Going to Hong Kong? Then you must read this post!! In this guide, I will give you detailed information about where to stay, go, eat, shop and everything else.
I spent 2 weeks in Hong Kong earlier this year and completely fell in love with the city. I could totally live in Hong Kong if I had that kind of work flexibility…who knows? Maybe one day.
In case you are wondering if this guide is for you….this is not a luxury travel guide but also not a “on a tight budget” guide….. not a whole lot of “where to party” information but lots and lots of fun places, amazing restaurants and places where you can dive into the culture! So here we go…
Where to Stay
Hong Kong is huge and it can easily get overwhelming trying to decide the best place to stay. HK is made up of a few main areas; Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and over 200 offshore islands, the largest being Lantau Island.
As a tourist and for convenience, I suggest you stay either on Hong Kong Island or the Kowloon Peninsula. My first choice would definitely be Hong Kong Island.
I stayed on the Kowloon Peninsula at the Cordis Hong Kong in Mongkok. Had I known what I know now, I’d have chosen Hong Long Island, but that all depends on your personal style, personality etc, both places are a good choice.
Take a look at the map below so you can visualize the places I am talking about.
Hong Kong Island has a more modern feel to it, the streets are cleaner and you can find lots of fine restaurants, local boutiques, and bars.
It has the typical Hong Kong gang movie feel to it. So as I said, choosing between the two areas really depends on what you are looking for and your personal travel style.
If you do choose The Kowloon Peninsula, I highly recommend The Cordis Hotel in Mongkok.
The rooms are small, so be sure to book the suite apartment if you need more space as I did. The hotel is very clean, depending on the type of room you choose you can have complimentary access to their club lounge area, which has complimentary snacks and drinks (including alcohol) most of the day.
It’s nice to be able to grab a drink for free or grab a quick snack as you are running in and out of the hotel.
There is a big and super nice mall adjacent to the hotel, which is very convenient! There is a MRT station only a couple of blocks from the hotel and a currency exchange store around the corner. The staff was very friendly and I felt very safe there.
Must See Attractions
1- Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha)
The Big Buddha is Hong Kong’s most iconic attraction. Just beside the Buddha is Po Lin Monastery, a sanctuary that ranks among Buddhism’s most important institutions. And the ride to the Big Buddha is also an attraction in itself.
You can take a cable car with glass flooring and see the breathtaking views of the mountains and trees of Hong Kong. It’s really worth the effort!
2-Victoria Peak / Victoria Park
The Peak is the high point on Hong Kong Island. It gives you the best views of the city. The Peak is at the top of Victoria Park, which is also a beautiful place to hike and spend a few hours. You get nature and city life all in one spot.
3-Chi Lin Nunnery & Nam Lian Garden
4-The Dragon’s Back
Dragon’s Back is a hike that takes you up to Shek O Peak and then backs down the other side and is widely considered the best hike for people who want a convenient one day walk on Hong Kong Island. It’s about 8.5KM and takes anywhere from 2 to 5 hours to complete. Needless to say, the views are amazing.
5-Symphony of Lights
6-Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Sze)
It’s a monastery with no monks and there are actually more than 12,000 Buddhas, a must see in HK!
Walk down Prince Edward St in Mongkok for the flowers market and street food, from there head to Nelson St for some sneaker shopping!
Where to Eat
For those on the other end of the spectrum, like myself, there is also plenty of fine restaurants to visit, you just have to know where to look for it.
There are endless options and here are some of my favorites:
- Ho Lee Took Restaurant
- Passion by Gerard Dubois on Mody Rd
- Le Pain Quotidien Elements
- Jamie’s Italian Restaurant
- K11 Art Concept Mall — has some of my favorite stores and favorite restaurants in Hong Kong including Empire City Roasted Duck, PAN de PAIN and ATUM Restaurant.
- For healthy options visits: The Elephas or Grassroots Pantry
- For a romantic dinner visit – Gaddi’s
- Social Place – very good dim sum
Where to Shop
As I just mentioned K11 has some of my favorite stores. K11 claims to be the first “Arts Shopping Mall” of the world.
K11 partners with the art community and exhibits work by local and international artists throughout the mall.
There are also several stores with clothes, decoration items, shoes etc made by local artists. It’s a place where you can find the most unique items!
Elements – Luxury shopping
ELEMENTS was designed by the world-renowned Benoy and themed after the five Chinese elements of wood, water, fire, earth, and metal. In addition to the mid to upper-priced and luxury fashion brands, as well as, jewelry and accessories brands, the mall also has Hong Kong’s largest natural and organic food supermarket: 3hreesixty.
Sogo Mall (Causeway Bay )
Sogo is a Japanese style department store. There you will find most mid to high-level brands and also some restaurants and cafes.
It’s a shopping area with 16 floors and over 230 stores!
Temple Street Night Market
Shop for trinkets, tea ware, electronics, watches, menswear, jade, antiques and anything else you can think of, or just enjoy some street clay pot rice, seafood, noodles, and other treats.
If you are in Hong Kong for a good while and want to shop till drop you must visit Guangzhou.
Guangzhou is a city in China, about 3 hrs by train from Hong Kong with an enormous amount of clothing and shoe stores, electronics, gift shops etc.
Here there is also a lot of counterfeits so you have to be careful (or not depending on what you are looking for). It also has amazing Chinese restaurants (family style with private rooms).
HK shopping is not cheap, so if you want to bargain just cross the border and go to China! Just remember to have your Visa.
Ophelia – If you want to have a very unique experience this is the place. Come with an open mind lol.
Isono Eatery and Bar – Nice spot to eat and grab drinks
Ozone Bar at the Ritz Carlton
With bold and funky interiors and a wide range of creative cocktails, it’s definitely the place to go for an elegant and cool night out.
Lan Kwai Fong/Soho
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes – you are going to be walking A LOT.
Pack snacks in your bag – sometimes its hard to find a snack in the middle of let’s say Big Buddha for example.
Do buy an Octopus card – the Octopus card is like a debit card that you can use at the MTR (metro system in HK).
Using the MTR is the easiest and fastest way to get around. The MTR is organized and clean, it’s much easier than using the metro in New York for example.
If you use google maps it will tell you exactly which station to take and where to hop off, it is super easy.
Ok guys, if you have any other questions or comments feel free to comment here or email me. I’d love to hear your Hong Kong travel experiences and recommendations. Take care.