Having done some research into things to do in Toronto and coming up with a suggestion like the SHOE MUSEUM (come on Canadians) I’ve decided to do my perspective on what you would do if you only had 24 hours in Hong Kong.
I get lots of friends coming through for a few days on their way to other places and have perfected the art of squeezing as many activities as possible into short amounts of time.
Tourist stuff can be fun, but in a town like Hong Kong you really shouldn’t be afraid to wander around and go off the beaten track. The MTR (the train system) is fantastic. Lots of people speak English and there are loads of westerners wandering around so ask them for directions too (I get stopped about 3 times a week to point people in the right direction). Buses and the Tram are also an amazing way to travel (the tram runs along Hong Kong island and is 2HKD no matter how far you go.
24 hours in Hong Kong
Yum Cha or Dim Sum is the most delicious food in the world (in my opinion). It’s chinese breakfast/brunch.
Dim Sum/Yum Cha
They do amazing Yum Cha at City Hall (down near the harbour in Central beside the land reclamation site next to the IFC). It is a bit expensive but it’s gorgeous. Also, you often have to wait around for aaaaaages as it is so popular. But they do do the old school trolley thing where you pick off what you want fom the ladies.
Recently I went to Yum Cha with friends at Dragon-i which has an all you can eat deal. Again, it was nice, but there are cheap local places everywhere, you just have to be adventurous.
My personal favourit Yum Cha is in Sheung Wan, 60 seconds from where I live. It is by no means that traditional or local or authentic, they don’t do the trolleys but they are friendly and the food is a third of the price and yummy. Be adventurous!
My fave dishes:
BBQ Pork Buns (try saying Cha Sui Bau)
Shrimp Dumplings (try saying Har Gow)
Pork Spare ribs (try saying Pai gwat)
Custard Buns (try saying Lai wong Bau)
After you have been fed delicious oily food you want to head to the star ferry to see the city from the harbour. It’s cheap and gorgeous on the water. The star ferry is old and creaky and fun and cheap. My advice would be to go on the upper deck, it’s like 2HKD more expensive, but you are higher up and it is a better view. You can take it from Tsim Sha Tsui to Wan Chai or Central and vice versa.
If you end up on the TST side, I’d reccomend walking along the Avenue of Stars to see the city to see the Hong Kong Island side. At night you can also see the light show from there where the city ERUPTS into a choreographed light show with lasers shooting off buildings and light flaring up the side of them. It starts at 8pm but get there at 7.30 to get a good spot.
The Light show
If you take the Star Ferry back over to central you can wander up to the top of the IFC Mall and have a sit down on the chairs in the open (do not be turned off by the fact that they are near the bars, the seats are for public use so you can go to 711 and get cheap drinks). You’ll spot the IFC -it’s the tallest building on Hong Kong Island in Central.
Another great way to see Hong Kong (depending on visibility when you are here) is taking the Peak Tram up to the Peak (the big mountain you can see on Hong Kong island). The Peak Tram is kindof expensive and they have buses that go up and down there, but you should experience it. It goes up vertically and it’s pretty cool. Up at the Peak you get a great view the other way, over to Kowloon side. You have to pay to go up to the sky view deck (lame) but it is a good viewing spot. There is a path to wander around the peak and see various aspects of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a shopping Paradise. If you want to go to the Markets, head to Mong Kok MTR stop for the Ladies markets (HAGGLE!) exit E2 and Fa Yuen Street Mong Kok MTR station D2. Also around there is the Flower Market, Jade Market and Bird Market. It’s hard to explain how to get there but ask people. If you want to just go straight there head to Prince Edward MTR exit B2.
If you’d rather go to a night market, i’d recommend going to the Temple street Market, (try saying Mui Gai if you are in a taxi) but you can MTR it Jordan Exit A. Walk right when you exit the station. You’ll see it if you walk along Jordan Road.
Hong Kong has a fantastic array of places to drink and Party. For the experience, I would head to the ICC Ozone bar which is on the 118th floor and has amazing views. The drinksare not cheap but then drinks out in pubs and clubs generally aren’t in Hong Kong.
You can drink in the streets here, so if money is tight, head to Lan Kwai Fong in Central and drink in the streets and soak up the atmosphere. There are loads of pubs and bars and it’s just up to you to find the kindof vibe you are after. There are lots of places in Lan Kwai, or you can head up to Soho for a more relaxed experience.
Wan Chai is the redlight district and has other types of entertainment. It also has bars and clubs. If you are a lady, you can get free drinks in Wan Chai in most bars. There are also open bar deals available. The only thing about Wan Chai is that it attracts loads of…underagers/jailbait. So…yeah. It also has a rep for being a bit sleazy.
So yeah, that is a taste of what I would do if I only had 24 hours in Hong Kong.