If you’ve got an upcoming four-day trip to Hong Kong and you’ve never been there before, we’re guessing you’d like to make the most of those days to have a unique and memorable experience.
To make sure you do that and more, here’s a guide that highlights must-dos and useful tips in a few popular places that you’ll most probably want to visit.
We’ll let you know straight up: Disneyland’s not to be missed and you’ll need a full day to enjoy it properly. Here are five things to put on your to-do list while you’re there.
Using the railway system (known as MTR there), hop on the train and head to Sunny Bay Station, where you can transfer to the Disneyland Resort Line. There’s a special train to board just for this and with those Mickey Mouse-shaped windows, you’ll definitely spot it.
Before you know it, you’re there and savouring the anticipation in the air! Even the train platform has the feel of a different world that’s perfect for your first photo of the day.
Go on what seems like a normal tour of Lord Henry’s Mystic Manor, based on Disney’s Society of Explorers and Adventurers. The large collection of antiques housed here certainly has no parallel, especially with a little Disney magic in the mix.
As you move on to more and more exciting rides, don’t miss out on the Jungle River Cruise which, just like Mystic Manor, is indicated as “may be frightening for children”.
From that alone, you know it’s worth going for.
Drop by the Iron Man Tech Showcase where Stark Industries’ newest inventions are put on display.
For the most part, the Stark Industries employees are happy to show you around but there are more to the “presentations” than the brochures let on, so make sure your cameras are fully charged for this one.
By the way, at the nearest souvenir shop, you can even step into Iron Man’s armour in a first-person shooter game of sorts. Suit up and get ready to fight the forces of evil!
That same souvenir store has a make-your-own-lightsaber section. Bring back one of these to follow your own path in the ways of the Force; or bring back enough for your family and you can form a mini Jedi army.
You can customise every part of the lightsaber: hilt, blade, end cap and even the emitter (whatever that is) come in various colours, shapes and designs.
If you only plan on catching one show for the day, the “Disney In The Stars” fireworks display has to be the one. It’s one of the most famous, and thankfully not over-hyped.
As with all shows, the timing changes with different days and may be affected by weather conditions. But if all goes well, get into a good viewing position early for this one because there’s a bit more to see than fireworks if you manage to keep the castle in sight!
By the way, there’s free WiFi available inside the park so you can save some battery on that portable WiFi if you brought one. Of course, this is just the tip of the Disney-berg; there’s so much more to explore when you get there!
Hong Kong Disneyland: Lantau Island, Hong Kong | Tickets: HK$589 (~S$111), available Online | Discounted tickets: Changi Recommends, Klook | Website | Opening hours: Varies | Tel: +852 1-830-830 | App: Android, iOS
Part zoo, part theme park, Ocean Park is packed full of things to see and do. You’ll need another whole day for this one and even that might not be enough so here are five more things to remember to try.
Hop on a cute, brightly-coloured cable car to ascend to the back end of Ocean City while enjoying some superb views.
Once you’re there, there are a couple more ways to get pictures of good scenery such as the glass-walled balcony near the cable car disembarkation site and Ocean Park Tower, with a room that rotates as it ascends, giving you a full view of the park and beyond.
Getting close to dolphins at the Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre is a special experience. The dolphins here can be seen moving to shallow areas and leaping out of the water of their own accord.
Well, actually you shouldn’t squeal, but that’ll give you an idea of how cute they are. You can’t see the arctic fox anywhere in Singapore so this is your big chance to get as close as you can to it.
Since the arctic fox’s fur changes colour according to season, its fur is white in this enclosure which is designed to simulate winter. Should you catch them in the right mood, they will be playing with chew-toys provided especially for them.
Carnival rides such as roller coasters and flying swings, although unrelated to underwater life, are found throughout the park. It’s nice to be able to switch the pace between looking at animals and getting an adrenaline rush.
If you’re not up for being thrown around at high speeds, you could go for this water jet game and try to hit targets for a distance. As for what happens when you do manage to get your aim right, we’ll leave that as a surprise.
