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Hong Kong Travel Guide: An Excellent Guide to the World

Towering skyscrapers

This Hong Kong Travel Guide helps you make the most of your four days in the city. It features a well-crafted travel itinerary and a detailed budget for the trip.

Disclaimer: Some information in this Hong Kong Guide changes too often. If you continue reading this article, you agree to cross-check information with concerned authorities. Please read the site’s full Terms.

Advisory: Please refer to Chinese Embassy regarding the city’s latest travel advisories before planning your trip.

Introduction

I have a flight scheduled for December 2021 to Hong Kong. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the region’s stringent travel restrictions, I had to postpone my trip following a string of flight cancellations.

After more than two years of anticipation, the moment has finally come. I arrived at the Asia’s ‘Vertical City’ early in the morning. Afterwards, went to the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade to take in the view of Hong Kong skyline.

Gazing at the overwhelming number of Hong Kong’s tall buildings, I was filled with surprise. The East Asian city has more skyscrapers than any other city in the world, with more than 500 high-rise buildings.

Beyond its breathtaking vistas, Hong Kong has an abundance of sights to behold. The city’s dependable public transportation system of the metro makes it simple to access both popular spots and lesser-known routes. Still, there’s no better way to get a sense of the vibrant city than taking a ride on the famous ‘Ding Ding- tram.

Hong Kong Travel Guide Contents

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Quick Fact About Hong Kong

Hong Kong, together with Macau, is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. Hence, the region has the highest degree of self-governance, however, with finite intervention from Chinese Central Government.

Visa in Hong Kong

Holders of Philippine passports traveling to Hong Kong for tourism are entitled to up to 14 days of visa exemption. This ruling also applies to Filipino travelers whose intent is business or in transit.

But before departure, passengers must undergo stringent immigration procedures. Read the article, ‘How to Avoid Getting Offloaded at the Philippine Immigration?’

Hong Kong Travel Guide Reminder: Overstaying, or staying beyond the permissible period of stay, is an immigration offense in Hong Kong. Upon conviction, the offender is charged with a maximum penalty of HKD 50,000 and two years of imprisonment.

Standard Time in Hong Kong

The Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC, in Hong Kong is UTC +08:00.

Hence, Hong Kong is four hours ahead of Dubai, six hours ahead of Paris, and seven hours ahead of London. Moreover, Hong Kong is twelve hours ahead of New York. Conversely, Hong Kong is an hour behind Tokyo and three hours behind Sydney. The city shares the same time with Manila.

Climate in Hong Kong

The climate in Hong Kong is subtropical, a climatic condition typical of southern China. It is hot, humid, and wet in the summer, while the winter is relatively cold.

Best Time to Visit Hong Kong

Most tourist sites and main attractions are out-of-doors, so avoid, as much as possible, the rainy, typhoon-prone, and scorching summer season. Instead, explore Hong Kong during spring and autumn, when the weather is not so hot or cold.

March to May

The months from March until May are an ideal time to visit Hong Kong for its comfortable weather. However, visitors may still expect a slight chance of rain showers and cold mists during Hong Kong’s spring season.

June to August

Experience the sweltering heat of summer with frequent rainfalls, beginning in June until the wettest month of August. Visitors who cannot endure the steamy atmosphere or the sudden downpours may visit enclosed museums and shopping malls instead.

September to November

The months from September to November mark the autumn season in Hong Kong. It is perfect to explore the city in pleasant weather, which is ideal for several outdoor recreations. However, moderate winds and sporadic rains may still occur during these times.

December to February

Feel the cold winter spells in Hong Kong from December until February. The wintry season is the busiest, especially during the Lunar New Year, and the most expensive time to visit.

Hong Kong doesn’t snow. However, visitors may expect colder and drier weather in January.

Language in Hong Kong

Just around 90% of Hong Kong’s population speaks Cantonese, the official language in the metro. Also, many of the residents speak and understand English. Thus, getting around Hong Kong is plain sailing, as most public signs have English translations too.

Here are some essential Cantonese words and phrases to learn before your trip to Hong Kong.

  • Nei hou – Hello
  • M ho u ji si – Excuse me
  • Hou hoi sam sik dou nei – Nice to meet you
  • Nei sik m sik gong – Do you speak English?
  • Qi sor hai bin dou – Where is the rest room?
  • Zui kan ge dei tit zham hai bi dou ah – Where is the nearest MTR Station?
  • Do ze saai. – Thank you very much.
  • Ni gei do cin – How much is this?
  • Ho gwaiah – So expensive

Currency in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong dollar, abbreviated as HKD, is the official currency in Hong Kong SAR. As of December 2, 2023, the exchange rate is HKD 1, PHP 7.09, or USD 0.13.

