After delivering a couple of posts dedicated entirely to photo diaries of, what I consider one of my favourite cities in the whole wide world, I thought that it’d be quite necessary to share my own little guide of HK: where to go, what to see and where to eat.
I admit that every time I travel, I like to plan all the places I’d like to see, and write down a list of addresses and how to get there and stuff (especially now that roaming charges are extortionate). But that doesn’t mean I don’t freely discover a place thoroughly. Sometimes, getting lost is the best way to find things you’d never thought you would see.
If you guys have any favourite places in Hong Kong, please comment below!
GUIDE 101 HONG KONG:
Flight – How to get there:
London is well connect to Hong Kong, there are plenty of flights per day and companies to choose from. Cathay Pacific, BA, Virgin Atlantics are the ones who fly direct. But if you feel like a 12 hours flight is too long to sit on a plane, you can always pick a different company like Emirates, that will stop over in Dubai.
I’ve flown to HK with British Airways from London Heathrow Terminal 5, (one of my favourite terminals) and took the 6.35PM flight on the way there, and the 23.30PM flight from HKG to LHR. BA uses the new Airbus-A380, they are quite spacious and being such a big aircraft, you will feel very minimum shakes during take off and landing (for the ones who are scared).
For your record, I was in World Traveller Plus, which gives you more leg-room, a meal to choose from the Business class menu, a beauty case with an eye-mask, tooth brush and lotion, a decent cushion and better noise-cancelling headphones (I needed them as a baby was crying a lot during the outbound)
Sightseeing – What to do in HK:
This is probably one of the most complicated things to narrow down, everybody likes different things, you might be in HK for a heavy shopping session, or to enjoy a weekend at the Disneyland resort, for example.
but there are things you can’t certainly miss out while there, so here’s some of my favourite places EVER!
Victoria Peak: Now, this is a must-do attraction as you get to see one of the most fabulous views of HK island and the mainland. Once you reach Central district, follow the signs to the Tram (it’s very easy, trust me), and get in line to a short-15 mins ride up to the peak. This funicular railway is over 1.340 meters long and it’s quite an experience in itself. I admit It was a thrilling ride as it goes up (and comes back down) almost vertically! Go up, and discover the best view from the Sky terrace.
Big Buddha (Tian Tan) + Cable car experience: This was on top of my list for ages, and if you have checked my Instagram, you probably noticed a few photos taken of the Tian Tan. I admitted my height fears, but it was so worth overcoming it and getting on those cable cars (it’s around 165 HKD return, or 250 HKD for the Crystal cabin experience…) as you get the perfect view of the sea, the mountains and the HKG airport.
You can easily spend a whole day in the little village, as it’s full of shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s a great way to escape the city life and enjoy a calm quite day. The best view, was of course, the giant Buddha made of steel!
Victoria Harbour + Junk boat ride: Yes, I did a photoshoot featuring Daks clothes at Victoria Harbour, as it was one of the best places to actually see and feel Hong Kong island. The thousand skyscrapers in the background and the view of the sea are really something! While there, take a look at the Avenue of the stars, and then hop on a Junk Boat – if you get there by 8pm, you can enjoy the Symphony of lights, which is a spectacular light show performed each day. And why not combine it with a glass (or two) of vino as you sail across the harbour.
ICC tower – SKY100: Another way to enjoy Hong Kong from above, is visiting the top floor of the ICC building in Kowloon. Being the tallest building in the city, SKY100 (140 HKD) gives you a 360 view of the whole of Hong Kong. A must-do at sunset. And if you feel like you want to enjoy a beer, there’s also a bar that offers just that.
Happy Valley Race Course: I had the pleasure to enjoy a wonderful evening as Hong Kong Jockey club guest, and if you want to do something a bit out of the ordinary, how about you go there for a bet or two? Its stunning race course is surrounded by skyscrapers and it is a vision to see at night. Something that you won’t see in UK, that’s for sure.
Accommodation – Where to stay:
It depends what you are looking for really – I admit I couldn’t live 10 days in central Hong Kong – there’s way too many people all the times, so I opted to stay in Sha Tin, a district known for its famous race course, and for being about 25 mins away from HK island. I stayed 9 nights at the Royal Park Hotel, and it provides big airy rooms, a magnificent set of facilities such as an outdoor swimming pool, a gym and SPA and a whole shopping centre attached to it
If I had to stay central, I’d probably pick either the Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon or the Intercontinental, which features an infinity pool in the roof top. (Which I’m obsessed about)
Transport – How to get around:
The public transports in Hong Kong are so easy to use, clean and they even have TVs! Honestly, it’s probably one of the safest ways to get from one side of HK to the other, and they are very reliable (Taxis are okay too, just sometimes the drivers can be a bit… hasty) and more importantly, very cheap (compared to the Tube in London).
You can either get tickets at the station, but if you will stay for more than 48 hours, definitely get an Octopus card. It will cost you around 150HKD (50 HKD deposit and 100 HKD top up) but it will last you for ages, as a single ride will cost you around 6-10HKD. One thing useful to know about the octopus card, is that you can use it in convenient stores, Cafes and fast food restaurants.
Food – Where/What to eat:
As I was staying in Sha Tin, I admit I did tend to eat at the New Plaza Shopping mall a lot. They had one of the best Dim Sum places ever, and as a fanatic of the Asian cuisine, I felt in my element. Hong Kong is one of those cities where you can literally find everything you want, any cuisine from any countries. But I’d definitely recommend to stick with the Asian’s. Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean… You name it!
Sha Tin 18 at Hyatt Regency: You will need to book a table in advance, but if you are looking for the best Peking duck in town, then head to Sha Tin 18.
A-1 bakery: In need for a snack? A-1 bakery offers some of the most delicious pan-au chocolat around for 10HKD! They also sell bread, and toasts and other savoury snacks. This was a life safer, for sure.