Although millions of people pass through Hong Kong every year, on their way from here to there, many of them don’t really know what are the best ways to spend a day in this exciting metropolis.
This article will show you how to cover Hong Kong’s most popular attractions on a day-long stopover.
After clearing customs and immigration, proceed to the luggage storage counter at the ‘Meeters and Greeters Hall’, where you can store your trolley or bag till you come back…
Buy an “Octopus Card” from the Airport Express Counter at the Arrivals Hall and hop on the Airport Express Train, with which you can travel all the way to Hong Kong Station.
Victoria Peak (or simply “The Peak”) is one of Hong Kong’s most popular tourist attractions and probably the best starting point. Having your breakfast or morning coffee while enjoying some spectacular views is definitely a nice way to start your Hong Kong day-tour.
The Peak Tram is the most popular (and scenic) way of getting to The Peak. It operates daily, 7 am – 12 midnight and climbs the full distance in approximately 7 minutes.
A short walk from Hong Kong Station (exit C) will bring you to the Lower Terminus, on Garden Road, where you can buy the ticket and board the tram (you can also pay with your “Octopus Card”)
Pacific Coffee, near the “upper terminus”, is open daily from as early as 7:30 am, and is the best place to enjoy your “coffee with a view” at such an early hour.
Down from “The Peak” walk back towards Hong Kong Station and through “the elevated walkway” to the pier from which the Star Ferry departs to Tsim sha Tsui. This historic ferry route is very popular with tourists and has long become one of Hong Kong’s most prominent icons.
From the ferry building, turn right and walk along the waterfront to the Avenue of Stars: Hong Kong’s answer to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, where floor plaques of Hong Kong film industry’s who’s who can be seen.
This is also the best place to take photos of Hong Kong’s spectacular skyline.
From here, you can take a short walk to the Hong Kong Museum of History, where “the story of Hong Kong” is told… From the geological changes that took place hundreds of millions of years ago, through prehistoric eras, notable historical events and until present day. The museum is fairly rich and boasts plenty of interesting exhibits.
Continue to Nathan Road, Kowloon’s main thoroughfare, and proceed through Jordan Road to Canton Road, which is popularly known as Jade Street.
Jade and its products are the specialty of most of the shops along this section of Canton Road, as well as of those in the neighboring Jade Market, and there is certainly a lot to see (and to buy…). From Jade Street. you can turn right to Ning Po Street , where many traditional Chinese shops and businesses can be found.
The Old Tin Hau Temple, just a few minutes walk from the Jade Market, was built in the 1880s and is one of Kowloon’s oldest temples. It is dedicated to Tin Hau (Matsu), Goddess of the sea, protector of seafarers and one of Hong Kong’s most beloved deities.
From the temple, you can either walk or take the MTR to Mong Kok area, where some of Hong Kong’s best open-air markets can be found:
As its name denotes, Ladies’ Market specializes in women’s clothing, accessories, cosmetics, and the like, although you can find here more than a few stalls that sell men’s and children’s products, including toys, clothes, bags, jeans and watches, just to name a few…
Sai Yeung Choi Street South boasts shops of consumer electronic products at street level and upstairs bookstores above.
Fa Yuen Street concentrates many retailers of sports equipment and clothing, while Fa Yuen Street Market, in the north part of Fa Yuen Street, is full of shops selling bargain-priced trendy fashion and casual wear for men, women and children.
While in Mong Kok, you should also make a point to visit the Goldfish Market, the Flower Market and the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden (or just “Bird Garden“), where dozens of bird shops are located and hundreds of colorful songbirds in exquisitely crafted cages can be seen…
Mong Kok is also packed with many authentic eateries and restaurants where you can enjoy some delicious local food at reasonable prices:
Curry A La King, on 88 Soy Street, is a paradise for curry lovers, serving a wide selection of scrumptious curries from different Asian cuisines.
Satay King, on ladies market, specializes in Southeast Asian satays.
MongKok Fung Shing Restaurant, on 749 Nathan Road, is known for its superb dim-sum and delicious crispy chicken.
Lucky Corner Restaurant, on 146 Sai Yeung Choi Street South, is a rather humble eatery which has been serving some of the best Wonton Noodles in Hong Kong for God knows how many years.
Little Sheep (4th floor, 16 Argyle Street)is one of Hong Kong’s most favorite hotpot restaurants.
Fu Kei Restaurant, in King Wah Centre, is serving fabulous food from different Chinese cuisines.
That’s it… You can now take the MTR to Central, from which you link to Hong Kong Station (there is a pedestrian passage) and continue with the Airport Express, back to Hong Kong Airport.