Hong Kong rarely comes up when guys talk about places to visit. I went there a few months ago and had an amazing time. We need to talk more about it, and here is a post to start off the convo. Hong Kong is an expensive place hence the reason I worked with 7 days. I was there for around 13 days but it's cuz I'm generally a very slow traveler. I have also given you other options should one decide do spend more time there. As you shall see, one may spend up to 3 weeks there and not exhaust the places to visit.
Day 1: New Territories – Tuen Mun Centre
Take it easy on the first day and appreciate Hong Kong by strolling in the Tuen Mun Center found in the New Territories region. This area is famous for its many markets, malls, amazing architecture, and street food. Starting here will help you come to terms with the different experiences that Hong Kong has to offer. Tuen Mun San Hui, Sam Shing Hui, and Tuen Mun Kau Hui are the three traditional markets you should check out when in the area. Chinese (traditional) culture is almost unmatched, and these markets given incredible perspective.
The area is also home to a number of malls, with tmt plaza being the biggest. I got a camera and lenses from a shop there – at a steal! Hong Kong is an amazing place to shop for electronics. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about being ripped off at the mall. Pro tip: ask them for discounts and “gifts” – they gave me a camera bag, a number of memory cards, and cleansers for my lenses. Told you it was a steal 😉
No rules here, really. Stroll, take pictures, smile at others… Don’t be scared to use your camera but as is the case with any other place, use your common sense. For those who like having their pictures taken, don’t be fear to ask the locals to do it for you. Chinese don’t rank high in the “helpful/friendly – people” list but you never miss one who’s eager to help. On that note, I am a you-get-what-you-give kind of person. No one treated me badly in Hong Kong, for whatever reason.
Getting there: Tuen Mun center is accessible from everywhere in the island. From the West Rail Line, Tuen Mun Station, you’ll need to walk for only 5 minutes to Tuen Mun center. There are also many bus routes serving the area including E33, 263, 960, 961, 52X, 58M, 60X, 60M, 61X, and 62X. The MTR light rail also serves the Town center stop. The route numbers are 505, 507, 614, 614P, and 751.
Day 2: Lantau Island
This is the largest island in Hong Kong and has everything to make your visit to Hong Kong memorable. To be fair, Lantau island could easily take up more than one day. Still, let’s see what there is to do in Lantau island.
I know guys who don’t like hiking. Surely you guys like historical sites then? Hard pass? Street food and culture? Lantau island provides all that so you have lots to choose from.
Ngong Ping 360
It was my first time on a cable car and as someone who enjoys aerial photography, I had immeasurable fun. From the top one has views of forests, the coast, and mountains.
The queues are crazy. To avoid this, go to Klook and choose the ticket that best suits you. I went with a one-way trip since it made more sense that way – I wanted to use the ferry back and catch the sunset while at it. Anyway, with Klook, you are directed to a designated lane, away from the crowds, so that saves you time, allowing you to maximize your day. Besides that, it is considerably cheaper getting your tickets online. Please keep that in mind before you plan for any activity in Hong Kong.
The cable car will get you to Ngong Ping village, an amazing place with a myriad of eateries, souvenir shops, and other attractions. The food there is considerably expensive but worth it if you ask me. It makes more sense for those traveling with their friends and/or families cuz the portions are HUGE. They also don’t pack it for you to take away so that’s a major bummer. If traveling alone, bring your packed food, unless, of course, you can clear the portions given. Another option would be to avoid the main meals and go for snacks which I assume would be manageable. Don’t take a lot of time eating as there is so much waiting for you in the village, and beyond.
While in Ngong ping village, depending on when you arrive, take some time to watch the VR 360, Walking with Buddha, and Motion 360 presentations. There will give you an enhanced perspective on many issues.
Po Lin Monastery
As is the case in many Asian
countries, there are numerous monasteries in Hong Kong. Their architecture is
articulate, the details stunning, the environment calming – the Po Lin
Monastery is no exception. There is also a Buddha statue that sits around 34
metres high – take the 268 steps to the top for not only an incredible view of
the village, but also to have a closer look at the statue that took 12 years to
complete. I feel like it also makes you feel how tiny a place you occupy in
Do not miss this! Many people do cuz they either don’t know it exists or don’t know where it is. The walk there is especially calming. See why I said you’d need more time for Lantau island? If I ever went back, I would not want to rush over. I’d instead take time to breath and take in all the details. Still, I had an remarkable time.
