HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR STOPOVER IN HONG KONG

“THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS TO LIVE IT, TO TASTE EXPERIENCE TO THE UTMOST, TO REACH OUT EAGERLY AND WITHOUT FEAR FOR NEWER AND RICHER EXPERIENCE” – ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

To break up the big trek from London to Sydney, I decided to spend 3 days in Hong Kong to help ease my jetlag and explore a new city; and I’m so glad I did!

Hong Kong is an exciting city made up of 3 main islands, Kowloon, Hong Kong Island & Lantau Island. Each have their own character and atmosphere to them, and even though they are only a short train ride away from each other, you’ll feel like you’re in a different country for each one of them.

I’ve put together a little 3 day itinerary for anyone looking at doing a stopover in Hong Kong. Depending on what you enjoy doing most I’ve included popular street markets, shopping malls, attractions and hikes for each island.

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Victoria Harbour & Light Show

DAY ONE: KOWLOON

I’d recommend staying on either Kowloon or Hong Kong Island if you’re only staying for a couple of nights. I stayed on Kowloon at the Eaton Hotel on Nathan Road as I felt that Kowloon offered a more localised experience compared to Hong Kong Island which is known as the business district. The Eaton was perfect for what I needed. I had spent the last month in Europe camping, sleeping on blow up mattresses and a tiny bunk bed on a Croatian sail boat – so I was DYING for a normal bed (as was proven when I slept for 12 hours straight on the first night).

My first piece of advice would be to grab an Octopus Card (similar to London’s Oyster Card or Sydney’s Opal Card) from the nearest MTR station. Especially if you’re keen on saving money getting to and from the airport. You basically pay a deposit for the card plus credit, which you can use, then before you leave Hong Kong, you can hand the card back in and you are refunded your deposit plus any left over credit still on the card. Great system and their trains are SO EASY to use – just try to avoid riding in rush hour in the early mornings and from 5:30PM in the afternoon.

MARKETS

  • Temple Street Night Market
  • Jade Market
  • Fa Yuen Street Market
  • Ladies Market

SHOPPING MALLS

  • Harbour City
  • 1881 Heritage
  • Elements
  • Langham Place Shopping Mall

ATTRACTIONS

  • Victoria Harbour (Light show every night at 8PM)
  • Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck
  • Kowloon Railway Clock Tower
  • Kowloon Park
  • Wong Tai Sin Temple
  • Portland Street – Neon Sign Central

HIKING

  • Lion Rock Hike
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Portland Street
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Victoria Harbour

DAY TWO: HONG KONG ISLAND

Hong Kong Island has a completely different feel to that of Kowloon. As it is the business district, you will notice that it appears a lot more westernised and that of a typical busy city with skyscrapers and restaurants at every bend.

Hong Kong is a very humid and subtropical city, so not too much happens of a morning, it’s more common to see people out and about in the afternoon and evenings when the weather tends to be a little cooler.

MARKETS

  • Stanley’s Market
  • Cat Street
  • Jardine’s Crescent

SHOPPING MALLS

  • Pacific Place
  • Times Square
  • Apple Mall

ATTRACTIONS

  • The Peak & Peak Tram
    **I’d recommend either go first thing in the morning to beat the crowds, or get the #15 bus up and catch the tram back down – be sure to sit on right hand side. I ended up going up later afternoon so I could see the city from the Peak during the day, then after dinner, the city night lights before heading back down on the tram.
  • Man Mo Temple
  • Central–Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway system – longest outdoor escalator in the world!
  • Repulse Bay
  • Hong Kong Observation Wheel
  • Get the Star Ferry from Hong Kong to Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon Island)

HIKING

  • Dragon’s Back Hike
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Hong Kong Island
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The Peak

DAY THREE: LANTAU ISLAND

Lantau Island is the largest of Hong Kong’s islands and in my opinion offers some of the most natural beauty in Hong Kong. Lantau Island attractions are many and varied, and access to the island is SO easy with the MTR, or if you’re feeling adventurous, a boat ride!

I’d save your shopping for Kowloon and Hong Kong Island and enjoy what Lantau has that the other two islands don’t.

ATTRACTIONS

  • The Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car
  • The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery
  • Tai O Fishing Village
  • Hong Kong Disneyland

HIKING

  • Lantau Peak
  • Sunset Peak
  • Wisdom Path
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The Big Buddha
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Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car

DAY TRIPS

If you’ve got more than a few days in Hong Kong, it would definitely be worth looking into day trips to:

  • Macau
  • Shenzhen
  • Guangzhou
  • Cheung Chau
  • Lamma Island
  • Sai Kung
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Man Mo Temple


Be sure to follow my adventures on my Instagram & Twitter!!

43 Comments Add yours

  1. Rosie says:

    Great itinerary- there’s so much to do in Hong Kong! Lamma Island is great for hikes (and eating fish/seafood if that’s your thing) and Macau’s an interesting day trip. I’d add a trip out to Sai Kung, there’re plenty of hikes, beaches and cool geological sites out that way and less tourists!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rosie! I’ll definitely be making a return to explore more of Hong Kong. 3 days wasn’t enough, but I definitely made the most of my time there. I love hiking so Sai Kung is on the list 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rosie says:

        There’s so much to do in Hong Kong, I love how there’s a vibrant city scene but also so many hikes and outdoor activities as well 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The best of both worlds isn’t it? It’s nice wandering through big cities but I love having the option to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy what mother nature has to offer 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. girlonrock says:

    Weird question… is “portland street” the translated name for the street? Or is that how it is pronounced there as well? If it is the prior I would be interested to understand more about the history of how it got its name. : )

    Like

    1. Hi there! Had a quick look online.

      So apparently Portland Street was named after William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 1807 and 1809.

