“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 journey from London to Sydney, I spent 3 days exploring Hong Kong. I decided to put together an itinerary to suit anyone looking at doing an extended layover here. Depending on what you enjoy doing most I’ve included popular street markets, shopping malls, attractions and hikes exclusive to HK.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 I’d definitely recommend spending some time on each of them to truly experience what Hong Kong has to offer.
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 previous 6 weeks in Europe camping, sleeping on inflatable mattresses and a tiny bunk bed on a Croatian sail boat – so I did splurge a little on this hotel. For budget travelers, there are great hostel and budget accommodation options.
**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 return the card to any MTR station you are refunded your deposit plus any left over credit still on the card. A great system and their trains are very easy to use – avoid riding in rush hour in the early mornings and from 5:30PM in the afternoon as it gets extremely crowded.
- Temple Street Night Market
- Jade Market
- Fa Yuen Street Market
- Ladies Market
- Harbour City
- 1881 Heritage
- Langham Place Shopping Mall
- 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
- Lion Rock Hike
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.
- Stanley’s Market
- Cat Street
- Jardine’s Crescent
- Pacific Place
- Times Square
- Apple Mall
- The Peak & Peak Tram
**I’d recommend to 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)
- Dragon’s Back Hike
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 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.
- The Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car
- The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery
- Tai O Fishing Village
- Hong Kong Disneyland
- Lantau Peak
- Sunset Peak
- Wisdom Path
If you’ve got more than a few days in Hong Kong, it would definitely be worth looking into day trips to:
- Cheung Chau
- Lamma Island
- Sai Kung
If you have any questions about Hong Kong or would like any further information on anything I’ve talked about here, please leave a comment or send me an email.