Hong Kong

Travel Guide

Top things to do and much more

Travel guide: top things to do in Hong Kong

by | Aug 29, 2018 | Travel

Hong Kong travel guide

I went for 2 weeks to HK in December 2017 and you know what? I loved it so much I will return in December 2018!

» Top things to do in Hong Kong

Find out about the hidden secrets Hong Kong beholds. It’s not only steel, concrete and bad air! All essential instructions to get somewhere and my most favourite spots in one post.

» How to get to Hong Kong?

As I live in Belgium I took the plane from Amsterdam Schiphol to Zurich and Zurich to Hong Kong. I had better booked a direct flight. Which I’ll advise you the strongest. Saves you all the waiting in between two flights.

» What to pack?

1. Photography gear As a photo geek, who doesn’t love taking pictures these days, you need a good camera, a mighty lens and some storage. Or as a travel person you need the right equipment, not a big deal but still you need a good bag and some spare clothes. 2. Clothes and other equipment Yeah, we all need some clothes and maybe you find some interesting things you like.

 » When is the best time to visit?

I can strongly recommend to visit Hong Kong in December as it is one with perfect weather. Temperatures went well above 20 degrees. Not much rain, not too hot (if you are from Europe). A sweater for the cold wind in the mountains is recommended. Also a jeans and a jacket for the somewhat colder nights around Christmas is nice to have.

» What you may not miss?

If you visit Hong Kong for more than a few days try out these recommended destinations and you’ll love your journey even more.

Top things to do in Hong Kong

First things first! Public transport made easy.

 

Octopus card

As soon as you reach Hong Kong, be sure to grab your Octopus card. It is a card to make your travel so much easier and can save you lots of dollars.

How does it work?

Octopus card is a contactless stored value card that provides customers a simple, safe and secure way to pay. First launched in 1997 across public transport systems, the applications of the Octopus card (and other physical Octopus devices such as watches, key rings, ornaments, etc.) have since continued to grow. From a simple way to pay fares on public transport, Octopus has extended its reach into small-value payments in the retail sector as well as many other applications, including government tolled tunnel, parking, access control for residential and commercial building, support for various facilities in schools and self-service kiosks. The card can also be used online with compatible NFC devices. Today, more than 35 million Octopus cards are in circulation, with 99% of people in Hong Kong using Octopus cards to travel, shop and dine without the hassle of cash.

Get more info about the card here. The Standard Octopus card is priced at HK$100 for adults. Can be bought at the airport or at any station in Hong Kong.

MTR Map of Hong Kong

Here is the mass transit railway map. Hong Kong’s most efficient public transport system.

Double-decker streetcars, the city’s historic trams

Since 1904 they are and remain an inexpensive and fun way to travel between Kennedy Town and Shau Kei Wan on Hong Kong Island.

For the greatest experience you have to take a seat next to a window on the upper deck. Neighbourhoods you’ll pass include some of Hong Kong’s most colourful, such as Western district, Wan Chai, Happy Valley, Causeway Bay and North Point. Trams run daily from early morning until midnight.

No matter how far you travel, each tram ride costs the same flat fare and exact change is required if you are paying by cash. All trams accept Octopus cards. You need to get on the tram at the back and then pay the exact fare at the front when you’re getting off.

The interactive map is right here.

If you love to try a tour

TramOramic Ding Ding Tour and Unlimited Hong Kong Tram Pass

Enjoy a 1-hour sightseeing tour of Hong Kong on an iconic 1920s tram and then use a 2-day pass with unlimited rides aboard Hong Kong’s signature mode of transportation.

Highlights:

  • Connect Hong Kong’s colorful history with its modern culture on a sightseeing tour aboard a 1920s tram
  • Enjoy a 1-hour sightseeing tour plus 2-days of unlimited rides on the tram network
  • View Hong Kong’s most popular sights from the open top upper deck
  • Learn about authentic local life in Hong Kong with a picture gallery, videos, and historic commentary in 8 languages

 

Macau World Heritage Excursion:
Cotai Strip and Macau Tower

See of some of the most famous Macau landmarks and heritage spots. Learn about Macau history and culture from a local guide before stopping for a delicious lunch at cafe 360. Take in 360 degree views of the city before exploring the exciting Cotai Strip.