Hong Kong Travel Guide Tip: Convert your currency to the Hong Kong Dollar in the city center. Money changers in downtown Hong Kong, especially in the Chunking Mansion, offer more competitive rates than in airports.

Otherwise, convert just enough cash at the destination’s airport to cover the fare to the city center.

Modes of Payment in Hong Kong

Besides cash, debit and credit cards and stored-value smartcards are also accepted as payment options in the city.

Cash

Hard cash is a widely used payment method in Hong Kong. Almost all establishments in the city, such as shops, restaurants, and attractions, accept banknotes and coins.

If you run short of hard cash, automated teller machines, or ATMs, are widespread across the city. Hence, inform your home bank in advance regarding ATM card use abroad.

Debit and Credit Cards

Credit and debit cards are also honored in most upscale facilities in Hong Kong.

Stored Value Cards

The Octopus card is a cash substitute for fares on most transportation forms in Hong Kong, like MTR, ferries, trams, and buses. It is also a convenient payment tool for retail and dining transactions.

This reloadable prepaid card is sold in the airport, ferry terminals, and MTR stations and rechargeable in selected convenience stores. The on-loan Octopus Card requires a security deposit of HKD 50, PHP 354.27, or USD 6.40 and HKD 11, PHP 77.94, or USD 1.41 if the physical card is returned within three months.

However, the amount deposited is refundable upon card surrender.

Keep it as a souvenir! Book a customized Hong Kong Tourist Octopus Card online and enjoy uninterrupted transfers across Hong Kong.

Ways of Getting to Hong kong

Hong Kong is comprised of three main sub-regions: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories. In addition to its geographical sub-regions, Hong Kong has over 200 remote islands, which includes the region’s largest, Lantau.

The region shares a border with Shenzhen to the north. On the other hand, the South China Sea surrounds the coastlines of the region to the west, south, and east.

By Air

Hong Kong International Airport in Lantau is the main gateway to the Chinese region. Moreover, Hong Kong is easily accessible from its nearby cities of Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Macau.

Hong Kong Travel Guide Reminder: The length of travel between Manila and Hong Kong is 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Shenzhen to Hong Kong

A city in Guangdong Province, Shenzhen, China is positioned northward of Hong Kong’s New Territories. The distance between the two cities is around 50 kilometers, or roughly 2 hours of travel via MTR, bus, and taxi.

However, the quickest yet most expensive way to reach Hong Kong from Shenzhen is by high-speed train. Spend about 14 minutes on board from Futian, or North Rail Station toward West Kowloon Rail Station in Hong Kong.

Zhuhai to Hong Kong

The Pearl River Estuary separates Zhuhai from Hong Kong. So, to reach Hong Kong, aboard a ferry from Zhuhai-Jiuzhou Port to Hong Kong-Macau, or China-Kowloon, ferry terminals. The length of journey is an hour and ten minutes.

Alternatively, board a bus heading to Hong Kong via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge in 40 minutes.

Macau to Hong Kong

Macau is located southward of Zhuhai and west of the Pearl River Estuary, a waterway that separates Hong Kong from Macau. The Travel time between these two cities is around an hour by bus, crossing the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.

Otherwise, aboard a watercraft from Macau to Outerharbour or Taipa Ferry Terminal, leading to Hong Kong. It takes approximately an hour to reach Hong Kong-Macau, or China-Kowloon ferry terminals. 

Hong Kong Travel Guide Fact: Measuring 55 kilometers in breadth, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is the world’s longest sea crossing bridge. It is also the longest open-sea fixed link, bridging the three cities from the other sides of the Pearl River Estuary. 

Getting Around Hong Kong

Like Osaka and other portions of Japan, Hong Kong has an efficient transportation network. About 90 percent of the residents rely daily on convenient mass public transport.

From vintage trams to modern rail transits, Hong Kong provides diverse transport options, whether for leisurely or fast-paced intra-city transfers.

Hong Kong Travel Guide Reminder: Public transports are often crammed during rush hours. The most busiest time of the day in Hong Kong is between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., and 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Train

Riding the train is certainly the fastest and most convenient way to navigate a heavily trafficked metropolitan. Hence, Hong Kong has a well-structured and reliable rail network, interlinking the major portions of the region.

Airport Express

Catch the Airport Express, a rail transit service connecting Hong Kong International Airport and downtown Hong Kong in 24 minutes. Operating hours commence at 5:54 a.m. until 12:48 a.m. daily and stop at Tsing Yi, Kowloon, and Hong Kong MTR stations.

A one-way journey ticket for adults starts at HKD 70, PHP 495.97.00, or USD 8.96. On the other hand, children and Octopus card holders are subject to a fare discount.

MTR

The Mass Transit Railway, or the MTR, in Hong Kong is efficient and the quickest method to navigate the region. It consists of eleven lines, which run in various directions.

