Hong Kong is a vibrant city with enough to keep you busy for months. You can make the most of a quick stop-over trip though with a little planning and an itinerary made to highlight the best that this city has to offer.
Before you start roaming the streets of Hong Kong, it is best to buy an Octopus card for your transportation needs.
The Octopus card is your pass for the bus and train. It’s convenient, you swipe instead of paying cash for the fare and it saves you a little money. Go to the nearest MTR (Mass Transit Railway) station and shell out HK$150 for one.
The ideal first destination is The Peak. It is one of the more popular spots in Hong Kong for its breathtaking views.
You can ride the bus but the tram is preferred for you to experience the thrilling climb up the mountain top. Check the train map so you can chart the route to Central train terminal and walk your way to the terminal for tram ride to The Peak.
The Peak is actually a commercial center with medium size malls that are replete with restaurants, boutiques and souvenir shops. There is a view deck that charges a minimal fee where you can see the entirety of the Hong Kong landscape.
Before lunch time, you may want to proceed to the Big Buddha in Ngong Ping. Take the tram going down from The Peak and walk to the nearest MTR station where you can take the train going to Tung Chung station, which is located in Citygate Outlets. It is a mall that is noted for factory overruns of branded shoes and clothing items so it’s a great spot to pick up a new pair of Nikes or two.
Next, have lunch at the Food Republic on the 3rd floor of The Citygate building then walk your way to the nearby cable car terminal. The 7-kilometer ride in the cable car will bring you to Ngong Ping in Lantau Island where you will find the 34-meter high Buddha.
Ngong Ping has plenty of photo-ops. You’ll see artistic displays like giant ice cream cones, oversized cameras and more depending on the season. There are also the models of cable car from around the world. And, of course, the Big Buddha is the star of the show. If you’re not too tired, climb up the pedestal of the Big Buddha. It is said you can have one wish granted.
Alsoon the island of Lantau is the Po Lin monastery where you can buy incense sticks for offering to the temple. Just take note that the monks in that monastery are not sociable and are camera shy. But picture-taking is allowed in the temple.
There are good eateries in Ngong Ping where you can have a late afternoon snack. After eating, take the cable car back to Tung Chung and chart the MTR route to Tsim Sha Tsui.
From the train station, walk to the Avenue of Stars, which is located along the waterfront of Victoria harbor. If you wait for night to fall, you can watch the spectacular laser lights show.
Prepare your feet for more walking. The first destination for the day is the Ten Thousand Buddha in Sha Tin, (which is also the name of the MTR station.) It is a hill with a pathway that is flanked by Buddhas of different faces. At the top where the temp is, there is some delicious vegetarian food. Eat and soak in your surroundings.
To continue with the cultural tour, go back to the Sha Tin station and take the route to Wong Tai Sin. This is another temple where you can offer incense sticks and where you can make a wish again.
Next on your rout is Yuen Po market. You’ll see birds of all kinds, gold fish and flowers, all for sale. Take the train to Mong Kok and walk your way to Yuen Po market.
For a relaxing day, why not take walk in the Hong Kong Park? Take the MTR again and continue to Central station. By the way, if your Octopus card is almost exhausted, you can reload it at any station. Don’t worry about loading it with more than you need. You can refund everything before you leave Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Park is a peaceful place with lots of plants and trees. There is an aviary and a mini zoo that will take you an hour to explore. There’s also a fish pond with koi and other. But what’s best about this park is the free wifi.
You can take your last lunch in Tsim Sha Tsui. By the way, Tsim Sha Tsui is considered the main city of Hong Kong and the other places like Tung Chung and Sha Tin are suburbs. Taking the Star Ferry from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui is another nice experience. You can see the sights of the city from the river. And after lunch, you can drop by the Kowloon Park, which is just beside the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station.
All of these beautiful stops are just the tip of the iceberg, but, if you’re crunched for time, you can still see a lot that this bustling city has to offer.