Hong Kong: 3 Day Itinerary
Are you wondering how to spend 3 days in Hong Kong and need itinerary ideas for what to do? One of our featured travel writers Sally Taylor recently visited Hong Kong and has put together a plan and itinerary for how to spend a perfect weekend or 3 day break.
As you drive into Hong Kong from the airport, it looks a lot like Jurassic Park. There's miles of hazy, mountainous countryside to whizz through, with forests on one side of you and wide watery expanses on the other. But then you get to the busy, bonkers city itself, and it's more like being in Futurama - with roof-level walkways, flashing neon lights and skyscrapers everywhere!
Where to Stay
I stayed in Kowloon, which is the opposite side of Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island itself and means you get great views of the world-famous skyline. It's also the most densely populated place on the planet - you may think London is busy, but it's got nothing on Kowloon! My hostel was in a great area, just off Nathan Road, the buzzing neon artery of Kowloon and right across the road from Tsim Sha Tsui station.
Hong Kong may be jam packed with people, but it feels very calm and organised, and it's so easy to get around. I took the A21 bus directly to Tsim Sha Tsui from the airport for $33 (just under 3 pounds), and did the same in reverse when we left. Then there's the MTR (mass transit railway), Hong Kong's metro. Again, it's nothing like London - I think a lot of Hong Kong's residents would freak out if they ever went on the Tube! It's incredibly clean, as is everywhere in Hong Kong, and we never waited more than a couple of minutes for a train. Watch out though - they're quite strict about eating and drinking in public areas, including MTR stations. You can get landed with a hefty fine if you get caught - luckily we noticed the signs in time, but we'd been wondering why our breakfast was causing such a stir...
We spent the first day just looking around and getting to know the city. We took walk along the Avenue of Stars, looking out for Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and struck our best Bruce Lee poses by his statue at the far end. Then we took the Star Ferry over to Hong Kong Island (much cheaper than some of the tourist boat tours) and checked out the skyscrapers over there from street level. We came back across in time for the much-hyped light show, where the skyscrapers are lit up in time to music. Let's just say... you can't really go to Hong Kong and not see it, but it's not quite all it's built up to be!!
The next day we ticked another big thing off the list, and this one is a must do - the Peak Tram. The views over the city from Victoria Peak really are stunning, and we were lucky enough to go up on one of Hong Kong's rare clear days! The Tram ride itself is pretty good fun - we knew it would be steep, but it's nearly vertical in places, so hold on to your bags or they go sliding down the carriage! After that we stumbled across Hong Kong Park, a little green oasis right in the heart of the business district, a great place to stop for lunch and do some people watching.
That evening we decided to flex our haggling skills and check out the Ladies Market and Temple Street Night Market. If you like your designer fakes, this is the place for you! I had to resist many a handbag, saving myself for Bangkok at the end of our trip. A lot of the stalls are aimed at tourists and a lot of the same stuff is repeated, so if there's something you like, barter for prices and shop around.
On Day 2 we decided to escape the city, and took the MTR to Tung Chung, then got the Cable Car up to the Po Lin Buddhist monastery. This was absolutely my favourite thing we did in Hong Kong - it is breathtakingly beautiful up there, and very calm and peaceful. The monastery has a great little vegetarian cafe if you decide to get something to eat - though weirdly there is also a Subway up there! Po Lin is also home to The Big Buddah, the world's largest outdoor seated Buddah, and it really is as impressive as it sounds.
This was our last evening in HK, as the next evening we got our plane to Sydney, so we decided to do something pretty special. This was a tip off from a guy in our hostel, and not in many of the guidebooks! We had a Tsing Tao (Chinese beer) in the world's highest bar, Ozone, right at the top of the ICC building. The only way to see HK is from on high, especially at night! It's a bit tricky to get up there - you go into the ICC, go up to the Ritz Carlton hotel on the 8th floor, take the lift there to floor 103, then go right up to floor 118. Our ears were popping in the lift, it's that high! Drinks are expensive, but the view is worth it - we could have sat there watching the twinkling lights all evening.
We only really had the morning of Day 3 to continue exploring before heading to the airport, so we went back up to the market area to check out the Bird Market and Goldfish Market. They're exactly what the say on the tin - rows and rows and rows of birds, and rows and rows of goldfish in bags! It's worth a look though - you certainly won't see anything like it back in the UK.
Hong Kong was a great place to start our trip, and has definitely made me want to see more of China. I'm glad to have a bit of a break from rice and noodles before we get to Malaysia in January though!
By Sally Taylor
Has this inspired you to want to visit Hong Kong? Our website features lots of overland trips where you can experience this city for yourself.