Operating hours usually start from 6:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. daily. A single-journey ticket for adult passengers from Central to Sheung Wan is HKD 5, PHP 35.43, or USD 0.64. Otherwise, use the Octopus card for a discounted fare.

Bus

City buses are alternative options in areas where trains are inoperable, like Lantau’s Tai O Fishing Village. There are thousands of buses traversing the busy roads of Hong Kong and stopping at designated drop-off points across the region.

Regular Bus

A regular bus, single and double-decker buses, are a convenient passenger vehicle equipped with comfortable seats and it is fully air-conditioned. There are hundreds of routes serving the region’s key areas: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories, and Lantau.

Operating hours are from 6:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. daily, while fare is based on the distance traveled.

Hong Kong Travel Guide Tip: How do I get on and get off the bus in Hong Kong? Enter at the front door and pay the exact amount of cash in the box. Or, hover over the Octopus card at the machine. As you approach your destination, press the stop button and exit at the back door.

Minibus

A minibus is a smaller version of a regular bus that could load up to 16 to 19 passengers. The passenger vehicle, the green and red bus, runs in specific destinations where regular buses are infrequent or there are no available routes.

Like regular buses, minibuses run between 6:00 a.m. and midnight, while the fare is distance-dependent.

Tourist Bus

Riding the sightseeing bus is a convenient and pleasurable way of getting around the metro. A tourist bus is usually an open-top double-decker bus that makes its way through Hong Kong’s cityscapes and tourist spots.

Explore the city from the comfort of your seats! Book Hong Kong Open Top Sightseeing Bus Tour or Hong Kong Big Bus Unlimited Hop-Off Hop-On Sightseeing Bus.

Ferry

Hong Kong is composed of over two hundred islands. Thus, sailing is well-suited between islands for transit. Ferries are also designed for recreational purposes, using traditional Chinese boats and cruiser yachts.

Star Ferry

Introduced in the 1800s, the Star Ferry is a waterborne vessel service, sailing between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. This well-liked transportation service connects Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, and Wan Chai via Victoria Harbour.

The fare for the HK’s iconic double-decker ferry service is relatively inexpensive. However, fare is cheaper on weekends and on lower decks.

A single journey costs HKD 1.5 to HKD 3.7, PHP 10.63 to PHP 26.22, or USD 0.19 to USD 0.47. The operating hours are between 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. daily. Aside from coins, the Octopus Card is also accepted as a payment option.

Indulge in HK’s romantic cruising experience! Book the Aqua Luna Victoria Harbour Cruise, Victoria Harbour Evening Cruise, or a Luxury Yacht Cruise instead.

Other Ferries

Lamma Island is the third-largest island in Hong Kong. The island, positioned southwestward of Hong Kong Island, is known for its beaches and fishing villages.

From Hong Kong Island to Lamma Island, the journey will take roughly 30 minutes via ferry. Ferry services operate between 5:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. daily. On the other hand, the one-way ticket for adults starts at HKD 12, PHP 85.02, or USD 1.54.

Tram

A tram shares some resemblance to a bus. But a tram is an electric-powered vehicle that runs on a rail track.

Trams are essential mass public transport on Hong Kong Island, linking passengers to both sides of the island. It also carries tourists to the region’s best vantage point.

'Ding Ding' Tram

Launched in the 1900s, the ‘Ding Ding’ tram is Hong Kong’s iconic symbol and among the oldest public transportation systems in the region. The varicolored double-decker buses run parallel between Kennedy Town and Shau Kei Wan on Hong Kong Island.

This slow-paced yet economical transportation mode travels regularly between 5:45 a.m. and midnight. On the other hand, a fixed fare is collected regardless of the distance traveled.

A one-way ticket for adults is HKD 3, PHP 21.26, or USD 0.38, while children and seniors are charged half of the regular fare. Cash, Octopus cards, and electronic payments are accepted.

Peak Tram

Opened in 1888, the Peak Tram is the first public transportation method in Hong Kong, conveying passengers to the higher levels of Hong Kong Island. It goes through six stations up to the Victoria Peak, a position affording panoramic city views.

The Peak Tram’s operating hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. A single journey for adults costs HKD 62, PHP 439.29.00, or USD 7.94. A two-way ticket is HKD 88, PHP 623.51, or USD 11.26. Discounted fare are also offered to children aged 3 to 11 and seniors aged 65 and above.

Taxi

Metered taxis in Hong Kong are convenient yet pricier transport option. There are thousands of taxis traveling across the region, and routes are recognized based on vehicles colors.

A red-colored taxi runs throughout Hong Kong Island and Kowloon; a green taxi traverses in the New Territories; and a blue taxi travels in Lantau. The base fare for a metered taxi in Hong Kong is HKD 27, PHP 191.30, or USD 3.46. Moreover, an additional HKD 1.90, PHP 13.46, or USD 0.24 is charged for the succeeding 200 meters.

