I spend a week in Hong Kong, so I’d figure I’d give you some tips :). There are my tips for Hong Kong City. I talk about the daytrips I went on here.
I would definitely recommend to go to the peak. The queue for the tram was about 40 minutes for me. I went back with the bus, but the bus makes a lot of twists and turns, so not so nice if you have motion sickness! The tram is 28 HK$ for a single ticket and 40$ for return if you don’t go to the sky terrace. The bus was about 9 HK$ for a single ticket.
Once you’ve taken the tram, you end up in a shopping center. The sky terrace is on the highest floor, but it was too expensive for me so I went on a hike. If you turn right after walking out of the shopping center, there is the start of the hike trail. It’s an easy trail (no great hight differences etc.) that takes about an hour. Especially the first part gives you great view points where you can look over the city.
I recommend going in the late afternoon, so you can see the city at day and at night, since it is so pretty at both! There is a place to sit right beneath the start of the hiking trail (again with great views).
Hong Kong Park + Zoological and Botanic Gardens
Next to the queue for the tram to the Peak is the Hong Kong Victoria Park. I liked how, once you enter a park, it doesn’t feel like crowded hong kong anymore. It’s a very nice park, that has an underground tunnel to the zoological and botanic gardens, where they have turtles and a lot of different sort of monkeys. And it’s all free 🙂
Museums have free admission on Wednesday, but a lot of museums felt like they were not made for adults (especially the museum of science). The art museum was closed when I arrived, so I can’t tell anything about that, but the museum of history was nice (but of course it skipped all interesting parts like the relationship with China).
I stayed in a hostel next to Victoria Park, so every morning I bought breakfast somewhere and sat in Victoria Park, eating my breakfast and looking at people doing Tai Chi. There is also a little lake where everyone (young and old) would come and play with tiny boats (don’t actually know the English name for them). And there are plenty of benches in the shade! 🙂
And I have to admit I even went to IKEA once to buy breakfast when I really craved some cheap familiar food!
I would recommend going to Kowloon by boat, since the views are way nicer than if you´d go by metro. In Kowloon, the Yuen Po St. Bird Garden is nice and I saw no other tourist, only old locals ;). And after being in China for 3 weeks, I was very happy to see there were non-expensive bakeries with western bread! Especially the Ting Choi en Fa Yuen street had markets and nice little shops. But don’t forget to bargain at the markets!
At night, Kowloon is still very lively. I personally thought the night-market was a bit overrated, but I did love walking on the boulevard and looking at all the lights at the other side of the river. And I think everyone should go back by boat at least once, because – as I said before – the views by day are so much different than at night!
My last day was spent walking this trail. My first tip: don’t go here when it’s 40 degrees Celcius, because there is no shade! When arriving, there are some monks who give you gifts and then want you to pay way too much money, but you can just decline their gifts and pay nothing! I did that and then bought some stuff at the temple (so they still got some money from me – I just didn’t want to give it to the pushy monks directly).
I thought the temples were very nice, but the hot weather and pushy monks just kinda ruined it for me to be honest :(.
This garden is similar to Hong Kong Park in how weird it is to go from the busy streets into a very relaxed park. But this garden is more traditional than Hong Kong Park. But I would not come here just for the garden, but if you go to the 10,000 Buddha Trail, it’s not too far with the metro.
A lot of the hostels have terraces of flat roofs you can access. It’s the perfect place to meet up with people you met during the day and relax in the evening, especially since beers at bars are ridiculously expensive!
And don’t leave anything in the main hostel area if you’re staying in a hostel! I left my guide book there while going to the loo and I think someone thought it was theirs so they took it :(. But main hostel areas are a good place to meet people. Try not to be afraid to talk to people, because if you’re both alone you can maybe spend a day together if you both feel like it. Or you can dine together etc.
So I hope these tips can help someone decide what to do if they ever go to Hong Kong! I wrote a separate post about what I did as day-trips just outside of Hong Kong city.