Did you know that Hong Kong was a British Colony until 1997? That’s SO recent! I must be like John Snow because I know nothing. London released Hong Kong to China then it officially became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. I’m so grateful we got to visit in February 2019 before the current political situation ensued. We love Hong Kong because it’s a foodie’s paradise.
Public transportation is the main mode of commuting in Hong Kong. We mostly took the subway and a few taxis. Some travel advice to get to Hong Kong Island from the airport: take a bus! There are tons of bus routes that can get you pretty close to your destination and it’s cheaper than a taxi or the airport express. We had to get to Causeway Bay from the airport and we managed to get on the right bus and get off at the right stop without cell phone service or internet in a foreign city we’ve never been to before!
Before you even leave the airport I highly recommend buying an octopus card and loading it up at the kiosk! At the airport kiosk you can use your credit card to put money on the octopus card but one very important thing to remember is that inside the subway stations you can only use cash to put money on the card. There are many money changing stations around HK that you will pass by and run into if you want to convert your American dollars.
We spent the first two days at the Holiday Inn Express in Causeway Bay. It was about $130 a night and included a HUGE breakfast buffet that was really tasty. Hong Kong is very expensive so this was a steal. After two days we took a taxi to our Airbnb in SoHo (or Sheung Wan).
We loved our airbnb because it was spacious, included a laundry machine, and the location was perfect. We were a 5 minute walk to the subway and right down the street from all the amazing restaurants in SoHo.
This is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Hong Kong. I have never seen so many people standing in line at one time. They were waiting for the tram and we didn’t want to waste hours in line so we took a taxi up to the peak (about $20) and walked all the way back down. It was just a few miles and you get more views of the city.
If you are taking the trail don’t forget to turn left when you get to a tennis court. The trail then continues through the woods and ends back in the city.
Our friend Iris suggested we do a boozy brunch. She actually compiled a whole document of things for us to do so thanks Iris! Brunches are on Saturday/Sunday so we only had one day to check it out.
The brunch we chose was Dim Sum at Dragon-i and omg it was so good. I didn’t even get a picture of the food because I was too busy stuffing my face. Dragon-i is actually a night club and on weekends they do unlimited dim sum and drinks for brunch. There are so many good brunches we read about I wish we had another weekend to try more.
Hike Dragon’s Back
If you want to walk off some Dim Sum get yourself to Dragon’s back for a medium intensity hike and gorgeous views. The weather is nice and cool up there too. To get there you take the Island Line all the way to the end at Shau Kei Wan station. From there we took a short taxi ride to the trailhead.
The beginning of the trail is a climb up to the peak then you hike along the mountain ridge and come back down a different way.
Check out the City Art
If you just wander around HK you will run into something artistically interesting that is also free to look at! SoHo is super artsy and has a lot of painted murals and some unique architectural touches at the entrances of bars and restaurants.
I love this tree just living its life in the middle of SoHo like humanity aint got nothin on these roots.
We stumbled upon a larger than life cookie monster near Central! He even had giant cookies too!
Even these decorated railings are putting a new meaning to the phrase “curb appeal.”
Okay, so we went to Ocean park but if you have toddlers, babies, or just very small children in general I’m not sure I would recommend it. It’s expensive ($75 per adult) and there just weren’t many attractions for our toddler besides the aquarium and a few other animal exhibits. The aquarium was underwhelming but the seal habitat was cool!
The roller coasters look awesome and if you don’t have young kids it would be worth it. Also it is super crowded. Lionel’s favorite part was the sky tram that takes you from one end of the park to the other.
Stanley Beach is the “bougie” part of Hong Kong. It’s a nice area that has small seaside town vibes. It’s sleepy and not too crowded. We had some pizza and dessert there.
If you are looking for an escape from the crowded and bustling city, Stanley beach is a nice place to find peace and quiet. I can see why my friend suggested checking it out.
Rooftop Bars and Night Life
Rooftop Bars are a popular thing to check out in Hong Kong because you can get a view of the skyline at night.
HK is a huge party city and the young folk hang out at places like Knutsford Terrace all night. We’re old and boring so we didn’t experience the late night party scene. Another lively area we walked through was Lan Kwai Fong.
In the Central area you can walk along the harbor front. You know you’re in the right place if you find a carnival with a Ferris wheel.
From the harbor front you can take the ferry across to Tsim Sha Tsui (TST). This is the older part of Hong Kong.
The ride across the harbor is about five minutes and you can use your octopus card to get on the ferry so that’s super convenient.
Hong Kong has endless shopping options and high end designer stores on every block. But if you want something a little more unique and local check out a shopping center like PMQ. It’s a historic venue in SoHo where local artists and designers showcase their goods. We didn’t buy any souvenirs in Hong Kong, just FOOD FOOD FOOD…
When you go to Hong Kong you have to try something called egg tart. It’s a mild egg custard inside a buttery crumbly crust and Tai Cheong Bakery is a famous place to get one! I’m so lucky I got to try one fresh out of the oven.
Chom chom is a popular restaurant in SoHo that serves vietnamese street food with a modern twist. The fried chicken was excellent and the pho roll with dipping sauce was one of the tastiest things I’ve ever tried.
I think I had ice cream every day. Oddies Foodies is a unique ice cream shop with some non-traditional flavors like burnt marshmallow with malted milk gelato and salted caramel latte with nutella and caramelized brioche croutons. SO YUM. They also have a variety of eggettes you can order with your ice cream.
This is one of the top rated ramen places in Hong Kong and it did not disappoint. Andy ordered shoyu ramen and I got the dipping noodles. Some of the best we’ve ever had!
Chinese Noodle Shop
We stopped into Tsim Chai Kee to try the homemade noodles in pork broth. Slurpy deliciousness. You can also order with meat or seafood wontons. There are so many noodle shops you will run into a ton of them just walking around.
Street Food in TST
In TST you can get your hands on some traditional Chinese street food like stinky tofu and fish balls. We tried them and I think I like the fish balls more than the stinky tofu.
So that wraps up our trip to Hong Kong and we are missing all the food and adventures we had there. Writing this article has given me some serious cravings. There is so much more to do, eat and see other than what I’ve outlined here and I hope you get a chance to visit. Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook @biglittlelife2019