Hong Kong Travel Itinerary – 7 Days Of Food, Culture and Adventure [2024]

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Hong Kong is Asia’s World City but more than that, it’s an open kitchen, has a legendary skyline, and is filled with vibrant traditions, unexpected lush greenery and ancient volcanoes. You think you know the city, but until you’ve seen our Hong Kong travel itinerary, you’ll realize that there’s so much that you haven’t seen.

In 7 days, we cover all the essential details you need to build your own epic trip to Hong Kong. Let’s jump right in!

What You’ll Get Out of This Itinerary

  • Day-by-day breakdown that covers how to build a 7 day itinerary of Hong Kong.
  • Important details about major attractions including where to buy tickets, directions, best days to go, and more.
  • Interactive Google Map of all locations on the itinerary.
  • Access to the get the itinerary spreadsheet.

Hong Kong Trip Planning

hong kong observation wheel long exposure spinninghong kong observation wheel long exposure spinning

Journey leading to Hong Kong

This trip to Hong Kong was certainly a unique one for me because half of it was with my parents who and the other half on my own. This was the last leg of their Asia tour before flying home to Canada and I was accompanying them and playing a bit of tour guide as well.

When putting together the itinerary, I wanted to show them the an authentic side to Hong Kong and be able to do it independently because they’re so used to seeing Asia through the lens of a bus tour.

As someone that’s been to Hong Kong before, it’s also worth noting that we didn’t feel as much FOMO about doing absolutely every single touristy spot in the city. In some ways, this was much more liberating because we could go a bit off-the-beaten-path.

Who this Hong Kong itinerary is for

While this itinerary is certainly perfect for first-timers, with a week to work with, it gave us some latitude to incorporate a few unique locations that often don’t make their way to most Hong Kong trips.

  1. Seeking local eats – This itinerary almost exclusively focuses on local street eats. If you enjoy trying authentic Hong Kong cuisine, you’re going to be a happy camper.
  2. Enjoy the natural outdoors – Easily overlooked are Hong Kong’s bounty of outdoor experiences. If you love hiking, you’ll love how Hong Kong’s Green Outdoors are incorporated.
  3. Want to see the popular sights – We still make sure that you get to see and do many of Hong Kong’s icons.
  4. You’re a first timer but want to go deeper – Ultimately, we feel that this itinerary is a balanced mix of the classics with opportunities to delve into Hong Kong’s art, cultural, foodie, and hiking-scene that are normally skipped.

How to use this Hong Kong itinerary

As with all of our itineraries, we do our best to make these as helpful as possible. Instead of making you jump between a lot of different websites which forces you to assemble it, we put as much detail in our day-by-day breakdown.

With this Hong Kong travel itinerary, we have special call out boxes called “What you need to know” which have deep insight from our personal experiences. We also have summaries of each day and an interactive trip map that you can take away to use as well.

Before you go, make sure to sign up to get access to our pre-made spreadsheet of this exact trip, a tool we swear by for our trip planning process.

Lastly, feel like we missed something or want ideas for other things you can swap in? We have you covered with our What We Missed in Hong Kong section.

📚 Hong Kong Mini Guide 📚

Trip Planning Map

🏨 Best HotelsPage148Ramada Hong Kong Grand ViewThe Emperor HotelRosedale Hotel Hong KongThe Perkin Hotel More awesome Hong Kong hotels

🏠 Vacation RentalsBrowse Top Rentals in Hong Kong

🍴Where To EatHing Kee Restaurant, Oi Man Sang, Shek Kee Wonton Noodles

🎟️ Best Places To Visit – Victoria Peak, West Kowloon Cultural District, Causeway Bay, Tai Kwun, Ladies Market, Peng Chau Island, Kowloon Peak, Hong Kong GeoPark.

⭐️ Must Do Activities – Ride The Peak Tram, hike to Kowloon Peak, hop on the Star Ferry, get the near-free tour of Hong Kong Island on a ding-ding, and cruise in the iconic red junk boat.

7-Day Hong Kong Travel Itinerary

Itinerary Day 1 – Iconic Red Junk Boat

aqualuna red junk boat evening harbour cruise in hong kongaqualuna red junk boat evening harbour cruise in hong kong

Even as a transit day into Hong Kong, you’re going to make the most of it immediately after you touch down. Get ready to say “Hello Hong Kong”!

Arrive in Hong Kong

hong kong tourism board arrival counter at the airporthong kong tourism board arrival counter at the airport

The arrival procedure at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is pretty straightforward. The only things you will encounter are:

  • They do random temperature checks on arrival into the terminal where a staff has a handheld temperature meter. In my case, I was asked to take off my hat.
  • You need to fill out an Arrival Card which you may or may not receive on the plane. If you didn’t, there’s a counter at customs which will allow you to grab one and fill it out. There’s no digital app or form at the moment.
  • In between the luggage carousel area and the arrival hall, you’ll find a Hong Kong Tourism Board desk. They run promotions from time to time and it’s definitely worth lining up to get their freebies or vouchers.

The Octopus Card is KEY

TRAVEL TIP: In Hong Kong it’s pretty much mandatory to have an Octopus Card. Like the Suica or PASMO Card in Japan, it just makes it so much easier to tap to use the MTR, ferry, tramways, the Peak Tram, and to even pay for things. You can pre-book your Tourist Octopus Card that’s already loaded with HK$50 and pick it up at the airport. These aren’t rental cards so you can keep them as a souvenir.

Once you get your Octopus Card sorted, you’ll need a way to get into the city. One of the fastest and most convenient ways to do this is to take the Airport Express train.

While you can definitely use your Octopus Card to pay, the important tip is that if you are a group of 2 or more, you’ll want to buy their group tickets because they are cheaper. Alternatively, you can also buy tickets in advance to save some time.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

We’ll focus on getting from the airport to the city but we’ll add some details that are important for those that are taking Airport Express when leaving Hong Kong.

Location: Connected to the arrivals hall of Hong Kong International Airport is the Airport Express station. It’s on the same level and doesn’t require taking any escalators or elevators. Airport Express has 5 stations in the line going from west to east.

  • AsiaWorld-Expo – This is actually before the airport so most people won’t be going here.
  • Airport – This is where you’ll get on.
  • Tsing Yi – This is a small urban island and mostly residential.
  • Kowloon – This connects with the MTR station of the same name. The only problem with this station is that it doesn’t have an easy connection if you want to go to other parts of Kowloon such as Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan, and Mong Kok by MTR.
  • Hong Kong – This is the end of the line and right below MTR Hong Kong Station which is also connected with MTR Central Station.

Time:

  • Frequency – Varies throughout different parts of the day but during prime time, it’s roughly ever 50 minutes so it’s worth checking the airport express schedule.
  • Schedule from airport – First train at 5:54AM and last train at 12:48AM.
  • Schedule from Hong Kong station – First train at 5:53 AM and last train at 12:52AM.
  • Duration – 24 minutes to Hong Kong Station and 22 minutes to Kowloon station.

Price: The airport express fare table has the most up-to-date pricing but there are a few things you want to pay attention to.

  • Paying by Octopus Card is cheaper than buying a single-use ticket (what they call a Smart Ticket)
  • Single journey and same day return tickets are the same price. This is useful for those that are doing a connection through Hong Kong but have many hours to spare and want to go into the city.
  • If you’re taking Airport Express and interchange to the MTR (subway), this is free. This only works if you use the Octopus Card to ride the Airport Express.
  • IMPORTANT – Not well advertised is that there are significant savings for group tickets. If you’re travelling in groups of 2, 3, or 4, it’s cheaper to buy these Smart Tickets instead of using your Octopus Card.

In-Town Check-in Service: This is more for the reverse journey but Airport Express has special counters at Hong Kong Station and is a handy service they offer where you can get your boarding pass and check-in your luggage ahead of time. There are some caveats though:

  • To enter the In-Town Check-in Service area, you need a valid Airport Express ticket which you scan to get in.
  • Currently, this service is only offered to flights operated by Cathay Pacific (cannot be a codeshare flight with another airline).
  • You can actually check-in here a full day in advance and up to 90 minutes before the scheduled departure time (during service hours). Exception are US destinations where check-in can only start 24 hours before scheduled flight departure time.
  • We wouldn’t recommend you do this the day before your flight though as you’d need two Airport Express tickets. That said, this is handy for those that want to drop off their bags early in the morning if your flight is later in the day and still want to spend the day to explore.
  • Check-in bags are limited to 145cm (length) x 100cm (width) x 85cm (height) and weight of 70kg.
  • Service hours are 6AM to 11PM.
  • After you complete the check-in, you leave the In-Town Check-in Service gated area and take the elevator down to train-level where you’ll tap your Airport Express ticket again.

Hotel Shuttle Service: Complimentary shuttles are offered from Hong Kong Station and Kowloon Station. These are buses that go to specific hotels and have their own specific schedule. You don’t necessarily need to hold a reservation at one of these hotels to take them.

Alternatives to Airport Express: If you’re looking for a cheaper, private, or more frequent way to get into the city, there are other options.

  • Public buses – If you’re going to Tsim Sha Tsui, take Citybus A25 (HK$40.8, every 30 minutes) or Citybus A21 (HK$34.6, every 15 minutes). If you’re trying to get to the Hong Kong Island side (Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and North Point), take Citybus A11 (HK$41.9).
  • Taxis – Fares are metered. Take a red taxi if you’re headed to Hong Kong Island or Kowloon, green taxi if you’re going to the New Territories, and blue taxi for Lantau Island. As a guideline, the fare from the airport to Tsim Sha Tsui is around HK$265 and to Central is HK$335.
  • Uber – Uber works in Hong Kong but the consensus for most is that the standard taxi is better because they know the roads inside out and their pricing is the same as Uber or cheaper.
  • Private transfer – If you’re traveling in a large group, this might make more sense and brings you straight to your hotel. You can find great prices for transfers on Klook.

Booking: You can book online directly with Airport Express. You can also book tickets in advance with Klook, saving you $1-$2 in the process. You can also book tickets through Viator.

Website: Hong Kong Airport Express

FAQ:

  • Are seats assigned on the Airport Express? No, the train is first-come-first-serve. You’ll find that the train doesn’t get very full so it is not competitive.
  • Is there a place for luggage on Airport Express? In each car there are 4 luggage racks like the one depicted above which is plenty of space and ensures they don’t move around.

Tips:

  • If you’re taking Airport Express and interchange to the MTR (subway), this is free. This only works if you use the Octopus Card to ride the Airport Express.
  • The hotel shuttle service is a sneaky way to get closer to where you want to be if it works out.
  • If you need to charge your devices, outlets are available only on the first and last car of the train. Free wifi-service is available throughout.
  • Hong Kong’s Transportation Department developed an app called HKeMobility that is meant to be an all-in-one travel app for the city. Download it (iOS/Android) before you go.

You’ll be lugging around your bags so once you hop out of Airport Express, connect with the MTR to get to your closest subway station.

In our case, since we stayed at Page148, MTR Jordan Station was the closest and we walked the rest of the way. It was too early to check-in so we left our bags with the front desk.

Classic lunch at Australia Dairy Company

No matter whether you arrive in Hong Kong in the morning or afternoon, start your trip right by heading to a legendary HK-style cafe, Australia Dairy Company.

These types of cafes are distinctly a part of the fabric of Hong Kong cuisine and known as cha chaan teng. You can think of these as an equivalent to an American diner except they’re a fusion of east and west that developed from British influence.

If you see a long queue outside, don’t worry, the turnover is insanely fast so you’ll get a table in no time. Of course, with that, you’ll likely be sharing a table with another group, they’ll hustle you for your order, and when the food arrives, you eat and go.

It’s a chaotic scene but you’ll love how it gives you glimpse into Hong Kong’s fast-paced lifestyle.

When you’re here, make sure to order their steamed milk pudding, HK-style French toast, milk tea, and egg sandwich.

Explore Ladies Market and Goldfish Market

bustling ladies market street in hong kongbustling ladies market street in hong kong

Next, make your way to Ladies Market, a 1 kilometer stretch, covering 4 blocks, and consists of stalls selling all sorts of knickknacks geared towards tourists. It’s an open-air market that has a liveliness to it that is always welcome.

Here, you’ll find everything from magnets, t-shirts, bobble-heads, jewelry, phone cases, handbags, socks, knockoffs, and more.

