This was our first visit to Hong Kong and we loved it. Hong Kong is a popular stopover destination for Australians on their way to Europe, with lots to see and experience. We wanted to give you a snapshot of our time in Hong Kong including our must visit, must eats and our favourite experience.
We visited Hong Kong in April over the Easter period. Weather wise it was a great time to visit as it was sunny and hot, but not unbearably so like it can be in Summer. The attractions were busy on the public holidays, but Hong Kong is crowded and busy most of the time!
We chose to stay at the Cordis Hong Kong in Mong Kok. There are loads of lovely (and expensive) hotels in Hong Kong so you can really go down a rabbit hole when researching. Everything we found on Airbnb that was in our price range, looked really cramped. We ended up deciding on the Cordis because they had studio options which had a small kitchenette, seeing as we were going for a week we wanted that convenience.
It was centrally located, had a beautiful rooftop pool and also included a ‘Handy phone’ with the room. We LOVED having the handy phone as we had internet with us everywhere we went at no cost to us, and it also provides unlimited local and international calls.
Mong Kok is a busy area with loads of shops, street markets and street food stalls. The hotel is connected by a walkway to a shopping centre and the train station was accessed through the shopping centre.
We used public transport to get around in Hong Kong. We purchased an Octopus card when we arrived and it was an easy way to pay for all of the public transport we used. The MTR is the train system in Hong Kong and it was great. We used it every day and found it very easy to navigate.
They also have taxis, buses, trams and ferries to the outlying islands. We caught a taxi from the airport for ease of finding the hotel with our luggage. Ferries can be used to access other islands.
We caught the ferry to Macau for a day trip whilst staying in Hong Kong. We bought our ferry tickets for the trip to Macau when we arrived at the terminal. There were no issues with us doing this as we arrived at the ferry terminal around 7am. At this time there was still space for the next ferry leaving. Perfect. We also decided to risk not having return tickets as we didn’t know what time we would be ready to head back.
Turns out this was a mistake. We arrived at the terminal to go back around 6pm. There were no economy tickets available until after 10pm. So we had to make the decision whether we waited for 4 hours or pay extra and get the super tickets, which were like business class tickets for the ferry.
We paid the extra and were able to board the next ferry and not spend hours hanging out at the ferry terminal. Lesson learned, take the advice of what you have read and heard about the ferry and book the return tickets when you book your trip to Macau. Also just a reminder that you will need your passport to board the ferry to visit Macau.
Tian Tan Bhudda and Po Lin Monastery – You are rewarded with great views after the long climb up the stairs to the base of the big budda. We paid extra to go inside of the bhudda, which I don’t think is necessary. The monastery is great to have a look at also and we loved seeing the monks going about their day. Unfortunately, the cable car was not operating during our visit, it would be a great experience and offer amazing views.
Chin Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens – This place is an oasis of zen in the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong! A lovely place for a quiet wander around to see the bonsais, waterfalls, beautifully manicured gardens, temples and pavillions.
Yum Cha – We visited DimDim Sum as part of the food tour we did on our first day in Hong Kong, and went back multiple times over our stay – it was just that good! They have traditional yum cha items and some more adventurous options. Be careful with choosing the time of your visit if you can as there are often queues. We loved the Crispy Rice Flour Rolls with Shrimp and the Steamed Shrimp Dumplings.
Egg Tart – There are bakeries selling egg tarts all over Hong Kong and you have to try one when visiting. Flaky pastry and a custardy filling – YUM!
Hong Kong was a challenging place to visit in regards to keto friendly food options, but we did find some!
M&S – Our hotel was next to a shopping centre with a Marks and Spencer supermarket in the basement. We were able to find boiled eggs, cold meats, tuna/egg mayo and other things we could have for breakfast. It is on the expensive side though.
Roasted Meat – Pork, duck and even goose! There are a lot of restaurants and food stalls specialising in roasted meats, particularly in the Mong Kok area, so it is easy to find some.
Street food – Some examples of options are eggplants or peppers stuffed with fish on a stick, chicken wings, squid on a stick and sausages.
Disneyland Hong Kong – Since we have visited Disneyland in California before we were unsure if we would enjoy Hong Kong Disneyland as much, as it is smaller and doesn’t have as many attractions. We were definitely not disappointed! We actually enjoyed that we could get around the park pretty easily and quickly as it was smaller and also found we didn’t need to queue much for any of the rides. The Festival of the Lion King, Mickey and his Wondrous Book and Mystic Manor, were favourites of ours, which are all unique to the Hong Kong park.
Mong Kok Foodies Tour – We love doing a walking tour when we arrive in a new place for the first time as you usually learn so much about the area and also get a chance to get your bearings. If it involves food, well even better! This tour included food we would never have tried on our own, lots of stops and the guide was really informative. Be aware this is a busy busy area, so expect to be amongst a lot of people.
Wish We Had
Tim Ho Wan – In our planning of the trip this was one of the places we wanted to have yum cha. After we did the food tour and went to DimDim Sum, we never ended up getting to Tim Ho Wan.
Star Ferry at night – We did the star ferry during the day, but wish we had found the time to do it at night. The Hong Kong skyline at night is spectacular and viewing it from the star ferry would be amazing.
Give it is a Miss
Shopping. Even after losing 40kg, clothes and shoes here did not really fit me. I was hoping to get some shoes from Sneaker Street, but after visiting 4-5 stores, asking for my size and getting very strange looks, I gave up.
Temple Street Night Market – Mostly plastic junk you don’t need to spend money on.
Have you been to Hong Kong? What were your favourite places to visit or yummy food finds? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our other ‘Our Time In’ posts for travel inspiration
- Our time in Hong Kong
- Our time in San Francisco
- Our Time In Big Sur
- Our Time In Yosemite
- Our Time in Portland
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