Cable Car

The Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car is an aerial lift that conveys passengers between Tung Chung and Ngong Ping Highlands in Lantau. This 5.7-kilometer ropeway is one of the world’s longest that leads toward Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery.

Areas to Stay in Hong Kong

Hong Kong SAR is among the world’s most expensive destinations. Fret not; the region hosts inexpensive guesthouses and hotels in addition to its luxurious hotels peppered across the city center.

Yau Tsim Mong District

Located on the Kowloon Peninsula, Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Mong Kok, or Yau Tsim Mong, are well-liked neighborhoods in Hong Kong. The vibrant area is a shopper’s paradise, known for arrays of roadside shops, night markets, and upmarket shopping malls.

The bustling area is also well connected to the rest of the region through the Mass Transit Railway (Tsuen Wan Line). In addition to its first-class accommodations, the district of Yau Tsim Mong hosts low-cost lodgings in Tsim Sha Tsui. Stay in Mirador or Chunking mansions if you are on a budget and want to get closer to Hong Kong’s admired waterfront promenade.

Central and Western District

A neighborhood positioned on the north coast of Hong Kong Island, the Central and Western District is the center of commerce in Hong Kong. The district is densely-packed with tall buildings, upscale shopping malls, and luxury hotel brands, like Four Seasons Hotel.

Beyond doubt, the Central and Western Districts are brimming with luxurious and high-priced accommodations. However, mid-range service hotels such as Mini Central are also found in this bustling neighborhood. Victoria Peak, a well-known spot in Hong Kong, is only a tram ride away from the lower levels of the Central and Western Districts.

Islands District

The Island District is comprised of Lantau Island and several other islands and islets in the south and southwest of Hong Kong. It is a perfect place to escape the bustle of the inner city, as it offers arrays of beachfront resorts.

Lantau is home to Hong Kong Disneyland. Aside from its world-class attractions, HK Disneyland also hosts Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and some other Disney-themed accommodations. 

There are also high-end hotels surrounding the Hong Kong International Airport, including the Regal Airport Hotel and Regala Skycity Hotel. If you don’t want to miss your flight, spend your night in Hong Kong’s gateway, Lantau.

Internet in Hong Kong

Expect fast and reliable internet access in Hong Kong. There are free public WI-FI and internet hotspots throughout major areas of the region. Open Wi-Fi is in MTR stations and terminals, tourist attractions, shopping malls, restaurants, etc.

Power Adaptor in Hong Kong

Hong Kong operates on a 220 V supply voltage with a frequency of 50 Hz and has two types of power adaptors:

  • D or has three round pins in a triangular pattern
  • G or has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern

Hong Kong Travel Guide Itinerary

Hong Kong Travel Guide Sights and Attractions
Highlights: Tai O Fishing Village, Tian Tan Buddha, Hong Kong Island, and 'Ding Ding' tram

Day 1 - Kowloon

05:50 am – 08:10 am Flight to Hong Kong

08:10 am – 09:30 am Arrival at Hong Kong International Airport, clear the immigration and customs checkpoint, and redeem at counter 13 the Hong Kong Octopus Tourist Card.

Hong Kong Travel Guide Reminder: It takes roughly 700 meters to walk from point A to point B.

09:30 am – 11:00 am Head to Tsim Sha Tsui

  • From Hong Kong International Airport Arrival Hall
  • Walk to Airport Ground Transportation Center Bus Terminus – A21
  • Take the Cityflyer toward Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Alight at Middle Road Bus Stop
  • Walk toward accommodation

Alternatively, reserve your seat and aboard the Hong Kong Airport Express for a faster transfer between the airport and downtown Hong Kong.

11:00 am – 01:00 pm early hotel check in and have lunch

Hong Kong Travel Guide Tip: Hong Kong is among world’s most expensive destinations. And to score inexpensive rates in the city, consider staying in a hostel – an alternative to pricier hotels. Book a hostel in Hong Kong!

01:00 pm – 01:10 pm Walk toward Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
01:10 pm – 03:15 pm Stroll along Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

With a length of over a kilometer, Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade is Hong Kong’s most frequented waterfront esplanade. It provides a sweeping view of Hong Kong Island’s impressive skyline and Victoria Harbour. On the west side of Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, museums are settled closely.

In 2004, the ‘Avenue of Stars,’ a Hollywood-inspired ‘Walk of Fame,’ was opened to the public. This elevated walkway, measuring 440 meters in breadth, was constructed to revere personalities in the Hong Kong entertainment industry. Among them is a bronze sculpture of Hong Kong’s illustrious movie actor, Bruce Lee.

The Avenue of Stars is open daily and free to visit.

