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3 days in Hong Kong
We have been to many countries in Europe. We have been in North America several times. And we have been in the Middle East, actually living there for a few years. But we have never been to Asia. It was not tempting enough, it was not on the bucket list, and it was the region where everybody was going. And yet, here we were about to spend 3 days in Hong Kong.
Now the planning stage could begin! I love the planning stage! But how do you fit all you want to see in 3 days in a huge and diverse metropolis like Hong Kong? Well, you can’t, so you do research and you plan, or let someone else do it for you. Or you can use our 3 days itinerary for Hong Kong and spend time on something else than planning.
Which area to stay in Hong Kong
There are a few areas that are more popular than others. The city has a great public transportation with MTR and bus system, and it is easy to get around.
Central is located on Hong Kong Island. This is a financial district which is located near Victoria Peak, one of the main attractions of Hong Kong.
Tsim Sha Tsui area is located on Kowloon (the mainland) and is the promenade area, where you get the best views of Hong Kong Island. Some of the most known hotel chains are located in this area.
Mong Kok is a mainly residential area. Here you can find some Airbnb and the food market with live fish and animals.
We were staying on the mainland Kowloon in Tsim Sha Tsui area.
FIND BEST PRICES FOR YOUR PERFECT ACCOMMODATION IN HONG KONG
I have heard before that I won’t get the best room when I book through a third-party provider. Well, let me tell you this, it is either BS or I have been fortunate so far. We stayed at the New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel, and we got the best room with a fantastic view, and as mentioned above – only 30 min after arrival. The room and bathroom were spacious and new. Rooms contain a cell phone which you can bring with you while exploring Hong Kong. Since the internet is super expensive, it’s very convenient to be able to make a local call or surf for free while you are exploring all the must-see tourist spots in Hong Kong.
Our room was a club room which turned out to be on the top floor. The breakfast was served at the club on the floor above us, and the service was excellent. The hotel had a fantastic tepanyaki restaurant in the basement and served afternoon tea in the area next to the lobby. I would recommend this hotel if you are going to HK and want to stay on the mainland.
3 Days in Hong Kong Itinerary
Victoria Peak – DAY 1:
After a few hours of sleep – (business class or not, nothing beats a good night sleep in a proper bed :)), we took Star Ferry over Victoria Harbor to Hong Kong Island. Don’t bother getting your tickets in advance – you can get them at the docks without any hassle. I always HAVE to do touristy stuff when in a new place for the first time, so we had to go up to Victoria Peak. We were recommended to take the tram up and down as the views were terrific. We waited in line for at least an hour to get our tickets and then another 20 min for the tram. If you get your tickets in advance, you save time.
The views on the way down are fantastic. Stay on the left side of the tram, preferably in the compartment between the wagons (yes it is safe). Check that the window points frontwards and not backward if you want to take pictures. If you are going up by a cab and down by the tram, check where you can get return tickets. I didn’t see any ticket booth up there.
There is high humidity in HK (we had 86%), so drink a lot of water. As you can see we were lucky with the weather that day, as it tends to be a lot of smog.
You can get to the Island either by Star Ferry or by MTR – subway, which is very easy once you figure out how it works. I would recommend Star Ferry – it’s cheaper and less crowded than MTR. The Star Ferry will get you across Victoria Harbor, and you will get to see the skyline of the mainland and the Hong Kong Island.
It takes about 10-15 min with the ferry to cross the harbor and about 15 min to walk from the hotel to the ferry. The MTR takes a little longer – you need time to get oriented and it is packed with people, but that is also the charm of it 🙂
The circles show you what line you are on and the arrow indicates the direction – pretty simple 🙂
Typhoon and Symphony of Lights – DAY 2:
Category 8 typhoon was back, and we got a letter from the hotel under our door informing us to stay inside. There were no people on the streets, no cars, no shops open – it was like a ghost town… 11h flight for one day of exploring in beautiful weather – thank you very much, Hong Kong!
We stayed in the lounge for a few hours until we could go out for an hour after typhoon got weaker, although it was still raining a bit it was warm.
We wanted to explore Hong Kong Island but the weather made it impossible, and we decided to wait until the next day. We got out in the evening, and although it was still rain in the air, we stayed out for the Symphony of Lights. It was a pleasant experience and fun to watch many Chinese kids so excited. We planned to take a cruise with dinner and drinks but had to skip it due to poor weather.
We managed to take some shots of the skyline by night, despite the weather 🙂
Food tour and Hong Kong Island – DAY 3
We had booked a food tour for our last day with Eating Adventures which we found on TripAdvisor. It was a fantastic experience with Katherine, our guide, who took us through Mong Kok area on the mainland. She told us about life and habits of people in Hong Kong, and we learned a great deal. If you want to see the authentic side of Hong Kong, learn more about its culture, habits, way of life and dare to eat what and where native eat, I would recommend this activity!!! You can choose between the tour on the mainland or the island – we decided on the mainland area Mangkok. You can see what kind of food you get on different locations on Eating Adventures website. It was a total of seven different things, so check out their page for exact food types. If you love Asian food and are going to Asia, you should read Tripgourmets guide on best street food in Asia.
And the famous Symphony of lights – once you have seen it, you have seen it. If you manage to overhear Chinese kids, you can hear the music and look at the lights on the buildings across harbor dancing to the music.
Other top things to do in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Disney Land. I am not a huge fan of Disney Land, and we were on a romantic trip, so can’t tell you much about it. But if you are going with your kids, this would probably be a significant activity to check out.
The Lantau island and Big Buddha – holds a large temple and a huge Buddha statue. The cable car tour over to the island supposes to be amazing as the car is all glass.
Mong Kok market – I loved it. It was so surreal and cool in the same way. When you see people walking with plastic bags wriggling you think what the hell, but then you enter the market area and see all the shops selling live fish, shrimps, and shells, and you get it 🙂 The market contains everything from food to funeral attributes.
Fun fact – did you know that almost all the fruits that sell in Hong Kong are imported from Thailand? Hong Kong has no land suited for agriculture – there are only buildings and mountains and no farmer land.
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Being an architecture nerd I have to throw in some shots of buildings 🙂 It’s so fascinating to see how the old meets the new…
Even though we had only two out of three days to explore Hong Kong we got to see and do more than we expected. We had terrific teppanyaki at the hotel, we did some shopping, and we tried the mid-levels escalators on Queens Road Central, in addition to all of the described above. If you only have three days and wonder if it is worth to take a long flight as far as to Hong Kong – it is doable and worth it!
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