Professor Jao Tsung-I crafted the Heart Sutra – a prayer widely acclaimed by Taoists, Buddhists, and Confucians across the world – on 38 upright monuments. To add to the spectacle, the steles complete the infinity sign. As compared to the other places we’ve talked about, it was generally uncrowded. Moreover, one has a view of the South China Sea. If you love art you will appreciate the calligraphy.
That covers most of what is in Ngong Ping village. If you’d booked a return ticket, that would be your cue to get back unless you don’t mind leaving the village by bus to Tai O then coming back to catch the cable car back. That’s very doable but make sure you plan your time well so you don’t feel rushed. Again, getting your tickets online could make all the difference.
From Ngong Ping Village, there are buses to different areas in the island. The exits are clearly marked so follow those to the bus stop and take the one to Tai O. You may use your octopus card so make sure you have that, or enough cash, at hand. Use bus number 21.
Tai O is a fishing village in the western side of Lantau Island. The village is pure art and should not be missed. Granted, it is very touristy but worth a visit. The Tanka people, the major inhabitants, have an interesting way of life. It is very different from what you have in mainland Hong Kong. I saw some tourists with huge backpacks so me thinks that, while it is not very common, it is possible to book room(s) there. I know I’d love that.
When in Tai o, take a boat ride around the village. If you’re
lucky blessed like I was, you’ll see the endangered and very playful pink dolphins. After the boat ride, walk around the village. They have lots of candy, a huge selection of fruits, and so much fish. Tai O’s stilt houses are very amusing as well. Most walls are brightly painted or have murals. It will be worth your while, I promise.
Remember I mentioned the sunset? I was
lucky blessed that there was something to muse over, despite it being winter. However, it was too cold and windy after that – I had booked the last ferry out of the island and I swear it was one of the longest 1.5 hours or so of my life.
Should you have 2 or more days to spare, check out the Pui O, Cheung Sha, Silvermine Bay, and Mui Wo beaches. These should all be great, especially in the summer. Disneyland is also in Lantau island (this alone takes one day). Check out Disney tickets on Klook for a great bargain and also so you save time.
Day 3: Kowloon
Kowloon could be translated to “nine dragons”. This area in Hong Kong has so much to offer that while you could try do it in a day, it would probably be best to spend more time there. It comprises the New Kowloon and the Kowloon Peninsula. There are many points of interest in Kowloon, accommodating different kinds of travellers.
Tsim Sha Tsui is an area in Southern Kowloon. It is the major tourist hub, housing numerous parks, museums, restaurants, shopping malls, and libraries. While there, be sure to check out the Hong Kong Cultural Center and the Hong Kong Space Museum. A lot of research is being conducted on whatever happens beyond earth, and believe me: it’s intriguing.
The Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront is also worth checking out – it is pure art. For photographers, the area will give you an unobstructed view of Central Hong Kong, over the Victoria Harbour. Check out the Avenue of Stars while in Kowloon especially if you love photography. If you have time, the Star Ferry terminal will also be worth your while.
Depending on where you are coming from, there are many ways to get to Kowloon including using ferries, buses, or trains. Remember to use the apps I told you about here. It might sound complicated to move around Hong Kong, but since everything is organized (and works), you just need to be a little committed to the process and you’ll be fine.
If you’re in Hong Kong for Christmas or New Year’s Eve (I’d imagine this to be true for any other major holiday), make your way to the Kowloon area for amazing displays of fireworks and other forms of art.
Day 4: Kowloon East
Remember those cube-like houses you keep seeing on Instagram? This is the day to recreate that, or at least be dwarfed by what is some of the most incredible architecture anywhere.
Not so fast though 😄
I’d start with the Wong Tai Sin temple which won’t be out of your way, whichever way you look at it. Use exit B3 once you get to the Wong Tai Sin stop. Otherwise, just get lost elsewhere hehe.
If you’re into feng shui, you will be greatly impressed by how the five geomantic elements are represented. I could give lots of other details on what to expect but I won’t so just go and experience the home to three religions.