03:15 pm – 03:45 pm Head to Choi Hung Estate

  • From Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
  • Walk toward Tsim Sha Tsui Station
  • Take the MTR – Tsuen Wan Line to Tsuen Wan Station
  • Alight at Prince Edward Station
  • Transfer
  • Take the MTR – Kwun Tong Line toward Tiu Keng Leng Station
  • Alight at Choi Hung Station Exit C3 or C4
  • Walk toward Choi Hung Estate

03:45 pm – 05:15 pm Explore Choi Hung Estate

Choi Hung Estate

Completed in the 1960s, the Choi Hung Estate, or ‘rainbow’ in Cantonese, is a public housing project that consists of 11 residential blocks. It is among Hong Kong’s photoworthy spots for its visually appealing exteriors.

The residential buildings were painted with stripes of rainbow colors, which added to their distinctive looks. In addition to the colorful apartment buildings, there are basketball courts that are aesthetically pleasing.

05:15 pm – 05:45 pm Head to Ladies’ Market

  • From Choi Hung Estate
  • Walk toward Choi Hung Station – Exit C3 or C4
  • Take the MTR – Kwun Tong Line to Whampoa Station
  • Alight at Mong Kok Station – Exit D3
  • Walk toward Ladies’ Market

05:45 pm – 08:00 pm Have dinner and shop at Ladies’ Market

Ladies' Market

Located on the southward portion of Tung Choi Street in Mong Kok, Ladies’ Market is among Hong Kong’s shopper’s destinations. It is an open-air marketplace with a broad range of stalls that sells fashion goods, housewares, etc. at a bargain price.

Stalls at the Ladies’ Market usually open at 11 a.m. until midnight.

A must-eat in Hong Kong: An egg waffle, or egg puff, is Hong Kong’s favorite snack. The buttery and egg-rich street food is cooked on a special fry pan. When cooked, the bubble wrap-like waffle has a crispy and fluffy texture and is best served with fruits and dessert sauces.

08:00 pm – 08:10 pm Head to Temple Street Night Market

  • From Ladies’ Market
  • Walk toward Mong Kok Station
  • Take the MTR – Tsuen Wan Line to Central Station
  • Alight at Jordan Station – Exit A
  • Walk toward Temple Street Night Market

08:10 pm – 10:00 pm Shop at Temple Street Night Market

Temple Street Night Market

A short walk from Jordan MTR Station is a vibrant public market, teeming with booths that sell assortments of merchandise at a cheap price. Aside from goods, numerous eateries serving local cuisines are also along the one-kilometer street market.

The Temple Street Night Market normally opens at 6:00 p.m. until midnight.

10:00 pm – 10:15 pm Head to Tsim Sha Tsui

  • From Temple Street Night Market
  • Walk toward Jordan Station
  • Take the MTR – Tsuen Wan Line to Central Station
  • Alight at Tsim Sha Tsui Station
  • Walk toward accommodation

10:15 pm – 11:00 pm Prepare for sleep
11:00 pm Sleep

Day 2 - Lantau

Hong Kong Travel Guide Reminder: It takes approximately 700 meters to walk from point A to point B.

05:00 am – 07:00 am Wake up, prepare for the tour, and have breakfast
07:00 am – 08:00 am Head to Tung Chung

  • From accommodation
  • Walk toward Tsim Sha Tsui Station
  • Take the MTR – Tsuen Wan Line to Tsuen Wan Station
  • Alight at Lai King Station
  • Transfer
  • Take the MTR – Tung Chung Line toward Tung Chung Station
  • Alight at Tung Chung Station
  • Walk to Tung Chung Station Bus Terminus – Exit B

08:00 am – 09:00 am Head to Tai O Fishing Village

  • From Tung Chung Station Bus Terminus
  • Take the New Lantau Bus #11
  • Alight at Tai O Bus Terminus
  • Walk toward Tai O Fishing Village

09:00 am – 12:30 pm Explore Tai O Fishing Village and have lunch

Tai O Fishing Village

Dubbed the ‘Venice of Hong Kong,’ Tai O, or ‘large inlet,’ is a sleepy fishing community positioned southwest of Lantau. Alongside the surrounding waterways are quiant stilt houses built by the early boatmen settlers. 

Experience the idyllic countryside setting in Hong Kong when you explore Tai O Fishing Village. Besides picturesque arrangements of stilt houses erected over the watersides, the fishermen village has numerous shops that sell fishery products.

12:30 pm – 01:30 pm Head to Tung Chung

  • From Tai O Fishing Village
  • Walk toward Tai O Bus Terminus
  • Take the New Lantau Bus #11
  • Alight at Tung Chung Station Bus Terminus

01:30 pm – 02:15 pm Head to Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal

  • From Tung Chung Station Bus Terminus
  • Walk toward Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal
  • Take the Ngong Ping 360 cable car
  • Alight at the Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal

Ngong Ping is among Hong Kong’s most popular tourist attractions. Hence, expect a long queue when obtaining the Ngong Ping 360 ticket. However, you can skip the long lines if you book online. Reserve your ticket for the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car to board one of the longest cable car connection.

