Two Days In Hong Kong
Hong Kong, you are a beautiful city.
Hong Kong, you have some good food.
Hong Kong, two days is plenty.
We had been talking about going to Hong Kong for a while and were finally glad that we squeezed in 2 nights while traversing South East Asia. We didn’t really know too much about the city, but after seeing some beautiful photos we knew we wanted to go check it out. So we did, along with a million other people!
Right away we saw the easy comparisons to New York City. Busy streets, bridges, skyscrapers, and mass transit. We stayed in an area across from Hong Kong Island, called Kowloon because we wanted the best view of the city at night. It was cool but again, very much like NYC, a city we know too well. We wanted more than the popular sites and didn’t have much motivation to go searching too far, especially with a typhoon bearing down on us, but as always we found some unique stops.
Our first day consisted of hopping a ferry to Hong Kong Island and venturing around. We walked, and walked, and walked some more. Pouring sweat and wondering if we can keep going. We had to walk into a few malls just for the air conditioning and hit a couple cafes to slug a beer to cool down. Luckily, day 2 we were introduced to the subway (MTR) and it was amazingly easy and clean. So stupid for not using it the first day.
GOAL Traveler Hong Kong Tip #1: Use the damn subway (MTR)
Here is what we saw and what you could easily see in 2 days.
2 Days In Under 2 Minutes (Video)
Man Mo Temple
A stunning tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). It was built in 1847 and remains the largest Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong. Giant hanging incense coils are a lovely break from the hectic financial district where it resides.
Chi Lin Nunnery
This large temple complex established in 1934 and renovated in Tang dynasty style was one of our favorite hideaways from all the crowds. Wooden architecture, Buddhist relics, and lotus ponds offer a tranquil setting, which was exactly what we wanted. Do not miss it.
Yuen Po Street Bird Garden
The Bird Garden is a popular area with dozens of stalls selling exotic birds and beautifully crafted bamboo cages. It felt a little like walking through a pet shop (not the biggest fans) but we were serenaded by the sweet songs of hundreds of rare birds while being fed and preened by their elderly owners.
A bustling street market that stretches one kilometer and has over a hundred stalls. Find anything from clothing, souvenirs, electronics, etc. Pretty much anything can be found here and along with good food too. Come here ready to engage in the art of bargaining…we did.
Definitely considered Hong Kong’s most popular destination and you can tell once you see the line waiting for the Peak Tram. The Peak Tram opened in 1888, offers the steepest funicular railway in the world and only takes 7 minutes to reach the top. As long as it isn’t shut down due to clouds, you will be rewarded with the best view of Hong Kong, or any city.
Go for a leisurely stroll or hit the bars at night. South of Hollywood Road (SOHO) has many narrow and historic streets loaded with chic bars and restaurants. We did a fair amount of day-drinking here because it was incredibly hot! Definitely the more “western” area in Hong Kong.
Tsim Sha Tsui
This is the area to check for towering views of the Hong Kong skyline and harbor. The promenade area also has the space museum, Cultural Center, and the ferries to journey to Hong Kong Island. Tons of shopping just a quick walk up Nathan Road from here.
This is the area where you will find Man Mo Temple and where “old meets new”. One can find loads of antique shops and art galleries and new cafes with bars springing up everywhere. Close to SOHO but with a more classic feel.
Temple Street Night Market
Souvenirs, opera singers, fortune tellers, and street karaoke (of course). If you can only visit one Chinese market then this is the one. A lot of movies were filmed here for good reason. The place is packed with anything you would ever need to buy (mostly counterfeit) but who cares! The energy here is pretty cool.
Want to go to Hong Kong? You know who to call! 😉 Let's chat!