Five Days in Hong Kong
Our five days in Hong Kong came right after we had spent a fun but sometimes challenging month in Sri Lanka (filled with power cuts, flooding, local buses and trains and a few issues finding places to eat in low season). Heading to Hong Kong we were ready to get back to the bright lights of a big city with malls, air conditioning, good public transport and a whole variety of yummy food and boy did Hong Kong deliver!
Where to Stay in Hong Kong
After having a Civet visit us in the middle of the night in our room in Sri Lanka, staying somewhere modern that even provided a smart phone with data free of charge was quite a welcome contrast.
We followed advice and stayed in Kowloon and would recommend that to anyone visiting Hong Kong for a short stay. We stayed right by the Tsim Tsa Shui MTR station and that area was ideal. There are lots of great places to eat nearby (that are open late as well) and you have a lot of places within walking distance such as the Temple Street Night Markets and the wharf to catch the Star Ferry across to the city. The public transport connections to the rest of the city are great for whenever things aren’t walkable (30 minutes is a generous allowance to get to most places).
We stayed at Butterfly on Prat Boutique Hotel (check it out by clicking here) and loved it. Nice modern rooms, comfy beds, good shower, great wifi, right in the middle of the city, reasonably priced for a 4-star hotel, close to an MTR station and the biggest bonus – they offered free use of a smart phone including data. The phone was great for navigating around the city when we didn’t always have access to wifi and made it really easy to just go out exploring without worrying about when and how we were going to get around.
Hong Kong’s Amazing Food
After eating often the same thing for days on end in Sri Lanka our main aim in Hong Kong was to eat at as many places as we could. Hong Kong is filled with great food options and after researching endless lists of “top places to eat in Hong Kong” we made a short list and designed our days around what sites were near the restaurants we wanted to eat at. After all it isn’t often that you can have dinner for 2 at a Michelin star restaurant for less than $30.
Our stay was a blur of dimsum, wonton noodles, dumplings, baked pork buns, stir fries, steamed cakes and bubble tea so it is hard to pick out our favourite spots but Mak’s Noodles and Tim Ho Wan‘s are must visits (both have a Michelin Star). But there were also tonnes of great spots around our hotel like Caterking Dim Sum.
So many malls…
After spending a lot of time in rural Sri Lanka, the novelty of just walking around a modern mall with air conditioning was fun for us but Hong Kong malls are something else. We often found we could walk for miles without ever going outside due to MTR stations connecting to malls that connect to footbridges that connect to other malls. We didn’t need much (nor did we even have much room in our bags) so other than a short stint of raiding the maternity section of H&M we didn’t buy much.
The huge malls did provide a welcome break from the heat outside on the streets.
Things to Do in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has a bit of everything for tourists – beaches, hikes, boat rides, the bright lights of the city, Bhuddist statues, and traditional markets. With Dayna pregnant and the temperatures soaring at times, beaches and hikes were off the cards for us but we still made a decent dent in the list of Hong Kong’s big tourist attractions.
The Star Ferry
The Kowloon waterfront was just a short walk from our hotel so we took the opportunity to walk down to the famous Star Ferries. A short wait in line and $5 HKD and we were on the ferry to Central station with a view of the Hong Kong skyline from the water.
The night markets on Temple Street were only a 25 minute walk from our hotel so we decided to skip transit and get some much needed exercise given all the yummy food we’d eaten. We had heard a couple stories that walking at night in Hong Kong might be a bit sketchy but we never felt unsafe. At least no more than any other big city! Besides, it was so busy and there were so many fluorescent lights that you’d think it was actually the middle of the day.
Temple Street was full of those typical plastic chair restaurants that Asia is known for as well as lots of tat filled booths. While we didn’t buy anything, Dayna did have her eye on a couple ‘Mulberry’ bags.
We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see Hong Kong from above so we made the trip up to Victoria Peak. You can walk up the mountain but given Dayna was 5 months pregnant she limited her walking to flat surfaces. Luckily there was a very steep tram we could ride up. True to Hong Kong form, there was a mall in the mountain top complex as well as a Bubba Gump Shrimp, Mak’s Noodle, and a candy shop that Dayna made sure to check out.
There was also a very busy lookout since we decided to go up an hour or so before sunset. The place was absolutely packed but we were able to squeeze into a spot by the edge and get a good look at the view. The famous smog got in the way for a little bit but it cleared and we watched the city lights turn on.
Hong Kong Skyline at Night
On our way back to our hotel from Victoria Peak, we decided to stop on the Kowloon Waterfront to get a different perspective of the Hong Kong skyline at night. Again, it was pretty packed but Dayna used her pregnant belly and big tripod to weasel her way in.
We absolutely LOVED our time in Hong Kong and have made many mentions of a return trip as well as maybe even living there one day. While we didn’t do everything Hong Kong had to offer and took a slower pace, 5 days was definitely a decent amount of time to spend there. But we’d go back in a heartbeat!
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