Long described as the “Pearl of the East”, Hong Kong has so much to offer tourists, ranging from world famous cuisine and shopping to a unique blend of traditional Chinese and Western cultures. A true 24 hour city, Hong Kong is an intoxicating cacophony of sights, sounds and smells, quite unlike any other place on Earth. Fortunately, it’s also one of the fastest paced cities in the world, which means that you can cram a lot into just a day. Here's our guide on how you should spend 24 Hours in Hong Kong…
Hong Kongers traditionally eat Dim Sum for breakfast, and I can’t think of a better way to start your day in Hong Kong than with one of the region’s most famous culinary inventions.
Although you can get fantastic, local style Dim Sum all over the city, I recommend going to Tim Ho Wan – the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, where a dim sum meal with Chinese tea will cost just £5!
After your breakfast, it’s well worth walking round the corner to Fa Yuen Street; an extremely popular local shopping district. Although much of the surrounding Mong Kok area is dominated by expensive brand stores, on Fa Yuen Street you can find fantastic deals on all manner of clothing, gadgets and gifts amongst the street malls and bustling multi-storey shopping malls.
From Mong Kok, take the Tsuen Wan MTR line to Central Station, and make the short walk to Hong Kong Park. The park is an amazing fusion of Eastern and Western aestheticism, and has won many international awards for its design.
Once you’ve had enough of the park, head to the nearby Peak Tram station. Back in the 1800s, the Peak Tram shuttled the colonial upper classes to their exclusive homes on the peak, and the old fashioned trams still run to this day, ferrying tourists up the insanely steep track through the city’s Midlevels district. The view from the peak is breath-taking, offering stunning views of Hong Kong bay and its famous skyline.
Once you’ve taken the tram back down to central, you can make the 20 minute walk down to the Star Ferry Pier. I thoroughly recommend stopping for dinner at one of the many Dai Pai Dongs (street food stalls) which line the route through Central. The rude service and jostling locals make eating at a Dai Pai Dong an interesting experience, but the real kicker is the amazing (and cheap) food on offer. Wash your meal down with a dong lai cha – a cold tea drink sweetened with condensed milk which is beloved in the city.
Take the Star Ferry across Hong Kong bay to Kowloon side, where you can walk down the Avenue of Stars, and take in the amazing view of the Hong Kong skyline as the sun sets. Be sure to pay attention to the skyline at 8pm, when Hong Kong island bursts into colour in the nightly “Symphony of Lights” laser show.
The party animals amongst you will probably get the biggest kick out of visiting the notorious Wan Chai district; a neon soaked labyrinthine of bars, clubs and strip joints where the wealthy ex-pats, international students and locals all congregate to party and go a little wild.
If your budget can’t stretch to the eyebrow raising bar prices, you can always pay a visit to Club 711 (what the locals call the 7/11 convenience stores) and buy a couple of tins of lager and soak up the party atmosphere which always spills out onto the streets.
If you don’t fancy spending your night rubbing shoulders with a bunch of braying, booze soaked ex-pats in Wan Chai, you could head up to Ozone, the city’s tallest sky-bar located at the top of the ICC, the world’s eighth tallest building and see out your day in Hong Kong taking in one of the best views the city has to offer.