A Guide to Hong Kong

26 May A Guide to Hong Kong

Some people think that Hong Kong is just another Chinese city. To us and anyone who have set foot on this tiny land, there is no bigger mistake than this. Hong Kong is where China and Britain have melded, creating a city with soaring skyscrapers, thick smog, endless noodle stands and wild nights out.

Being one of the biggest city in the world, it can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. With a plethora of things you can do here, one can scratch his head not knowing where to start.

Check out the guide below to help you organize your trip and make use of the best time you have in this amazing city.

What to do

  1. Understand the past from Hong Kong Museum of History

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Photo Credit: hk.history.museum

The first thing to do before visiting a new city or country is to understand its history. The Hong Kong Museum of History is the list-topper for history buffs, with enormous efforts in studying, collecting, processing and exhibiting countless objects related to the histories of Hong Kong and South China.

Address: 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong (next to the Hong Kong Science Museum)

Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm

Transport:

MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit B2. Walk along Cameron Road towards Tsim Sha Tsui East for approximately 20 minutes.

MTR Jordan Station Exit D. Walk along Austin Road towards Tsim Sha Tsui East for approximately 20 minutes.

MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit P2. Walk along the Chatham Road South for 10 minutes.

  1. The Street Markets

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This area of Hong Kong has the largest and busiest markets in which to soak up the frenetic atmosphere, sights, and sounds of Hong Kong. The two best markets for inexpensive souvenirs are the Ladies Market (bargain clothing, accessories, and souvenirs) and the Temple Street Night Market (flea market).

  • The ladies Market:

With over 100 stalls of bargain clothing, accessories and souvenirs, the Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street provides a one-kilometre stretch on which to practise your haggling skills.

How to get there:

MTR Mong Kok Station, Exit E2. Walk along Nelson Street for two blocks; or,

Take bus 1, 1A, 2, 6 or 9 from Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier and get off at Nelson Street

  • Temple street Night Market

Temple street Night Market is a popular street bazaar, named after a Tin Hau temple located in the centre of its main drag, and a place so steeped in local atmosphere that it has served as the backdrop to many a memorable movie.

How to get there

MTR Yau Ma Tei Station, Exit C, turn onto Temple Street at Man Ming Lane; or,

MTR Jordan Station, Exit A. Turn right onto Jordan Road and then take another right onto Temple Street.

  1. Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

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Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade and take in the breathtaking skyline view of Hong Kong Island. While you’re here, make sure to visit the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong’s  tribute to the names that helped make Hong Kong the ‘Hollywood of the East’. There are shops, restaurants, and, at night, a large outdoor market serving traditional Cantonese food alongside knockoffs and souvenirs. Come ready to haggle.

How to get there

MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit E. Walk towards Salisbury Road then turn right, take subway (pedestrian tunnel) next to YWCA to Hong Kong Cultural Centre, then walk to the Star Ferry Pier; or,

Take the Star Ferry from Central or Wan Chai. The promenade is next to the Star Ferry Pier in Tsim Sha Tsui.

  1. Take the Star Ferry at Victoria Harbor

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The charming Star Ferry boats have been faithfully carrying passengers back and forth between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon since 1888. Today,  tens of millions of people still climb aboard the humble Star Ferry vessels each year. The Star Ferry crossing has been rated as one of 50 ‘places of a lifetime’.

Cost: 25 USD

Opening hours: 1125am – 845pm

How to get there

TST Star Ferry pier: MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit L6. Walk to the Clock Tower along Salisbury Road; or,

Central Star Ferry pier: MTR Hong Kong Station, Exit A2 or MTR Central Station, Exit A. Walk to the pier along Man Yiu Street; or,

Wan Chai Star Ferry pier: MTR Wan Chai Station, Exit A1. Take the skybridge to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, and descend to Convention Avenue at Harbour Road.

  1. Ride 360 Ngong Ping

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Photo Credit: www.kadampafestivalasia.org

This cable car runs a little over 3.5 miles, from Tung Chung across the bay toward the airport and then onward to Lantau Island, where you can visit the Po Lin Monastery. Give the amazing Crystal Cabin a try. Its glass bottom offers an astonishing bird’s eye view of the magical deep blue sea and lush green mountainside underneath your feet.

How to get there

MTR Tung Chung Station, Exit B. Walk for approximately five minutes to the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal.

  1. Walk the Ping Shan Heritage Trail

Located in the New Territories (the city’s less visited northern district), this trail will lead you past some of the most important ancient sights of the Tang clan. The tour starts at Tsui Shing Lau Pagoda, passing through Shrine of Earth God, Sheung Cheung Wai, Yeung Hau Temple, Tang Ancestral Hall, Yu Kiu Ancestral Hall, Kun Ting Study Hall, Ching Shu Hin, Hung Shing Temple and finally ends at the Heritage Trail Visitor Centre.