We took this cable car to go back to Tung Chung from Ngong Ping Village. The view was magnificant in all directions. You can see the surrounding mountains, China Sea and airport.

Highlights:

  • Visit important heritage sites of Macau with opportunities to take pictures of these beautiful spots
  • Enjoy a delicious buffet lunch with 360 degree views over Macau
  • Shop and try your luck with a gamble on the Cotai Strip
  • Relax knowing your ferry back to Hong Kong is already booked for you

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Experience
(Private Cabin)

Enjoy a two-way private cable car experience (25 minutes each) with spectacular views over Lantau Island, the airport, the seascape and Ngong Ping Village. Enjoy free entry to the theme attraction Walking with Buddha.

We took this cable car to go back to Tung Chung from Ngong Ping Village. The view was magnificant in all directions. You can see the surrounding mountains, China Sea and airport.

Highlights:

  • Enjoy queue-free ticketing and priority boarding service and ride in a private cable car cabin
  • Visit the Tian Tan Buddha – the tallest, outdoor statue of a seated Buddha
  • Explore the Wisdom Path and the Po Lin Monastery

Hong Kong and Macau Attractions Pass

Create your own itinerary in Hong Kong and Macau with entry to 14 top attractions and activities. See as much as you want with a 3 or 5-day pass and save up to 50% on general admission fees and costs.

Highlights:

  • Get entry to up to 14 attractions and experiences in Hong Kong and Macau
  • Plan your itinerary with the free informative guide, including helpful maps
  • Save up to 50% on general admission fees

Try one of these activities below

Get Your Guide

If you love hiking

The Sweet Gum Woods of Tai Tong

Only for the beautiful colours of the trees you would go there. Because of it’s subtropical climate these trees turn into many different colours of green, orange and red. During winter this hike is simply a must for nature lovers.

It is located in the Tai Lam country park north west of Hong Kong, easy reachable by the MTR and bus.

How to get to Sweet Gum Woods in Tai Tong?

BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT – BUS K66

  1. Take the MTR West Rail Line (Purple line) to Long Ping Station.
  2. Take Exit B2, and then take MTR Bus K66.
  3. Alight at Tai Tong Shan Road (second last stop), and then walk uphill for about 60-80 minutes to reach the Sweet Gum Woods.

However, during the season when the leaves turn red, the K66 bus plies directly between Long Ping MTR and Tai Tong Shan Road (no stops in between) on Sundays and public holidays. It also drops you at the roundabout, which saves you 500 m of walking. To catch the direct bus, follow the signs once you take Exit B2 at the Long Ping MTR. It operates between 10:30 and 16:00 for the Tai Tong bound service, and from 13:00 to 19:00 for the Long Ping Station bound service with a frequency of 15 minutes.

BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT – RED MINIBUS

You can also get there by Red Minibus. Catch the bus at Hung Min Court in Yuen Long, and get off at Tai Tong Shan Road. Walk along Tai Tong Shan Road uphill for about 60 minutes to reach the Sweet Gum Woods.

BY TAXI

It’s probably best to take a green taxi from Yuen Long MTR to the country park. The fare should be around HK$ 60.

Tai Tong Sweet Gum Woods Trail

Lantau Island

An island with lots of things to offer, from amazing beaches to village trips, hikes and musea visits. Mui Wo is the perfect place to spend a couple of days if you love the beach or a hike to the nearby Silvermine Cave.It is located in a bay, so the waves are very calm to enjoy a swim in the sea. Ngong Ping has an amazing monastery which you can visit (except for the private parts) and you can find the Big Buddha there as well.

There is a cable car from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping, which takes 25 minutes for 5.7 km total length and costs HK$160 for a single trip standard cabin. HK$235 for the round trip.

More info about the Ngong Ping 360 cable car here.

How to get to Lantau Island and Big Buddha in Ngong Ping?

