location: hong kong, china
Since my third day was the clearest, I decided to visit the famous Victoria's Peak to get the iconic view. Do not let anyone persuade you differently that this is too much of a tourist trap because the views are incredible! You get to see the entire Hong Kong central and Kowloon from the top. It's a must see!!
I started off my morning by getting some "real" coffee and breakfast. China is not a big coffee country because most people drink hot tea. I found this adorable, authentic coffee shop and had to check it out. They have single origin pour overs and you have to get the smashed avocado toast with poached eggs. Helpful tip: ordering food/breakfast takes about 15-20 minutes to cook since they have a small kitchen.
A must have in Hong Kong is to book the complete package (bus tour, Victoria's peak tram, and ferry ride) with the Big Bus Tour Company. You can hop on and off as you want until the last bus boards (at around 6 pm or so). Sit on the right side of the double-decker top to get the best view. They have English commentary that tells the history and different building you approach. It is the best way to get to know all of hong kong without being worn out from walking. I purchased by tickets and started my tour at the Hong Kong central side right beside the Observatory Wheel. The first stop is Victoria's peak. Listen up because this is why I insist you purchase the complete package tour!
The best way to get to the peak is the tram. But in order to miss hours of waiting in line in the hot sun and heat, this is the way to do it! When you purchase the Big Bus complete package, you get the tram ticket. Not only do you get a tram ticket, but you can skip to the front of the line! Literally you just wait 15 or so minutes (in shade) to board the tram. Sit on the right side of the tram to get the best views of the city heading up.
At the top of the peak, spend as much time as you need soaking in this incredible view! And of course do not forget to take tons of photos. Since I was traveling alone, I of course could not forget my selfie stick. This was a highlight of my trip to Hong Kong, and I am so glad I went here.
After the Victoria's Peak, just pop back on the bus to continue the tour around central area. By this point I was a bit hungry and needing lunch. I stopped at208 Duecento Otto for their happy hour (afternoons from 3 - 6 pm) pizza and 2 glasses of rose combo! Get off the bus at the Man Mo Temple exit and walk about 5 minutes down Hollywood Rd. It has the cutest blue and white tile work throughout.
I then got back on the Big Bus and completed the tour on the Hong Kong central side. A quick ferry ride back over to Kowloon and I hopped on the last tour ride leaving Kowloon from the rear of the Peninsula building. I stayed on this ride the entire way to listen and see the history around Kowloon area. After a long day of sightseeing, I needed a delicious meal with fantastic views. So I headed to Hutong for some amazing dim sum. It is a bit pricey, but such a splurge well worth it. And from dinner, make sure to arrive and stay long enough to witness the harbor light show that happens every night at 8 pm.
location: Hong Kong, China
On my second day, I ventured out to the western island called Lantau Island. This area was incredibly lush and green and a complete opposite from the hustle and bustle of the city. It was nice to get away to explore such a cultural rich experience.
Here is my itinerary for day 2.
I highly recommend taking the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to the top of the mountain to see the Big Buddha. It has breathtaking views of the entire western island and is the best way to get to the top. It took about 30 minutes to get to the top. I would suggest arriving in the morning (between 9-10:30 AM) to try and beat the crowd and line. I ended up waiting for about 35 minutes at 10 AM on a Saturday morning. Also, the clearer the day, the more views you can get!
Seeing the Tian Tan Buddha (aka Big Buddha) was quite a sight. It is perched upon the hilltop and is well, huge!! There are quite a lot of stairs to hike but totally worth it. And no one will complain if you go slow ha! I would recommend reading up on some of the history and how the Buddha was built because it is pretty incredible to witness such a large monument. And once you get to the top, don't forget to take in the amazing view!
P.S - It was super windy at the top, so I pulled my hair back in a half bun to try and keep it tame ha.
Once you have seen Buddha, if you walk back down the stairs, there is a temple in front that is incredible to see as well. Incense is burning outside, and passing through to see the detail and colors on the temple is unbelievable. Like look at those dragon carvings on the side of the temple?!
Next up, I caught a bus from the Ngong Ping Village to Tai O Fisherman Village. You can tap your Octopus card to ride the bus as well.
Tai O is a really small town fisherman's village with most of the houses suspended on top of the water. Just get lost exploring this quaint town. And as you wonder through the streets, there are tons of vendors lined up with any and every type of fish or seafood dried and ready to purchase! I purchased a shrimp seasoning salt and XO chili paste from a vendor who has been selling for generations and has a secret family recipe.
At this point, it was mid afternoon and time for a late lunch. At the most western point, Tai O Heritage Hotel has breathtaking views and there is a restaurant overlooking the water on the top. Tai O Lookout restaurant has yummy western style dishes. I got the fish and chips with a lemon shandy beer. Perfect for the sunny and hot day! I would recommend making a reservation to get a seat, hopefully one near the large window view.
After lunch, I took a 20 - 30 minute boat ride around Tai O and out in search for dolphins. Hopefully your group is as lucky as ours in being able to see the dolphins. It is a nice little ride around to fully see all the houses on the water. And it is a nice way to cool off lol!
location: Hong Kong, China
I got the amazing opportunity to visit Hong Kong and China for a business trip in April, and it was such a fun experience! With China being my first Asian destination to visit, it was much different from my typical European trips that I have taken in the past. It was so great to experience such a different culture. Hong Kong can be seen and enjoyed within 3-4 days unless you want to venture into more of mainland China. Here is my itinerary for day 1.
Hong Kong has four main areas of the city. There is the western island called Lantau Island (this is where the HK airport is located and Disney), Kowloon Peninsula (which is where I stayed), south of Kowloon across the water is Hong Kong Island (famous Times Square pictures), and there are also New Territories which are in the northern part of Hong Kong area. Since I was staying at the Sheraton Hotel on the water on the Kowloon side in Tsim Sha Tsui, I ventured to the Hong Kong island side and decided to take the ferry, which I highly recommend! It is so lovely to see the city as you approach on water versus underground transportation. The ferry leaves Tsim Sha Tsui and docks at Central and it takes about 10 - 15 minutes to cross. I recommend getting a seat on the right hand side to get the best views when heading towards Central.
(tip: the backs of the seats can be moved to let you face towards central)
As soon as the ferry docks, there is the Hong Kong Observation Wheel which of course I had to do! It is pretty cool to see not only the central side of Hong Kong but it overlooks the entire Victoria's Harbor and has some great spots for photos and sightseeing. The tickets can be purchased outside the wheel and did not need to be purchased in advance. As you can tell in a lot of the photos, it started to sprinkle for a few minutes on my first day.
There are so many streets and turns to wander in Central. And I highly recommend doing just that. I walked around without a purpose and saw so much shopping, a cute little coffee shop where I stopped to grab an iced latte, and there is the longest outdoor escalator I have ever seen. Just start taking it up and walk your way back down!
After exploring a bit in Central, I hopped onto the MTR using my Octopus card (Hong Kong's subway system) and went to Mong Kok to visit the Ladies Market and Temple Street Night Market. The Ladies Market has tent after tent lined down the street selling knick knacks and every "fake" you can think of. It is a good little area to pick up any type of trinkets or small items for friends or family as souvenirs. I got Patrick some chop sticks here. Also before Temple Street Night Market there is a row of outdoor seating restaurants for street food. Just pick one that looks like a pretty decent amount of people are there and order some food. I got the "hot pot" rice dish. And if you haven't caught on yet, being in Hong Kong requires a lot of walking, so make sure to bring your sneakers.
A born and raised Southern girl who's wanting to inspire every women through style and beauty while living in the big city of Los Angeles.