On Google maps the exact location is: 2 Chuk Yuen Village, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon
Next, head off to the Nan lian garden. It is free to enter and you can take as much time as you’d like. This garden is perfect. To get there, take exit C2 at the Diamond Hill MTR Station (Kwun Tong MTR line). Everything is clearly signed so there’s limited chances of getting lost.
Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: the Choi Hung Estate. It is found in the Wong Tai Sin District and is one of the oldest housing estates in Hong Kong. To get there, take the C4 exit at the Choi Hung MTR. Marvel at everything and while you might want to take pictures like the ones we’ve seen on social media, try out new angles, find new buildings and all that.
BTW the one with a basketball court would need you to go up some stairs. Once you get to the estate, find a parking lot on your left – the court will be right above the parking.
Choi Hung means rainbow in Chinese.
If you still have some time (and energy) left, go catch the sunset at Fei Ngo Shan – they even call it the sunset point. To get there from Choi Hung estate you could take a cab or if you’re feeling adventurous and trying to save like I was, cross the road once you get off the estate and go catch a local bus. It won’t be the modern, air-conditioned ones that are popular in Hong Kong, but it will get you there.
The bus dropped me right where the hike starts. It is an easy-moderate one, depending on where you decide to stop. The views of Hong Kong are crazy from the top. It was winter so everything was moody but I really appreciated being up there especially given it was my first hike in Hong Kong. Y’all know what hikes do to me! It gets very cold at the top so please bring some cover ups. Bring some snacks and water too. If you have a water bottle, you can easily refill along the way. It was also on this track that I saw some of the most amazing cars ever – some guys in Hong Kong are RICH RICH.
There is a spot known as the suicidal cliff which is popular for just that – suicide! Okay, and lots of amazing Instagram pics. Check that out. I did not but it is best accessed from a track near the Peak. You could also do it from Tung Shan but you’d need to deviate from the main path to do it. Get some company for that more so if you fear wild pigs (and other animals) like I do.
Best way to get to Kowloon peak has been given here.
Day 5: South Hong Kong Island
Start the beautiful day at the Ocean park. You may get your tickets in advance by clicking here. It is a park that tries to recreate the ocean – see how lazily I did that! Everything is well-maintained and there’s generally good vibes everywhere. It would be especially good for kids as there is so much to learn that one could easily blow an entire day there.
Complete the day by hiking Nam Long Shan or if you like, the Brick Hill. Part of it is owned by Ocean Park but the other side is open for hiking. It is an easy hike so take time to breath and appreciate the views and everything in between. Here’s the route to take.
Day 6: Gold Coast
This is an amazing part of Hong Kong and is actually where I stayed the whole time I was in the country. There are many places you could just stroll into. One of my fav places was Crossroad. It is a coffee shop that had been set up to promote fair trade. They also have nice souvenirs and have an interesting vibe going on. Visit if you can.
Walk around the shopping centres there. I especially loved going to watch ships and yachts being cleaned. I think it’s important to see some of these things.
One may also hike in the Tai Lam country park. It is very peaceful there, everything is well maintained, and it is out of the city’s craze. It is generally unvisited so you are certain to have a great time. Like is true for all the other hiking areas in Hong Kong, it is also a great way to meet progressive individuals.
Day 7: More Hiking
Now, there are so many places to hike in Hong Kong that I think one could easily spend three weeks in the country and not exhaust everything. I am serious. Problem is that it is a very expensive place. If you have the cash, definitely stay longer and explore this beautiful place.
Choose from Nai Sang Wai, the Dragon’s back trail, Braemer Hill peak, and Lo Fu Tao. A resource I found particularly helpful when it came to hiking was walk on hill. If that’s your last day in Hong Kong, you probably want to take it slow, or not.
As you have seen, we do not talk enough about Hong Kong. It is underrated as a tourist destination. I did not have a problem with the people except in temples and other crowded places where everyone wanted a pic with me – sounds glamourous but it is very draining. Other than that, people were extremely helpful and generous. Sometimes when I asked for directions guys would leave what they were doing and TAKE ME THERE. Take a chance with this destination and add a cool place to the places-you’ve-visited list.
PS: Follow on IG for more pics and tips to inspire your trip to Hong Kong.
Cheers to glamor!