WHAT. A. CITY. I am honestly in love. It’s like a mix between London and mainland China with an island mix, but in all the right ways.
I say London because Hong Kong was actually a British colony until the 1990s! You know what that means? English signs, menus, and speakers (which is a lot more than you could hope for in China). It’s a glamorous city with seas of people carrying bags of Gucci, Prada, and Valentino. The people are just classy. It’s a place where you want to dress up and spend hours window shopping, particularly at Times Square. Here are some of my must-sees on/ near HK Island!
This one is obvious, but it wouldn’t be a must-see list without it. There are hikes that overlook it and view points on the bay, but my favorite place by far is to see it all from a boat. Mase and I had the best time island hopping and saw the best views in all of HK on the ferries! One thing I will forever regret missing is a ride on a junk boat. Check out AquaLuna, they have a variety of boat rides for a variety of prices to fit your budget. It’s the first thing I’m doing when we go back next time!
Times Square in Hong Kong. We spent hours shopping here and I was in HEAVEN. Thankfully I married a man who likes shopping almost as much as I do. 😉 But I know you guys want to know the good stuff. Like where do you get legitimate designer items for up to 90% off of the original price? Well, then you can’t pass up the chance to go to Horizon Plaza on Lei Chau island, just a quick subway ride out of Causeway Bay. This mall is filled with brand new Gucci, Kate Spade, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander Wang, you name it! And it’s all more than HALF OFF. But this isn’t the only place to get a good deal on designer. I also found some fantastic deals at Harbour City mall, Esprit & Esprit Factory Outlet store, Demoni, and Veeko.
It wouldn’t be a Hong Kong shopping spree without the famous Mongkok markets in the mix. There’s the goldfish market market with literal walls of fish down the street, the ladies market with cheap clothes and jewelry, and my two personal favorites: the flower market and the temple street night market. The flower market is just as you’d imagine, with rows and buckets and stalls and shops all full of colorful, beautiful FLOWERS. It was gorgeous. The temple street night market, on the other hand, is the place to be after 6PM any day of the week. There is delicious local street food, bartering for knock-off hand offs, and people street dancing.
Valentino jacket for under $200 !!
Choi Hung [Rainbow Estate] Basketball Court
There was actually a sign saying basketball games weren’t allowed here and it was swarming with photographers. I’m pretty sure Instagram made this place famous, and you can see why because the colors are unreal! It was pouring rain when we went, but it was right on our way to the Montane Mansion. It took us a few minutes to realize that it was located on top of the car park. I’m all about those city views! Looking to find how to get here? I’ve linked it here in Google Maps!
Honestly, this place is mostly just another photo-op. But it’s incredible to see in person and it’s a just a short walk from the subway station. So why not check it out?! The pictures aren’t the *best* because my camera was stolen the week before (yeah, I KNOW), but smart phone cameras aren’t so bad. Here’s the link to get directions to visit the “mansion” yourself!
Had to show you guys this pic that Shay Mitchell posted here. Just because I love her + its a great shot with a real camera :’)
The Food !
First of all, don’t even think about coming all the way out to Hong Kong without trying some good, authentic dim sum. We found a top-notch restaurant called Xia Fei Society and almost missed out on the 10 star dim sum because it looked really classy and we were in tees and shorts with frizzy hair from the rain! The service was good, the view was great, and the food was phenomenal. It was a pretty fancy place and we got 2 big entrees and some dim sum for around $45 USD, so it was a little more on the spendy side but well worth it for the quality + quantity. The dim sum itself was inexpensive and is said to be some of the best in town. Definitely recommended!
Then there is SMUKI. It’s like a crunchy, biscoff breadstick with custard filling. But the custard tastes like creme brulee. AMAZING. Just be sure to avoid the durian flavor of Smuki (and everything else for that matter)!! It will ruin your whole week.
The best street food we had was on Cheung Chau island!
Spend an Afternoon Hiking Across Lamma Island
We took a ferry here one evening to explore for a few hours and it was similar in many ways to Cheung Chau — colorful boats and buildings, friendly people, street vendors, and small local restaurants. There is an easy hike that goes right through the middle of the island from one ferry port to the other that is estimated to take a little less than 2 hours. It passes through some temples, a few beaches, a cave to explore, and local villages. There is a map showing exactly where the trail is when you get off the ferry! We only made it partway before it got too dark, but I want to go back and finish the hike next time! I can’t even describe to you guys how much I loved hopping on random ferries and exploring the outer islands of Hong Kong. If you have an extra few days, make the time to do it!
What else are you missing? Well, here are some things we didn’t make it to but want to do next time: Lion rock hike, eat at Ichiran Ramen, see the CNY fireworks (they were cancelled on us at the last minute!), and the CNY dragon parade. Chinese New Year was such a cool time of year to visit, great weather, flights weren’t too expensive, and there were tons of events going on!
Hong Kong is a place we will be back to soon.
[…] to make it or plan to experience any cool local events. There is NO WORSE FEELING than flying into Hong Kong 2 hours after the Chinese New Year festival ended. I have learned this one the hard way too many […]