The first time I visited Hong Kong, I found the hustle and bustle, along with the sheer number of people, instantly overwhelming. Home to some of the most densely populated neighbourhoods on Earth, Hong Kong is not for the faint-hearted or those after a relaxing holiday. Prepare to be busy on a visit to the Pearl of the Orient.
With many airlines passing through, the city is a hub for global stopovers and the ideal place to break up those long-haul flights. Two days is the perfect amount of time to get a taste of this unique city. There is something for everyone, from delicious street food and high-end dining to vibrant temples and futuristic skyscrapers, it can almost be hard to choose.
Plan to get lost wandering around the Old Town Central in downtown Hong Kong. Take your time to check out some of the markets like Temple Street Night Market and Ladies’ Market. For shopping and dining, stroll along Possession Street and up to Tai Ping Shan Street before making your way to Man Mo Temple, one of the most impressive and historically important temples in the city.
Every time I explore Hong Kong, I feel like I have stepped into the future but also back to the 1980s. This weird juxtaposition of technology makes the city all the more alluring. But above all, Hong Kong is made for foodies, so come hungry.
On a two-night stopover, you almost have to plan your dining in advance to make the most of it. The Four Seasons Hong Kong is a great place to base yourself if you’re looking to splurge. Close to all of the action and home to some of the best dining in Hong Kong, you can’t go wrong here.
Plan for a long lunch at Lung King Heen, the world’s first three Michelin-star Chinese restaurant. Take advantage of the jet lag and stay up late for drinks at the in-house Argo, named one of the World’s 50 Best Bars. Lan Fong Yeun is where you want to be if you’re looking for a glass of milk tea and a pork chop bun.
The great thing about Hong Kong is that fine-dining establishments rub shoulders with street food haunts, classic markets, and modest local hole-in-the-wall spots. Every eatery has its place.
One of the classic treats to try is an egg tart. Tai Cheong Bakery on Lyndhurst Terrace is a homegrown favourite. Another personal favourite is Little Bao in Causeway Bay, a ridiculously cool and hip spot that serves up bao burgers from Asia’s best female chef.
Another iconic street food dish has to be spicy fish balls; you can find them at nearly every street food spot. For a local brekkie, pop into Lee Keung Kee for egg waffles.
Hong Kong is an archipelago comprising many islands so one of the best ways to get around is by sea. Sunset on Victoria Harbour in a classic Chinese junk boat is a must-do activity. These wooden sailboats are beautiful with their bright red sails – history meets modernity on the river in a way that you can only find in Hong Kong.
Another surprising feature of this city is just how mountainous it is. To get a sense of the scale of the city, hop on the Peak Tram, which carries tourists and locals up to the higher areas of the city. I suggest doing so at night when the whole city is glowing. The tram transports you to the highest point on Hong Kong Island, The Peak, which has spectacular views. The bold can walk up, though the nearly 100% humidity deters most.
This story was produced as part of an editorial partnership with Hong Kong Tourism Board. Read more about our partnership content here.