Although brief, I really enjoyed my time in Hong Kong. I found it to have friendly people and a thriving expat community, with lots of great foodie spots, from local dim sum places and wet markets to fine dining restaurants and trendy rooftop bars. As someone who’s entire business revolves around blogging and photography, it’s the best place to pick up cheap electronics and there are countless shopping malls, markets and bazaars for all you shopaholics out there. Everywhere I saw breathtaking views, be it from the top of the city skyscrapers or from a boat on the water. But there’s more to Hong Kong than can be summed up here. Step off the main island and Hong Kong has many neighbourhoods and outlying islands too, so this is a place you can come back to again and again to discover a little bit more.
On my whirlwind trip I packed in many experiences, from learning how to make milk tea to riding a red sail junk boat along the harbour. Fly Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong where you will find plenty of Things to Do all year round.
1. Learn How to Make Milk Tea
Hong Kong milk tea is also known as ‘silk stocking tea’ or ‘pantyhose’ tea because the apparatus used to make it looks like a stocking! It’s made from black tea and evaporated or condensed milk, giving it a rich, creamy sweetness. I went to a lesson on how to make the tea and it was lots of fun! A bit like Teh Tarik in Malaysia, the process of making it is an art form and the drink forms much of Hong Kong’s tea culture.
2. Ride the Central-Mid-Levels
Since Hong Kong island has a lot of steep, hilly terrain it has lots of interesting methods of transport, including the famous for its escalators called the Central-Mid-Levels. It’s the longest outdoor covered escalator in the world, spanning a distance of 800 metres with an elevation of over 135 from bottom to top. It was built in 1993 to connect the central and western district on Hong Kong Island and today it’s a great way to see some of the buildings and streets from above. Being in Hong Kong reminded me a little bit of San Francisco and it made for some interesting taxi rides down steep roads!
3. Aqua Luna Ride
If you’re travelling with a partner the Aqua Luna ride is very romantic and even if you aren’t, it’s still a magical experience. It was certainly a highlight of my trip! This red-sail Chinese junk boat takes you on a beautiful journey along Victoria Harbour, allowing you to see the impressive skyscrapers on both the Kowloon and Hong Kong sides. If you take the evening cruise all the buildings are illuminated and you’ll also manage to catch the ‘Symphony of Lights’ show involving laser beams, coloured lights and search lights performing to synchronised music. The atmosphere is beautiful, with giant red sails, music, a complimentary glass of wine and comfy seating on deck.
4. Go shopping at PMQ
PMQ is the place to go for clothing and household goods from up-and-coming local designers. Formerly a school and then a police headquarters, the building is now a hub to creative and design industries, housing shops, offices and design studios for local talent. Here you can browse galleries and buy fashion accessories, food, furniture, jewellery or watches to take home from your trip.
5. Eat Dim-Sum at Tim Ho Wan
Tim Ho Wan is famed for being the world’s cheapest Michelin starred restaurant. You can’t make a reservation here, so be prepared to wait in a long line of hungry people! It’s worth it though for their famous sweet and salty pork buns and other tasty dim sum dishes. Other favourites here include the Steamed Egg Cake, Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver and Pan Fried Carrot Cake. Once you’ve tried Tim Ho Wan, check out some of these other great foodie spots.
6. Rooftop drinks SEVVA
There are numerous bars in Hong Kong but the best of them has to be SEVVA, which occupies the 25th floor of the Prince’s Building. This rooftop bar has a really special atmosphere and is a great place to enjoy a cocktail overlooking the city skyline.
7. Take in the Views from The Peak
An absolute must-see in Hong Kong is The Peak- the highest point on Hong Kong Island and one of the most exclusive areas. The view here is incredible; cast your eyes over towering skyscrapers all the way out to the green hills of the New Territories. To get to the top you can ride The Peak tram, which is an experience in itself.
8. Join a foodie tour
Hong Kong is well known as a culinary capital but if you’re not sure where to begin, let a guide show you the way. On my last day in Hong Kong I joined the ‘Central and Sheung Wan foodie tour‘- a four hour guided walk with lots of food stops along the way. I tried all sorts of local delights, from dumpling soup and BBQ pork to sugarcane juice, dried fruits and custard tarts.
9. Go bar Hopping in SoHo
SoHo (south of Hollywood Road) is brimming with the city’s hippest bars. I spent an evening bar hopping, starting at ‘Fu Lu Shou’, continuing on to ‘The Woods’ and ending the night at Salon Number 10. Hong Kong has quite a hipster vibe, with lots of hidden, underground bars to explore. I have never seen a city so alive with people- as we made our way down the staircases and escalators to get back to our hotel, the streets were overflowing with partygoers everywhere!
What are your favourite things to do in Hong Kong? Leave a comment below!
the peak photo by Pietro Ferreira on flickr