Just north of the market is the Goldfish Market on Tung Choi Street. You’re probably not buying any luck-bringing goldfish on your trip, but you get to peer into the window of where locals go to buy pets.

At this point, your room should be ready so head back to the hotel to get organized.

Enjoy the iconic aqualuna Harbour Cruise

view from onboard the aqualua red junk boatview from onboard the aqualua red junk boat

You’re in for a treat! On our first few visits to Hong Kong, the classic thing to do is to head out to watch the sparkling night lights from Kowloon Pier and we’d always see this beautiful classic Chinese boat sailing through. I thought, “now that has to be the best way to see Hong Kong!” – I was right!

So turns out, one of the main operators is aqualuna where they own two iconic red sail junk boats. The best time to do their cruise is around sunset where they do a 45 minute loop around Victoria Harbour, giving you ample time to sip on a glass of wine while enjoying the illuminated skyline on both Kowloon-side and Hong Kong Island.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

There are a few companies that have the red sail junk boat for their harbour cruise but the one we recommend is aqualuna.

Closest MTR Station: MTR Hong Kong Station or MTR Central Station

Location: One of the advantages of aqualuna is that they do pick ups and drop offs from both sides of Victoria Harbour.

  • Tsim Sha Tsui Pier 1 – First pick up and drop off point.
  • Central Ferry Pier 9 – Second pick up and drop off point.

Time:

  • Cruises operate year-round.
  • Departures on the 30 minute – These bring you back to your point of departure
  • Departures on the 45 minute – These bring you across the harbor when they drop you off.
  • Schedule – This can change depending on whether they have both of their junk boats sailing but this is usually how it should look:
    • TST departure – 4:45PM, 5:30PM, 5:45PM, 6:30PM, 6:45PM, 7:30PM, 7:45PM, 8:30PM, 8:45PM
    • Central departure – 4:30PM, 5:30PM, 5:45PM, 6:30PM, 6:45PM, 7:30PM, 7:45PM, 8:30PM, 8:45PM
    • Note that the 7:30PM and 7:4PM departures are the special Symphony of Lights Cruise which is more expensive.
    • The schedule is subject to change with the availability of both ships and if any of them are booked for private events.
  • Cruise duration – 45 minutes if dropping you off on the other side, 60 minutes if you do a return trip.

Price:

  • Adults – HK$270
  • Child (4-11) – HK$170
  • Child under 4 – Free
  • Price includes one complimentary drink
    • Drink list – House white or red wine, Prosecco, beer, juices, Sundowner mocktail, soft drinks, and still or sparkling water.
    • You can upgrade to a Mini Moët Impérial 20cl for HK$150

Booking: Advanced bookings are required as there are no ticket booths at either pick up location. You can reserve directly with aqualuna but we found that booking through either Viator or Klook come with the advantage of having quicker customer service.

Website: aqualuna

FAQ:

  • How early do I need to arrive for my harbor cruise? It’s recommended to arrive at your pier at least 15 minutes in advance.
  • Are seats assigned on the boat? Guests are free to choose where they want to sit. This means that it is first-come-first-serve.

Tips:

  • To get to Central Ferry Pier 9 from the MTR, you’ll want to get onto the elevated pedestrian walkway that connects to all the skyscrapers here. If you get onto street level, look for the escalator up to the walkway. Follow the signs to the Central Ferry Pier.
  • Make sure to check the Hong Kong sunset times for the date that you’re interested in so you can select the right cruise time. For instance, if the sunset time is 6:45PM, ideally choose the 6:30PM sailing so you can catch the sunset and the night skyline view.
  • Since seating is first-come-first-serve, if you want to guarantee a specific spot on the junk boat, we recommend that you board from the Tsim Sha Tsui Pier and show up early to start the queue.
  • The advantage of starting in Tsim Sha Tsui is that you’ll board the boat first, and you’ll have an additional 15 minutes of cruise time.
  • The advantage of starting in Central is that you effectively get a free harbour crossing as you’ll start off on the Hong Kong-side and end up on the Kowloon-side
  • If you look at the aqualuna site, their timetable is honestly confusing and contradictory but this is because things work different between low season and high season. In low season, it’s straightforward with pick ups only in Tsim Sha Tsui, followed by Central, and everyone dropped off back at Tsim Sha Tsui. During high season, the starting point is different.
  • It gets a fair bit chillier after sunset so we recommend bringing a light jacket, shawl, or cardigan in case you get cold.

Walk amongst the stars

After disembarking in TST, check out the Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower and walk to newly revitalized Avenue of the Stars where you’ll see hand-print plaques of famous Chinese stars on the railing and the famed statue of Bruce Lee.

Slurp a hearty bowl of wontons

As you’ll learn throughout this trip to Hong Kong, to experience authentic local eats, you have to find the hole-in-the-wall joints that are frequented by the very people that live there.

Since you’re already in TST, head over to Shek Kee Wonton Noodles. You won’t see a single lick of English on the outside but on the inside is one of the best places in the city to have a bowl of wonton noodles.

The multi-language menu will be overwhelming to go through but I’ll make it easy for you, get the “Wonton, Fish Ball & Beef with Noodle”. That’s what you see above and it is a winner.

Day 1 Summary

What you’ll see & do:

Where you’ll eat:

  • LunchAustralia Dairy Company – HK-style cafe that specializing in steamed milk pudding and scrabbled egg sandwiches but expect all of the Hong Kong classics like milk tea, French toast, macaroni soup, spaghetti, and congee. They have English menus and are cash-only.
  • DinnerShek Kee Wonton Noodles – A no-frills wonton noodles shop in TST that locals love to frequent because they have generously-sized wontons, noodles are cooked al-dente, their chili sauce is excellent, and it’s incredibly affordable. They have English menus and are cash-only. Michelin Bib Gourmand recommended.

Where you’ll stay:

  • Page148 (Agoda/Booking) – This is a boutique hotel that has a modern sensibility to it.  It features plenty of sleek lines, a nice blend of textures, and plenty of minimalism. Their lobby has a spacious in-house cafe with plenty of table space. The front desk staff are very friendly and accommodating. We stayed in the Signature Greenery room which has a comfortable queen bed and as a corner unit, it has views of the cricket club, Kowloon skyscrapers and the silhouette of the mountains. It’s a bit of a pricier option but you can’t go wrong.

Itinerary Day 2 – Discover Peng Chau Island

peng chau island aerial overview of this outlying island in hong kongpeng chau island aerial overview of this outlying island in hong kong

Hong Kong is made up of many small islands and this is personally something we make sure we do every time we visit. For day two, you’ll go on an adventure to see a completely different side to the metropolis that you saw on your first day.

Ride the ferry to Peng Chau

peng chau ferry pier with ferry docked and small fishing boats in the foregroundpeng chau ferry pier with ferry docked and small fishing boats in the foreground

Peng Chau means ‘flat island’ and ironically is crescent-shaped and is more hilly than it is flat. In the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), industry thrived here with over 100 factories, including the largest match factory in Southeast Asia.

Today, Peng Chau is a peaceful retreat that gives a taste of authentic village life, hideaway beaches, easy hiking trails, panoramic viewpoints, and soothing sea breezes.

To get to the outlying island of Peng Chau is quite easy. From Central Ferry Pier 6, there is a ferry run by Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry (HKKF) and will whisk you away in 40 minutes with the ordinary-speed catamaran ship.

See the many temples of Peng Chau

peng chau island welcome signpeng chau island welcome sign
tin hau temple entrance on peng chau islandtin hau temple entrance on peng chau island
Tin Hau Temple
kam fa temple exterior on peng chau islandkam fa temple exterior on peng chau island
Kam Fa Temple

Once you arrive on the island, you’ll see the customary “Welcome to Peng Chau” sign. You can find these at all of the outlying islands including Lamma Island and Cheung Chau.

The ferry pier is right next to the central part of the island. If you’re hungry, you can go to Kee Sum Cafe to try their famous prawn toast.

It’s also here where you’ll find Tin Hau Temple. This is a popular name for a temple because of Tin Hau Goddess, so you’ll see these all over Hong Kong. Temples in Hong Kong are free to visit so don’t be shy and make sure to go inside to see all of the spiral incense hung from above. Most people come to pray for good fortune at sea and their safety.

A short walk away is Kam Fa Temple or Golden Flower Shrine. I personally love this one because of the twin dragon pillars that flank each side. This temple is right next to an old banyan tree and many people come to worship Kam Fa Goddess because she’s known to make wishes come true.

tai lei island connected by a bridge with fishing boats in the watertai lei island connected by a bridge with fishing boats in the water
photographer on the rocks of tai lei island on peng chauphotographer on the rocks of tai lei island on peng chau
Photographing from rock on Tai Lei Island
peng yu path beach veiw on peng chau islandpeng yu path beach veiw on peng chau island
Peng Yu Path beach

Continue along the western shoreline, you’ll pass by Seven Sisters Temple. This is a collection of temples that are dedicated to seven deities that couples will come visit to pray for fertility.

From here, you’ll see a bridge that connects to a lone islet. This is Tai Lei Island, a popular spot for fishermen, but is also quite photogenic thanks to the large ‘Turtle Rock’ that juts out into the water.

Walk the Peng Yu Path

At this point, the Peng Yu Path begins. This is a walking trail that covers the northern part of the island. Along the way, you’ll pass by several secluded beaches.

The main highlight of this path are Snoopy Rock and Old Fisherman’s Rock that stand precariously on different parts an island that’s connected by sand.

Along the path are several pavilions offering a place to sit and get under the shade. Continue along Peng Chau Family Walk which completes the northern crescent and drops you into Tung Wan Beach, the largest of all beaches.

Along the beach is Lung Mo Temple, decorated by gold on the inside, and is famous for the goddess, Lung Mo’s statue and her Dragon Bed. Many is said about it but apparently if you touch it, you’ll be bestowed good luck.

Take a break at Hoho Kitchen

Back in the center of the island, this is the perfect time to take your lunch break. We highly recommend you eat at Hoho Kitchen on Wing On Street. They serve many of the classic Hong Kong dishes, alongside their Insta-famous pineapple bun ice cream sandwich.

When done, take your time to wander the local village streets, check out the traditional Chinese architecture, and pick up some snacks and drinks for your afternoon walk.

Make sure to also seek out the Fook Yuen Leather Factory, a historic building that’s been transformed into a creative art installation made of recycled materials.

Complete the Peng Chau Family Trail

aerial view from finger hill peng chau island trailaerial view from finger hill peng chau island trail
Finger Hill
peng chau seaside promenade at sunsetpeng chau seaside promenade at sunset
Seaside Promenade
sunset and mountain silhouette on ferry from peng chau to hong kong central piersunset and mountain silhouette on ferry from peng chau to hong kong central pier
Ferry ride back to Central

From the center of town, start your walk on the Peng Chau Family Trail which will take you up to Finger Hill, the highest point on the island.

On your way, you’ll have 355 steps laid out in front of you so take your time, take breaks, and don’t forget to look back down for some awesome views.

At the very top of Finger Hill is a pavilion where you’ll no doubt want to cool off a bit with the shaded breeze as you take in the views.

Next, take a flight of stairs down to Ngan Chai Tsai Pavilion, which arguably has the better view, facing east and points directly at Hong Kong and the skyscrapers that surround Victoria Harbour.

Round out your day on Peng Chau by following the path to a lower viewing platform and beach that has looks at Ngan Chau Island, another that resembles a turtle. Get back on the paved road and pass by an old pier, another beach, and finally to Nam Wan (South Beach).

A short distance along the seaside promenade and you’ll be back to the Peng Chau ferry pier. If you want, you can grab a quick bite at A Noy Bakery or Island Table Grocer Cafe.

If you’re getting lost by all the names, the key is to just have all of the pins marked on your map so you can follow the path from one spot to the next.

Catch the ferry back to Central Ferry Pier 6 and watch a brilliant sunset cash its glow on the silhouette of islands.

mister softee iconic soft serve ice cream by central piermister softee iconic soft serve ice cream by central pier

Unmissable is the giant ferris wheel that’s staring right at you. This is the Hong Kong Observation Wheel which is part of the AIA Vitality Park.

While you’d assume that it’d cost an arm and a leg to ride the ferris wheel, think again! Tickets only costs HK$20 for adults (less than $3 USD) so there’s almost no reason to not buy your tickets in advance.

