Published: February, 2019

Hong Kong, China

We lived there for four years and still feel like we only dipped our toe into the many layers of the city.
— Daisley Kramer
  • More about your oliver guide:
  • Trip type: Adult, Family, City
  • Activity level: high
  • Ideal length of trip: 3-4 days

to & from

Airport Express from Hong Kong airport to hotel is easy and convenient, but most of the larger hotels are also able to send a car. It’s easy to take red taxi from the airport as well.

  • Taxis abound but drivers may not speak English so have the name of your destination printed out in Chinese. Uber is also an easy way to get around.

Where to Stay

Hong Kong does luxury really well. There are slightly more budget friendly options but the drop in quality from luxury to ‘mid-level’ hotels is steep.

Where to Eat and Drink

OMG Hong Kong people are all about food and there are so many directions you can go. If you know someone who can take you to a private eating club (or China Club), do not pass it up. If not, here are just a sampling of great options…

What to Do

Hong Kong is dense, busy, and hot and humid from May to October. The air can be disgustingly polluted and the traffic is crazy. That said, it is full of interesting people and things to see and smell and taste. Be prepared to walk… wear comfortable shoes…do not attempt to bring a stroller unless you are ok being limited in where you can go. If all you do is walk around with no plan, you will soak up the city’s flavor and get a real sense for the city. My favorite neighborhood is are Sheung Wan.

  • The usual: Escalator up mid-levels, Stanley Market, Star Ferry, Tram to peak, temples listed in a guide book...
  • Ride tram from Central to Causeway Bay
  • Ladies Market in Mon Kok/ Kowloon wet markets
  • Police married quarters (now a cultural center)
  • M+ (cultural center in Kowloon)
  • Zoo/botanical gardens in Central
  • Walk up or down Pottinger Street – have a chop made
  • Hire a junk boat (essentially a yacht) for the day
  • Kennedy town for half day – tons of new restaurants out there
  • Big Buddha in Lantau Island

inside scoop

Know your colors when taking a cab – HK Island is Red. Buy an Octopus Card in the Airport. Enjoy the local non-alcoholic drink: fresh lime soda. The pollution can be brutal (but don’t stress! It can’t do any damage during your short trip!)

skip it

The light show from Kowloon side, some people say taxi to the peak instead of the tram but I think its fun if line is not too long.

What to Pack

Everyone wears black and color stands out, but that shouldn’t deter. Central is functional but stylish. And it is hot. Carry a small umbrella for sudden downpours, although I have seen many an umbrella turn inside out and fly away in Hong Kong’s famous sideways black rain.


40% of Hong Kong is green space and people in Hong Kong do a lot of hiking on the many trails there – don’t be afraid to get out there – the views are stunning. I didn’t really cover the south side of the island as there is less there for tourists, but there are nice beaches and hiking trails and Aberdeen, Repulse Bay, and Stanley are worth seeing.

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