Your Ocean Park trip should end on a spectacular note with Symbio, a show using water as a screen for image projection. Expect lights and pyrotechnics – if you’re curious to see how fire’s handled right next to water, you’ve got to see how they do it at Ocean Park.
As two of Hong Kong’s famous tourist areas, Victoria Peak and Temple Street are places which should be visited at least once.
The tram is popular for the good views on the way up to Victoria Peak but usually has a very long queue involved. Depending on the crowd, taking a bus up might be a faster option.
Regardless of which way you choose, here are five things to put on your to-do list for Day 3.
There are two well-known galleries at Victoria Peak for enjoying the view: Sky Terrace 428 and Green Terrace. They’re located in The Peak Tower and The Peak Galleria respectively, along with lots of shops and eateries to visit afterwards.
Sky Terrace 428 costs HK$48 (~S$8.99) to enter and is famous for being the highest viewing point at Victoria Peak while Green Terrace is free to visit.
Regardless of which route you take, you can take your time exploring both buildings as they’re really close to each other.
To fully enjoy the view, a couple of mounted binoculars are free-to-use at Green Terrace and it seems that posing with them for a photo is quite a trend, like how tourists open their mouths to “catch” the Merlion’s water back here in Singapore.
When you’re done with the view and ready to explore The Peak Galleria more, consider dropping by the Trick Eye Museum, Hong Kong to take pictures of yourself as part of an optical illusion.
For budget travellers, there’s one golden find you ought to take note of at The Peak Tower to skip the HK$150 (~S$27) ticket to Trick Eye Museum: Madness Adventure. It’s got a similar concept to Trick Eye Museum and it’s free to enter!
Since it’s pretty small, it can be taken as a sample of what Trick Eye would be like, if you’re not into spending too much time taking photos but still want to try it out.
Here’s the catch: there are three specific exhibits at Madness Adventure which have cameras and lights set up and pictures here can only be taken by Madness Adventure’s photographers.
Of course, the photographs taken by them have to be bought from the counter if you want to bring them home. For a group shot with all of your friends in it, you can go for that, otherwise you are still allowed to skip these areas and have fun at the rest of their displays.
After having fun with the galleries and taking photographs, you should check out the shops at the lower floors of both malls. There’re quite a few worthy buys there as you’ll enjoy finding out for yourself. In the meantime, to whet your appetite, here’re a couple of our favourite finds.
Mimi Desserts (ground floor, shop G17) at The Peak Tower is where you can find sweet treats that come with collectable Lego figures. Characters from movies like Star Wars and Spiderman will make these puddings irresistible to collectors.
Craving for alcohol in the crisp weather? Stop by the 7-Eleven at the ground floor of The Peak Galleria.
It sells small bottles of wine, just enough for one person, at HK$20 each (~S$3.75). That’s just little more than the cost of bubble tea back here!
Temple street is most active at night, which makes it perfect for visiting after a day spent at Victoria Peak.
After shopping and taking in the scenery, it’s time to move on to grabbing some grub at the many eateries in the area.
Spicy crab looks to be the speciality here, but if you’re not in the mood for that, there are many places serving other dishes including hot noodles to warm you up. Choose from touristy, crowded stores to smaller stores that you see only locals in.
Once you’re done with your food, it’s back to shopping for bargains at tons of stores selling what you’d expect to find in a night market: souvenirs, collectables, accessories, house decor and (ah-hem) adult products.
Exploring is half the fun here so we won’t spoil that for you, but do be wary of electronics that appear to be really cheap, but actually do not function. There have been many cases where people get cheated and USB drives are one prime culprit.
Not far from Temple Street is the popular Australia Dairy Co., known for its Steamed Milk Pudding With Egg White, and more recently, the new Steamed Egg Pudding With Almond Flavour, both priced at HK$28 (~S$5.25) each, served hot or cold.
There are many other things on the menu too, such as toast, eggs and macaroni. In all other aspects, it’s pretty much like any other cha chaan teng (tea house) in Hong Kong.