If you’re lucky, be on the lookout for the Mister Softee ice cream truck or listen for the Blue Danube jingle. They’re a childhood favourite and is still so good.

Enjoy delicious claypot rice dish

hing kee restaurant claypot rice dish in hong konghing kee restaurant claypot rice dish in hong kong

Another beloved Hong Kong street food classic is claypot rice. This is where the crackle and crunch of rice from the baked rice is topped with a mix of meat, seafood, and vegetables, then you stir in the sweet soy sauce.

Running for over 30 years, Hing Kee Claypot Rice Restaurant has become so popular that they’ve had to scoop up multiple storefronts to keep up with demand. Even though you’ll see branches across two streets, there’s still a line to get a table.

There are literally 60+ variations of claypot rice so you might be overloaded with choice. Sometimes, the simplest combos are the best so I’d stick to spare ribs with Chinese sausage or chicken with Chinese sausage.

Beyond claypot rice, make sure to try other dishes like razor clams and deep fried oyster pancakes.

TIP: The line may seem long but like Australia Dairy Company, the turnover is fast because they have so many tables scattered around.

Take in the Temple Street Night Market

temple street night market main gate in the eveningtemple street night market main gate in the evening

To close out the night, walk down from Hing Kee and enter the main gates of Temple Street Market. This is a lively area that’s kept much of its original character. It’s a bit rough around the edges but is certainly eye-opening.

The main stretch is dominated by many of the same type of shops you’ll find at Ladies Market, but surrounding it are also an eclectic mix of fortune-tellers, open-air karaoke, street food, and possibly prostitutes lurking in the shadows.

Day 2 Summary

What you’ll see & do:

Where you’ll eat:

  • BreakfastPage148 or Kee Sum Cafe – If breakfast is included, you have the option to eat at your hotel or you can eat once you arrive on Peng Chau Island. This cafe is a staple on the island and is best known for its prawn toast and pork chop sandwich. They are closed on Mondays.
  • Lunch – Hoho Kitchen – A classic HK-style cafe that also happens to make a killer ice cream sandwich where they use a pineapple bun instead. They are closed on Thursdays.
  • SnackIsland Table Grocer Cafe and A Noy Bakery – Both of these are great options if you want a later afternoon pick-me-up before you hop on the ferry. A Noy Bakery is closed on Mondays.
  • Snack – Mister Softee – Vintage icon ice cream truck that has been around since the 1970s.   They specialize in milk-flavored soft-serve.
  • DinnerHing Kee Claypot Rice Restaurant – One of the go-to restaurants to have claypot rice on Temple Street. Heads up, don’t get this mixed up with “Hing Kee Restaurant” as they are not the same.

Where you’ll stay:

Best Restaurants in Hong Kong

It’s impossible to eat at all of them but you should at least try! Many of them are featured in this itinerary but there are many more. Make sure to read our guide to find out where else you’d like to eat.

Itinerary Day 3 – Rising To The Peak

hong kong victoria peak view of the skyline centered by a lion statuehong kong victoria peak view of the skyline centered by a lion statue

Next on your travel itinerary is a day filled with many of the Hong Kong classics – the kind that you’d feel the FOMO if you didn’t do, and if you’ve done it before, it’s the kind of place that you never mind being reacquainted with.

Experience authentic dim sum

sun hing restaurant dim sum interiorsun hing restaurant dim sum interior

Start off your morning by venturing out to the most western stop on MTR’s Island Line, Kennedy Town. You’ve made it all this way to eat at Sun Hing Restaurant, a dim sum specialist that opens as early as 3AM.

This might be one of the most raw forms of dining you’ll have on this trip and that’s precisely why you’ll love it. Nobody really speaks English here, you’ll most definitely have to share a table, and the plastic stools aren’t the most comfortable, but the dim sum makes it all worth it.

I’d say the chaos here surpasses what you’ll experience at Australia Dairy Company. Dishes come out of nowhere and sometimes they don’t come at all. Once you’re done eating, you’ll feel the darting glares from those that are standing at the entrance, so it’s best to be quick about it.

TIP: Despite providing a order sheet that’s completely in Chinese, you quickly learn that it doesn’t go anywhere. If the wait-staff remember what you ordered, they’ll bring it over but if they don’t, nothing will ever come. The best way to get what you want is to just point at dishes when they come out. If you’re having trouble, there is an English translation of the menu on the wall with pictures.

Take in the atmospheric Man Mo Temple

man mo temple hong kong with spiral incense coilsman mo temple hong kong with spiral incense coils

Next, pop out of MTR Sheung Wan Station and pass through Upper Lascar Row, an antique street market that’s always fascinating to browse through.

Once you pass through the market, the picturesque temple, Man Mo Temple, will come into view.  This temple pays tribute to the God of Literature and the God of War, so this is the place locals would come if they wanted to ace an upcoming exam or solve conflicts.

The most striking feature when you walk inside the main temple are the wafts of smoke coming from the spirals of incense suspended from the roof.  You’ll also see wood carvings, golden deities, murals, and lanterns.

Before you leave, make sure to also pop into the adjoining temple next door which is a separate place of worship for other Buddhist and Taoist deities.

Go on a walking tour of Hong Kong Island

One of the things I love doing is just walking from Man Mo Temple towards Central. This part of the city is always more peaceful and filled so many different boutique shops, murals, and a look into the daily comings and goings of locals on the Hong Kong Island.

A few stops along the way we recommend are:

  • Kung Lee Sugar Cane Drink – They make fresh sugar cane juice and herbal jelly which are very refreshing on a hot day.
  • Graham Street Mural – There’s a section of the sloping street that has a painted mural depicting tightly packed homes set in a vibrant blue sky.

See the old and new of Tai Kwun

You’ll eventually come across a cluster of British colonial buildings amidst towering skyscrapers. This is Tai Kwun, a redeveloped area that combines the old with the new.

This was once a compound consisting of a police station, central magistracy and prison. Undergoing a massive transformation, it’s now a museum, cultural hub, space for art, and simply a really cool place to hang out with its open spaces, cafes, and restaurants.

As a visitor, they do an excellent job at showing how the police operated here back then since it was established in 1841, and you’ll get to walk in various blocks of the Victoria Prison that was fully functioning up to 2006.

There are also two museums called the JC Contemporary and JC Cube, both are spaces for exhibition and performing arts. JC Contemporary art gallery is free to enter and in addition to their incredibly photogenic spiral staircase, they host a constant flow of new art exhibitions.

In our case, we weren’t feeling too hungry after all of that dim sum but if you’re looking for a lunch spot, we scoped out Central Market inside a revitalized historic building and has a food court-style hall where you’ll have plenty to choose from.

Enjoy the panoramic view of Hong Kong from The Peak

the peak tram arriving at victoria peakthe peak tram arriving at victoria peak

Your walk will continue along a lush green respite through Lower Albert Road until you reach the lower terminus of the Peak Tram. This is perhaps one of the three most iconic modes of transportation in Hong Kong.

This funicular railway has been bringing visitors up to “The Peak” since 1888. Thanks to the large panes of glass on its current generation of tram cars, you’ll see the urban apartments fade to greenery and occasional peeks at the impressive array of skyscrapers.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

We’ll be focusing on The Peak Tram but we’ll also provide options for those that want to take the bus or hike.

Closest MTR Station: MTR Central or Admiralty Station are both close by however the most direct route is to come out Central’s J2 Exit.

Location: The lower terminus is located at 33 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong

Time:

  • Hours – Open all-year-round
    • 7:30AM to 11PM (Mon – Sun & Holidays)
  • Frequency – Departs every 10 to 15 minutes
  • Duration – 8-10 minutes

Price: The pricing is divided between regular and peak days. For most of the year, peak days are simply Saturdays and Sundays. The exception are major Chinese holidays, second half of July to the third week of August, and Christmas. At the end of the ticket and booking page, they have a PDF of all peak days.

Regular Days Regular Days Peak Days Peak Days
Single Return Single Return
Adult HK$62 HK$88 HK$76 HK$108
Child (3-11)/Senior (65+) HK$31 HK$44 HK$38 HK$54

For the most up-to-date pricing, head over to the Peak Tram’s ticket and booking page. Oh and they now offer 20% off for morning tickets!

Combo ticket are also available if you want to combine Peak Tram with Sky Terrace 428.

Booking: You can buy tickets online ahead of time through a number of different platforms. That said, it is not necessary because you can skip the line by tapping your Octopus Card at the turnstile.

If you’d like to book in advance, you can do so through the official website or the combo tickets through Klook, Viator, or GetYourGuide. If you decide to buy tickets when you arrive, you can line up to pay at the booth or you can simply scan your Octopus Card at the turnstile.

If you’re looking to do a number of attractions such as the Peak Tram, Ngong Ping 360, Hop-On-Hop-Off, and M+, make sure to check out the GoCity pass for Hong Kong which can help you save a lot of money if you manage to do all of the inclusive activities.

Website: The Peak Tram

Alternative Way Up To Victoria Peak:

Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Route No. 15 (Citybus)
Regular double-decker bus that runs more frequently to the Peak

Starts from Central Pier 5

Daily: 6:15AM to 12:15AM (from Central)

Price: HK$12.10 for adults , HK$6.10 for children/seniors

Frequency: 6 – 30 minutes

Duration: 33 minutes

Route No. X15 (Citybus)
Double-decker bus that only runs on weekends and holidays once in the day

Starts from Central Pier 6 with only one bus at 10AM going up to the Peak.

Price: HK$14.70 for adults, HK$7.50 for children/seniors

Duration: 45 minutes

Minibus No.1
Small bus that goes up to The Peak daily from HK Station.

Starts from Central and HK Station (Two IFC)
 
Daily: 6:20 am to 12:00 am (from Central)

Price: HK$11.80
 
Frequency: 5 – 15 minutes

  • Taxi – There are plenty of taxis in Hong Kong and willing to head up to the Peak. These are metered, air-conditioned, and clean. The HK$65-$80 and should take roughly 7 minutes.
  • Hike – There is a trail that takes you all the way up to the Peak (2.8 km/1.74 mi). From MTR Central Station, this is a 1-1.5 hour hike. Note that you’re effectively. walking on the same road as cars so you’re not hiking the mountain.

Alternative Way Down From Victoria Peak:

  • Bus – The bus stop at the Peak is underneath Peak Galleria mall.
Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Route No. 15 (Citybus)
Returns back to Central Pier 5

Mon – Sat (except Public Holidays): 06:30 am to 1:00 am (from the Peak)

Sun & Public Holidays: 7:00 am to 1:00 am (from the Peak)

Price: HK$12.10 for adults , HK$6.10 for children/seniors

Frequency: 6 – 30 minutes

Duration: 33 minutes

Route No. X15 (Citybus)
Returns back to Central Pier 6 (near Star Ferry)

Starts from the Peak with only one bus departing at 6PM going down to Central Pier 6 on Sat-Sun and holidays.

Price: HK$14.70 for adults, HK$7.50 for children/seniors

Duration: 45 minutes

Minibus No.1
Returns to HK Station (Two IFC)

Mon – Sat (except Public Holidays): 6:45 am to 12:25 am (from the Peak)

Sun & Public Holidays: 7:00 am to 12:00 am(from the Peak)

Price: HK$11.80
 
Frequency: 5 – 15 minutes

FAQ:

  • Where should you sit on the Peak Tram? If you happen to be at the front of the line for the next departure, the front of the tram has the best views but if you’re further back, it’s really not a big deal because the new trams have huge glass windows and bring in tons of light. If you can, sit on the right side of the tram going up because the views of the skyline will be there.
  • Can you buy a return ticket and use them on different days? No, return tickets have to be used on the same day.
  • Is Sky Terrace 428 worth it? We don’t think it’s absolutely necessarily to experience Victoria Peak but what we do like about it is that since it’s paid, you end up with fewer crowds and is more relaxed. They have an unobstructed view of the skyline. That’s why you can consider getting a combo ticket.
  • When is the best time to go to Victoria Peak? If you’re interested in the smallest crowds, The Peak Tram is the least busy from 8AM – 12PM. The most scenic time to go to Victoria Peak is at sunset and Symphony of Lights which occurs every night at 8AM (10 minute show).