02:15 pm – 05:30 pm Explore Ngong Ping

Ngong Ping

Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery are two of the main tourist attractions in the Ngong Ping Highlands. The Tian Tan Buddha, or the ‘Big Buddha’ perched atop a heavily forested upland is among the largest seated bronze Buddha statues.

It has a towering height of 34 meters and measures 250 metric tons. Endure the 268 steps as you climb toward the pedestal. Or, use the ramp to reach the sizeable Buddha statue.

A stone’s throw away from the entrance of Tian Tan Buddha is a religious house constructed in the 1900s, the Po Lin Monastery. The Buddhist monastery shelters three Buddha statues and highlights many Buddhist sacred literatures.

Hong Kong Travel Guide Reminder: Please observe courtesy while inside the Buddhist monastery.

Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery are open to visitors daily, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Moreover, both tourist attractions have no admission fees. While a broad array of shops, restaurants, and paid attractions welcome visitors as you approach Ngong Ping’s main attractions.

Planning for a quick getaway to Lantau? Book Ngong Ping 360 Tai O Pass for a hassle-free escape from downtown Hong Kong’s hustle and bustle scenes.

05:30 pm – 06:00 pm Head to Tung Chung

  • From Po Lin Monastery
  • Walk to Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal
  • Take the Ngong Ping 360 cable car
  • Alight at the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal

06:00 pm – 07:00 pm Head to Tsim Sha Tsui

  • From Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal
  • Walk toward Tung Chung Station – Exit A
  • Take the MTR – Tung Chung Line to Hong Kong Station
  • Alight at Lai King Station
  • Transfer
  • Take the MTR – Tsuen Wan Line to Central Station
  • Alight at Tsim Sha Tsui Station

07:00 pm – 08:00 pm Have dinner and head to Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
08:00 pm – 08:10 pm Witness Hong Kong’s Symphony of Lights

Symphony of Lights

Hong Kong’s ‘Symphony of Light’ holds the record as the largest permanent light and sound spectacle. Decorative lighting, symphonies, and even fireworks displays accompanied the ten-minute show.

However, the lights and sounds exhibition is suspended during inclement weather or other emergency situations. Find the best viewing spot as the ‘Symphony of Lights’ starts at 8:00 in the evening. Moreover, the nightly show is free.

08:10 pm – 08:30 pm Walk to accommodation
08:30 pm – 09:30 pm Prepare for sleep
09:30 pm Sleep

Day 3 - Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Travel Guide Reminder: It takes roughly 600 meters to walk from point A to point B.

07:20 am – 09:30 am Wake up, prepare for the tour, and have breakfast
09:30 am – 10:00 am Head to Ocean Park Hong Kong

  • From accommodation
  • Walk toward Tsim Sha Tsui Station
  • Take the MTR – Tsuen Wan Line to Central Station
  • Alight at Admiralty Station
  • Transfer
  • Take the MTR – South Island Line to South Horizons Station
  • Alight at Ocean Park Station
  • Walk toward Ocean Park Hong Kong

10:00 am – 07:00 pm Explore Hong Kong Ocean Park and have lunch

Ocean Park Hong Kong

Launched in 1977, Ocean Park Hong Kong is a popular amusement park set on 91.5 hectares of land on Hong Kong Island. It is the largest theme park in Hong Kong in terms of land area, and hosts a variety of park rides and animal exhibitions.

The amusement park is separated into two areas, the Waterfront and the Summit, and is connected via cable car and funicular railway. Ocean Park Hong Kong offers more than 40 attractions, including the world’s largest dome aquarium, the Grand Aquarium.

Gates are open daily except on Tuesdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Unleash your inner kid! Reserve Ocean Park Hong Kong Tickets and enjoy a world-class theme-park attractions. Plus, bundle it with Ocean Park Water World Tickets and relish  the aquapark’s over 25 aquatic facilities.

Otherwise, visit Hong Kong Disneyland and meet your favorite Disney characters. Book your Hong Kong Disneyland Park Tickets and create a magical experience!

07:00 pm – 07:30 pm Head to Tsim Sha Tsui

  • From Ocean Park Hong Kong
  • Walk toward Ocean Park Station
  • Take the MTR – South Island Line to Admiralty Station
  • Alight at Admiralty Station
  • Transfer
  • Take the MTR – Tsuen Wan Line to Tsuen Wan Station
  • Alight at Tsim Sha Tsui Station
  • Walk toward accommodation

07:30 pm – 09:00 pm Stroll along Nathan Road and have dinner
09:00 pm – 10:00 pm Prepare for sleep
10:00 pm Sleep

Day 4 - Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Travel Guide Reminder: It takes approximately 950 meters to walk from point A to point B.

