. There was also a lot of shops for grandma clothing, which I thought was really cute. I also came across a local park which was super nice and modern. They even had water installation and a boat in the middle. Walking a bit more from there and you get to the coast side and can see another view of the Tsim Ha Tsui side of the island, with a lot of boats. I am guessing this is a rich neighborhood.
I walked a bit more and found a nice stand for breakfast. I ordered the thinly sliced fish congee with you tiao (Chinese donuts). It was cheap and delicious, especially the congee. The fish felt like it was melting.
Afterward, I took the Ding Ding car to arrive to the West side of the island. From there, I walked to Centrale area, which took only a really short time. There were so many people out to eat lunch by then and you can already spot the popular restaurants by the lines in front. I arrived in front of the food area of the Stanley Street and a lot of people were eating there. It was originally my breakfast place plan, but since I ate I didn’t feel like eating again. However, based on the number of people there, I bet it is an extremely popular spot.
I went to visit the Man Mo Temple which I wanted to visit because of how pretty it looks inside. It is a small temple and there was a lot of smoke from all the people praying. It had a very religious atmosphere, very calming. I stayed for a short time and then left as I didn’t want to disturb the locals’ routine.
Afterward, I went to eat the brisket noodles at the restaurant Kau Kee, which was recommended by the Youtuber Mark Wiens. OMG that was good. The best meal I had in Hong Kong for sure. I will definitely come back again and I recommend anyone else going to try it too. It was mind blowing good. The meat felt like it was melting in my mouth and the soup was rich, without being too salty. Overall, it was amazing!
Afterward, I went to the Hollywood Road and the SOHO district to walk around a bit more. This is really the part of the city where old meets new, tradition meet new international culture. It is lovely. I also went to the Internation Financial Center IFC II to go up to the 55th floor and enjoy the view of the Hong Kong Island from the HK Island’s side. It is free entrance as long as you have your identity card. The view was beautiful and you get to see the Peak Tower from down there.
Finally, I walked to the coast side to enjoy the view one last time before taking the Ding Ding tramway back to the hostel. My night was going to be really long as I need to pack everyting
I had to wake up around 3:00AM to catch buses and be able to arrive at the Airport on time. It was a long process, but I made it for my flight, which will bring me to Singapore to start my exchange semester at NTU.
Thoughts on HK
I really enjoyed living in HK, trying all of its food. However, I do want to give a few advice on the place before you go there. First of all, do notice that cars are traveling on the right. This was so weird to me and I had a hard time to adapt. I was looking at the wrong direction for cars and I nearly got into an accident. So definitely, be careful! The second thing is to be wary of sales people. I went into a shop to buy some cosmetics and asked the people there for recommendation. She only recommended me one product, which after I went back to the hotel I realized had really bad review. I am sure she did this to get higher commission. Luckily, I was able to return the products, but I was disappointed to see such a cunning side to HK. In general, HK is still an awesome place to be, but I would say be careful of these little details.