Quick Guide to Hong Kong

I need to redo my 30 best cities in the world list. Hong Kong isn’t near high enough. I had been to Hong Kong 3-4 times but never for more than a day except for 1999 on my first ever trip to Asia. I have obviously changed a lot since then and so has Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a very large, populated city that’s very organized and easy to get around. It has amazing restaurants, world-class bars, architecture, entertainment and sights. Here’s my quick guide to Hong Kong to maximize your stay and really get to know this amazing city.

Getting Around

It’s pretty easy to get around Hong Kong and Kowloon-the part of Hong Kong across the harbor from Hong Kong Island. The air train and the metro (subway) are excellent and cheap. The Star Ferry is a scenic and mega-cheap way to cross the harbor with excellent city skyline views. Finally, I used Uber a lot and it was a lifesaver, especially at night, as taxis don’t always speak English. With Uber you can just input the destination and it translates it for the driver into Chinese.

Where to Stay

There are 2 main areas of Hong Kong that I would recommend staying; Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Kowloon has the best views of the Hong Kong skyline from hotels like the Ritz-Carlton and its sky-high rooms. The W and Intercontinental also have great views at the luxury level. The Peninsula Hong Kong is one of the best hotels in the world and it’s also in Kowloon.

Quick Guide to Hong Kong, Ritz-Carlton

In Kowloon you can also find more cheap(er) options with names you know like Sheraton, Hilton Garden Inn amongst others. Kowloon also boasts some of the top local eating spots in Hong Kong but is developing rapidly with new housing and shopping developments everywhere.

Quick Guide to Hong Kong

Hong Kong Island has all the top brands with standouts being the Four Seasons, Shangri-La and the Upper House-where I would stay next time I go to Hong Kong. Hong Kong Island is very compact in its center and is simple to get around although very hilly if you’re walking up so plan accordingly. But make no mistake, this is the Hong Kong you want to see and experience.

Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak is the top tourist attraction in Hong Kong because it gives the best views of the city. It’s undeniable how great the views are. But it will be crowded both at the peak and in line for the tram going both up and down.

Quick Guide to Hong Kong, Victoria Peak

Here’s some great advice regarding getting up and down from Victoria Peak. Take a taxi, bus or Uber. Don’t bother with the tram. It’s not that great and you could wait for hours. For the same price or less you can be there in 15-20 minutes and down in less without hassle. Trust me this is the move.

Other Sites in Hong Kong

I went to see the Big Buddha on Lantau Island. I thought it was pretty cool and the 6km cable car out was unique enough to make it worth it. Book your tickets ahead of time online to save time on line and the earlier you get there the less the crowd. Avoid weekends if possible but it’s worth the jaunt out by the airport via metro. It’s very easy and direct from central Station.

Quick Guide to Hong Kong, Big Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

There is a Disney Resort in Hong Kong, also out by the airport. While I didn’t go a lot of people obviously do. From what I’ve been told, you don’t have to buy tickets ahead of time and going during the week is best. You get there via Metro pretty easily.

Quick Guide to Hong Kong, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

While the Hong Kong Skyline is one of the worlds best and that is indisputable, it also has some crazy architecture when it comes to apartment buildings. After the movie ‘Transformers’ was filmed in an apartment complex in Quarry Bay, it soon became a haven for Instagrammers. I was floored by how many young people were there taking pictures of the buildings and selfies at a random rundown kind of place. You can get there via metro to Quarry Bay or Uber.

Drinking

Hong Kong is a great town for drinking. It has some of the worlds top bars like Lobster Bar in the Shangri-La Hotel where they make impeccable cocktails in a cool art deco setting. Also the Quinary is the top rated bar in town with imaginative cocktails made right in front of you. I highly recommend it. Both of these bars are part of the 50 Best Bars in the World List for 2017.

Quick Guide to Hong Kong, Quinary

In the 51-100 section of the same list and also in the 50 Best Bars in Asia is Stockton. It’s a tucked away speakeasy that if you didn’t know it was there; you’d never know it was there! Plus, The Pontiac is a loud, in your face bar in the East Village American style with top-notch cocktail makers and a fun vibe.

Quick Guide to Hong Kong, Pontiac Bar

With a skyline like Hong Kong there are several amazing rooftop bars and bars with a view. First and foremost is Ozone, the alleged ‘Worlds Highest Bar’ atop the Ritz-Carlton in Kowloon. Without question the views are intense but dirty windows make the views a little less appealing during the day so stick to the night. Also, Gray Bar atop Upper House has sick views in the middle of Hong Kong Island and some of the coolest bathrooms with a view you’ll ever see!

Eating

I could honestly eat in Hong Kong all day and never tire of it. Depending how adventurous you are, there’s something for everyone’s taste. Of course Hong Kong has food from all over the world but the Chinese and Pan Asian food is tremendous. Here are a few reasonable recs you cannot go wrong with. Keep in mind; if fine dining is your thing, Hong Kong has several ridiculous Michelin Starred restaurants.

Quick Guide to Hong Kong, ramen, Butao

Butao in Hong Kong has the best ramen in Hong Kong and perhaps the best I’ve ever tried. It’s very small and popular so be prepared to wait. I love dumplings and perhaps the best I’ve ever had were at Paradise Dynasty in Kowloon. It’s in a mall up a level or so but so worth the trek out! Also there’s a Din Tai Fung; which has become a chain in Asia and is still amazing!

Quick Guide to Hong Kong, dumplings

Of course you could simply stroll the streets of Kowloon and stumble into any local spot. Conversely, you could do the same around Soho on Hong Kong Island and see restaurant after restaurant so pick your poison.

Quick Guide to Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Hong Kong is not a cheap place but you can do it cheaply. However, Hong Kong does luxury very well in terms of hotels, dining and everything else. Just enjoy being in one of the worlds best cities and always keep my quick guide to Hong Kong handy!

Comments

  1. Good tips thanks! I’m headed to HK soon and will print this out!

  2. I stayed at Upper House. I wouldn’t dream of staying anywhere else in Hong Kong. It has a great bar, views, location and bed.

  3. Beautiful just amazing nice post very interesting i really enjoyed it thanks for share.

  4. Great tips. It will really help me whenever i will travel to Hong Kong. Thanks for such good tips.

  5. Wow! Thanks for compiling this. I am planning a short 2-day detour to HK while I;m in Singapore for the whole month in March. And I want to not miss the most obvious places. I am even going to print this out for my sake and put it in my bag just in case.

  6. wow, Hongkong is still beautiful as when my first step in the country. The best part of that place is during the night as those lights glittering all over the city. Anyhow, Australia has a lot of wonderful places to venture too. I hope you’ll get a chance to visit. But before entering the country, you must a valid visa with you. Just in case you needed it, visit https://www.traveleta.com.au/ for an application. Anyhow, thanks for the tips.

  7. metropolitan city of Hong Kong, its my love, always dream to visit. its night life and skyscrapers, wow amazing. thanks for sharing

  8. Next time you should check out more of our local cuisine. Din Tai Fung is taiwanese. There are heaps of excellent dim sum restaurants where can can try local cantonese cuisine. Have a try of Fook Lam Moon in Wan Chai. Happy eating!

  9. Travelling to Hong Kong next month and this blog is gonna help me out with the places and cuisine.
    Thanks a lot mate ! 🙂
    Would love to read more such articles by you.

  10. we have a plan to travel hong kong in next month so i want to know the daily rent for the room in hong kong.

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