Travel Guide: 5 Days in Hong Kong

January 7, 2020


Visiting Hong Kong for the first time in nearly 11 years was emotional and I never imagined I would  return to a place I once called home in such a state (the aftermath of all the pro-democracy protests). I had booked this trip months ago but things got more heated as it got closer to my departure date, at one point it was so bad that I thought about cancelling the trip. In the end, I went over there as planned and I am so glad I did. I saw a different HK than the one I knew but I got to experience this piece of history first hand.

HK is unlike anywhere else and I highly recommend visiting. It's bilingual (English remains one of the primary languages even after Britain handed HK back to China in 1997) meaning getting around is a piece of cake, the public transportation system will get you anywhere, shopping is great (no sales tax) and the food is even better! I recommend doing HK in a week but 5 days could work too if you pack everything in. I've shared with you the most time-efficient itinerary below grouping by location...


Day 1
Lantau Island
Causeway Bay
Wan Chai

If your flight arrives in HK earlier in the day, I suggest heading to the Tin Tan Buddha straight from the airport. The airport, Tin Tan Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and Tai O Fishing Village are all on Lantau Island and it is outside of the city so why not get those things out of the way! And don't you worry about your luggages, there will be lockers for you store them once you get to Ngong Ping. Ngong Ping is where the 360 cable cars are and going over the mountains to the Buddha is quite beautiful. Climb up to see the Buddha up close, enjoy a vegetarian meal at Po Lin Monastery and then catch a bus over to Tai O. Known as the Venice of Hong Kong, Tai O is a fishing village with the infamous stilt houses built on water. While you are there, make sure you try out all the yummy seafood snacks like curry fishballs, pet plenty of cats, and enjoy the nature before surrounding yourself with high rises in the city. Grab dinner and shop around Causeway Bay and then end the night with some drinks at Wooloomooloo Rooftop Lounge in Wan Chai. This secret gem is low key and has a beautiful view!


Day 2
Man Mo Temple
Mid-Levels escalator
Ferris Wheel

Hopefully you're not too jet lagged... perhaps start the day slow with a stroll in Stanley. Hop on a double decker bus and on the way there, you'd drive along the seaside through a couple of beaches including the infamous Repulse Bay. Grab a snack at a sidewalk cafe and check out the Stanley Marketplace. Head back to Central and have lunch at Yat Lok Roast Goose, explore Man Mo Temple, then take the Mid-Levels escalator down toward IFC (remember these spots in The Dark Knight?). Do a little shopping there and ride the ferris wheel nearby. When I was there, the ferris wheel was free and totally awesome so definitely worth a ride! Quickly stroll through Hong Kong Park before taking the tram up to Victoria Peak where the entire HK is under your feet! End the day by spending the evening at a few bars in Lan Kwai Fong.


Day 3
Tsim Sha Tsui

Rise and shine! Go enjoy some breakfast and some delicious HK style milk tea at a "cha chaan teng" (literally means tea cafe). Think a mix of Chinese and British dishes like beef noodle soup with a side of scrambled eggs and french toast. There are plenty of "cha chaan teng" but my favorite on the HK Island side is Capital Cafe (Wah Sing) in Wan Chai and on the Kowloon side, HK Cafe China Cafe in Mongkok. After breakfast, catch the Star Ferry across the harbor to Tsim Sha Tsui (if you are on the HK Island side). There are so many things to do over there... Avenue of Stars, clock tower, Space Museum, etc. Do me a favor and get a slice of layered cake at Lady M in Harbour City shopping center. Sooo delicious! For dinner, you should try some authentic Chinese hot pot!


Day 4

Ok, if at this point you haven't had dim sum yet, you definitely should! Honestly, you haven't had real dim sum until you've had it in HK. And don't forget to get some deep fried or steamed custard buns! Mongkok is awesome, I grew up just 10 minutes away from there and loved heading over there to shop and eat! Check out the Flower Mart and Yuen Po St Bird Garden and admire all the plants and birds you wish you could bring home. Then spend some time shopping at Fa Yuen St (clothing and fruits), Ladies Market and Temple St Night Market (souvenirs). While you're in Mongkok, look for some Yunnan style hot and sour noodles, at either Wan Lam Noodles or Tam Chai.


Day 5
Sham Shui Po
Choi Hung

If you're familiar with HK, then you'd know there isn't much happening over in Sham Shui Po but a cool coffee shop called Phvlo Hatch recently opened up there and it's definitely worth a track over! Really awesome architecture and decor plus the coffee is great too! I had an iced honey ginger latte and it was delicious! After you've had your morning fix, head over to Kowloon City and explore the ground that was once the Walled City. Then take the MTR a few stops over to Wong Tai Sin. Home to three religions (Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism), Wong Tai Sin Temple's natural setting and beautifully ornamented buildings make it a popular spot for tourists and locals. Usually this place is PACKED, when I was little I was scared I would get poked by all these old ladies carrying around all the incense! But when I was there in November, it was nearly empty (again, due to all the protests) and magical! A couple of stops from Wong Tai Sin is Choi Hung, where that infamous rainbow basketball court on Instagram is located. Take the MTR to the end of the line to Yau Tong and then hop on a minibus to Lei Yue Mun. Lei Yue Mun is a small fishing village and where you will have the best seafood of your life. The unique part of this is that you would go to a seafood vendor to pick out your live seafood and then they will bring them to a restaurant to cook for you. Talk about farm to table! I mean, sea to table! There are also some cool rocks behind the Tin Hau Temple if you walk through the village all the way in!


Wow! If you've made it through this entire blog post, thank you! Truly, I appreciate it! Obviously I couldn't share with you all the photos I snapped during this trip so if you'd like to see more, feel free to check out my HK story highlight over on my Instagram! Hope you've enjoyed this post and that you'll have a chance to visit Hong Kong some day!

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