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Would three days in Hong Kong be enough if you have never been there? We have been to many countries in Europe. We have been several times in North America. We have gone to the Middle East. We even lived there for a few years. But we have never been to Asia. It was not tempting enough; it was not on the bucket list. But they say it’s the first time for everything. So it was about time to start planning for our perfect 3 days in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong was a diverse and colossal city, and I wondered if 3 days would be enough to see it all. Well, it won’t be enough! But if that’s what you have, you make the best of it.
Districts in Hong Kong
There are a few areas that are more popular than others. The city has excellent public transportation with the MTR and bus system, making it easy to get around.
Central and Mid-Levels district 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. The Mid-Levels escalator is the largest escalator-transportation system in the world and connects apartments high up on the mountain to the Central business area.
Causeway Bay is the heart and soul of Hong Kong Island. This neighborhood is a favorite with visitors and locals. If you are looking for low-cost, high-end gadgets and fashion trends, the backstreets and alleys of Causeway Bay are the places for you. Causeway Bay also has dining options, cafes, and bars open until late at night. This area is filled with shopping malls – knock yourself out!
Tsim Sha Tsui is located on Kowloon (the mainland) and is the promenade area, where you get the best views of Hong Kong Island and the symphony of lights. This district has museums, the Avenue of Stars “Walk of Fame”, a historical fort, shopping, and restaurants. Some of the most known hotel chains are located in this area.
Mong Kok is mainly a residential area. Here you will find different markets, which I recommend visiting. They are totally crazy and super fun. If you prefer to stay in Airbnb, Mong Kok is most likely the district for it.
Airport transfer in Hong Kong
You can get a transfer from the Hong Kong airport to the hotel. You have three options. Get a bus transfer from Hong Kong airport to most districts’ hotels; some rules apply regarding arrival time. Read the guidelines carefully. You can also get an airport express transfer to three stations on the mainland but check carefully that the location of your accommodation is close to the station. The third option is to get a limousine service. The driver will pick you up in the arrival hall and deliver you to your accommodation.
Where to stay in Hong Kong
We stayed at the 5-star New World Millenium Hong Kong Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. The room was very spacious, with panorama windows and gorgeous views. A large bathroom gave you a spa feeling. And it had a butt washer, just in case you need it. Our room contained a cell phone with free Internet while exploring Hong Kong.
We arrived around 8 am, and the check-in was at around 12. However, we booked a club room on the top floor, and the club service desk checked us in 30 minutes after our arrival. How cool is that? They were super friendly, and we were offered drinks and snacks while waiting for the check-in. Do we recommend this hotel? Heck, yes!
The hotel served continental breakfast in the club area on the top floor. It has three restaurants, and we had one of our dinners at the Teppanyaki restaurant on the first floor. The meal was amazing. The hotel has an outdoor pool. The pool was unfortunately closed due to the typhoon that hit Hong Kong just before we arrived. A bar serves easy food and drinks on the floor above the club area with beautiful views. One of the other restaurants at the hotel serves afternoon tea.
If you want to stay in mainland Hong Kong, have great views from your room, and stay close to the promenade, Star Ferry, and shopping, the New World Millennium is definitely for you.
Most people in Hong Kong speak English. However, you might encounter some language barriers due to the Chinese accent of the locals. If you experience difficulty with the accent, take a deep breath and remember that there is no R sound in the Chinese vocabulary. If you feel stuck and have difficulty understanding what they are trying to say or even feel embarrassed, try to replace the L with an R; it might help. This is me speaking out of the experience when I really couldn’t understand what “flied lice” was (despite the worldwide jokes about the accent, no offense to Chinese people).
Another tip is to let the impressions sink in, take some time off from the sightseeing to relax and people watch. Believe me, there are many people to watch in Hong Kong.
Things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days
3 days in Hong Kong is not enough to explore it all. But you have to start somewhere, and if you are in Hong Kong for the first time, there are some must-sees. You have most likely heard of Victoria Peak, the Symphony of Lights, Lantau Island and the Big Buddha, and Hong Kong Disney Land, amongst many other attractions. Public transportation such as MTR and buses run smoothly, so it is easy to find your way around.
