Taking a 2-3 day Hong Kong travel break en route to somewhere else ....is a popular choice...... and this vibrant city is a fascinating travel destination to spend a few days.
As our flight stopped in Hong Kong we decided to have a couple of days to see what the city is like these days. The last time we were there it was still under British Governance.
With around 260 outlying islands, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories make up the main city centre. With several parts to the city you need to decide where you are best to stay....Kowloon Peninsula or Hong Kong Island housing the business district and where many of the city sights are
We have found basing ourselves in central Kowloon with easy access to the Star ferry that crosses Victoria Harbour frequently works well. So we went for a hotel in Nathan Road.
If you have a very limited time it is good to have your Hong Kong travel itinerary planned before you arrive.
Hong Kong Island Attractions
Staying near the harbour with easy access to the Star ferry will mean you can get across to Hong Kong Island easily. Then there are buses from the wharf taking you to the many attractions on the island including
Hong Kong Park
Golden Bauhinia Square
Kowloon has a plethora of museums, attractions and markets including
Temple Street Night Market
Apliu Street Flea Market
Jade Market and Jade Street
Avenue of Stars
Kowloon Walled City Park
Nan Lian Garden
Lei Yue Mun Seafood Bazaar
More Parks and Attractions in the New Territories
The New Territories have several Parks that may be of interestif you have a longer Hog Kong travel break including
Ping Shan Heritage Trail
Mai Po Wetlands
Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail
Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees and Tin Hau Temple
The Outlying Islands include
Hong Kong Disneyland
Ngong Ping 360
Giant Buddha-Po Lin Monastery – The Wisdom Patch
Tai O Fishing Village
Hong Kong Travel Attractions in 36 Hours
Taking the Star ferry across Victoria Harbour is aHong Kong travel attraction in its own right as you pass sampans and junks, and catch the panoramic city sights on both sides. Operating since 1898 it is Hong Kong!
We opted for The Peak as a Hong Kong travel must see ......... it is a fascinating trip in the Peak Tram and once up the top there are unsurpassed views of the city.
Take Bus 15 from Exchange Square terminus by the wharf. This drops you at the tram terminus. You will most likely have to queue....but the trip up this steep incline is amazing as you pass close by huge multi story buildings and see the city unfolding below you the higher you rise.
Once up the top there are restaurants, shops and viewing points
Lions View Point Pavilion
The Peak Galleria
The Peak Tower Sky Terrace
with large open areas for enjoying the views and outdoor dining. Enjoy a drink in the cafe above the tram and watch it coming and going .There are Nature walks which are very pleasant.
This lovely park opposite Pacific Place Shopping Plaza ( where you can buy all the luxury international label items) is a pleasant walk taking you up to the Peak Tram Terminus.
“ A Symphony of Lights”
We stayed up at the Peak to watch the sunset and then timed our arrival back in Kowloon in time for the Sound and Light Show –“ A Symphony of Lights” On every night at 8.00pm you can find a seat on the Harbours edge just around from the ferry buildings.
The Tsim Sha Tsui waterfont between the Avenue of Stars and Hong Kong Cultural Centre are the best viewing spots. You can then watch the show featuring music and narration as the architecturally interesting buildings are lit up and laser lights create colourful slashes and patterns in the night sky.
A SNIPPET OF THE " SYMPHONY of LIGHTS" SHOW
Avenue of Stars (Tsim Sha Tsui)
After watching the Symphony of Stars you can wander the wide Tsim Sha Tsui boulevard along the harbour’s edge .....the Avenue of Stars .....searching out the hand prints, statues and plaques of various entertainment Stars including Bruce Lee.
They cover a century of movie milestones. Boats ply the waterway with dinner and night harbour cruises making for some spectacular night views of the city.
Nathan Road – Recommended Restaurant
Named "The Golden Mile" Nathan Road is famous for it’s shopping. This road is alive with hoards of locals and tourists. Colourful neon lights line the buildings and stalls selling food pull in the passersby.
We wandered in to Miramar Shopping Plaza. After perusing the board with the list of restaurants we went to the 4th floor for a fantastic meal at the Hong Kong Old Restaurant.
Very much for locals....we were the only non Chinese in sight....we were given a seat in one of the many beautifully decorated, old colonial style rooms.
Choosing from the expansive menu we opted for pork dumplings, fried green string beans...mmmmmm...delicious, chicken and vegetables. The starter of pickles, jasmine tea and for afters... fresh fruit... were all free additions to the meal.
If you can find this restaurant ...I recommend it. The meal was very good and it was nice to mingle with locals.
This was beautiful with buckets of colourful flowers and tall palms liningthe streets...... the shops full of exotic flowers of every kind.
Tulips, orchids, roses....The florists worked busily unpacking huge pots, trucks off loaded their gorgeous blooms and tourists walked amongst the chaos enjoying the spectacle.
Yuen Po Street Bird Garden
On to Yuen Po Street...... and the fascinating bird garden with over 70 stalls. Picturesque crafted bird cages housing colourful birds hung from poles or lined the walkway..... while the stalls sold bags of live insects and all the bird paraphernalia. It was a unique sight and it was clearly popular with the locals.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time for the planned visit to the Goldfish Market where they sell aquariums, corals and exotic fish.... but the three are all situated close together for an interesting few hours in markets that exist for the locals...not for the Hong Kong travel tourists.
This is another market in Mong Kok you could visit with bags, accessories and cheap women’s, men’s and children’s clothing.
We missed several attractions I would like to have fitted in. Had we had another day for our Hong Kong travel break we would have included:
Having visited on our prior trip it would have been interesting to walk the promenade next to the Waterfront Mart and take a trip down memory lane as we browsed the Main Street market.
Right on the harbours edge this famous market is for bargain hunters. In 1998 Murray House ... now the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and restaurants has been relocated from Central along with Blake Pier and restored .These magnificent colonial building adds some historic ambiance.
Ngong Ping 360
Ngong Ping 360 on Lantau Island sounds a fascinating travel destination! You take the cable car with stunning views of North Lantau and the South China Sea to Ngong Ping Themed Village. After sightseeing around the Chinese style village I would have been keen to hop next door to visit
The Giant Buddha
A 15 minutes walk along a hiking trail past the Tea Garden brings you to the world’s tallest outdoor seated buddha ... you walk up steps underneath.
Po Lin Monastery nearby is a popular sacred place to visit for Buddhists.......the Wisdom Path....and outdoor replica of Heart Sutra which is displayed on wooden pillars.
Hong Kong Shopping
For many tourists part of the attraction of Hong Kong travel will be the shopping! Markets, huge shopping malls and streets specialising in specific items give you unlimited choices!
Everything from designer labels, electronics, jewellery, clothing, sports equipment to cheap market buys..... are waiting for the tourist market. I suggest doing some homework and deciding where you need to go if you have specific items you want to source.
Getting around Hong Kong travel is relatively easy....with the Star ferry service across the harbour and buses, trains and taxis all readily accessed.
Ask for maps at your hotel reception and inquire which is best....bus or train. We found the train was better to get to Mong Kok from our hotel but connecting buses to train or ferry are also useful.All the different services seem to be well interconnected.