Tips:

  • If you don’t buy tickets in advance, when you arrive at the lower terminus of The Peak Tram, don’t stand in line with everyone else, you can bypass it, go straight to the front, and simply tap your Octopus Card to get in.
  • We think that the best way to plan for Victoria Peak is to take the Peak Tram up and the bus down. Not only does this give you a different experiences but the bus back down is more convenient because it brings you right back to MTR Central Station.
  • While you’re riding the tram, pay attention to the Peak Tram illusion.
hong kong skyline view from victoria peak during the daytimehong kong skyline view from victoria peak during the daytime

The tram arrives inside The Peak Tower which has a mix of museums, shopping, and restaurants. Once you’re on the ground floor, you’ll be officially standing on the tallest hill on Hong Kong Island – Victoria Peak.

Continuing walking to east towards the lion pavilion and terrace. It’s here that you’ll see the perfect opening in the trees to lay out the iconic skyline in front of you.

While you’re here, we recommend that you explore the The Peak Galleria which is the mall across The Peak Tower. Their roof is free and gives you a great lookout of the southwestern side of the island. Pacific Coffee in The Peak Tower also has a wonderful patio space that has a direct view of the Peak Tram’s tracks, and the skyline as well.

Take the cheapest way to cross Victoria Harbour

star ferry second deck interior frontstar ferry second deck interior front
Front of second deck
star ferry second deck interior rearstar ferry second deck interior rear
Rear of second deck

You can take the Peak Tram down but we recommend using the bus because it drops you right in front of Central Ferry Pier 8 which is where one of the other famous modes of transportation is located – the Star Ferry.

These green and white passenger ferries are distinctly Hong Kong and have been moving people from all over the world between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island for more than 120 years. What’s endearing about the Star Ferry is that they look and feel the same

To get on the ferry, you’ll want to have an Octopus Card so you can tap right on. You’ll get to choose between two decks of the ferry – the upper is a tad more expensive and is better because it is air conditioned, has more comfortable seats, and a better vantage point, the lower deck is cheaper and is open air although we think the views are just as good because there aren’t any windows to contend with.

TIP: The prices are different on weekends versus weekdays and the upper deck is roughly HK$1 more for adults. That said, the prices are insignificantly different that it’s really a matter of preference.

Eat at one of the oldest dai pai dong in Hong Kong

Foodies can all agree that the best food in Hong Kong isn’t found in in fancy dining rooms of 5-star hotels, they’re the ones that usually spill out onto the street, are loud, and rambunctious. These are what’s called dai pai dong.

With their flaming woks, chefs with serious personality, plastic stools, and foldable tables, spots like Oi Man Sang are keeping this tradition alive. The experience here is no frills and unpretentious. It’s all about authentic local eats and toasting to another great day.

As a staple of the Sham Shui Po area since 1956, the must-order dishes are their potato and beef stir fry, salted egg yolk prawns, clams with black bean & chili sauce, and steamed razor clams.

TIP: When you arrive, make sure to go to the machine to get a ticket first. There’s typically a long queue but with it moves relatively quickly.

kung wo beancurd factory restaurant in sham shui po in hong kongkung wo beancurd factory restaurant in sham shui po in hong kong
Kung Wo Beancurd Factory
hop yik tai rice roll street foodhop yik tai rice roll street food
Hop Yik Tai

Save some room though because there are 2 more popular snack spots in Sham Sui Po.

The first is Kung Wo Beancurd Factory. They specialize tofu pudding, a silky smooth, rich in soy aroma, and syrup-glazed dessert that’s slurp-worthy.

Nearby is also Hop Yik Tai where they are the go-to place for the Hong Kong-style snack of rice rolls that are drizzled with a peanut, oyster, and hot sauce, plus a dash of sesame. If you take it to go, they’ll prepare it in a plastic bag and hand it over to you with a few skewers – the local way.

Day 3 Summary

What you’ll see & do:

Where you’ll eat:

  • BreakfastSun Hing Restaurant – Hyper-local dim sum restaurant that is famous for their golden custard buns.
  • SnackKung Lee Sugar Cane – Traditional shop in Central specializing in sugar cane juice and herbal jelly.
  • LunchCentral Market – Food court with a range of cuisine that’ll be sure to have something you’re interested in.
  • DinnerOi Man Sang – One of the oldest dai pai dong where it’s got the lively atmosphere paired with great local fare.
  • SnackKung Wo Beancurd Factory – Come here for their tofu pudding dessert. They have English menus and are cash-only. Michelin Bib Gourmand recommended.
  • SnackHop Yik Tai – Rice noodle roll specialists but they also have other items like fish balls, dim sum, pork skin, and radish. Most take their snacks to-go in a plastic bag but you can also eat in. They don’t have English menus and are cash-only.

Where you’ll stay:

Itinerary Day 4 – Hanging in Causeway Bay

hong kong tramway view from second deckhong kong tramway view from second deck

As a mid-way point in your itinerary, it’s the perfect time to have a more relaxed day, taking the opportunity to explore the other side of Hong Kong island – Causeway Bay, Quarry Bay, and Taikoo Shing.

Have breakfast at the nostalgia-filled Cafe Match Box

You can never have enough cha chaang teng when in Hong Kong. A fun twist to the breakfast can be found at Cafe Match Box. They serve all of the classics but inside you’ll find a larger-than-life cutout of a green minibus and around it, and tons of nostalgia from the 80s and 90s.

And yes, that’s a ping pong table and plenty of patio space outside – pretty rare for a HK-style cafe.

Enjoy retail therapy in Causeway Bay

Causeway Bay is the best place to go to satisfy your retail therapy. From high end luxury, shopping centers, multi-level department stores, duty-free, and ground-level shops, there’s just about everything here.

For an orientation of sorts, make sure to check out the venerable SOGO Causeway Bay. They’re a Japanese-style department store where upstairs are layers of fashion brands we always love heading down to the basement to hunt for confectionary snacks, baked goods, refreshments, and Japanese imports.

The district’s largest shopping mall is Times Square. Various times of the year they have displays outside. Inside, they carry most of the biggest fashion brands. Again, we love heading down to the basement for city’super, a grocery store that has seasonal food festivals, sweet treats, and ice cream.

Other notable spots to check out is the Transformer’s themed restaurant called The Ark, DFS Causeway Bay for duty-free shopping, and if you love egg tarts, get in line at Hashtag B.

Salivate over more steamed milk pudding

yee shun milk company steamed milk puddingyee shun milk company steamed milk pudding

You’ll be snacking along the way so you probably won’t be super hungry so we suggest you try Yee Shun Milk Company. They’re similar to Australia Dairy Company but we think their steamed milk pudding has a richer milk flavour.

Capture a new a vantage from Quarry Bay Park

Get on the MTR and hop over to a quieter and more residential part of Hong Kong Island. From MTR Quarry Bay Station, if you walk towards the water, you’ll eventually get to Quarry Bay Park, a beautiful green space that allows you to escape the chaos of the city.

With 10 hectares of space, you’ll enjoy a different view of Victoria Harbour. We suggest you follow the promenade until you get to the Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery.

Get dazzling views from a rooftop bar in Taikoo Shing

sugar hong kong rooftop bar at nightsugar hong kong rooftop bar at night
A previous visit to Sugar in the evening

Hong Kong has many notable rooftop bars and one of them is Sugar in Taikoo Shing – a perfect pairing to your very chill day.

From their spacious open deck with fabulous views of the harbor, sip on a sundowner while indulging in shisha or nibbling on Japanese-inspired shareable plates.

TIP: Sugar opens at 5:30PM all days of the week.

Take advantage of the ultimate Hong Kong hack

Psst, we’ll let you in on a secret. You don’t need to do a hop-on-hop-off bus on Hong Kong Island. There’s a practically-free one you can take (adults are only HK$3)!

It’s the double-decker Hong Kong Tramways that you’ll see run length-wise on the island. Locals affectionately call it a ‘Ding Ding’, the third of the iconic modes of transportation in Hong Kong.

We recommend that you take a nice stretch of the tram westbound from Taikoo Shing to Central. It’s fun to people-watch from this vantage point and there are photo-worthy framings of the urban jungle.

TIP: You get on the tram from the rear. You get off the tram from the front and pay upon exit by tapping your Octopus Card or you can pay by cash but no change is given. The best seats are on the second level right at the front.

Dine at the original one Michelin-star dim sum specialist

tim ho wan dim sum baked bbq pork bunstim ho wan dim sum baked bbq pork buns

Back in 2009, a tiny 20-seat dim sum restaurant called Tim Ho Wan opened in Olympia, Hong Kong and within a year, it gained its first Michelin-star, becoming “the world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant”.

With locations all over the city it’s much easier to get a seat compared to back then. On your way home, they have an outlet inside the Hong Kong West Kowloon Station.

Along with the classics, the must-have item is the Baked BBQ Pork Buns. Who said you can’t have dim sum for dinner!

On your way home, drop by Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles which is right around the corner from Page148. Bubble waffles are another dessert that’s taken the world by storm and originated in Hong Kong.

Day 4 Summary

What you’ll see & do:

Where you’ll eat:

  • BreakfastCafe Match Box – A nostalgia-filled HK-style cafe in Causeway Bay.
  • SnackHashtag B – There’s a line up everyday for their egg tarts with a twist of their Napoleon cake style crust and layer of caramel.
  • LunchYee Shun Dairy Company – A steamed milk pudding specialist because you’ll want to have it more than just once!
  • DinnerTim Ho Wan – The world-famous dim sum restaurant that got a Michelin-star back in 2009.
  • SnackLee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles – Right by the hotel is a tiny egg waffle shop run by an elderly couple. Expect a line here but we found that their hours are not always consistent with what’s posted.

Where you’ll stay:

Itinerary Day 5 – The Center of Art and Culture in West Kowloon

west kowloon cultural district view from m plus rooftopwest kowloon cultural district view from m plus rooftop

The newest developed area in central Hong Kong is the West Kowloon Cultural District. Built on 50 hectares of reclaimed land, this has been a development project starting as early as 2012.

This is the kind of cultural and arts hub that the city’s never had before and while there’s still work being done, the anchor sites are complete and is totally worth spending a day here.

Walk the West Kowloon Art Park

west kowloon art park harbor promenadewest kowloon art park harbor promenade

When you get here, start by exploring the Art Park, a large green space that makes the foundation for the West Kowloon Cultural District.

When you’re here, there might be special cultural events but you can also come here for running, biking, picnicking, or just a relaxing stroll. After all, there are beautiful views of the harbour from the waterfront promenade. There’s also a second level viewing platform which you can take advantage of.

TIP: As it currently stands, getting here isn’t the most convenient. If you’re coming from TST, cut across on Austin Road. There’s a portion that goes underground and that leads you into MTR Austin Station. The station has a bridge that crosses into Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and from there you can walk on foot into West Kowloon Cultural District.

Immerse yourself in the Hong Kong Palace Museum

hong kong palace museum architecture from the entrancehong kong palace museum architecture from the entrance

There are two must-visit museums here. The first is the Hong Kong Palace Museum which focuses on ancient Chinese art and culture but presents it in a contemporary architectural lens.

I was particularly blown away by their main exhibit which brings to light, artifacts and stories from the Forbidden Palace in Beijing and more specifically, during the Qing dynasty.  Through the viewing of immersive elements and many never-before-displayed treasures, you’ll get to experience what life was like in the court.

You’ll also appreciate the three atriums stacked on different levels of the museum, each offer panoramic vistas of the city and surroundings in different directions.

For lunch, we recommend you check out the food trucks in the Art Park. Pineapple Canteen is good but a bit far so you might want to try Pat Chun Saucy Truck instead.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Closest MTR Station: MTR Kowloon Station

Location: Hong Kong Palace Museum is located on the far west side of the West Kowloon Art Park. The ticket office is located outside of the museum itself. You can find it across from the courtyard.

Time:

  • Mon-Thurs, Sun – 10AM – 6PM
  • Fri – Sat, Holidays – 10AM – 8PM
  • Closed on Tuesdays (except holidays) and the first 2 days of the Lunar New Year
  • Ticket office closed one hour before closing.

Price:

General Admission Ticket (Gallery 1-7) Special Exhibition Ticket (All)
Adults HK$60 HK$150
Children (7-11) HK$30 HK$75
Seniors 60+ HK$30 HK$75
Children 6 and under Free Free

The Special Exhibition Ticket gives you access to Galleries 1- 7 and also the special exhibitions in Galleries 8 and 9.

