With my birthday falling on the final weekend of Chinese New Year celebrations and me wanting to start a fresh new year in a fresh new year, I gathered gathered four strangers, booked flights to Hong Kong because they don’t require a Visa for US Passport Holders, and made our way, quickly becoming great friends.
On average, we walked 8 miles each day, exploring as much as possible, meeting up with other travelers, connecting with locals, and searching for the best drinks and dim sum Hong Kong had to offer. As they say, Hong Kong owes us nothing!
Things To Do:
1. Visit Tai O Fishing Village: A dope little village on Lantau Island where the houses and restaurants are lifted on stilts, the tea is amazing, and the sunset is insanely beautiful. If you love street meat as much as I do, come walk through the maze-like streets and get you some!
2. Tian Tan Buddha (The Big Buddha): So many monuments and statues around the world are disappointing. You see them on TV and in photos and they look incredible, but you see them up close and personal and they’re barely as tall as you. Big Buddha lives up to the hype!
3. Ngong Ping 360 Cable Cars: Just around the corner from the Big Buddha (you can walk), this cable car ride claims to be one of the best in the world and after taking the ride, I agree. Hop on just before sunset and be ready for incredible views. You will be dropped off on another side of the island in Tung Chung and can explore there.
4. Temple Street Night Market: Just about everything you need and want can be found her for the low. Electronics, backpacks, bags, watches, souvenirs for the family who refuse to get passports, and food! Practice your bartering skills and go home with a chopstick and bowl set!
5. Symphony of Lights: The daily light and sound show is the world’s largest and definitely not to be missed. Stand near Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui and be amazed.
6. Island Hopping: If you love riding on the water as much as I do, take a day and island hop, exploring the main Islands: Hong Kong Island, Lantau, Peng Chau, Cheung Chau, and Lamma. Each island has it’s own vibe, and you will undoubtedly find which suits you best.
7. Dance In The Streets of Hong Kong Central: GPS your way toward Hard Rock Café Hong Kong and join the people who gather in the streets in front. Dance the night away. There are countless bars and restaurants and nightlife to-do’s there.
8. Take the TurboJet to Macau (the Vegas of Asia): This little island is definitely for the gamblers, but since I’m no gambler, I wandered toward The Ruins of St. Paul, a demolished church and historical area, and enjoyed the food and tea and people watching along the way. Walk the streets and enjoy! And if you are a gambler, win big!
9. Victoria Peak: The high point with the perfect view of the city! If you love getting high (literally), you must go!
Places To Eat:
I will always be a fan of street meat, and enjoyed each bite I grabbed from a vendor, but I also love a good sit down restaurant and these are a few I can vouch for:
1. Hot-Star Chicken: 67 Bute St., Mong Kok, Hong Kong
2. Sui Choi Wong: 43 Fuk Wing St., Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
3. Tim Ho Wan: 9-11 Fuk Wing St, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
4. Tai O Crossing Boat Restaurant: 33 Kat Hing St, Tai O, Lantau Island
5. Deer Horn Nepalese Restaurant & Bar: Shop 11, Mui Wo Centre, 3 Ngan Wan Rd., Mui Wo, Lantau Island
6. Wah Kee Restaurant: Mui Wo Cooked Food Centre, Lantau Island
7. Slow Life: 83 San Hing St., Cheung Chau Island
8. TsingLau: Treasure Bay Kam Ho Court, 1 Tai Shek Hau Rd., Cheung Chau Island
Foods You Must Eat In Hong Kong:
1. Roast Goose: exactly as it sounds.
2. Lo Mai Gai: Glutinous rice with chicken and pork, steamed in a lotus leaf until the flavors come together to make excellence.
3. Egg Waffle or Egg Puff.
4. Deep Fried Pigeon. Yep. Pigeon.
5. Fish Ball: All the street vendors will have them! Eat everything they serve!
6. Hong Kong French Toast: OMG! YOU MUST!
Hong Kong is certainly a place I’d revisit again and again until I’ve eaten everywhere and tried everything. I want to return to walk into all the markets, dance in all the streets, and see all the views.