24 Hours in Hong Kong
by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | August 23rd, 2016
Hong Kong may be small, but it surely packs a punch. This urban jungle is surrounded by majestic mountains and lush gardens, and is filled with interesting museums, top-notch dining, and one of the most fascinating cultures in the world. Often used as a gateway to many Southeast Asian cities and countries, Hong Kong is a lot more than an airport layover. If you happen to find yourself in this captivating country, even if it's just for 24 hours, get out and explore. You won't be disappointed.
Victoria Peak Tram
If you only have time to do one thing in Hong Kong, you must take the tram to Victoria Peak. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Victoria Harbour, and the stunning Hong Kong city skyline below, at the top of this grand mountain. Peak Tram tickets cost $45 HKD / $6 USD but I recommend upgrading to the Peak Tram Sky Pass for $90 HKD / $12 USD. Both include a round-trip tram ride but the Sky Pass allows access to The Sky Terrace 428, the highest 360 degree viewing platform in Hong Kong. The views are spectacular from the terrace! The Peak Tram runs every day from 7am until midnight. The Sky Terrace is open Monday - Friday from 10am until 11pm and Friday and Saturday from 8am until 11pm.
Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
Locals and tourists looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong's busy city life head to the Zoological and Botanical Gardens for some quiet relaxation. Filled with numerous plants, birds, and mammals, the gardens offer a serene environment for all to enjoy. If you're coming from Victoria Peak, the gardens are an easy 10 minute walk from the lower tram station. The gardens are free to visit and are open daily from 5am until 10pm.
Star Ferry is the leading ferry service connecting Hong Kong Island and the mainland. For those looking to see Victoria Harbour or the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, a ferry ride on Star Ferry is a must-do. A 10 minute ferry crossing costs $27 HKD / $3 USD each way. If you want to spend more time on the ferry and get a great look at Victoria Harbour, opt for the one hour circular tour for $100 HKD/ $13 USD. The same Victoria Harbour tour is offered at nighttime for $180 HKD / $23 USD and also during 'A Symphony of Lights' show for $205 HKD / $26 USD.
Afternoon Tea at the Intercontinental Hong Kong
Take a break from sightseeing and enjoy high tea at the utterly impressive Lobby Lounge inside the Intercontinental Hong Kong. Floor to ceiling windows provide incredible views of Victoria Harbour and this pristine hotel offers unbeatable ambiance. Nosh on smoked salmon mini-sandwiches and an assortment of delectable pastries while sipping green tea straight from Mt. Fuji. High tea costs $550 HKD / $70 USD per person.
Hong Kong Museum of History
Hong Kong has a handful of interesting museums but one in particular really stands out - the Hong Kong Museum of History. The museum was created in 1975 to preserve the history and culture of Hong Kong. It houses over 400 million years of history and displays one incredible exhibit after the next. The most famous exhibit being 'The Hong Kong Story', which is free to visit. The rest of the museum costs $20 HKD / $3 USD to visit. Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday from 10am until 6pm and Saturday & Sunday from 10am until 7pm. The museum is closed on Tuesdays (except for public holidays & the first two days of the Chinese New Year).
Dinner at Bo Innovation
Hong Kong is known for a few things, and good food is certainly one of them. If you're looking for a restaurant worthy of your Hong Kong Dollars, look no further than Bo Innovation. This 3-star Michelin rated restaurant makes 'X-treme Chinese Cuisine' that will instantly hook your taste buds. The restaurant is small and hardly looks like a fine dining establishment, but don't be fooled, Bo Innovation prepares top-notch quality dishes at semi-affordable prices. Their 13-course tasting dinner will run you $1680 HKD / $215 USD. The restaurant also offers a lighter lunch menu for $430 HKD / $55 USD.
Victoria Harbour Light Show
The most memorable experience in all of Hong Kong is hands down the 'A Symphony of Lights' show. Every night at 8pm, Victoria Harbour comes to life with colorful lights illuminating 46 skyscrapers along the Hong Kong skyline. Climb aboard a Chinese Junk boat, grab an outdoor table at a nearby restaurant, or stroll along the harbourside, and be sure not to miss this one-of-a-kind spectacle.
What better way to end your day in Hong Kong than at one the city's foot massage spas. Hong Kong is a heavy walking city, and your feet will surely enjoy the much needed TLC. The highly rated Tai Pan Reflexologist is located near Victoria Harbour and is open until 2am every day. A 50-minute foot massage costs $322 HKD / $40 USD and is worth every penny after a long day walking around this amazing city.