Hong Kong is spectacular. You can find everything here and more. Even the view, architecture and location of the airport are amazing. So it’s worth spending a few nights in this exceptional city.
Stay: The Mira Moon is one of the most stylish hotels I know. The rooms have an amazing, bright and funny design with huge beds, bathtubs right at the floor-to-ceiling windows and design objects by brands like moooi. You can also use a complimentary smartphone with Wi-Fi during the stay. It’s in Causeway Bay with the MTR subway station, the lovely tram and the Wan Chai Star Ferry pier within five minute reach.
Do: The Man Mo Temple in Central is the oldest temple in Hong Kong. The small building, squeezed between the modern tower blocks, still feels very mystical. One of the highlights is certainly the view from Victoria Peak. Take the Peak Tram up to the sky terrace, if you’r early and it’s not too crowded. The Old Peak Road is a beautiful walking trail back down into the city. Walking around the small streets in Central, like Graham or Elign street is a great opportunity to explore the bright street art. The Heritage Museum shows very interesting exhibitions about the local, urban development or the culture of Cantonese opera, for instance. It’s in Sha Tin outside the centre, but it’s still fast and easy to get there by MTR. Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian are a beautiful wooden temple complex and Chinese garden right between the high-rise apartment buildings in Diamond Hill. Lantau Island is a truly extraordinary place. On top of the green hills sits the Tian Tan or Big Buddha, a 34 meter tall sitting Buddha statue. You have to climb almost 300 steps to get to it, but it’s worth it. The brightly colored Po Lin monastery right next to it is an equally beautiful site. The best way to get to Lantau is by MTR (Tung Chung station) and the Ngong Ping cable car, which will take you over the forest and allows stunning views over the hills and sea. From the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade you have the best view on the Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline, it gets especially crowded during the nightly Symphony of Lights light show.
Eat: Grassroots Pantry is a modern, organic cafe and restaurant that offers delicious, trendy meals, just one minute by foot from Man Mo temple. There are many nice Dim Sum places, like Yum Cha, but Din Tai Fung is also always a good idea. Hidden in a back-alley behind a unremarkable red door in Sheung Wan you find the coolest and coziest Bar in Hong Kong. Ping Pong serves Gin-Cocktails and Spanish tapas and is just a lovely place. One of the best places for tea time is Sevva. They serve a delicious variety of colorful cakes and sandwiches on their rooftop terrace right in the heart of Central. Apart from big, fancy restaurants, there are also many small eateries that serve delicious noodle soups and traditional bites, like the tiny shop Northern Dumpling Yuan on Hennessy Road, for example. Also great are the many delicious late-night dessert cafes in the city, Yee Shun Milk Company serves the best steamed milk puddings, also great are Xiao Tian Gu and Auntie Sweet.
Shop: There are countless malls in Hong Kong and while most of them look basically the same and all stock endless Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Tiffany shops, some of them like Harbour City in Kowloon are, alone because of their sheer dimensions, simply impressive. But luckily there are also some other shopping opportunities. The historic Police Married Quarters PMQ were transformed into a cool space that now hosts many little galleries and shops, like for example Goods of Desire. The (night) markets like the famous Temple Street Market in Kowloon are also interesting.
Getting around: With the Octopus card you can pay for public transportation and also in a number of shops. You can buy them at subway stations, for example and simply top it up with any amount. The subway system MTR brings you to all places around Hong Kong fast and easy. It’s especially crucial for places in the New Territories. For getting around Hong Kong Island, the tramways (or Ding Ding) is the most fun kind of transport. The old double-deck tramcars wiggle along the busy north shore, right through the main financial and shopping districts. Even so it’s not the fastest way of getting around, it’s certainly the one to see the most of the city. A lot of shops, hotels and restaurants are between Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay. In between is Wan Chai and Central, where you find the famous Central-Mid-Levels escalators, that bring you to the mid- and upper levels, where it’s nice to walk around and explore the streets by foot. There are also small buses that drive the way down from the mid levels, but it can be a bit tricky to figure out their route. The Star Ferry crosses the Victoria Harbour at two points and connects Hong Kong Island with Kowloon. The piers are in Central and Wan Chai and are both going to Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon.