Visiting Hong Kong for the first time can seem a bit daunting. It’s a big city and there are lots of different places to stay, eat and play while you’re there. But don’t be daunted, because navigating your way around and finding the best spots turns out to be pretty easy.
The flight from Brisbane to Hong Kong takes around nine hours and the time difference doesn’t take too much of a toll on you as it’s only two hours behind what you’re used to. Getting through immigration and customs is fast and easy, as is getting into the heart of Hong Kong for a $50AU cab ride.
Choosing a place to stay might seem tricky, given there are hundreds upon hundreds of hotels to choose from. Causeway Bay is a great place to base yourself as it has an old Hong Kong feel to it with bustling streets markets, an old tram system and easy access to Kowloon and Mong Kok via the Star Ferry.
Another bonus of staying in Causeway Bay is its close proximity to some of Hong Kong’s best food, including the famous egg waffles at Oddies. Delicious Italian low fat chocolate and vanilla gelato served with buter crumbs, caramelised banana ice cream, passionfruit panna cotta topped with a freshly made brownie and chocolate chip eggette.
If that doesn’t take your fancy, eat lunch at one of the most affordable Michelin Star restaurants in the world by stopping in at Din Tai Fung. This simple, low-key restaurant serves up incredible handmade dumplings stuffed with fillings like steamed shrimp and pork.
To experience great local food head to Gage Street for freshly made fish dumplings and noodles at Sun King Kee. Try a Hong Kong Crispy Bun and traditional silk stocking coffee at Lan Fong Yuen across the street.
From incredible food to incredible shopping, Hong Kong has entire streets dedicated to one particular ware. Take a visit to Mong Kok to wander through the bright and beautiful flower market selling fresh cut flowers, delicate orchids and stunning succulents. Stroll to the nearby Goldfish Market to see hundreds of bags containing all kinds of fish.
A little further on and you’ll come across sneaker street and the ladies and mens markets, stocked full of clothes, accessories and shoes for men and women. Just remember, it’s acceptable to barter and full price is for chumps.
Wander through the incredible outdoor markets which pop up in streets around Causeway Bay or visit the winding, narrow Graham Street wet markets. Stall holders sell everything from dried fruits and assorted medicines to plants and fresh meat, fruits and vegetables, the perfect place to grab some fresh fruit to snack on during the day.
Getting around Hong Kong is easy thanks to an incredible efficient and affordable public transport system. Jump on the back of a tram and go either west or east for a flat rate of $0.40AU. Catch the underground just about anywhere for between $1.00AU to $4.00AU, it’s easy to navigate and trains come by every few minutes.
What are your favourite things to do in Hong Kong? Share your own tips for first-timers in the comments below!