Booking: You can purchase tickets online through the museum or you can buy it on Klook.

Website: Hong Kong Palace Museum

hong kong palace museum luggage storage in clock room tickethong kong palace museum luggage storage in clock room ticket
Luggage storage ticket
hong kong palace museum umbrella locker and folder chair rentalhong kong palace museum umbrella locker and folder chair rental
Folding chairs you can borrow for free.

Museum Rules:

  • Items larger than 55ccm x 35cm x 20cm (bags, boxes, luggage, and long umbrellas primarily) aren’t allowed inside the museum. For instance, my Shimoda X50 backpack wasn’t allowed.
  • You are allowed to take photos and videos. Flash photography, selfie sticks, monopods, and tripods are prohibited.
  • Wheeled luggage, carriers, and things like skateboards, scooters, inline skates, and shoes with built-in wheels are not allowed.
  • To enter the museum, you will go through a security check which includes an x-ray machine.

FAQ:

  • Where can I store my bags and luggage? There are 3 lockers for visitors to use but they are small. If you have larger items, you’ll have to effectively use their cloakroom with the ground floor Information Counter. The fee is $HK10 per hour.
  • When is the best time to go to Hong Kong palace Museum? To avoid the large tour bus and school group crowds, your best bet is to go early in the morning when the museum opens or towards the end of the day.
  • How long should I plan to visit the museum for? If you’d like to see all galleries as part of the General Admission Ticket, budget for 2 hours.
  • Are there guided tours? Yes, there are free guided tours of specific exhibitions. Those tour times can be found at the ground floor Information Counter. This is first-come-first-serve. They also offer paid tours led by a docent for selected galleries.
  • Can you rent audio guides? They have digital-only audio guides which are free to access with a QR code or this audio guide page.
  • Does the Hong Kong Palace Museum have a gift shop? Yes, they have a gift shop called ART EXPRESS by The Commercial Press that closely mirrors the hours of the museum.

Tips:

  • There are a lot of open spaces in the museum galleries and not many seating areas. Next to the ground floor Information Counter, there are foldable chairs that you can borrow for free.
  • While MTR Kowloon Station is the closest, ironically, for those that are staying on the Kowloon-side, your best bet to get here is to walk. You stick above-ground and take Austin Road all the way west or you can mix and match between the underground tunnels that eventually take you through MTR Austin Station, West Kowloon Rail Station, and either getting back on street-level or through the Hong Kong Elements shopping mall.
  • If you didn’t catch it above, the museum is closed on Tuesdays, contrasting M+ which is closed on Mondays.
  • If you are tight on time, the most memorable exhibits of the museum for me were “Entering the Forbidden City: Architecture, Collection, and Heritage”, and “From Dawn to Dusk: Life in the Forbidden City”.
  • Bring wireless earbuds such as the the Apple Airpods because the museum has an audio guide that can be accessed through your phone.

Wander through the contemporary M+ museum

m plus museum exterior architecturem plus museum exterior architecture
m plus staircase and seaside promenade viewm plus staircase and seaside promenade view

The other one to visit is M+ Museum, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual art and is packed with collections that span the 20th and 21st century visual art, design, and architecture.

What I really appreciated about this museum is that it’s a museum of modern art that also has a focus on Asian and Chinese artists and themes.  The layout of the museum is also easy to explore and are spaced out very well so it never feels overwhelming either.

Don’t miss the North and South Roof Gardens while you’re here.  The views from here are quite the remarkable and gives you a panoramic look at the whole of West Kowloon Cultural District.

You can easily spend a full day in the West Kowloon Art District and when you’re done, head back out to the promenade and enjoy a beautiful sunset.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Closest MTR Station: MTR Kowloon Station

Location: M+ is located on the east side of the West Kowloon Art Park and most likely the first museum you’ll encounter. Unlike Hong Kong Palace Museum, the ticket office is located inside the building.

Time:

  • Tues-Thurs, Sat-Sun – 10AM – 6PM
  • Fri – 10AM – 8PM
  • Closed on Mondays (except holidays) and the first 2 days of the Lunar New Year.
  • Holidays – Open on all public holidays.
  • Last admission is 30 minutes before closing.

Price:

General Admission Ticket (excludes Special Exhibitions)
Adults HK$120
Children (7-11) HK$60
Seniors 60+ HK$60
Children 6 and under Free

Special exhibitions change throughout the year and are all priced differently so check their ticket page to find out their prices.

Booking: You can’t buy tickets directly through the museum. Instead, they encourage those wanting advanced tickets to go through partners like Klook and KKday, or have it included as part of GoCity pass for Hong Kong.

Website: M+

Museum Rules:

  • Bags and backpacks smaller than 30 cm x 42 cm x 10 cm are allowed in the galleries, but backpacks must be worn on the front of the body with the strap(s) slung over one or both shoulders. Larger items must be checked in to lockers or the cloakroom. For instance, my Shimoda X50 backpack wasn’t allowed.
  • Wheelchairs and baby strollers are allowed in the galleries. You can also borrow these free of charge.
  • You are allowed to take photos but no flash photography. They are more strict with video here and really depends on the artwork. They will sometimes have signs up of where it’s not allowed. If you’re not sure, ask the M+ staff.
m plus museum locker room in the basementm plus museum locker room in the basement

FAQ:

  • Where can I store my bags and luggage? There is a locker room available on the basement level with multiple sizes. The staff will hand you a green RFID band to access a locker of your choosing. You’ll get a paper receipt but your band will act as your key. When returning, simply tap to unlock and pay by either Octopus Card or cash. The fee is HK$10 per hour. Note that they close at 5:30PM (9:30PM on Fridays).
  • When is the best time to go to M+? To avoid the large tour bus and school group crowds, your best bet is to go early in the morning or towards the end of the day.
  • How long should I plan to visit the museum for? If you’d like to see all galleries as part of the General Admission Ticket, budget for 2 hours.
  • Are there guided tours? Yes, there are free 45-minute public tours led by M+ Guides. These are held in either Cantonese, English, or Mandarin and take place daily at 11:30AM, 3:30PM. On Fridays, there’s an additional time slot at 7:30PM. You can register for the tour at the ground floor Information Desk.
  • Can you rent audio guides? They have free digital-only audio guides which are free to access with a QR code or on the audio-guide page.
  • Does M+ have a gift shop? Yes, they have a gift shop called the M+ Shop that closely mirrors the hours of the museum but shifted forward by an hour.

Tips:

  • If you didn’t catch it above, M+ is closed on Mondays, Remember that Hong Kong Palace Museum is closed on Tuesday.
  • The entire M+ Collection is compelling. If you’re short on time, there isn’t one specific gallery you should focus on so it’ll be about focusing on what draws your attention and skipping ones that don’t. Try your best to go through all of the second floor and when you’re done, head up to the Roof Garden.
  • You can’t access the Roof Garden from the gallery floor (2). Instead, you have to go back to ground level (G) and take the elevator from there.
  • The most photogenic parts of M+ are: Grand Stair, the spiral staircase in the center of the second floor atrium, the outdoor staircase that is perpendicular to the view of the Hong Kong skyline, and there is another outdoor staircase area that faces west.
  • Have your wireless earbuds ready for the free audio guide through your phone.
  • If you don’t want to pay for tickets, the Grand Stair, Basement 1, Roof Garden, and Mediatheque are free.

Bonus: Go on a photography hunt

This might not be for everyone but the photography side of me had an itch to seek out a few locations in the city I’ve always wanted to capture at night.

  • Monster Building: This is a hulking and tightly-packed E-shaped residential complex in Quarry Bay. It’s easy to find and relatively easy to frame because you just have to look up. HDR will help to bring out the tapestry of colors. Remember to be respectful as people live here.
  • Long Exposure from IFC Footbridge: This one’s a bit harder to find. I’ve seen photos of this before but it’s not marked anywhere but I eventually figured out which footbridge you need to be on which you’ll see on our itinerary map.

For both of these shots, you’ll want to have a tripod with you and the widest lens that you have such as the OM System 8-25mm Pro f/4.

If you end off near IFC Mall, in a departure from street eats, our from-left-field-suggestion is to go to Shake Shack.

Their burgers are just as good as they are in New York City (something we feature in our NYC food guide) but each location has their own exclusive. In Hong Kong, it’s the mango bubble shake with popping boba, vanilla custard, pomelo, coconut cream, mango puree, and crunchy egg rolls. Worth it!!

Day 5 Summary

What you’ll see & do:

Where you’ll eat:

  • BreakfastPage148 – Pick up a few breakfast items from the cafe at the hotel.
  • LunchFood trucks of West Kowloon District – There are two main locations where they can be found. Make sure to check the site to see who’s going to be there.
  • DinnerShake Shack – Burger restaurant hailing from New York City that has everything you’d expect except it also has a Hong Kong exclusive, the mango bubble shake.

Where you’ll stay:

  • Page148 (Agoda/Booking) – Since the hotel is on Austin Road, all you have to do is just start cutting west to get to the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Itinerary Day 6 – Hike To Kowloon Peak

man with yellow backpacking hiking down the stairs of kowloon peak at sunsetman with yellow backpacking hiking down the stairs of kowloon peak at sunset

As someone that loves the outdoors, this was one of my favourite days of the trip. It’ll be a packed day but with the Walled City, Kowloon Peak, Chinese desserts, and egg tarts, this is a day you won’t find any one else’s itinerary.

Grab these super hot egg tarts

holding a tray of 6 egg tarts from bakehouse in tst hong kong holding a tray of 6 egg tarts from bakehouse in tst hong kong

Egg tarts are synonymous with Hong Kong and if you loved Hashtag B, you’ll also want to try Bakehouse by Chef Grégoire Michaud. What makes theirs special is they have a flaky shell and a little burnt on the top, similar to a pastel de nata.

While you’re here, make sure to pick up a few extra baked goods while you’re here that you can eat on your hike.

Learn the legacy of Kowloon Walled City

kowloon walled city park 3d model on displaykowloon walled city park 3d model on display

Coming out of Sung Wong Toi MTR Station, head into Carpenter Road Park and adjacent to that is the infamous Kowloon Walled City and now transformed to the Kowloon Walled City Park.

The extremely dense and ungoverned enclave was demolished in 1994 and was converted into an urban green space. So while you won’t be able to see the walled city, they do a great job at showing you what it was like with a great 3D model and a cross-section mural.

So what’s actually left? There are two points of interest you can check out.

The first is the remnants of the original South Gate where you’ll see the original path, drainage ditch, and two stone plaques that say “South Gate” and “Kowloon Walled City”.

The other point of interest is the yamen building.  It’s the only building that survived the demolition and consists of 3 halls and was used for a number of different purposes including a senior home, place for refugees, school, and clinic.  Today, it’s a museum and they’ve built several immersive spaces to give you a better sense of what life was like in the walled city.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

kowloon walled city volunteer local guidekowloon walled city volunteer local guide
Uncle Man – volunteer guide

Closest MTR station: MTR Sung Wong Toi Station (B3 exit)

Time:

  • Park grounds – Daily 6:30AM – 11PM
  • Exhibitions rooms (Yamen building) – 10AM to 6PM (Closed on Wednesdays)

Price: Free

Website: Kowloon Walled City Park

FAQ:

  • Are there guided tours of Kowloon Walled City Park? Yes, they offer 45 minute guided tours on weekends and holidays for park visitors at 9AM, 11AM, 3PM and 4PM. These are run by volunteer guides but not all speak English.
  • Is there signage in English? Yes, all of the signage here is translated to English and easy to read.

Tips:

  • You can definitely enjoy the park without a guide and if you want to know more of its history, we recommend you watch this video.
  • The B3 exit of Sung Wong Toi MTR station gets you close but you’ll need to walk a few blocks north. The initial park you enter through is Carpenter Road Park with a great cycling path. Keep going to connect with the Kowloon Walled City Park.

Try the best Chinese desserts at Tei Mou Koon

table of 4 different chinese desserts from tei mou koon in hong kongtable of 4 different chinese desserts from tei mou koon in hong kong

Before you leave the neighbourhood, you’d be remiss if you don’t visit Tei Mou Koon. They serve all of the classic Chinese desserts that are mainly soup based but also have other favourites like mango pillows and glutinous rice balls.

As you can see in the photo, I went a little overboard with my order so this turned into a lunch.

