For our holiday this year, I told Paddy one of the places I wanted to go to most was Hong Kong. I'd never been, I have family there, and it was one place that I desperately wanted to tick off my bucket list.

We joined up our trip to HK with a trip to the Philippines (more on that in another post), and stayed in the city for about a week.

I can honestly say, Hong Kong is now one of my favourite places in the world. I really, really, didn't expect to like it anywhere near as much as I did, but it surprised me. The only thing I hated was the humidity, but I hate it anywhere anyways, so.

Hong Kong SAR is made up of Hong Kong Island and its surrounding islands, Kowloon and New Territories, with Victoria Harbour running through the middle of the island and Kowloon. Most of the tourist stuff is either on the island or Kowloon; apparently a lot of expats tend to live either on the main island, or on Lantau Island. It is a special administrative region of China, which means it has its own government and economy.

Where we stayed

We stayed at the Cosmo Hotel in Wan Chai on Hong Kong island, which turned out to be perfect. For Hong Kong, which is a pretty expensive city, we paid around £300 or so for both of us for the week, for a hotel that is pretty close to the tourist spots and is easy to get to.

Wan Chai ended up being one of my favourite parts of HK, because it's so energetic and lively. There are lights everywhere, some great food places, and it's home to the famous Happy Valley Racecourse.

How to get around

Because of where we were staying, we often walked to quite a lot of places. However, we also got the bus and the tram - they're double decker in HK!

A good way to get around the city (so I was told) is to get an Octopus card - which is basically HK's version of an Oyster card, and you can use it on all public transport. We picked ours up at the airport as there's a desk where you can go to purchase them.

Another way to explore HK is the MTR, which is definitely a shout if you need somewhere to cool off from the unending humidity. We used it to explore around Central, to get over to Kowloon, and also to visit Hong Kong Disneyland.

Things you must do in Hong Kong

Honestly, I don't think a week was anywhere near enough to fully explore the place - there is just so much to see and do.

We managed to get quite a lot done, but it was busy and enjoyable as it was!

These are my must-dos for the city:

  1. visit one of the islands: Cheung Chau, Lantau, Lamma, Peng Chau...etc - we went to Cheung Chau, but often people go to Lantau Island and see the Big Buddha; I really wished we'd had more time to go here!
  2. see the light show! It happens at 8pm every evening and is best seen from Tsim Sha Tsui promenade on Kowloon, as most of the lights are on Hong Kong Island, across Victoria Harbour
  3. take the Star Ferry across Victoria Harbour from TST to Central (or vice versa). You can grab some of the best views of either side from the boat
  4. go up to the Peak for some of the best views of Hong Kong. You can get a bus or a cab up there, or if you're adventurous enough, you can hike!
  5. sit at the top of a double decker won't get to do this in England
  6. have a drink at the highest bar in the world, the Ozone bar at the top of the ICC on Kowloon
  7. visit the night time markets in Mong Kok on Kowloon. Here you'll find some of the best bargains in the city; the fish market is a big tourist hotspot...sadly we didn't make it there!
  8. go see the murals in Central - Graham Street, Peel Street and Hollywood Road have some very instagrammable spots
  9. see as many lights as possible - the best tended to be over on Kowloon, around TST
  10. make sure you have a night at Happy Valley Racecourse and see some horse racing! It's one of the best nights out, and so much fun
  11. take a day trip out to Macau
  12. go for drinks at Wooloomooloo in Wan Chai for the most surreal/'oh my god' rooftop bar experience
  13. try a proper egg waffle
  14. explore and go on an escalator in the mid-levels
  15. take a day out to Hong Kong Disneyland (it was worth it)

I really, really, hope I can go back one day as I completely fell in love with the place! Maybe when it's a little colder though...

M x