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While three days in Hong Kong isn’t nearly enough to see absolutely everything, it’s a great length of time for a first visit, especially if you’ve stopped over on your way to somewhere else in Asia. Here’s our guide to spending the perfect long weekend in the Fragrant Harbor, a.k.a. Hong Kong.

RELATED: Warning: This post causes serious Singapore street food cravings!

A couple things to know before you go: 

  • Hong Kong has technically been a Special Administrative Region of China when it was transferred from British rule in 1997 but it still feels very different than mainland China.
  • Hong Kong is not a single island but is made up of the Kowloon Peninsula connected to China and 263 islands, including Hong Kong Island.
  • Most tourists and residents stay on either Hong Kong Island or the Kowloon Peninsula.
  • Most people speak Cantonese and English



The Peak is worth the trip up the hills behind the city – Photo by

Day 1: Hong Kong Island

This small, densely pack island is the epicenter of business in Asia, and for the world, for that matter. Tall skyscrapers fill the north side of the island giving way to tall tree-covered peaks in the center. On the south side, the peaks drop off back toward the South China Sea with highrises sparsely sprinkled down the slopes. Hong Kong island is like Manhattan-meets-San Francisco in Asia.

One of the best ways to cover a lot of ground in a single day is to jump on one of the Hong Kong Foodie tours. You’ll explore some of the best local hotspots, as well as popular temples and street markets. Sign up for their Central & Sheung Wan tour for to sample six traditional treats and for a visit to the famous Cat Street Market and Man Mo Temple. A tour with Hong Kong Foodies is the perfect intro to the city’s food and culture.

The best way to finish a day in Hong Kong is to head up to what locals simply call “The Peak.” Victoria Peak is located at the top of the hills in the center of the island with sweeping views of the city. Take the popular Peak Tram to the top in the late afternoon to see the sunset over the city. Stay as the day turns to night and the lights of the buildings start to burn bright. On the weekend and busy times, the wait for the tram can be longer than an hour; if that’s the case during your visit, instead opt for a cab to the top.

If you’re not up for the trek up to the peak, another stunning view of Hong Kong island can be had on the other side of the harbor. Take the famous Star Ferry from the docks to the Kowloon side to watch the lights come on from across the water.

Insider Tip: Taxis in Hong Kong are a good value for short to medium distances, but should be avoided during rush hour times.

Where to Stay: On Hong Kong island you’ll find The Pottinger (74 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong). It’s in the heart of the vibrant central area of Hong Kong island and full of restaurants, shopping and transportation options.




Prayers and incense smoke fill thistemple on the Kowloon side of HongKong – Photo by

Day 2: Kowloon Side

Across the Victoria Habour is the Kowloon area of the city, which has a much more local feel to it.  There are tons of things to do in Kowloon to fill up an entire day. If you’re game, try starting your eventful second day like the locals start their day, with a Tai Chi warm-up. Many locals gather in parks and public spaces to practice the traditional exercises. You can join a free class just about every morning from 8–9am, right on the harbor at the Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront. For more info, call the Hong Kong Tourist hotline at +852 2508 1234.

Continuing with the local life theme, most of the rest of day two will be spent in the various markets in this part of the town, including Gold Fish Market, Ladies Market, and Temple Street Market. Each market has its own specific typeof goods. As the name suggests, the Gold Fish Market is a long stretch of shops and stalls selling goldfish, birds, and other small exotic pets. The Ladies Market, as you might guess, sells primarily clothing but has expanded over the years to include other household supplies and tourist trinkets. Temple Street Market is best to visit late in the evening when the bright neon signs above add to the ambiance.

ALSO: Save on hotels, spend more at the market, with Orbitz Rewards

For a break from the seemingly endless markets, check out one of the many beautiful temples in Hong Kong. One of the most famous temples is the Wong Tai Sin Temple located just outside the metro stop of the same name, Wong Tai Sin Station (see map). Inside the temple, you’ll find peaceful gardens along with intricately designed Chinese Taoist temples. Also on the Kowloon side is the Chi Lin Nunnery with stunning gardens and green spaces near the Diamond Hill MTR station.

Where to stay: If you’re looking to stay on the Kowloon side of the island, try the Luxe Manor (No. 39 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong). It’s located just a few steps away from the temple street market in a lively part of the city.




Just Like Vegas, only 7,000 miles away – Photo by

Day 3: Venture Further – The Surrounding Islands 

If you are craving a little bit of casino excitement, take the 90-minute Cotai Water Jet ferry ride from Hong Kong to Macau island. The gambling capital of Asia is an interesting spinoff of Las Vegas with many Strip hotels you may recognize like the Venetian and the Wynn. Don’t miss the old town square full of the Portuguese colonial influence. Spend the night at Macau’s largest hotel the Sheraton Grand Macao, complete with 4,001 rooms, 3 swimming pools, and some amazing restaurants. Don’t leave the island without having one of their famous Macanese egg tarts. If gambling isn’t your thing don’t worry there are tons of things to do in Macau besides gambling.

A bit closer to Hong Kong is another island with a very big draw, literally. Lantau island is home to an 112-foot-tall statue of Buddha that most call “Big Buddha.” The actual name is the Tian Tan Buddha statue and it’s located in the remote Po Lin Monastery. You can visit the big Buddha by taking a combination of MTR trains or a ferry along with a bus.

Don’t feeling like leaving? No worries; put on some walking shoes and check out some of the best urban hikes in the world. Hong Kong is home to hundreds of hiking trails with the Dragon’s Back, Lion’s Rock and MacLehose Trails being among the most popular.

No matter how you fill your time in Hong Kong it’s sure to be an interesting trip full of tasty food and impressive cityscapes.

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Tagged: Asia, Uncategorized

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Hannah & Adam | Getting Stamped Bloggers
Hannah & Adam are travel writers & photographers who have called the road home since 2013. Their passion for adventurous travel has brought them to 60 countries and counting. They blog about their adventures on their travel blog

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