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No matter when you visit Hong Kong, you can see and do the same activities all year round. But try to avoid the typhoon period, which can occur in August – September. During our 3 days in Hong Kong, we stayed inside for one day because of the typhoon. It doesn’t get cold but can get extremely windy and often rains. Everything closes, and you are not allowed to drive. On that day, Hong Kong was like a ghost town, and we realized how lucky we were that we booked the club room. We could sit in the club area, have drinks and snacks, and work on our photos and blog.
MTR – Hong Kong’s subway
Getting around Hong Kong is super easy. MTR is Hong Kong’s subway, which is very easy once you figure out how it works. It is very crowded, naturally, but runs very smoothly. If you are taking the MTR between Hong Kong Island and the mainland, add extra time because of the crowds. You buy tickets from the machine at the station. If you need any help, there are also personnel working at MTR. They are well visible, as they wear yellow vests.
The lighted circles indicate the line you are on, and the glowing arrow shows your direction. It is as simple as that.
Hong Kong itinerary
After 13 hours of flight, we had to nap when we got to our hotel room. We arrived early in the morning, and with a few hours of sleep, we still had many hours to explore Hong Kong. The weather was beautiful, and we took advantage of that by taking a 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 hassle. I always had to do touristy stuff in a new place for the first time, so we had to visit one of Hong Kong’s top attractions, the famous Victoria Peak.
Symphony of Lights
We woke up to a category eight typhoon on our second day in Hong Kong. We got a letter from the hotel under our door informing us to stay inside. No people or cars were on the streets, and shops were closed. It was like a ghost town. It was an 11-hour 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 the typhoon got weaker, although it was still raining a bit it was warm.
We got out in the evening, and although it was still raining in the air, we stayed out for the Symphony of Lights. Watching many Chinese kids so excited was a pleasant experience and fun.
We planned a cruise with dinner and drinks but had to skip it due to poor weather. If you are luckier than we were, the night cruise with dinner in the harbor is a great way to see the Symphony of Lights and end your long day of exploration. If you book your cruise with Viator, you get unlimited drinks on board, and you will get a nine-course Chinese dinner at Lei Yue Mun Seafood Village.
Or go on a night cruise with dinner and visit a night market. And if you don’t want to spend another 5,5 hours exploring, you can take a 45-minute cruise, including one drink and a beautiful view of the Symphony of Lights.
During our second day, we stayed in the lounge for a few hours until we could go out for an hour after the typhoon got weaker, although it was still raining a bit it was warm. Tsim Sha Tsui has many shops and shopping malls; some opened when the typhoon got quieter. We did some shopping, walked by the historic fort of Hong Kong, and checked out the Avenue of Stars. The promenade was crowded despite the rain, but we managed to take some shots of the skyline by night.
Hong Kong Island
Causeway Bay is filled with stores and shopping malls. Victoria Park is next to the Victoria Peak tram station, hop-on-hop-off Ding-Ding Hong Kong Tramways, and mid-level escalators. Experience how modern architecture blends with the typical “old, third-world” is fascinating. Spend a few hours exploring the island but save a few hours on other activities.
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We had booked a food tour for our last day with Eating Adventures, which we found on Viator. It was a fantastic experience with Katherine, our guide, who took us through the Mong Kok area on the mainland. She told us about the 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, and way of life, and dare to eat what and where natives eat, I would recommend this food tour!!!
We walked through different markets, backstreets, and small local eateries that looked only open to us. You can choose between the tour on the mainland or the island – we prefer the mainland area, Mong Kok. We had seven dishes: snake soup, tofu, dim sum, roasted duck, and several others. Did you know that Dim Sum is like tapas? It is a variety of small dishes.
Other 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 I 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.
Mong Kok markets – 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.
Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade (where we stayed) to admire Hong Kong Island’s views and the Symphony of Lights during the evening.
Did you know that almost all the fruits sold in Hong Kong are imported from Thailand? Hong Kong has no land for agriculture – only buildings and mountains and no farming 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…
Although there is still uncertainty in Europe whether we can say that Hong Kong is China or not, China is now definitely a place I want to visit. You can say many things about China, but one thing is certain! I don’t want to miss famous cities in China that are not only beautiful in their crazy way but also full of history and culture.
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