(SPOT.ph) Hong Kong has always been a quick and accessible destination for families, shopaholics, and travel junkies alike, largely thanks to a constant supply of budget flights and a convenient two-hour distance from Manila. Most of us prefer to fly to Hong Kong when it’s over the holidays, but you can actually squeeze in many of its sights within just 24 hours—perfect for a layover or a random visit when you score a coveted seat-sale promo.
We narrowed down your 24-hour itinerary to the best tourist and off-beat experiences this eclectic city has to offer. (We’re skipping Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland for this list because you’d probably end up spending your entire day there.)
WHERE TO GO
33 Garden Road, Central
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.
This is the best place to kick off your 24-hour adventure as it offers tourists a unique look at the city’s heritage in one easy train ride. The Peak Tram begins with an extensive historical gallery at the terminal, which houses actual memorabilia that’ll transport you to Hong Kong in the 19th and 20th Centuries. You won’t be able to resist taking photos once you’re aboard the tram, especially when it begins to go uphill.
The panoramic view from the Sky Terrace
Sky Terrace 428
128 Peak Road, The Peak
Open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays)
At the end of your tram ride sits the Peak Tower, one of the most recognizable architectural landmarks of Hong Kong. You can explore its array of restaurants and shops, but we highly recommend climbing up to Sky Terrace 428. True to its name, the terrace stands 428 feet above sea level and offers visitors a spectacular 360-degree panoramic view of Hong Kong’s breathtaking cityscape and lush landscapes.
Pro tip: If you’re really pressed for time, opt for an iVenture Card, an all-inclusive pass that allows fast and cash-free access to popular tourist attractions across Hong Kong and its outlying islands,
Madera Hollywood along Hollywood Road
Central Mid-Level Escalators
100 Queen’s Road, Central
Open from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily (downhill) and 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily (uphill)
Here in Manila, we’re all too familiar with escalators in malls and department stores but in Hong Kong, they serve as go-to modes of transportation. At the world’s longest outdoor, covered escalator system, tourists can experience the city’s different sights on foot, starting from bustling Queen’s Road Central to the more relaxed, upscale Mid-Levels area. You’ll see everything from Central Market to Graham Street, Hollywood Road, Staunton Street, and Rednaxela Terrace (where Jose Rizal once lived in exile from 1891 to 1892).
Temple Street Night Market
Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon
Open daily from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m.
When the sun goes down, you can either have a couple of drinks at Lan Kwai Fong or Wan Chai—or ready your wallet for the liveliest night market in Hong Kong. Once known as the "Poor Man's Night Club," Temple Street has transformed into a raucous hub of mouthwatering hawker fare, budget-friendly shopping finds, open-air Chinese opera shows, and even fortune tellers. It's a feast for the senses you shouldn't miss.
WHAT TO DO
Crystal Bus Dim Sum
Want to quickly take in Hong Kong’s top attractions without the hassle of walking? Crystal Bus offers a variety of tours that traverse some must-see spots of the city, including Temple Street, Portland Street, Lantau Link View Point, Park Lane Shopper’s Boulevard, and more. Each guided tour includes an authentic dim sum set meal from Michelin Star-awarded restaurant, One Dim Sum, and features three routes: Kowloon to New Territories (lunch), Kowloon to Hong Kong Island (dinner), and Tsim Sha Tsui to Nathan Road (night drinks).
Dragon’s Back Trail
Contrary to popular belief, Hong Kong isn’t just glitzy skyscrapers and bustling neighborhoods. Easily accessible via bus or taxi, Dragon’s Back is a picturesque urban hiking trail fit for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and even hesitant beginners. Located
Aqua Luna Symphony of Lights Cruise
Central Pier 9, Central
If you’ve ever wanted to see the famous Hong Kong skyline up close, hop onboard a traditional Chinese junk boat and cruise along the Victoria Harbour. Although Aqua Luna offers daily day trips, we recommend braving the crowds in the evening so you can witness the dazzling nightly lights show, “Symphony of Lights.” (Lasers shooting from skyscrapers? Sign us up!) They also have other tour variations that include cocktails or even a dim sum dinner.
SoHo Gallery Walk
Yan Gallery, 1 Hollywood Road, Central
For a dose of art and culture, whip out your camera and join a guided yet intimate tour of Hong Kong’s vibrant art scene in SoHo. Here, you can see and learn all about modern and contemporary art while exploring many of the city’s best galleries. The tour lasts for only two hours, so you’ll have plenty of time to finish the rest of your itinerary.
WHERE TO EAT
Ding Dim 1968
59 Wyndham Street, Central
Open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Thursday, Sunday) and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Friday and Saturday)
Despite being hidden within Central’s busy thoroughfares, Ding Dim 1968’s tiny space is constantly filled with hungry locals and tourists who don’t mind patiently queuing outside as they wait for a table. Established in 1968 by its founders, Master Black and Master Tong, you’ll happily feast on traditional Hong Kong dim sum that’s made fresh by hand. If you feel overwhelmed by all the choices, we suggest starting with the xiao long bao, baked BBQ pork buns, and the King Hargaw.
Under Bridge Spicy Crab
421 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
Open daily from 12 p.m. to 6 a.m.
This late-night haunt is so popular that it has three huge branches all situated next to each other. (It’s also Anthony Bourdain-approved; he has an autographed photo on the outside of the main branch.) Literally located under a bridge, the restaurant is best known for their gigantic—and very fiery—crabs doused with chili garlic sauce. It’s the perfect hangover spot after you’ve partied the night away at Wan Chai’s many bars.
Yung Kee Restaurant
32-40 Wellington Street, Central
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Established as far back as 1942, Yung Kee is
Tai Cheong Bakery
Shop C G/F Lyndhurst Building, 35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, and other areas in Hong Kong
No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to the famous Tai Cheong Bakery. Established in 1954, the traditional bakery is best known for their delicate and freshly baked egg tarts, which has consistently been ranked as the best in the country.
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