The usual steamed milk pudding (white) was sweeter than the new egg one (yellow) and went well with the tea provided. The egg taste was not strong, but a little intense considering that this was a dessert, which would usually be sweet.
Both puddings had very soft textures and broke apart easily with a spoon. While I preferred the white pudding, I felt that they were both the kind of food that you’d get sick of really fast after eating half so perhaps it’s better to share them with your buddies.
That would leave more room for other desserts too!
Expected damage: ~S$4 onwards
Australia Dairy Co.: 47 Parkes St, Jordan, Hong Kong | Opening hours: 7.30pm to 12pm
When I think back on Cheung Chau Island, I am reminded of festivals, slower-paced life and relaxation. Even the process of getting there is not to be rushed as the ferry ride gives off just the right vibes for you to lean back and relax.
To make your trip here meaningful, we’ve narrowed down four things not to miss out.
The Mini Great Wall is one of Cheung Chau Island’s attractions, and a fine choice for people who would like to do a little hiking but are not into super-strenuous activities.
To get there, start by heading towards Cheung Chau Tun Wan Beach and keep going along it until you reach the start of the hiking trail, which leads to the Mini Great Wall.
When you reach Look Out Pavilion, you can rest up and commemorate with a selfie or two, or even a picnic if you’re daring enough to have a meal in the cold weather.
For a short simple hike, getting to this point is sufficient and can take about an hour, depending on your pace. If you wish to continue on further, there are some iconic rocks to see ahead, such as Zombie Rock and Rock of the Sleeping Cat, named after their unique shapes.
Cheung Chau Island is well-known for its many temples, customarily the site of many traditional festivities still carried out today.
There are quite a few temples here to explore, including the Kwun Yam Temple near the Mini Great Wall.
Each temple has its own purpose and history and out of all of them, here are a couple you’ve got to check out on your temple-hopping pilgrimage.
Pak Tai Temple is the oldest temple on Cheung Chau Island and houses gold-plated woodwork dating back to the Qing Dynasty. If you like antiques and a bit of history on your trip, you won’t want to miss this.
Lo Pan Temple is dedicated to the patron saint builder, Lo Pan, also known as Lu Ban. Aside from being a philosopher, he was also famous for his outstanding work in building and carpentry and was even seen as a master of the trade.
One of the most popular street foods here is baked scallops with cheese and onion. Priced at HK$25 (~S$4.70) a piece, this is one of the most value-for-money snacks you can get here.
After savoury food, there’s a need for sweet things to “balance out” the taste, you know?
That’s the cue to head for the dessert stalls, where you’ll be spoilt for choice with macarons or deep-fried mochi containing a slice of soft, fresh mango.
There’re cafes and restaurants located on the island too, if you want to sit down for a more hearty meal. You won’t be short of food choices here, that’s for sure.
The beaches at Cheung Chau Island are a gold mine of photo opportunities. The most prominent one of all is this rocky area that you’ll pass on the way to the Mini Great Wall.
The rocks are quite uneven and there are gaps where water have flooded in; be careful not to trip or fall here!
My personal favourite was an old helicopter pad located on a ledge near the seaside, the perfect site for updating your Instagram feed to tell the world that you’re travelling. Nothing says “hey, I’m an explorer” more than a selfie next to this post-apocalyptic fence.
Keep a look out when you’re on Cheung Chau Island and you’ll find many hidden gems alongside the historical sites here.
Ferry To Cheung Chau Island Operating hours: 12.30am to 11.45pm (weekdays), 12.30am to 11.55pm (weekends & PHs) | One-way tickets (ordinary ferry, normal seat): HK$13.20 (~S$2.50, weekdays), HK$19.40 (~S$3.60, weekends)
Classic tourist spots in Hong Kong are revisited every year but the things that keep your journey from being a typical one are the unique touches you can put into your planning like those in this article.
If you’ve already been to Hong Kong, do you have any unique must-sees that we ought to know about too? Do share it with us – being the travel-loving people that we are, we’d love to hear from you.
We're hiring lifestyle writers!