How to get there:

  • Starting at Shing Lau Pagoda

MTR Tin Shui Wai Station, Exit E. When you arrive at the ground floor, cross Tsui Sing Road and you will see Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda.

  • Starting at the Heritage Visitor Centre

Follow the trail to its end after Hung Shing Temple or go straight there via MTR Tin Shui Wai Station Exit E.

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  1. The Peak Tram

Peak Tram The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Limited

Photo Credit: South China Morning Post

Watch Hong Kong Island’s skyscrapers slide past your window at what appear to be impossible angles as you make the ascent to The Peak on the city’s historic, funicular railway.

Operating hours: 7am – 12am

How to get there

Take bus 15C from Central Pier 8 or walk from MTR Central Station Exit J2 to take the Peak Tram from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus on Garden Road; or,

Bus 15 from Exchange Square bus terminus (near MTR Hong Kong Station, Exit D); or,

Minibus 1 from the public transport interchange at MTR Hong Kong Station, Exit E.

  1. Experience the nightlife at Lan Kwai Fong

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

Lan Kwai Fong is the main nightlife and party area in Hong Kong and is filled with tons of bars, clubs, sheesha (water pipes), and cheap drinks.

  • C Bar: A small yet lively bar. The seats in front offer a view of the bustling crowds. Service hours last as long as 16 hours from 09:00 to 01:00 the next morning. Expected to spend HK$50-100

Address: Shop A, G/F, California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong

  • POST 97: A classic brand, serving traditional British breakfasts and self-help drinks at night, each of which costs HK$97. Expected to spend HK$100-300

Address: UG/F, 9 Lan Kwai Fong

  • La Doice Vita 97: The most popular bar. Offering Italian gourmet food during the day, it is a music bar at night with live shows each Thursday and Saturday. Expected to spend HK$51-100.

Address: 9 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong

  • The Whiskey Priest: An Ireland theme bar. It is a good place for live ball game broadcasts, serving authentic Irish dishes and black beer. Expected to spend HK$100-200.

Address: 13 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong

How to get there

MTR Central Station Exit D2, walk along Theatre Lane, and up D’Aguilar Street.

  1. Visit the ICC tower and Elements Mall

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Photo Credit: www.discoverhongkong.com

Find out what it’s like to be in one of the world’s tallest towers. Check out the skyline at the Sky100 observation deck. Directly below it you can also see what modern Asian luxury shopping and dining is like at the Elements Mall.

How to get there: take the MTR to Kowloon Station. The mall and tower are above it.

What to eat

  1. Kau Kee Beef Brisket

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Photo credit: thatfoodcray.com

Despite looking kind of run-down, the noodle shop is on the Michelin recommended “Big Gourmand” list for several years, with celebrity patrons from Chief Executive of Hong Kong Donald Tsang to award-winning actor Tony Leung.

Address : 21 Gough Street, Central

Opening Hours : Mon to Sun 12.30pm – 10.30pm (Closed on Sunday)

What to Order :  Curry Beef Tendon Noodle & Beef Brisket Noodle

How to get there Central MTR

Price : Around USD5 per person

  1. Tim Ho Wan (添好运) – 1 Michelin Star 2015

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Photo credit: jeanspiration.com

The one tim sum place everyone has been raving on about since god-knows-when is Tim Ho Wan. If you’ve been completely out of the loop, these self-labelled “dim sum specialists” are also one of the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants in the world.

Opening Hours : Daily 10am to 10pm

What to Order : 酥皮焗叉烧包 ( Baked Bun with Barbecue Pork ), 晶莹鲜虾饺 ( Steamed Fresh Shrimp Dumpling ), 杞子桂花糕 (Kwai Fah Gou), 鲜虾烧卖皇 (Steamed Pork Dumpling with Shrimp), 菲黄鲜虾粉 ( Vermicelli Roll stuffed with Shrimp ), 腊味萝卜糕 (Pan Fried Turnip Cake ), 马来糕 (Malay Cake)

How to get there :

  1. Sam Shui Po Main- G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Hong Kong (Sham Shui Po MTR)
  2. Central Branch – Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station Podium Level 1, IFC Mall , Central, Hong Kong (Hong Kong MTR)

Price : Around USD9 per person

  1. Tai Cheong Bakery (泰昌餅家)

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Photo credit: danielfooddiary.com

If you’re on the hunt for good egg tarts, check out Tai Cheong Bakery. This spot has a reputation of having the city’s best egg tarts. It’s a major tourist attraction and loved by locals too.