Conquer the Kowloon Peak for epic views

silhoette of man standing on rock on kowloon peak hike with view of the night skyline view of hong kongsilhoette of man standing on rock on kowloon peak hike with view of the night skyline view of hong kong

This might not be for everyone but if you’re up for a moderately challenging hike and are seeking the most epic views of Hong Kong, Kowloon Peak is an excellent off-the-beaten-path addition.

I heard about the Suicide Cliff hike but 1) being more of a cautious traveler and 2) experience vertigo and 3) the name itself not being the most comforting, I looked into whether I could do it another way. Luckily there is.

So yes, you can hike to Kowloon Peak without doing Suicide Cliff.

Our video of the best things to do in Hong Kong shows you the behind-the-scenes of the hike and we have all of the details laid out below so I won’t go into more detail but this is 100% worth the effort.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

There are a lot of great guides specific for Kowloon Peak but we wanted to provide you a version of it that’s more condensed and doesn’t include the vertigo-inducing Suicide Cliff.

Closest MTR Station: MTR Choi Hung Station (B Exit)

Location: Google can easily lead you astray here because the labelling isn’t the most accurate and there are multiple places that are supposedly “Kowloon Peak”. The actual peak for this hike is right next to “Kowloon Peak Television and radio transmission stations” or more accurately, marked on our Hong Kong trip planning map. The “Kowloon Peak Viewing Point” on Google is in an entirely different area that you’d get to if you did the full loop but in our case, is way too far from where you want to be.

Getting to the start of the hike:

  • From Choi Hung Station, stay on Clear Water Bay Road.
  • Past Fung Shing Street, we recommend you stick to the right side of Clear Water Bay Road as this is where the side walk continues as you keep going further east.
  • The road eventually splits and to the left is Fei Ngo Shan Road. Follow this and continue to the left after you see the Kowloon Peak rock.
  • This road takes you up through a wealthy neighbourhood of houses and villas. Keep going north until you see a trailhead to your left that goes up. You’ll recognize it from the “Danger” sign that’s posted but it is completely safe.
  • The stairs will keep rising up. Once you pass through a bamboo forest, it opens up and you’ll see the television and radio equipment.

Time:

  • Hours – There are no gates for this trail so you can do it at any time.
  • Duration – The hike is meant to be 2.5-3 hours. However, if you end up doing a timelapse of the sunset and do a photoshoot at night like I did, it can easily take 4.5 hours.
    • I started at 3:20PM, reached the peak at 5:05PM, finished photography at 6:35PM, and got back to the paved road at 7:20PM.

Difficulty: Without Suicide Cliff, the hike is moderate with most of the challenge being the stair climb up to the peak. The good news is that the path is well laid out and you’ll be at sea level.

Price: Free

FAQ:

  • When is the best time to do the Kowloon Peak hike? It can get very hot in the middle of the day so it’s a good idea to do the hike early in the day or late in the day. For the best lighting, you’ll want to be here closer to sunset.
  • How much water should I bring? We recommend that you bring at least 2 liters of water.
  • How can can you go along the path without getting to Suicide Cliff? If you look at our interactive map, we captured the exact GPS coordinates at “Kowloon Peak Photo Spot” of where I stopped. The trail starts to descend more rapidly at this point and there are many large boulders to get through.

Tips:

  • For the photographers, we recommend coming here for the sunset and the evening cityscape. With that, you’ll want to bring a tripod. Since you’ll be hiking back down at night, you’ll also need a headlamp (see my reviews of my Fenix HM65R).
  • While what I call the “Kowloon Peak” is scenic with its view of the city and the willows in the foreground, you don’t really get the full unobstructed view of the city until you keep going further down from the peak and right before Suicide Cliff.
  • If you are filming a timelapse, my recommendation would be do it further down from the peak. Set it up and let it run, allowing you to photograph or film with another camera. I learned from my experience at the peak that I couldn’t let it run and explore the trail further down.
  • The stairs down immediately after the peak is highly photogenic.
  • Make sure to pack a light jacket or fleece with you. Despite how hot it might be throughout the day, at the top of the mountain after sunset, it gets quite chilly and windy.
  • If you’d like to track this hike, make sure to download Gaia GPS or AllTrails.

Reward yourself with Asam Chicken Rice

asam chicken rice hainanese plateasam chicken rice hainanese plate

You’ll be exhausted by the time you finally make it back to TST so have a quick dinner at Asam Chicken Rice and crash early.

Day 6 Summary

What you’ll see & do:

Where you’ll eat:

  • BreakfastPage148 – Whether it’s included with your stay or not, their hot items and coffee make a great breakfast.
  • SnackBakehouse – Modern bakery that’s risen in popularity because of their egg tarts. Their bolo bao (pineapple bun) is also superb. There have multiple locations in the city.
  • Dessert/LunchTei Mou Koon – One of the top traditional Chinese dessert shops and the oldest in Kowloon City. A heads up that their menu is Chinese-only.
  • DinnerAsam Chicken Rice – They make delicious Hainanese chicken rice and best of all, they’re close to Page148 so you can rest after a long day of hiking.

Where you’ll stay:

Itinerary Day 7 – Stand Amongst Ancient Rock Columns

rare viewing of rock columns in hong kong geopark's high reservoir east dam walking trailrare viewing of rock columns in hong kong geopark's high reservoir east dam walking trail

It’s easy to associate Hong Kong with it’s plethora of landmark skyscrapers and the hustle and bustle of a megatropolis.

So far we’ve peeled back the layers from that to show you that there’s so much more to the city. On your final full day of the itinerary, you’ll get to see a place that belongs to somewhere like Iceland or Northern Ireland.

See the colorful Choi Hung Estate

Once you arrive at MTR Choi Hung Station, you’re only a short walk away to the Choi Hung Estate, the famous public housing apartments.

This has become a hotspot for photographers because these estates are painted a strikingly beautiful layers of pastel. From the basketball court vantage point, you can’t help but snap away!

Venture out to the geological wonder of Sai Kung County

hong kong geopark's high island reservoir east dam aerial viewhong kong geopark's high island reservoir east dam aerial view

What makes this area unique is that it belongs to a large protected area known as the Hong Kong Global Geopark.  The area is particularly rich in super rare rhyolitic volcanic rock columns that was revealed during the excavation work for the dam.  Thanks to this project, it’s the only place in Hong Kong where you can walk to on foot and get right up to the hexagonal rock columns.

What’s special is that this type of rare rock showcases more of the features of the original lava and tuff. This whole area was created 140 million years ago from a supervolcano where the cooling process eventually sculpted the volcanic materials into millions of hexagonal rock columns.

Spend your day hiking the High Island Geo Trail which consists of:

  • Reservoir Monument
  • The overlook of the reservoir
  • Geopark Monument
  • Hexagonal rock columns including the buckled S-shaped hexagonal columns 
  • Inner cofferdam
  • Sea-cave
  • The lower wall which consists of thousands of concrete wave-dissipating dolosse

If you have time, you can also do:

  • 1 km-long extension to Biu Tsim Kok viewing point
  • Connecting trail from the lower wall to get close to seeing the Po Pin Chau sea stack island

TIP: We cover this in detail below but coming here is the easiest on the weekends and you’ll want to plan to head back before 3:30PM because the line up for the bus gets very long.

About Bus 92:

  • This is a standard double-decker bus.
  • From Diamond Hill, it operates from 6AM – 11PM. Frequency varies from 15-30 minutes.
  • From Sai Kung, it operates from 6AM – 11:45PM. Frequency varies from 15 – 30 minutes.
  • This bus does not run on Sunday.
  • Fare is HK$7.50 and they only take Octopus Card or exact fare.
  • The journey takes 40-45 minutes.

About Bus 96R:

  • This is a standard double-decker bus.
  • From Pak Tam Chung, it operates from 7:30AM to 5PM. Frequency varies from 18-30 minutes.
  • From East Dam, it operates from 8:50AM to 7:30PM (8:50AM to 3PM on holidays). Frequency varies from 20-30 minutes.
  • Pak Tam Chung stop is not the final destination so make sure to pay attention to the stops.
  • Fare is HK$19.90 and they only take Octopus Card or exact fare.
  • The journey takes 60-65 minutes.

About 9A Bus:

  • Only runs on Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays.
  • From Pak Tam Chung, it operates from 9:30AM to 6:30PM.
  • From East Dam, it operates from 10AM to 7PM.
  • This bus doesn’t have a specific schedule during operation. They basically have several mini buses that run back and forth. Get in line and wait patiently.
  • Green mini buses have a maximum capacity of 19 people.
  • Fare is HK$11.90 and they only take Octopus Card or exact fare.
  • The journey takes 20 minutes.
  • Service updates due to bad weather can be found on their website or Facebook page.

About taking the taxi:

  • The cost for a cab ride between Sai Kung Town Centre and East Dam can be anywhere between HK$120-160. This is metered and takes 30 minutes.
  • The cost for a cab ride between Pak Tam Chung and East Dam is listed to be roughly HK$95. This is metered and takes 25 minutes.
  • It’s much easier to hail a taxi on-the-fly from Sai Kung and Pak Tam Chung stops but much more difficult from East Dam, especially on weekends.
  • To call a taxi, you can try the following numbers: +852-8103-1189, +852-2729-6600 or +852-6767-8181. You’ll be charged an extra HK$50 for booking a cab this way. Alternatively, use the HKTaxi app (iOS/Android). Make sure you download this ahead of time and have your credit card set up.
  • You’ll have much better luck getting your taxi if you call for one a few hours in advance.
  • You might see different colored taxis. Red taxis are urban taxis that service Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Green taxis are ones that operate in the New Territories. If you’re in Sai Kung, Pak Tam Chung, or East Dam, you can take any to get between these 3 locations but if you’re looking to get all the way back to the Kowloon area (i.e. Diamond Hill), take a red taxi.
  • Download the HKTaxi app (iOS

Price: Free. There is no cost to enter Hong Kong GeoPark/Sai Kung County Park or the High Island Reservoir East Dam.

Booking: There are no advanced booking of transportation but there are guided tours available.

Guided tours:

  • East Dam Half Day Tour – Offered by the Volcano Discovery Centre and operates from October to February on weekends and holidays (except Lunar New Year’s Day and Second Day of Lunar New Year).
  • Group Hiking Tour (Viator or Klook) – A guided hiking tour of Hong Kong GeoPark and includes the East Dam.

Website: UNESCO Hong Kong GeoPark – High Island Reservoir East Dam

FAQ:

  • When is the best day of the week to go to the High Island Reservoir East Dam? From a transportation perspective, the most convenient day to go is on weekends and holidays. That said, this is also when the East Dam is the busiest. If you prefer to go on a quieter day, weekdays are great as long as you’re willing to pay for a taxi.
  • When is the best time of day to go to the East Dam? The most photogenic part of the day is close to sunset when you have less harsh light and the sky starts to change colour. Going early in the morning is also a great time when the sun isn’t as high up and there are fewer people.
  • How long is the walk from Pak Tam Chung to the East Dam? The walk takes roughly 2-2.5 hours.
  • Are there bathrooms at the East Dam? Yes, there are basic bathrooms at the end of the road and next to the GeoPark Monument.
  • Are there food vendors at East Dam? No, you can’t buy any food here.
  • Are there bathrooms at Pak Tam Chung? Yes, there is a large bathroom facility here as it’s also meant for those camping here.
  • Are there food vendors at Pak Tam Chung? Yes, there is a supplies store here for campers. They sell a variety of snacks, drinks, and ice cream.
extremely long queue waiting for bus to leave high island reservoir east dam in the afternoonextremely long queue waiting for bus to leave high island reservoir east dam in the afternoon
Extremely long line for Bus 9A at East Dam
taking bus 96r bus on the weekend back to hong kong from pak tam chungtaking bus 96r bus on the weekend back to hong kong from pak tam chung
Bus 96R at Pak Tam Chung stop

Tips:

  • Now that you know your transportation options to the East Dam, we still think the best option in and out would be to go on weekends so that you don’t have to rely on the taxi.
  • If you’re open to taking a taxi and would like to avoid crowds, go during the weekday.
  • If a taxi tries to charge you per person, they are trying to scam you. Politely say no and wait try another one.
  • On weekends, the line to take minibus 9A gets very long after 4PM. To avoid this, we recommend that you try to leave the East Dam no later than 3:30PM.
  • The most photogenic time at the East Dam is at sunset. However, the flip side is that the line up to take the bus or taxi will be much longer. Also, be mindful of when the minibus 9A is which is 7PM.
  • If the queue for the minibus 9A is really bad, you may consider trying to group up with other travelers to hail a taxi. We saw a number of people do this which is quite smart.
  • We noticed that most taxis will go all the way to end of the road by the GeoPark Monument (where the bathroom facilities are). To hail a return taxi, your best bet is to make a line from here to catch an empty cab back instead of where the lineup for minibus 9A is.

