Planning a trip to Hong Kong and unsure about what to do? This three-night itinerary shows you all the best things to do in the city.
Hong Kong had always fascinated me with its bright lights, unique heritage and ornate temples, and I was eager to experience this alluring culture for myself.
As a child, I remember the home of a Chinese friend being adorned with pictures of Hong Kong, ornaments, tea sets and fabrics. All these objects interested me, and I hoped that one day I would get the chance to experience them for myself.
Finally, during my epic round-the-world trip, I made it to Hong Kong and was ready to immerse myself in everything it offered me during my three-day visit.
In this 3-night Hong Kong itinerary, I highlight the main tourist attractions in Kowloon and Hong Kong island to visit during your time in Asia. I hope it will inspire you to visit the city yourself.
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Useful Information About Hong Kong
Getting from Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong airport is a 30 min journey to Kowloon, in good traffic, but it took us nearly 50 mins, and although I had pre-booked a taxi, this was the most expensive airport-to-hotel transfer I have ever paid. There are other public transport options, but for me, a taxi is the easiest way to get to your hotel.
Where to Stay in Hong Kong
Divided into two main areas, Hong Kong Island is the home of Victoria Peak, while Kowloon is the home of modern culture and the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. I had chosen to stay at the 5* Royal Garden Hotel Kowloon as it was only a block from the waterfront, and I wanted the iconic view back across to Hong Kong Island.
Best things to do in Hong Kong
Day One in Hong Kong – Morning
As our hotel was on the waterfront in Kowloon, our first stop was Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. This iconic promenade contains the Avenue of Stars, the History, Art and Space museums and a cultural centre. Its main feature is the fantastic views of the Hong Kong skyline towering over Victoria Harbour.
The Avenue of Stars modelled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is on the waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui and honours celebrities of the Hong Kong film industry. It features a statue of Bruce Lee, one of Hong Kong’s biggest stars.
The Peninsula Hotel is worth visiting to say you have been! From the supercars on the drive to the high-end jewellery shops inside, it is clear to see that this is a rich man’s playground. You can have coffee and cake in the lobby, but if you feel underdressed, then have a look around and vow to return another time in a more befitting outfit.
The Hong Kong Museum of History is located along the waterfront and immerses you in the history and culture of Hong Kong.
The Clock Tower is a landmark in Hong Kong. It is located on the southern shore of Tsim Sha Tsu and is the only remnant of the original site of the former Kowloon Railway Station.
Star Ferry Pier is where you embark on taking the ferry across Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island and near the Clock Tower.
It is famous for having been in service since 1888, and no trip to Hong Kong would be complete without experiencing what National Geographic describes as “one of 50 great journeys to take in a lifetime.”
Shopping in Kowloon
Once we left the waterfront, we headed into the main streets of Kowloon. The shops here sell everything you could imagine and sit beside sky-high blocks of flats.
Shopkeepers will inundate you with offers to make you a suit. Every other shop seemed to be a tailor, so we had no escape. Tell them firmly, “no thank you”, and you will be left alone unless a bespoke suit is something you want!
Day One in Hong Kong – Evening
Take a Cruise in Victoria Harbour at Night
We booked an evening trip on Hong Kong’s only original 3-mast Chinese junk with Dukling.com. The trip sails around Victoria Harbour in time to watch the Symphony of Lights show which is on every evening.
Constructed in 1955, the Dukling was used by fishermen as a place of work and also home. There are other similar-looking boats in Victoria Harbour, but this is the only original one, and when you step aboard, it feels like you are experiencing a piece of Hong Kong’s history.
We weren’t as impressed with the Symphony of Lights as we had hoped, as we felt that after visiting Singapore, where the light shows are amazing, this was no match.
After enjoying a cruise around the harbour, I recommend visiting one of Hong Kong’s rooftop bars. Sip a cocktail and enjoy the night skyline of Hong Kong from a unique perspective.
Day Two in Hong Kong – Day Trip from Hong Kong to Lantau Island
Day Three in Hong Kong – Morning
Today we decided to take the Star Ferry from Kowloon across to Hong Kong Island and explore what the other side of the harbour had to offer. Our first stop was to visit Victoria Peak by way of the Peak Tram.
