The eclectic, modern and chaotic, that’s Hong Kong in three words. Towering skyscrapers, luxurious shops and busy streets are intersected with lush and serene parks. Not to mention the food. Hong Kong is a a synonym of an amazing street food, yet some of the best fine dining. One day in Hong Kong may not be enough to see a tiny part of it, but thanks to its super efficient transportation you’ll manage to see quite a bit.
What’s the best time to visit Hong Kong?
The best time to visit Hong Kong is either October-December or late February-March. It’s the period of nice temperatures and less humidity. It’s also good to mention that the room prices, that sometimes can go insanely high, are quite reasonable at that time of the year. If possible, skip summer due to the high temperatures, high humidity, frequent heavy rains and the chance for typhoons.
A few facts about Hong Kong
After the First Opium War, Hong Kong became a British colony during which rule stood for 156 years. Since 1997 it’s declared a special administrative region with a high degree of autonomy. Today, Hong Kong is one of the world’s most influential financial centers, and one of the biggest transportation hubs in Asia. With a population of more than a 7 millions on such a tiny area, it’s the world’s fourth most densely populated territory. The city is a symbol of multiculturalism and dynamism.
One Day in Hong Kong Itinerary
Top Things to do in Hong Kong
Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in Hong Kong.
Start your day at the Hong Kong island
The fastest and most convenient way to reach the Hong Kong island would be by using a MTR. Get of at the Central station and wander the busy streets of the Hong Kong’s business district. Contemporary skyscrapers, luxurious hotels and shops, brand new cars makes this district one of the fanciest in the World. Make sure to catch one of the doubledeck trams called Ding Ding. Sit in the very front on the upper floor and have a great tour through Hong Kong island with the best view for only a few dollars.
See Hong Kong from the above
You probably seen all those amazing Hong Kong photos from above. Now it’s your turn to capture one. Catch the Peak Tram at the Peak Terminus and enjoy the 552m high, super steep ride that will take you all the way to Victoria Peak. You should know there are huge lines for a Peak Tram, especially in the afternoon and during Weekends so it would be great to go there as early as possible. If the lines are too long, catch the bus. However, if you purchase your return ticket online, you’ll get the free entry to the sky bar on the top of the peak!
Get a Dim Sum for Lunch
You cannot leave Hong Kong without trying Dim Sum. Dim Sum is a style of Chinese cuisine which stands for the small portions of food served in a steamer baskets or small plates. You can get them on a street food stalls around the city, but there are also many famous restaurants and restaurants chains that serve mostly Dim Sums. DimDimSum chain has a few restaurants around the city – visit either one in Wan Chai or the one in Jordan.
Tsim Sha Tsui
Once you’ve done with the Hong Kong island, take a Star Ferry to the Kowloon island. Make sure to sit on the upper deck for a better view.
When you reach Kowloon island, you’ll get off at Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. It’s a nice promenade for a relaxing walk and the beautiful views of the Hong Kong skyline. Check out the Clock Tower, the remnant of the Kowloon Railway station were the goods from inland China were transported to the rest of the world. Also, don’t miss the Avenue of the stars – the Walk of fame that pays tribute to celebrities of the Hong Kong film industry. If museums are your thing, check out Hong Kong Museum of Art or Hong Kong Space Museum.
Nathan Road and Kowloon Park
It’s time to relax and move away from the Hong Kong’s chaotic traffic, at least for a bit. Walk the busy Nathan Road, the main thoroughfare lined with mega malls, shops and restaurants until you reach Kowloon Park, a huge lush park and oasis of calm. The park is pretty huge, filled with many attraction so it would be great to check out the Park Map on the entrance. There’re many Asian trees inside of the park so it can be very interesting for the first time visitors to Asia. Also, close to hundred different wild bird species can be found in the Park area. If you find it hard to spot them check out the birds aviary and make sure not to miss the flamingo pond. In case you’re more into shopping, stick to the Nathan Road and one of the many shopping malls along the road.
A Symphony of Lights
A Symphony of Lights is the world’s largest permanent light and sound show displayed every night (with good weather) at 8 pm in the Victoria Harbour. This laser light and LED screen show is accompanied with the soundtrack performed by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. The light show is displayed on the Hong Kong Island, so the best place to watch it is actually on the Kowloon Island, next to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Make sure to arrive a bit earlier, since the harbor area is crowded at that time and you surely want to grab some great spot.
Temple Street Night Market
Hong Kong has plenty of night markets and they are pretty exciting places to visit at night. This particular market stretches for several blocks on Temple street and continues to some side streets as well. It’s the best place to purchase some cheap souvenirs, electronics, suitcases, bags and all kinds of accessories. Of course you always need to haggle and walk away from the stall, and they will easily split the price in half. There are many fortune tellers around the area, some having really long queue in front. The street market is also a great place to have something for dinner – whether from the food stalls or at any of the many restaurants in the area.
Visit Happy Valley Racecourse
Forget about conventional drinking-in-a-bar night out. Drinking while watching a horse race is much more fun. It’s pretty much a party atmosphere, and even if you’re not into betting it’s still super fun to watch the race. The entry fee for the public enclosure area is 10 HKD (you can pay with the octopus card) and the drinks are pretty affordable as well. Just make sure to be there early so you can get a nice spot next to the table, otherwise you’ll be standing with drinks in your hands. It’s also possible to book a terrace view with a buffet and drinks included.
Where to stay in Hong Kong?
Hotel Stage is a brand new, boutique hotel only a 5-minute walk from
The OTTO Hotel
The OTTO Hotel is a fully designed hotel located in the very heart of the city in the Tsim Sha Tsui district, one of the best-rated locations in Hong Kong. It is a perfect choice for those who want modern, stylish yet super comfortable stay. The hotel features a sun terrace. The rooms are decorated in cool tones and modern furnishings, while some boast stunning city views.
YHA Mei Ho House Youth Hostel
YHA Mei Ho House Youth Hostel is the best rated youth hostel within the city area. The hostel is set in a public resettlement block built in 1954, now fully renovated into a youth hostel with 129 rooms and dormitories. The hostel combines art facilities with a unique cultural and heritage flavour of Hong Kong. It features The Hub, a recreational function area, an open-air terrace, café and a vintage-style mini store.
Extra tips for visiting Hong Kong
– Both English and Chinese are official languages, however most of the locals speak Cantonese, which is a Chinese dialect.
– Getting a rechargeable Octopus Card can save you a lot of time, which can be a great thing if you only have one day in Hong Kong. You can use it on buses, trains and plenty more attractions without waiting in lines for tickets.
– MTR is in most cases the fastest and the cheapest way of transportation. Only make sure to download the MTR map on your phone so you always know where’s your closest MTR station.
– Most of the restaurants have 10% service charge included on the bill, so you don’t need to leave any additional tip.
– Make your trip to Hong Kong even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in Hong Kong or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions and museums right away to skip the queues.
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