Wind down with dinner and dessert

There’s nothing better than simple and classic Hong Kong comfort dishes when you finally get back to TST.

Tai Hing is a popular chain restaurant that you’ll find all over Hong Kong. They started specializing in BBQ roast meats but is now a casual restaurant that you could say is very much like a HK-style cafe as well.

On your way back to Page148, treat yourself to froyo from Frozen Yogurt Drool.

When you get to this point, you will be shocked that you’ve already a full week in Hong Kong. Since it’s your last night, do any last minute shopping that you might want to do, re-pack your belongings, and prepare for the next leg of your journey.

Going to Japan before or after Hong Kong?

Tokyo is overwhelming with so many great places to eat so use our guide helps narrow it down.

Day 7 Summary

What you’ll see & do:

Where you’ll eat:

  • BreakfastPage148 – Make sure to have a full breakfast because you’ll be burning a lot of calories exploring the GeoPark.
  • Lunch – Packed food – There isn’t any food for purchase at High Island Reservoir East Dam so build your own lunch with food from a local bakery and/or a convenient store.
  • Dinner – Tai Hing – A popular HK-style cafe restaurant that you’ll find all over the city. If it’s your first time, the BBQ meats (chicken, park, and duck) on rice is a no-brainer.
  • Dessert – Frozen Yogurt Drool – A tiny shop of icy treats literally a stone’s throw away from Page148 that you might even want to build into your daily routine walking back to the hotel. It’s that good!

Where you’ll stay:

Map of Hong Kong Itinerary

To help with your Hong Kong trip planning, this map be super handy in knowing where everywhere we’ve included in this itinerary is located.

Even with our week in Hong Kong, there was a lot that we missed and wish we could’ve included. As a bonus, we’ve also included extra pins for activities, attractions, restaurants.

HOW TO USE THE MAP: You can use the Hong Kong itinerary map as is but if you’d like to do more with it, expand the map and create a copy in your logged-in Google account. With this copy, you’ll be able to access it in your Google Maps app under the Saved tab. Scroll to the bottom and look for the “Maps” button. Keep in mind that you need data to access this map. For an offline solution, use the offline Google Maps feature and individually save location pins on your primary map.

5 Essential Hong Kong Travel Tips

yayoi kusama dots obsession exhibit at the m plus museum in hong kongyayoi kusama dots obsession exhibit at the m plus museum in hong kong

So far we’ve covered a ton of itinerary-specific tips but we have a few more for you that are more general to Hong Kong. These nuggets of advice will help ensure you have the most stress-free and awesome time in the city.

1 – Octopus does it all

octopus card point of sales tap system in hong kongoctopus card point of sales tap system in hong kong

We talked about this at the beginning but the Octopus Card is truly a wonder in Hong Kong and extremely visitor friendly.

Not only can you use it to take the subway (MTR), tramways, and Star Ferry, you can also use it to take the ferries to outlying islands, pay for things at places such as cafes, bakeries, and convenient stores, and you can even use it to take the Peak Tram.

It’s as simple as either pre-ordering one loaded with HK$50 or getting it right at the airport (HK$39 with no deposit charge) at the following locations:

  1. 7-Eleven (Unit 5T058, Arrivals Meeters & Greeters Hall, or any 7-Eleven outlets)
  2. MTR Ticket & Octopus Selling Machine (Airport Station)
  3. Relay (Arrivals Pre-Immigration, L5, Terminal 1, (Restricted Area))

Always keep it topped up and try to use up all of the funds by the end of the trip.

2 – Organize your itinerary by neighborhoods

While Hong Kong isn’t a massive city, it makes sense to build your days around the different areas of Hong Kong. This helps reduce the commuting time and unnecessary back and forth.

At a high level, you can break out your days between spending time on Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon-side. More specifically though, you can also look at your itinerary around the neighborhoods of:

Kowloon

  • Mong Kok
  • Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Sham Sui Po
  • West Kowloon
  • Diamond Hill/Choi Hung

Hong Kong

  • Central
  • Causeway Bay
  • Tai Koo

That’s why it’s super helpful to have all of the places you want to go pinned on a map. Make sure to grab a copy of our Hong Kong trip planning map.

If you’re not able to make it work, it’s not the end of the world either because transit is so convenient. As you saw from this itinerary, we tried our best but sometimes less-optimal detours were unavoidable.

3 – Credit card is accepted (almost) everywhere

There were very few places now that are cash-only in Hong Kong. This means that you don’t necessarily need to convert too many Hong Kong Dollars before you come.

In our case, we loved the convenience of our Wise card. This is the ultimate travel hack. It’s this magical hybrid of being a Visa and a loadable card except the beauty is that it can hold multiple currencies, and they have near-market exchange rates. Since you’re spending local currency, you don’t have to worry about any foreign-exchange mark up.

That said, there are exceptions. On this itinerary specifically, Australia Dairy Company, Shek Kee Wonton Noodles, Kung Wo Beancurd Factory, and Hop Yik Tai are cash-only. You’ll also need it for those mom & pop street vendors and markets that you might encounter (including Ladies Market).

TIP: For a week in Hong Kong, we recommend you have HK$2,000 (roughly $250 USD) per person.

4 – Download these apps before you go

It’s easy to stay connected in Hong Kong thanks to hotels like Page148 offering free pocket wifi devices and the ease of the use of eSIMs with the likes of Airalo so offline capability isn’t too big of a deal but here are a few apps to download:

  • MyMapHK (iOS/Android) – This is an official Lands Department app and a great free companion if you plan on doing any hikes in Hong Kong.
  • Google Maps (iOS/Android) – You probably already have this installed but we found this to be the most straightforward app to get transit directions including times. Quick reminder that it’s always good practice to turn Google Maps offline before you go.
  • Explore Hong Kong (iOS/Android) – Sometimes you just want a quick look at the MTR map without having to search for it on Google and this does just that
  • Wise (iOS/Android) – Managing your foreign currency has never been this easy with the accompanying app. You’ll have a physical Visa debit card with Wise but you can also set it up in your digital wallet.
  • Gaia GPS (iOS/Android) – If you are doing any of the bigger hikes, you’re better off having the premium version of this which is great to for tracking your hike but also available offline incase signal cuts out. Get the 1 year free trial from us!
  • Google Translate (iOS/Android) – Hong Kong is very visitor-friendly with tons of English signage everywhere but you’ll inevitably run into a place or menu that is only in Chinese. Remember to download the Chinese (Traditional) language pack for offline use.
  • HKTaxi (iOS/Android) – Uber sort of works but the standard Hong Kong taxis are just a lot better so use this app to book one in trickier situations such as when you’re at at the High Island Reservoir East Dam.

5 – It’s hot but they pump the AC

Hong Kong can get insanely hot so on most days, you’ll want to manage the sweltering heat by wearing t-shirt and shorts but I’ve learned to always bring light layers with me because they love to crank up the air condition indoors.

We recommend the following items to help you stayed prepared on your trip:

  • Whether it’s for the ice-cold indoors, breezes by the water, high peaks, or cooler evenings we recommend having an active fleece or mid-layer jacket with you.
  • We find that wearing Breathable and lightweight active-wear is way more comfortable than their cotton equivalents. Even on days you aren’t doing anything super strenuous, you’ll be glad to have something breathable.

Where To Stay in Hong Kong

For this Hong Kong travel itinerary, we stayed at Page148 Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui and closest to MTR Jordan Station.

This hotel was certainly a bit more of a splurge compared to the additional hotels we recommend below but we were very happy with this property for a number of reasons:

  • Modern and new – It’s a newer hotel which just gave a fresh and energetic vibe as most properties in Hong Kong will feel outdated.
  • Free drinks – Refilled daily (if you opt for housekeeping), it was really nice to have refreshments available in the room or to bring on the road.
  • Free wifi hotspot – While we didn’t know this at the time of booking, they actually offer wifi hotspots. This means that you can get data access for free, eliminating the need to get an eSIM while you’re in Hong Kong.
  • Breakfast – Our package included breakfast and we actually loved that they served Western-style cafe items such as avocado toast, smoked salmon bagel, and burrata cheese & roasted red pepper toast. We preferred this over a buffet because it left all-important stomach space to eat more throughout the day.
  • Convenient location – We’ve stayed in different parts of Hong Kong over the years and being in the Tsim Sha Tsui area can’t be beat. There’s tons of food, shopping, and is easy to get back to at the end of the night.

TIP: When looking for hotels in Asia, Agoda is hands-down the best booking platform. We’ve done numerous tests and it’s always come out on top in terms of inventory and prices. They’re also love showering their users with coupons for additional savings.

We understand that everyone has different budget requirements and interests in types of accommodations so below are 4 alternate properties that you should consider for your trip to Hong Kong.

Overall, we’ll say that Hong Kong isn’t a cheap place to stay when comparing to Asia standards of prices. However, deals can be found, if you know where to look. We’ve included 4 well-priced hotels and one intriguing luxury place to stay.

TIP: You might be tempted to stay at an ultra-budget hotel like Dragon Inn but if you look more closely, many these inns are all located in the infamous Chungking Mansions. While we know people that have stayed here in the past, it’s good to know more about the building.

NORTH POINT

arial top down view of ramada hong kong grand view hotelarial top down view of ramada hong kong grand view hotel

Ramada Hong Kong Grand View

This is the cheapest of this set of hotels but is clean, modern, spacious and comfortable. While it is located in North Point on the Hong Kong Island-side, the Island Line easily connects to Tsuen Wan Line on the MTR.

WAN CHAI

the emperor hotel exterior in hong kongthe emperor hotel exterior in hong kong

The Emperor Hotel

This is another affordable stay on the Hong Kong island-side and near the MTR Wan Chai Station. It’s great value for the money, the bed is comfortable, has welcoming staff, and is in a quieter part of the neighborhood.

CAUSEWAY BAY

rosedale hotel hong kong reception desk arearosedale hotel hong kong reception desk area

Rosedale Hotel Hong Kong

Another property that offers great value for the money. It’s only a 5 minute walk from MTR Causeway Bay Station and is also next to Victoria Park. As a bonus, many rates include buffet breakfast.

TSIM SHA TSUI

the perkin hotel suite interiorthe perkin hotel suite interior

The Perkin Hotel

This is located in a prime area of Kowloon, making it a great base for your trip to Hong Kong. Rooms are large for Hong Kong, and have the bonus of complimentary coffee and snacks.

Looking for more accommodation ideas?

We breakdown the different neighborhoods of Hong Kong, reasons to stay at each, and hotel recommendations.

How Much Did This Trip Cost

west kowloon cultural district view from the harbourwest kowloon cultural district view from the harbour

When we put together our travel itineraries, everyone wants to know how much it cost. It’s a great question and we’ve got you covered.

Below is a table of our travel expenses in Hong Kong converted to USD. We’ve purposely left out flights because everyone will have different inbound and outbound plans.

Category Amount (USD)
Accommodations $1,869
Food $400
Transportation $155
Activity $137
Souvenir $24
Communication (AloSIM) $12
TOTAL $2,596

What’s a bit tricky about the 12 d ays is that 3 days was with my parents and 4 days on my own. After some fancy math, I was able to calculate a daily per person spend of $316 USD.

Comparing to the 12-day Shikoku itinerary which was a $208 USD/day, this trip cost a bit more but came very close to what our week in Sapporo in the winter cost ($318 USD/person/day).

Ultimately, the biggest expense was our stay at Page148. To bring the costs down, you can stay a budget property such as Ramada Hong Kong Grand View, The Emperor Hotel, Rosedale Hotel Hong Kong, and The Perkin Hotel.

For other points of comparison, 1 month in Chile averaged out to $308 USD/day, 3 weeks in New Zealand was $353 USD/day, and 10 days in Egypt was $204 USD/day.

