Published: February, 2019
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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 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 - check out costumes and masks
  • 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

Victoria Garden at top of Victoria Island is really just grass- it is kinda fun to walk all the way to the top, but be very mindful of cards driving very fast on very narrow roads.

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.

Hong Kong, China - Suggestions from the Oliver Community

  • Cynthia Pillsbury Says

    As I prepare for our first trip to Hong Kong I was able to track down some more suggestions from a friend, Maryam Barrett who is a frequent visitor to HK for work. Here are her thoughts…
    Pizza Motorino on Shelly Street, right off the escalator has the best pizza (yes pizza) in HK!
    – Lunch at chic Hexa (Dim Sum)
    – Ferry to Kowloon at night (nightly light show on HK Island @8pm- lasts about 5-10 minutes)
    – Dinner at Hatung (Kawloon) authentic Chinese and dim sum, but pricey!
    – Drinks at the Intercontinental (Kowloon) Lobby to take in the views of boats and HK Island.
    – Sushi at the top of the Ritz (Kowloon), hit the pharmacy in the basement that sells over-the-counter Ambien (for the jet lag when you get home!)
    – Hit the night markets (Temple) or Ladies’ Market (12pm-10pm) for amazing Knock-offs. Bring cash!
    – Reflexology at Happy Foot Massage (HK Island)
    Get custom tailored suites/shirts at Jantzen Tailor
    Finally, the big Buddha (circa 1990’s) and even cooler monastery (circa early 1900’s) is an easy side trip to do before you leave HK. Airport is literally 10 minute taxi ride away and you can chk in luggage early at city station and pay to leave carry on luggage at hotel. I am not sure I would recommend doing a special trip to see it otherwise.

  • Courtney Leary Says

    Four Seasons was perfect in every way, especially location that allows walking over covered paths to the Star Ferry and to the escalators. Also connected to amazing mall with all of the shopping and eating you could ever desire. Rooftop pool also amazing– don’t miss– and spend some time in the spa locker room even if you do not have time for a treatment.
    – Dinner at Zuma was wonderful, amazing Japanese food and chic city atmosphere. Be prepared for big prices though.
    Oolaa Petite is a great chic place for a drink– feels very NYC.
    – Taking the airport train could not be easier– there is a station right beneath the Four Seasons that they will shuttle you to. You check in and check your luggage at the airline counters there, board the train and are at the airport in about 25 minutes.

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