The center of commerce, culture, and entertainment in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong is a world-class city that seems almost futuristic, yet blends tradition seamlessly. Neon light illuminate the sky at night while crowds of people wander the streets, making it one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world. With so much to do, it’s not always easy to nail down what to do, especially if time is short. Find out how to plan your itinerary with this convenient guide to get all the sights and sounds of the Pearl of the Orient.

Tsing ma bridge
The Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong.

Morning: Grab a Ferry and Some Breakfast

Before you head to the ferry docks, make sure to fuel up with Hong Kong’s most famous food: dim sum. If you’ve never had dim sum, it’s an experience all its own. Waitresses come around with carts of piping hot food, typically dumplings or other small bites, and you point out which ones you want. Eat as much or as little as you’d like, but be warned: It’s hard to stop once you’ve started.

Serenade Chinese Restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui is next to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and it’s one of the best choices for grabbing some dim sum before hitting the ferry. It breaks from tradition by offering a checklist, sushi-style menu instead of carts, but don’t let it fool you. It offers sweet or savory dishes while boasting one of the best views of the Hong Kong skyline from anywhere in the city.

Comprised of 261 islands, Hong Kong has ferries that go anywhere of note. In the morning, you can see locals on their way to work and enjoy the view of the harbor from one of the many ferries. Roll the dice and pick an island at random, or head to one of the more popular tourist choices of Mui Wo on Lantau Island or Tsim Sha Tsui, depending on where you are. You may also want to take a ride on the Star Ferry, which has operated through Victoria Harbor since 1898.

Midmorning: Take in the History or Pop Culture

Hong Kong has a museum for every interest and taste and, even if you aren’t a museum person, these institutions are sure to offer some insight into culture, arts, and science in the region. Located at the southern tip of Tsim Sha Tsui, the Hong Kong Museum of Art houses the largest collection of Chinese art and antiquities in the city.

If pop culture is more your thing, the Avenue of the Stars is just a short walk from the museum. Known for its booming movie industry, Hong Kong celebrates its most famous stars with the Hollywood Walk of Fame-style Avenue of the Stars. You may not recognize most of the names, but Jackie Chan, John Woo, Jet Li, and Chow Yun-Fat all have stars here.
Noon: Go to The Peak Lookout

No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to The Peak Lookout, one of the city’s most famous restaurants. Housed in a former tram station near the top of the Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island, the restaurant serves up fusion food pulling influences from American, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Southeastern Asian cuisine. If the weather’s nice, sit outside on the terrace and take in the lush greenery that surrounds the restaurant.

Tian tan buddha
The Tian Tan Buddha (aka Big Buddha) in Hong Kong.

Afternoon: Visit Some Temples

Buddhism is the predominant religion of Hong Kong, and the city is home to numerous temples, shrines, and Buddha statues. Exploring these is always fun, as it’s something not often seen in the Western world. The Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island is one of the most beautiful sites in Hong Kong. At 111 feet high and weighing in at 250 tons, this bronze figure is the largest seated Buddha statue in the world. At night, lights illuminate the statue, providing one awesome photo op.

Evening: Head to the Temple Street Night Market

After the sun goes down, the Temple Street Night Market springs to life. More than a hundred stalls and carts line the streets, complete with lights to attract customers. If you haven’t eaten, it’s the perfect spot to get some snacks such as seafood, clay pot noodles, and deep-fried delicacies. Vendors also sell electronics, jewelry, clothing, trinkets, and other goods that provide an excellent souvenir or gift for your friends back home.

Regardless of your tastes or interests, Hong Kong has plenty of options to tickle your travel bone. The only thing left to do is book your trip, which you can do quickly and easily right here at GoDoTrip.