Hong Kong Planning Essentials

Flights – Use Skyscanner’s alerts to track the prices so you can book when they’re the cheapest.

eSIM – In Hong Kong, we tested AloSIM and the speed was excellent and stable. For most of our travels, we always consider Airalo as well.

Hotel – We’ve tested it and Agoda ultimately has the best prices, hands down.

Tours – Out of all the booked tours we did, aqualuna was the most memorable.

Transit – Make sure you get your Octopus card when you land or have it pre-ordered.

Travel Insurance – Sh*t happens and you want to make sure you’re covered. If you’re travelling for a long period of time, check out SafetyWing. We also love Insured Nomads.

What To Pack for A Trip To Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate which means that it gets pretty steamy for half of the year because of its high humidity. As a result, you’ll want to make sure you’re well-prepared.

For some context, we visited in mid-November which just happens to be one of the best times to visit because the temperatures are more comfortable (low 20s) and there are cool breezes.

Clothes

  • JacketArc’teryx Beta Shell – If you come during typhoon season (July – September), this will be important to have so the rain doesn’t ruin your days.
  • Waterproof pantsArc’teryx Beta Pant – Especially if you don’t want to carry an umbrella everywhere, waterproof pants to pair with your jacket will be important.
  • Light jacket Arc’teryx Squamish Hoody – A super light shell that provides wind protection and packs into itself. Since it’s designed for minimalists, you can pack it in your bags and pull it out when you freeze with all of that AC pumping.
  • Active fleeceDelta Hoody – This is a thin fleece that can be your go-to long-sleeve. This’ll come in handy for cooler nights or when you’re on Kowloon Peak after dark.
  • Travel pantsOutdoor Research Ferrosi Joggers – My new favorite travel pants that features a zippered back pocket, elastic cuff hem, elastic waist, and quick-drying material.
  • ShoesAltra Lone Peak 7 – Lightweight, versatile, zero-drop shoes that are comfortable for long days on foot and excels on the trail.
  • Active t-shirtArc’teryx Cormac Crew Shirt – Hong Kong in the summer gets sweaty. Ditch anything that’s not breatheable and only pack these active tees.
  • Long-sleeve sunshirtOutdoor Research Echo Hoodie – On days where you’ll have no cover from the sun (i.e. Kowloon Peak or Peng Chau Island), this gives you UV protection while keeping you cool.
  • HatCiele GOCap – I’m a big fan of these light, quick-drying, packable, and fun-colored hats for travel. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a hardcore runner!
  • SunglassesMaui Jim – The current model I’m wearing is discontinued (Chee Hoo) but I can back up optometrist’s claiming that they have the best clarity and quality of lenses on the market.

Gear

  • LuggageDb Journey Ramverk Luggage – I chose the medium size of this niche-brand suitcase because they use one of the best and largest wheels on the market (60mm Hinomoto), making them silent and easy to move around the streets of Hong Kong.
  • ChargingMogics Super Bagel – This is a handy universal power strip for travelers that gives you 5 standard North American outlets, fast-charging Type C USB and a original USB A. You’re also protected with a replaceable fuse.
  • BackpackShimoda Action X50 V2 – The ultimate photography backpack for active travellers.
  • Messenger bagEveryday Sling – The 3L and 6L slings are amazing for travel, especially in Hong Kong when you’re urban exploring and don’t need that much camera gear with you.
  • Packing cubesEagle Creek Pack-It Cubes and Compression Cubes – Keep your suitcase organized.
  • SunscreenSun Bum SPF50 for face and body – Make sure you’re protected every day.
  • Reuseable totePeak Design Packable Tote – Super handy when you go shopping and don’t have space in your sling or backpack.

Gadgets

What We Missed In Hong Kong

The funny thing is that most people think of Hong Kong as merely a quick stopover. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great hub to get to other parts of Asia but as you’ve seen with our Hong Kong travel itinerary, even with 7 days, we missed plenty of stuff.

If you’ve loved our itinerary but would like to make tweaks to it based on your interests, travel style, and group dynamic, here is a list of places that we think would be great to swap in.

Places to go

  • Golden Bauhinia – By the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is this golden flower statue. The whole area has great views of the Kowloon-side.
  • Ocean Park – The original amusement park in Hong Kong with roller coasters, water park, shows, and wildlife encounters, this is fun for the whole family.
  • Ngong Ping 360Cablecar experience on Lantau Island that takes you up to The Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery.
  • Happy Valley Racecourse – This is a fun night out especially if you go on one of their Happy Wednesday events which includes their Beer Garden and English-commentary.
  • Chi Lin Nunnery & Nan Lian Garden – These two are next to each other and are beautiful places to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Sky100 – If you’re a fan of views from skyscrapers, don’t miss out the observation deck on the 100th floor. It’s also right next to the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Day trip ideas

  • Hong Kong Disneyland – With the exclusive World of Frozen, this is a must-visit for any Disney-lover. Get your tickets ahead of time to save money.
  • Stanley – Picturesque coastal town that’s located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island with a sandy beach, shopping, temple, vibrant market, and seaside restaurants.
  • Macau – We have a great Macau day trip itinerary that shows you how you can fit it in your trip.
  • Sai Kung – A great seaside fishing village that is worthy of being a day trip on its own or you could even try to combine it with your visit to the Hong Kong GeoPark area.
  • Tai O Fishing Village – At this historic fishing village in the far end of Lantau Island, explore scenic trails, seafood restaurants, street food, and houses on stilts.
  • Outlying Islands – Peng Chau is just one of many. Others we’ve loved in the past are Cheung Chau and Lamma Island.
  • Hikes – There are so many epic hikes in Hong Kong. If you’re looking for a different type of trail and view, check out Dragon’s Back, Braemar Hill Peak, Lion Rock, and Sunset Peak to name a few.
  • Shek O Beach – A popular beach getaway within the city and easy to get to on Hong Kong Island.
  • Lau Fau Shan & Nam Sang Wai – Chatting with a local, he said if you really want to go off-the-beaten-path, these two spots on the far northwest end of Hong Kong’s New Territories is a more untouched fisherman village (Lau Fau Shan) and nature preserve that’s great for bird-watching and extremely photogenic (Nam Sang Wai).

Activities and tours to join

  • Plover Cove Bicycling and Hiking – A great guided tour that includes biking and hiking in Hong Kong’s wilderness and through one of the prettiest parts of the city that rarely anyone gets to see.
  • GeoPark Kayaking – See the GeoPark and the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region from the water with this kayaking adventure.
  • Baked Goods DIY Workshop – This is a bit of a new concept. You’ll go to a self-service baking studio to learn how to make traditional Chinese baked goods like egg tarts and mooncakes.
  • Dark Side of Hong Kong Walking Tour – In this walking tour, see the real disparities in housing in Hong Kong with visits to a subdivided unit what it’s like to live in a 100 sq. ft. apartment.
  • Street Food Walking Tour – A great way to try the best street food in one walking tour.

Restaurants to try

  • We’re not going to list them all but we’ve added several that we wanted to fit in but just didn’t have the time on our trip planning map.

Short on time? You can always follow our 2 day Hong Kong itinerary as well!

How To Spend A Day in Macau

If you’re thinking of replacing one of the days with a trip to Macau instead, you can easily do that with this guide.

Hong Kong Is Full Of Surprises

hello hong kong sign in west kowloon cultural districthello hong kong sign in west kowloon cultural district

Even if you think you know what Hong Kong is about, think again! Whether you’ve been to Hong Kong before or it’s your first time, there is so much to do.

Thinking about the trip as a whole, these were 4 highlights that made it really special.

Can’t beat local eats – If you think we intentionally picked the grungiest and no frills street food-type restaurants that we could find, you’d be right and I’m so glad that we did. The energy, cheap prices, and downright deliciousness can’t be beat!

What a view! – While in Hong Kong, you kind of get used to the gorgeous skyline everywhere you go but I’m not exaggerating when I say that the view from Kowloon Peak is absolutely jaw-dropping.

Thriving art scene – I’ll be honest, on previous visits, going to a museum never even crossed my mind. Hearing all of the buzz around the West Kowloon Cultural District, I was interested to see if it lived up to the hype. I was impressed and am glad I spent a day dedicated to the area. On top of that, places like Tai Kwun which I never thought to do added another layer to Hong Kong’s diverse culture.

Outdoor gems – We believe that the perfect Hong Kong itinerary should have a nice sprinkle of its gorgeous outdoors. Green spaces are another thing that doesn’t necessarily come to mind right away but it’s one of those hidden secrets where “if you know, you know!”

Hey I get it, a week in Hong Kong seems like a long time but I’m proof that there’s more than enough places to visit and things to eat. In fact, I probably could’ve used a few more days but I’ll leave that for a future trip.

Hope this itinerary leaves you inspired for your upcoming adventure in Hong Kong!

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to go to Hong Kong?

For the best combination of weather and crowds, November and April are the best months to visit. These are away from the big holiday seasons in January/February (Chinese New Year), May (Labour Day Golden Week), October (China National Day) and December (Christmas) and the climate is very comfortable. Avoid summer as it is unbearably hot.

How many days do I need in Hong Kong?

At a minimum, with so many things to do in Hong Kong, and numerous day trip options, we recommend at least 5 days in Hong Kong.

When did you do this 7-day Hong Kong itinerary?

We did this trip the third week of November.

What’s the weather like in Hong Kong in November?

November is the perfect time to visit Hong Kong because it’s out of Typhoon Season, rainfall and humidity is at a minimum, and the temperatures are pleasantly cool at an average of 22°C (71.6°F).

Can I fly my drone in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is a relatively drone-friendly location. Beyond the common-sense rules, if your drone is >250g, you’ll need to register it with eSUA although that will be challenging if you don’t live in Hong Kong. There are some locations designated as no-drone zones such as Victoria Peak, Por Lo Shan, Siu Ma Shan, most of Northern Lantau Island, Tai Mo Shan, and most of Victoria Harbour.

What’s the best eSIM for Hong Kong?

The best eSIM to use in Hong Kong is Airalo where 5GB is $12 USD and is valid for 30 days. Use code WILLIA9500 to get $3 off your first order.

Read More Hong Kong Content

Best Place To Book Hotels in Hong Kong

  • We normally use Booking.com and Expedia when looking for hotels but for Asia, Agoda has lower prices and often more inventory as well.

Travel Resources For Your Next Trip

If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.

Credit cards: Don’t get burned by hidden fees on top of terrible exchange rates. When we travel now, we use the Wise Card. Simply load it with the currency you need before you go and use it as a regular VISA or their digital wallet card. Use their free app to track how much you have and top up when you need to.

Flights: Of all the booking search engines, Skyscanner is the most helpful and easy to use thanks to their Everywhere feature. Kayak is also another that’s we will often check as well.

Car Rental: If you’re looking to save money, these car rental coupon codes will be a true game-changer. Otherwise, DiscoverCars and RentalCars are great places to start.

park sleep fly airport parking discount codepark sleep fly airport parking discount code

Airport Parking: You’ll need a spot to leave your car at the airport so why not book a spot at a discount. Use code AWESOME7 to get at least $5 off at Airport Parking Reservations or Park Sleep Fly packages.

Data: We’ve been a huge fan of wifi hotspot devices like PokeFi (use code GAP24300) because their rates are so good and you can use it globally but recently, we’ve really loved using eSIMs. The best one is Airalo. Save money by getting region-specific eSIMs and use referral code WILLIA9500 to get $3 USD credit on your first purchase. Ubigi is another one that we’ve had success with where they uniquely offer 5G coverage. Use code AWESOME10 to save 10% on your first order.

Hotels: Our go-to is Booking.com because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs plus they have their Genius tier discounts. The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.

Vacation Rentals: Your first instinct will be to check Airbnb but we always recommend checking VRBO as well if you’re looking for a vacation rental.

Tours: When planning our trips, we always check both Viator and GetYourGuide to at least see what’s out there in the destination that we’re going to. They often have different offerings and prices so check both.

Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.

  • Insured Nomads – Popular insurance provider for frequent travelers and comes with great coverage and special perks.
  • RATESDOTCA – Search engine Canadians looking for the cheapest insurance including multi-trip annual policies.
  • SafetyWing – A perfect fit for long-term nomads.
  • Medjet – Global air medical transportation.
  • InsureMyTrip – Best for seniors, families, and those with pre-existing conditions.

If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.

This trip was in partnership with Hong Kong but all opinions are our own.

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