07:30 am – 09:30 am Wake up, prepare for the tour, and have breakfast
09:30 am – 10:15 am Head to Monster Building

  • From accommodation
  • Walk toward Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier
  • Take the Star Ferry to Central Ferry Pier No. 7
  • Alight at Central Ferry Pier No. 7
  • Walk toward Central Station
  • Take the MTR – Island Line toward Chai Wan Station
  • Alight at Quarry Bay Station – Exit A
  • Walk toward Monster Building

10:15 am – 12:30 pm Explore Monster Building, and have lunch

Monster Building

Erected in the 1960s, the Monster Building is a public residential building that consists of five interconnecting high-rise edifices. Due to its perfectly symmetrical features, the Monster Building became a popular subject and a photo backdrop among photo enthusiasts.

While the vicinity is free to enter, visitors must display polite behavior within the premises.

12:30 pm – 01:30 pm Head to Man Mo Temple

  • From Monster Building
  • Walk toward Finney Street Tram Stop
  • Take the ‘Ding Ding’ tram
  • Alight at Man Wah Lane Tram Stop
  • Walk toward Man Mo Temple

01:30 pm – 02:00 pm Visit Man Mo Temple

Man Mo Temple

Among the Man Mo temples around Hong Kong, the Buddhist temple in Sheung Wan is the largest and most well-liked. Constructed in the 1840s, ‘Man,’ or civil, and ‘Mo,’ or martial, is a place of worship devoted to emperors Man and Kwan.

The Buddhist temple, positioned on Hollywood Road, is a complex of three interlinked blocks. It is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.

02:00 pm – 02:15 pm Head to Tai Kwun

  • From Man Mo Temple
  • Walk toward Tai Kwun via Hollywood Road

02:15 pm – 03:30 pm Explore Tai Kwun

Tai Kwun

Constructed between the 1840s and 1920s, Tai Kwun is Hong Kong’s former Central Police Station Compound. It houses some historical-important structures that includes a police headquarters, a magistrate house, and a jail.

The entire complex has undergone a series of reconstructions and expansions. From a central police station, Tai Kwun reopened in 2018 as the Center for Heritage and Art.

Tai Kwun admits visitors from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. daily. While admission is free, some galleries require an entry fee.

Hong Kong Travel Guide Fact: Hong Kong boasts the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator system, the Central-Mid-Levels Escalator. The 800-meter sheltered moving pathway links Hong Kong Island’s Central and the opulent residential area of Mid-Levels.

03:30 pm – 04:15 pm Head to Victoria Peak

  • From Tai Kwun
  • Walk toward The Peak Tram Lower Terminus via Wyndham Street and Lower Albert Road
  • Take the Peak Tram toward Victoria Peak
  • Alight at Victoria Peak

04:15 pm – 07:15 pm Explore Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak, or the Peak, is a well-known spot in Hong Kong that offers commanding views of the densely packed cityscape. With an altitude of 552 meters, Victoria Peak is the best vantage point to observe the wide-sweeping outlook of Central, Victoria Harbour, and the neighboring islands.

Atop Hong Kong’s tallest hill are two shopping outlets: Peak Tower and Peak Galleria. These shopping centers house shops, restaurants, and museums; Madame Tussauds Hong Kong and the Art of Chocolate Museum.

Book Peak Tram + Sky Terrace 428 Tickets to reach Victoria Peak in the most pleasurable way. What’s more? Get access at the highest viewing platform and watch HK’s impressive skyline.

The Peak Tram’s operating hours are from 8:00 a.m. until midnight, from Monday until Sunday.

07:15 pm – 07:40 pm Head to Central Station

  • From Victoria Peak
  • Take the Peak Tram toward The Peak Tram Lower Terminus
  • Alight at the Peak Tram Lower Terminus
  • Walk toward Saint John’s Cathedral, Garden Road
  • Take Bus No.12A to Admiralty Tamar Street
  • Alight at Pedder Street
  • Walk toward Central Station

07:40 pm – 08:00 pm Head toward Tsim Sha Tsui

  • From Central Station – Exit E
  • Take the MTR – Tsuen Wan Line to Tsuen Wan Station
  • Alight at Tsim Sha Tsui Station

08:00 pm – 09:15 pm Have dinner and head to accommodation
09:15 pm – 10:00 pm Prepare for sleep
10:00 pm Sleep

There’s more! Want to score big discounts from Hong Kong’s myriad of attractions? Reserve your Hong Kong Pass!

Day 5 - Macau

04:00 am – 06:00 am Wake up, prepare for the tour, and have breakfast
06:00 am – 06:30 am Head to Hong Kong – Macau Ferry Terminal

  • From accommodation
  • Walk toward Tsim Sha Tsui Station
  • Take the MTR – Tsuen Wan Line to Central Station
  • Alight at Central Station
  • Transfer
  • Take the MTR – Island Line to Kennedy Town Station
  • Alight at Sheung Wan Station – Exit B
  • Walk to Hong Kong – Macau Ferry Terminal

Here I come, Macau! For a smooth journey to Asia’s Vegas, reserve your Hong Kong – Macau Ferry Tickets!

