Hong Kong is known as a concrete jungle, a metropolis that’s home to over 9 million people. As an international hub, many people visit Hong Kong on a layover on their way to other destinations in Asia. Most people only stay for a few days, thinking it’s only a small city. What they don’t realize is that there are many things to do in Hong Kong. Today I’m here to uncover some essential things to do in Hong Kong:
Eat Egg Waffles
One of my favourite snacks of all time, egg waffles are a Hong Kong creation consisting of waffles made in the shape of bubbles. A mixture of egg, flour, milk and sugar, there are many different flavours to choose from. My personal favourites are the sweet potato, green tea, and chocolate chip ones. You can find a list of my recommended places for egg waffles here.
Eat Dim Sum
Dim Sum is one of the most characteristic cuisines in Hong Kong, consisting of many small dishes that people order for breakfast or lunch to share. The most traditional Chinese restaurants will sell Dim Sum in push carts, though many have converted to the use of an ordering slip. So grab some friends and head to a restaurant for some delicious lunch or brunch. Some of my favourite are pork buns, sponge cake and Sai Mai. If you want something good and cheap, I recommend going to Tim Ho Wan in Sham Shui Po. Another option is taking a Dim Sum food tour with a local guide.
It might surprise you to hear that hiking is one of the best things to do in Hong Kong, but it’s full of hiking trails and country parks. In fact, many of these hiking trails offer spectacular views of Hong Kong that you’d be silly to miss. If you want something easy, then Dragon’s Back is for you. If you want the best view, then don’t miss the Kowloon Peak. For a bit of both, head to Devil’s Peak. I go hiking every week, if I can. You can find out more about hikes in Hong Kong here.
Ride on the Mid-Level Escalator
The longest outdoor covered escalator in Central takes you from the business district up through the vibrant SoHo, and is a tourist attraction in its own right. It goes past a lot of attractions as well, skirting alongside the stone slab street of Pottinger Street as well as the Hollywood Road. Not to mention the SoHo district is brimming with quaint western restaurants that are reminiscent of the SoHo of London, as well as the beautiful street arts.
Take a Boat Trip From Sai Kung
If hiking isn’t your thing and you still want to experience some nature, why not take a boat trip from Sai Kung? From getting a chartered boat for a day of fun on the sea to hopping on a boat for 20 minutes to visit a nearby island, you are spoiled for choice in Sai Kung. With a geopark, you can visit plenty of beaches. It’s the perfect summer hideout. If you’re lucky, there are still the odd warm days in the winter.
Visit the Local Markets
It isn’t a proper trip to Hong Kong without some shopping. While there are many malls where you can find the regular high street stalls, I prefer to look in the local markets. From flower markets to bird markets to just good old fashioned wet markets, you can get a real local vibe from them. My personal favourite is the Fa Yuen Street Market where I get a lot of cheap clothes! Perks of being so close to China!
Want to take a guided walking tour through some of Hong Kong’s best local markets? Check out this small-group tour led by Danny, a local tour guide who takes you through some of the best markets in Hong Kong, including the Flower Market and Temple Street Night Market.
Visit The Peak
The Peak is the most iconic site in Hong Kong with the stunning view it offers as well as the cable car that goes up. While it is overcrowded most of the time, I still believe it’s a must see if you haven’t been there at all. The Sky Terrace on top of the Peak Tower is one of the best viewpoints of Hong Kong, with Victoria Harbour and the Kowloon Peninsula clearly visible.
Visit Some Temples
There are many temples scattered throughout Hong Kong, dedicated to the many Buddhist and Taoist gods, that you can visit. One of the most popular one is Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan, a tribute to the Literature and Martial God. Other temples, such as the Tin Hau Temples dedicated to the sea goddess, can be found along the coast or hidden in the mountains, such as the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. You might be hard pressed to visit them all, but at least go to one!
Take the Star Ferry
The Hong Kong Star Ferry connects Central to Tsim Sha Tsui, and is ranked as one of the top 10 ferry rides in the world. The iconic green and white ferry costs less than $0.50 USD and offers an unparalleled view of the Victoria Harbour. You almost have no reason not to take it!
Tours You Might Enjoy
Below are some popular tours in Hong Kong that you might enjoy doing.
- Half-Day Hong Kong Tour: Aberdeen, Repulse Bay, & more
- Dragon’s Back Half-Day Hike from Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Big Bus Tour & Skip-the-Line Peak Tram or Sky100