1. Take the MTR to Tung Chung Station Exit B, then take Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, which takes around 25 minutes. Then walk for around 10 minutes to the Po Lam monastery. 2. Take the MTR to Tung Chung Station Exit B, then take New Lantao Bus 23 from Tung Chung Town Centre, which takes around 45 minutes. Then walk for 8 minutes. 3. Catch the ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo, then take New Lantao Bus 2 to Ngong Ping Village, which takes around 40 minutes. Check the timetable of the ferry here.

How to get to the Peak? With the Peak Tram!

BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT – BUS K66

  1. Take the West Rail Line to Long Ping Station.
  2. Take Exit B2, and then take MTR Bus K66
  3. Alight at Tai Tong Shan Road (second last stop), and then walk uphill for about 60-80 minutes to reach the Sweet Gum Woods.

However, during the season when the leaves turn red, the K66 bus plies directly between Long Ping MTR and Tai Tong Shan Road (no stops in between) on Sundays and public holidays. It also drops you at the roundabout, which saves you 500 m of walking. To catch the direct bus, follow the signs once you take Exit B2 at the Long Ping MTR. It operates between 10:30 and 16:00 for the Tai Tong bound service, and from 13:00 to 19:00 for the Long Ping Station bound service with a frequency of 15 minutes.

BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT – RED MINIBUS

You can also get there by Red Minibus. Catch the bus at Hung Min Court in Yuen Long, and get off at Tai Tong Shan Road. Walk along Tai Tong Shan Road uphill for about 60 minutes to reach the Sweet Gum Woods.

BY TAXI

It’s probably best to take a green taxi from Yuen Long MTR to the country park. The fare should be around HK$ 60.

What to pack

Me with my 5D Mark III camera and Sigma 20 mm lens. I simply love the combination.

» Semi-professional Camera Equipment

I love capturing every single moment while I travel, because later when I’m back home I can store all those memories on my PC and I can look at them whenever I want. I love creating photo albums to show to my family and friends of where I have been to. Together with a glass of wine to share some great moments of my memorable vacations.

The Canon 5D Mark III Priced at £1,799.00 / US$2,899.00 View item – UK View item – USA

The Sigma 20 mm f/1.4 Priced at £699.00 / US$899.00 View item – UK View item – USA

» Entry-level Camera Equipment

I also love lightweight travel and I try to minimise the amount of weight in my backpack as much as possible. Here are three cameras with built-in lenses that might be perfectly suited for your needs.

Nikon COOLPIX P1000 16.7 MP Priced at S$996.95

Canon Powershot SX730 HS 20.3 MP Priced at £239.29 / US$250.00 View item – UK View item – USA

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless 24.3MP Priced at US$548.00

» Lightweight Travel bags

I use the Ogio Curb laptop rucksack which I actually got from my work. Many thanks! I love that backpack so much, you can put just anything in it and it is so big.

Ogio Curb Laptop Rucksack Priced at £85.75 View item – only in UK

Business Travel Backpack, Fits 15.6″ Laptop Priced at US$29.99

Fjallraven – Kanken Classic Pack, Heritage and Responsibility Since 1960, Blue Priced at US$53.26

Venture Pal Packable Lightweight Backpack Water Resistant Hiking Daypack Priced at US$17.99

» Women’s clothing

For hiking, city trip or anything you like.

ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 6 Running-Shoes Priced at US$39,95 – US$151,46

NIKE Performance Cushion Crew Socks with Band (6 Pairs) Priced at S$14.99

ODODOS High Waist Out Pocket Yoga Pants Tummy Control Workout Running 4 Way Stretch Priced at US$18,89

Hunkemöller Women HKMX The Pro Sport Bra Level 3 Grey Priced at £24,00

MOLERANI Women’s Casual Plain Short Sleeve Simple T-Shirt Loose Dress Priced at US$12,98

» Men’s clothing

For hiking, city trip or anything you like.

Where to stay

Booking.com
Booking.com

Disclosure: We use affiliate links in this post because it earns us a little commission if you buy a product through my page, but these are all products we recommend. We only show good quality products and products we tested.

What gear do you take with you while travelling? Share below! » Written by Alan who goes under the name of twin-rhino | Published on October 8, 2018

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