Hong Kong is a vibrant, cool and such diverse place. If you only have a few days and are in Hong Kong for the first time, there are certain tourist attractions that are a must do. We came all the way from Norway, had only three days and wanted to get the most out of our time. Our first step was flying with comfort.
Flying business class
The day after my last exam we went to Hong Kong. From Norway… On a long weekend… On an 11-hour flight for a long weekend… Crazy… But we flew in business class with SAS and it was amazing. This was my first time and it was so worth it. The menu had three choices of starters, main courses, and deserts, but the best thing was that I could recline my chair all the way.
If you ever have a chance to fly business class – do it! At least once in a lifetime 🙂
Where to stay in Hong Kong
Just before we left for Hong Kong they had one of the history’s worst typhoons, but when we arrived the weather was absolutely stunning. We were staying on the mainland and we arrived our hotel at 08:00 am. Ordinary check in was at 14:00 pm but we got our room just half an hour after our arrival. If you stay on the mainland you will get the view over the Hong Kong Island skyline.
Check out great deals for hotels in Hong Kong here.
We all have heard before that you don’t get the best rooms when you book through a third-party provider. Well, let me tell you this, it is either BS or I have been very lucky so far. We stayed at New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel and we got the best room with an amazing view, and as mentioned above – only 30 min after arrival. The room and bathroom were spacious and new. Rooms contain a cellphone which you can bring with you while exploring Hong Kong. Since 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 service was good and they had an amazing tepanyaki restaurant at the hotel. I would really recommend this hotel if you are going to HK and want to stay on the mainland.
Our top things to do in Hong Kong
Victoria Peak – DAY 1:
After a few hours of sleep – (business class or not, nothing beats a good night sleep in a good bed :)), we took Star Ferry over Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island. Don’t bother getting your tickets in advance – you can get them at the docks without any hassle. Being in a new place I always HAVE to do touristy stuff so we had to go up to Victoria Peak. We were recommended to take the tram up and down as the views were amazing. 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 might save around 10 min. However, I would recommend to take a cab up and tram down. The views on the way down are amazing. Stay on the left side of the tram, preferably in the compartment between the wagons. Check that the window points frontwards and not backward if you want to take pictures. If you are going up by 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, personally, would recommend Star Ferry – it’s cheaper and you get to see the skyline of the mainland too and it’s way less crowded than MTR.
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 crowded, but that is also the charm of it 🙂
The circles show you what line you are on and the arrow shows 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 nice weather – thank you very much, Hong Kong!
We stayed in the lounge until we could go out for an hour in the afternoon after typhoon got weaker.
We wanted to explore Hong Kong Island but the weather made it impossible.
But we don’t give up, do we? 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 an amazing 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 really recommend this activity!!! You can choose between the tour on the mainland or the island – we chose the mainland. 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.
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 see the lights on the buildings across harbor dancing to the music.
Other places of interest 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.
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 you get it 🙂 The market contains everything from food to funeral attributes.
Mid-levels escalator, Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade (where we stayed) and Ding Ding Hong Kong Tramways are other popular activities in Hong Kong.
Fun fact – did you know that almost all the fruits that are sold in Hong Kong are imported from Thailand? Hong Kong has no land suited for agriculture – there are buildings and mountains and no farmer land.
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 amazing 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 definitely doable and absolutely worth it.