Address : 32 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central

Opening Hours : 7.30am to 9.00pm

What to Order  蛋挞  ( Egg Tart )

How to get there : Central MTR – Exit D2.

Take the elevator up to the Mid-Levels. You’ll see an “exit” for Lyndhurst Terrace. Tai Cheung Bakery will be situated on the right when you go down the stairs.

Price : Around USD10 per person

4. Mak’s Noodle (奀雲吞麵世家)

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Photo credit: crunchybottoms.wordpress.com

The no-frills restaurant looks like every other mom-and-pop noodle shop in Hong Kong, except for the endless stream of customers going in and out throughout the day. Address : 77, Wellington Street, Central

地址 : 中環蘭桂坊威靈頓街77號地下

Opening Hours : Daily 11am to 9pm

5. Yee Shun Dairy (義順牛奶公司)

Similar to a tofu pudding, Yee Shun Dairy Company HK Steamed Milk Puddings are creamier and has a sweetened milk fragrance.

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Photo credit: robyn lee

Address :

  1. 513 Nathan Road, Hong Kong 油麻地彌敦道513號地下 – Yau Ma Teh MTR – B1 Exit
  2. 506 Lockhard Road, Causeway Bay 銅鑼灣駱克道506號 – Causeway Bay MTR – C Exit

Opening Hours : Daily 12.00pm to 12.00am

What to Order  Doubled Boiled Steam Milk (双皮奶) & Steam Milk with Ginger Juice (巧手姜汁炖鲜奶)

Price : Around USD5 per person

6. Lee Keung Kee North Point Eggette (记北角鸡蛋仔)

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Photo Credit: Kumory

Lee Keung Kee North Point Eggette is a stall that sells Hong Kong Style Egg Waffle, which is a popular snack in Hong Kong, a honeycomb shaped waffle that is crispy on the outside and hallow and soft on the inside. It is made out of flour, eggs, sugar and evaporated cooked using an iron mold. It is hard to miss it with that many celebrities photos at the shop.

Address : 492 King’s Rd, Hong Kong

地址 :北角英皇道492號

Opening Hours : 7.30am to 9.00pm

What to Order  Egg Puff or Eggette (鸡蛋仔)

How to get there : North Point MTR – B3 Exit

Price : Around USD1.50 per person

Take a food tour — If your stay in Hong Kong is short and there is no time to look for the restaurants recommended, spend lunchtime taking a food tour. Hong Kong is a food-filled city, and you’ll find a diverse range from around the world. Check out the following three companies offer the best value tours:

 

Where to stay

Here are the areas to consider before choosing the hotels. These areas have different appeals that suit different types of travelers.

Central – This may be the financial core of Hong Kong, but Central is an attractive place to stay since it’s located near Lan Kwai Fong and Victoria Peak, two of the most popular spots in the city.

Tsim Sha Tsui – Located at the base of Kowloon (the mainland of Hong Kong) is Tsim Sha Tsui (commonly known as TST), a popular spot for tourists.

Mong Kok – As a mainly residential area, there are plenty of Airbnb options. It’s also within walking distance of the Temple Street market and Langham Place which is a good contrast between old and new Hong Kong.

Wan Chai – Wan Chai is mainly a commercial area, but the appealing part about staying here is the fact that many hotels and Airbnb rentals are cheaper than those in the neighboring area of Causeway Bay which is arguably the best place to shop.

Hotels to consider:

Bishop Lei International House

Address: 4 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels

Phone: +852 2868 0828

Website: bishopleihtl.com.hk

Price: $$$

 Caritas Oswald Cheung International House

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Photo credit: hong-kong-hotels-network.com

Address: 20 Tin Wan Street, Tin Wan, Aberdeen

Phone: +852 2903 0263

Website: caritas-chs.org.hk

Price: $

Cosmo Hotel Mongkok

Address: 88 Tai Kok Tsui Road, Kowloon

Phone: +852 3987 2288

Website: cosmomongkok.com.hk/en

Price: $$

 

YesInn Hostel @Fortress Hill

Address: Flat B, 15F Front Block, Continental Mansion, 294 King’s Road, Fortress Hill, no phone

Website: yesinn.com

Price: $

 

Hop Inn on Hankow

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Photo credit: www.booking.com

Address: Flat A, 2F Hanyee Building, 19-21 Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, or 9/F James S Lee Mansion, 33-35 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

Phone: +852 2881 7331

Website:hopinn.hk

Price: $$ 

Espace Elastique B&B

Photo credit: www.booking.com

Address: 57 Kat Hing Street, Tai O, Lantau, New Territories

Phone: +852 2985 7002

Websiteespaceelastique.com.hk

Price: $$

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