Hong Kong is an amazing city that merges modern day with old world China. Unlike mainland, you won’t need a visa to visit Hong Kong.
The city can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you are short on time and want to squeeze in as much as possible.
Check out these suggestions on how to tackle Hong Kong with only 24 hours to spare.
First off, be aware that taxis in Hong Kong are EXPENSIVE. When I flew in, I arrived after the public transportation services stopped running. It cost me around $75 USD just to get from the airport to my hotel which was only 30 minutes away. If you arrive before around 9pm, you will be able to take an express train service directly from the terminal into the city. It is pretty reasonable as far as price.
Once you get to Hong Kong, I highly suggest investing in the Octopus card. This is the card that you swipe for all public transportation as well as some food spots. Even if you load the card up for your short trip, you have the option to cash back out once you get to the airport to leave. So, you will end up getting most of the money back that is left on your card.
As you go from place to place, the subway in Hong Kong is your best bet. It is very efficient and in English. I even downloaded the maps prior to arriving just to figure out where all the stops were for my short time there.
I will be honest, accommodations in Hong Kong can add up. Luckily for a 1-night visit, you won’t have to worry too much about this. I chose the JJ Hotel in the Wan Chai district. This hotel was in walking distance to several restaurants, shops, and the subway station. It was super clutch and only around $75 per night. If you want to save even more, I suggest an Airbnb.
As mentioned before, when you have a short amount of time it can get overwhelming trying to see everything. Here are a few spots that you can easily see on a tight schedule.
- Victoria Peak: Getting here is pretty easy. You can even take the subway from any station to the Central station. From there I walked to the Central bus terminus to catch Bus #15. The bus ride from Central terminus to the peak terminus was right around 40 minutes. There were other stops along the way. Pick a seat on the second level of the bus. (Most city buses are double decker) There are some great views on the ride up. From here you can take the tram to see the view or take a trail to a lookout point.
- “The Mansion”: If you have seen any photos from Hong Kong on social media, you have likely seen this building. It has been used in several movies over the years and is definitely a popular photo spot in HK. It is off of the Tai Koo station. It is a little hard to find initially because there isn’t a giant sign for it and from the main street is looks like any other building. But after walking and reading the building signs a little closer, you will see two small signs that reference “mansion.” Walk through the breezeway and prepare to be amazed.
- The Ladies Market: For all of your knock-offs, HK souvenirs, and other random gadgets this is where you want to go. You will need to head to the Mong Kok district to find it and it is a short walk from the actual train station. You will find dozens of stalls filled with vendors trying to offer you their best price.
- Wooloomooloo Steakhouse: Yes, I know that’s a tongue twister. This is a steakhouse that sits 31 floors up in the Hennessy building in Wan Chai. It will give you one of the best nighttime views of HK that you can find. If you don’t want to eat, you can head straight to the rooftop bar area on the 32nd floor.
If you have an Octopus card, it will be easy to grab food in each of the different subway stations. Everything from teas, to smoothies, and even pastries. A must try while in HK is roast duck and an egg tart. Both are famous in the city. For the roast duck try to get to Kam’s Roast Goose. There is normally a line, so be prepared to take it out.
As for egg tarts, you can literally find them at almost any bakery around the city. They are very cheap too. So be sure to pick one up as you head out to one of your stops.
Other than possibly seeing Disney World, spending a short time in HK is all you will need. Make use of these tips and you will definitely see all the important things in your short trip.