When it comes to exploring Hong Kong, determining how many days you need to do the city justice is, of course, something that’s personal to everyone. Depending on who you ask, you’ll get answers such as 24 hours, through to 10 days, or even longer!
And that’s not much use to anyone…
So, before you decide exactly how long you need to explore, it’s necessary to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it your first visit, or have you been before?
- Do you consider shopping to be a necessary part of your exploration?
- Are you travelling alone (or as adults), or as a family with kids?
- Will your stay include a day or two of some of the amazing hiking the destination has to offer?
Of course, you’ll probably think of other questions that are specific to your travel plans. The more you can determine before you choose the length of your trip, the better placed you’ll be to make an informed decision.
What Do Most People Do?
It seems that most folks tend to schedule a stay of around 4-5 days to explore. This would give you the time to enjoy the highlights (which we’ll cover in a moment), do some shopping, eat some wonderful food, and generally get a feel of the place.
It also gives you enough of an overview to decide if you want to come back to explore further. One of the best resources when planning your trip to Hong Kong is the official Hong Kong Tourism website.
What Are The “Not to Be Missed” Sights?
Just wandering around and enjoying the frenetic hustle and bustle of this incredibly crowded city is one of the unmissable experiences. This is one place that has to be seen to be believed…
But you should be sure to check out the following, whatever the length of your stay.
Golden Bauhina Square
Named after the giant statue that stands in the centre, Golden Bauhina Square is the location for the daily flag raising ceremony (at 08:00). The statue is an important symbol for the people of Hong Kong, ever since the handover to China in 1997. The statue is fondly nicknamed the “Golden Pak Choi” by some who live there…
The Clock Tower
The world famous Victoria Harbour is a great sight, both during the day and at nigh when the skyline is lit with colours of every hue.
One of the best ways to get a true aspect is to jump on one of the Star Ferries that run across the water throughout the day. And be sure to watch the impressive light show – known as The Symphony of Lights – that takes place every evening at 20:00.
Whether you’re travelling with kids or not, Ocean Park makes for a great day out. Not only does it boast amazing encounters with some of the world’s cutest, cleverest, and awesome animals, but it’s got a pretty great theme park as well.
The park is open daily from 10:00 to 19:00. For the smoothest visit, purchase tickets prior to the day on the official Ocean Park website.
Of course, we can’t mention Hong Kong without talking about Disneyland. This worldwide phenomenon needs no introduction. And if you’re travelling with kids, there’s no way you’re going to be able to get away without a visit…
Hong Kong is one of the world’s premier shopping locations. And if you enjoy a bit of retail therapy, then you’re going to be one happy traveller. Harbour City is one uber-trendy location with its enormous shopping mall, and Canton Road boasts many high street flagship stores. There are also some great markets, including Temple Street and Ladies Market.
Hike the Dragon’s Back
For some of the most amazing views of the city, the hiking trail known as the Dragon’s Back is certainly worth the effort.
Part of the much longer Hong Kong Trail, this hike will take you 284 metres above the city, rewarding you with a stunning lookout over the South China Sea and the city. And if you can’t give up a whole day to hike up in these wonderful hills, you can simply take the couple of hours it takes to leave the hustle of the city, climb to the view point, and then return back to civilisation after taking those “must have” photos.
Known simply as “The Peak,” Victoria Peak is the highest vantage point in Hong Kong. At 552 metres above sea level, this is one of the top tourist attractions for it’s amazing views over towering skyscrapers below.
It’s also one of the most exclusive residential addresses popular with many expats. Don’t worry, you don’t have to climb to the summit. There’s a handy tram that will transport you in style.
Man Mo Temple
Dedicated to the gods of literature and, bizarrely, the gods of war, Man Mo Temple is one of Hong Kong’s oldest temples. Found halfway up Victoria Peak, the temple was built by Taoists in 1847. It’s very fragrant here, as worshippers burn lots of incense – so it’s a great place to get away from the pollution of the city on a day when it’s bad.
Hong Kong is so many things to so many people. If you fancy a side trip to Macau, be sure to add at least another 2 days onto your trip. And if you’re going to spend a day in Ocean Park and a day in Disneyland, then you might want to stay longer than the above advised 4 days.
However long (or short) you stay, it probably won’t be enough. Hong Kong enthralls its millions of visitors – that’s what makes it so popular. A return visit is almost guaranteed…