06:30 am – 07:30 pm Prepare for departure to Macau
07:30 am – 08:30 am Head to Macau

Budget for Hong Kong Trip

In 2023, I spent P 17,655.33 for four days in Hong Kong. However, costs may still vary depending on travel lifestyle. For thrift tips, consider several ways to save money for travel.

Pre-Departure

  • A one-way flight ticket, Manila to Hong Kong, PHP 2.940.00
  • Five days and four nights accommodation in Hong Kong, PHP 10,862.30/2, or PHP 5,431.15
  • Hong Kong Octopus Card, PHP 494.70
  • Hong Kong Pass (Ngong Ping 360, The Peak Tram and Sky Terrace 428, Ocean Park Hong Kong), PHP 4,725.00

1st Day

  • Lunch, PHP 375.25
  • Tsim Sha Tsui Station to Choi Hung Station via MTR, PHP 63.90
  • Choi Hung Station to Mong Kok Station via MTR, PHP 63.90
  • Mong Kok Station to Yau Ma Tei Station via MTR, PHP 34.64
  • Dinner, PHP 194.85
  • Yau Ma Tei Station to Tsim Sha Tsui Station via MTR, PHP 34.64

2nd Day

  • Breakfast, PHP 115.91
  • Tsim Sha Tsui Station to Tung Chung Station via MTR, PHP 131.13
  • Tung Chung Station to Tai O Bus Terminus via bus, PHP 97.08
  • Lunch, PHP 202.84
  • Tai O Bus Terminus to Tung Chung Station via bus, PHP 97.08
  • Tung Chung Station to Tsim Sha Tsui Station via MTR, PHP 131.13
  • Dinner, PHP 296.14

3rd Day

  • Breakfast, PHP 254.97
  • Tsim Sha Tsui Station to Admiralty Station via MTR, PHP 74.50
  • Admiralty Station to Ocean Park Station via MTR, PHP 43.40
  • Lunch, PHP 343.58
  • Ocean Park Station to Admiralty Station via MTR, PHP 43.40
  • Admiralty Station to Tsim Sha Tsui Station via MTR, PHP 74.50
  • Dinner, PHP 260.40

4th Day

  • Breakfast, PHP 146.32
  • Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier to Central Ferry Pier No. 7 via Star Ferry, PHP 30.32
  • Central Station to Quarry Bay Station via MTR, PHP 52.25
  • Lunch, PHP 202.32
  • Finney Street Tram Stop to Man Wah Lane Tram Stop via ‘Ding Ding’ tram, PHP 21.68
  • Garden Road Bus Stop to Pedder Street Bus Stop via bus, PHP 35.00
  • Central Station to Tsim Sha Tsui Station via MTR, PHP 74.47
  • Dinner, PHP 274.21

5th Day

  • Breakfast, PHP 220.10
  • Tsim Sha Tsui Station to Sheung Wan Station via MTR, PHP 74.47

Hong Kong Travel Guide Resources

To help you with your travel plans, I’ve gathered a checklist of carefully chosen travel resources. These are the trusted online marketplaces that I highly endorse because of their excellent deals.

Passport icon

Looking for an easy-peasy solution to process your visa application and other travel docs, consult iVisa!

Insurance icon

SafetyWing covered you with their travel medical and health insurance solutions while away from home. 

Flight icon

The sky is the limit with Skyscanner if you are looking for better and cheaper flight options for your next trip.

Hotel icon

Make a reservation to one of the most extensive hotels booking services – Agoda. It offers unmatched hotel deals!

Hostel icon

Explore the world with HostelWorld! Book a hostel and share a space with newfound buddies. 

Car rental icon

Drive your way to undiscovered places! Book a car via Discover Cars and experience hassle-free road trips. 

Tour icon

Want to visit your favorite theme park or museum? For discounted attraction tickets and tours, look for Klook!

Transportation icon

For transfers from point A to point B, go for 12Go! It has extensive coverage of ground transports and ferries, too.

Hong Kong Travel Guide Question: What is the world’s largest permanent lights and sounds show? 

Please drop your answers or messages in the comment section. Thank you, and see you on the road!

traveledictorian-blogger

About the Author

J. Sac is the author of ‘Hong Kong Travel Guide: An Excellent Guide to the World.’ He is also the founder of Traveledictorian – a travel blog that publishes well-thought-out travel content. 

His passion for writing, photography, and travel fueled him to explore Asia and the rest of the world. He also plans to undertake humanitarian work in his travels. Read his inspiring story and follow him on social media!

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