When we arrived, there was a long queue to get on the tram, and in the heat of the day, it was quite a long uncomfortable wait. I would recommend having plenty of water with you. After a lot of pushing and shoving, we finally made it to the front of the queue and boarded the tram to make our way up the hill.
Take a ride on The Peak tram
One of the world’s oldest and most famous funicular railways, the tram rises to 396 metres (about 1,300 feet) above sea level. It goes quite fast, and you are at a real incline in your seat as it goes up the hill, so the buildings you pass look like they are leaning.
The residents still use this tram as a way of reaching their homes, so you do get to stop a couple of times during the journey should you wish to get off and walk the rest of the way. We chose to stay in our seats!!
On top of The Peak
Before you can get out to the viewing platform of the Peak, you have to walk through an entertainment complex including Madame Tussauds, a 3D photo area, many food outlets and souvenir shops.
My son, who was travelling with me, had promised to bring something back for his friends, so we seized the opportunity to buy 15 (yes, 15!) golden cats with the waving paw, the Chinese symbol for luck. It’s worth bargaining for as we got quite a few souvenirs at low prices.
We exited the complex and were blown away by the iconic view that confronted us. Seeing the city spread out below us was one of the reasons we wanted to visit The Peak. Once we saw it, we understood why Hong Kong is one of the best places to visit in China.
We wandered around The Peak, taking in all it had to offer. There is a walking track that we started to investigate, which leads all around the Peak. There are maps on the walls to tell you where you are going. It’s good to see some of the original houses dotted around despite everything else being so modern.
Step inside the historic Man Mo Temple
Our next stop was to be Man Mo Temple. We took a taxi and headed to Hollywood Road, the first-ever street in Hong Kong.
Located between the towering skyscrapers along this iconic road is one of Hong Kong’s oldest and most acclaimed temples. Constructed in 1847, Man Mo Temple pays tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). It is one of the top temples to visit in Southeast Asia.
When we entered, the thick smoke took my breath away, and I couldn’t stop coughing! Giant incense coils line the roof, having been lit and hung by worshippers. They are considered food for the spirits and purification of the surroundings.
Make sure the temple is high on your Hong Kong itinerary. It is a fascinating place to visit and steeped in tradition and beliefs.
After World War II, Hollywood Road and its surrounding streets became the centre for antiques and curios and remain the same today.
We looked in the shops and found a curio store that was a treasure trove of antiquities. Inside it was dark and dusty and felt almost magical. We wondered just what stories these objects could tell us.
We also came across carvings made from Mammoth tusks! Where were they getting these protected items from in the 21st century? Surprisingly the answer was Siberia.
From tusks buried deep in the ice, intricate carvings are crafted from ivory. The sculptures are beautiful but come with a hefty price tag.
Day Three in Hong Kong – Evening
Search for the Street Art
We wandered along the adjoining roads to head towards the world’s longest escalator, called the Central Mid-Level Escalators.
On our way there, we noticed how much street art was all around us. There are so many cities in Asia to see street art, but for some reason, I was surprised to see so much of it in Hong Kong.
Ride the famous mid-central escalators
We finally reached the famous mid-central escalators and entered them to take a ride to the top. It is a long way to the top because they are the longest escalators in the world. Don’t worry, you can exit at different points to visit restaurants and bars!
When we arrived at the top, we realised the only way back down was to take the hundreds of steps. Needless to say, we jumped into a taxi to take us back to the port.
We caught the Star Ferry back to Kowloon and agreed we had experienced a perfect 3-nights in Hong Kong.
Our incredible 3-day adventure had finished, and we would leave Hong Kong with fond memories along with ten gold lucky nodding cats, a silk kimono, incense sticks, silk make-up bags and hundreds of photos!
Conclusion of Hong Kong and Kowloon
What month did I travel? March
How was the weather? It was hot and dry.
Would I recommend the hotel? Yes, the Royal Garden Kowloon offers 5-star luxury.
Would I recommend three nights in Hong Kong and Kowloon? Definitely. They both have a different vibe which is good. Kowloon is modern with its ultra-sleek museums and luxury hotels, while Hong Kong Island is more traditional. A trip to Lantau Island should also be high on your trip itinerary.
Please Pin for Future Travel to Hong Kong
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