      It is unclear why the street was bestowed in his honour although, as a former British colony, many of Hong Kong’s streets and institutions were named in memory of prominent English historic and political figures.

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. girlonrock says:

        Wow! That’s some amazing history right there! And what’s even more amazing is that you looked it all up for me!! Thanks! This is why i follow your site. 🤘

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It interesting that their suburbs have traditional Chinese names but a lot of their streets are supposedly named after English politicians. You’re welcome! I was intrigued too. I had never given it much thought, so thanks for bringing it to my attention 🙂

        Like

  3. Pauline Y says:

    I would recommend taking the Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui to Wanchai or Central, especially at night time so you’re travelling towards the best view.

    Also, just a reminder, I believe you need a visa if you plan a day trip to anywhere in China.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh great tip about the visa! Thanks Pauline 🙂

      Like

  4. camillariis says:

    Great guide! I lived in Hong Kong last year, and I absolutely loved it! Foodwise I would definitely recommend that you eat local, rather than western (and Instagram famous) food. Will save you loads of money (:
    Camilla | http://cammi.dk

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tom Hopper says:

    Awesome post, used to live in Hong Kong when I was younger and still get back there occasionally! Great suggestions for places to check out! It’s a brilliant place! Another good bus is the number 6 or 66 which takes you from central to Stanley bay. Great way to see a bit more of the island if you’ve got time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great suggestion Tom! Thank you 🙂 Can’t wait to get back there myself one day soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ktkickass says:

    holy…wow…crazy! Wicked pic’s! Thanks for the detailed information post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome!! Hope it is helpful 🙂

      Like

  7. Great post! I stop in Hong Kong a lot but usually stay at the airport. I’ll try and extend my layover next time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂 Definitely worth exploring if you have the time!

      Like

  8. 艾凯特 says:

    Great post! Visited HK a few times (have family there) and always love the many varied things to see and do in the city. Definitely recommend Lamma Island for hiking, walking up the peak (there’s a hiking trail – takes a good few hours but definitely worth it to avoid the crowds!), and the Man Mo temple in Sheung Wan 🙂 Also, visit a local Dim Sum restaurant for the most delicious HK food!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds great!! Thanks so much for the recommendations 🙂

      Like

  9. Reblogged this on The Burble…. and commented:
    Having lived in Hong Kong for 3 years this blog describes perfectly what to do with three days on a stop over. And as I’m going back through Hong Kong in January en route to New Zealand I might even try a few. You never do everything you should when you live somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! Very true though isn’t it? You never do see everything where you’re living! That’s why I love reading peoples posts on Sydney. There’s so much to see and do!!

      Like

  10. Ggreybeard says:

    Nice run down. Hong Kong is a wonderful city!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is!! Absolutely loved my time there 🙂

      Like

  11. Just the sort of article I like! I’ve shared it to my Facebook page to inspire other adventurers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Elizabeth! Love getting feedback from readers 🙂 Good to know these posts are what people find useful and help inspire adventure!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Little correction. Kowloon is part of the peninsula, not an island. “The nine dragons” are the mountains you can see on the back of the city part: Kowloon Peak, Lion Rock, Beacon Hill, etc.

    Tons of paths to hike/run in HK indeed! Hopefully for when you come back again I will have all of the most interesting uploaded.

    Best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh look forward to seeing them! Thanks 🙂

      Like

  13. Sima says:

    I love your list of things to do! Hopefully my next Asia trip I’ll go to Hong Kong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Hong Kong! I hope you make it there soon 🙂

      Like

  14. Love the post and your layout! Mind sharing what your layout is?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂 My current theme is Dyad 2 through WordPress

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Awesome, we have a two day layover here next month 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. laurencezhg says:

    Nice article! I often go to Hong Kong during the summer and was there for an academic exchange trip.

    I really love the Peak, the view at night is just amazing. However make sure there is no fog otherwise you will not see anything. When you are up there, there is some kind of promenade path and a hiking trail. You can go even further up and get a different view of the city.

    For food lovers, you can have great seafood in Sai Kung (a bit far from the city, but much calmer than HK). Otherwise, you have food halls basically everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the tips Lauren! The fog can get quite a bit nasty can’t it? Part of the reason I went up in the late afternoon/evening as the morning was very overcast and foggy. Definitely want to do more hiking next time I’m there! 🙂

      Like

  17. Jirah Merizz says:

    Gotta love Hong Kong!! I wasn’t able to go there but someday I hope to! Nice post! ❤

    https://jirahmerizz.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by Jirah! I hope you make it there too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jirah Merizz says:

        You’re welcome and ahhh thank you so much! ❤

        Like

  18. joydiffley says:

    so much to do and eat in HK!!! I wish I got a chance to do all those when I had an unfortunate overnight layover years ago due to bad weather… one day, one day…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ll get there! 🙂

      Like

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