48 hours may not be a lot… But you can make the best out of it. Hongkong is a place with incredibly many things to do, and therefore many many ways to spend 48 hours.
Today I am going to share one way to spend your time in Hongkong and some tips on the top attractions in Hongkong:
First of all: If you are planning on using public transportation I highly recommend you getting an Octopus card. There is a one time fee to purchase the card. Later on you’ll be able to put money on that card and use it for all kinds of transportation. It is the easiest and most convenient way to pay when traveling all over Hongkong, as you only have to scan your card. At some places it even allows you to avoid long waiting lines by not having to buy tickets for the ride.
Our flight from Europe arrived the early evening on Saturday. After putting our luggage into our hotel room (with the most epic and stunning view)
we went out to get some food into our tired bodies. We decided on a Thai restaurant, which turned out to have a really classy and calm atmosphere with tiny buddha statues, candles and plants everywhere. Even though they serve non vegan as well as non vegetarian food, I was able to find some delicious food. Thai or Indian cuisine will forever be a fantastic choice, as they always have rice and some kind of vegetables.
Pretty soon after arrival we have been told that it is very special to be in Hongkong during the weekend in terms of partying and going out. Apperently the streets and clubs are dead during any other days but the weekend. Even though I am not that much of a party person, I was talked into visiting a roof top bar. And it paid off – it offers and incredible view from above. Despite the fog and smog in the streets it still was a breathtaking moment to enter that deck high above the streets.
The next morning we enjoyed some traditional breakfast in one of the many local tiny restaurants. It is funny to watch the look on the faces of the locals when we are the only tourists in such a street shop. Suddenly you feel like a pop star, with all faces turned on you 😉
On Hongkong Island an unique 2 story tram rides back and forth from East to West. With the Octopus card one ride is only a few cents. Getting in at about the middle of the route, we first rode all the way to the West End, got out, entered the next tram … aaand were able to snatch the spot in the very front on the top floor (wuhuu what a success :)). We then rode all the way to the other End. It is a super cheap and easy way to see a lot of Hongkong without walking even one step.
From Chai Wan end station we crossed Youth Square walked up the hill, entered the huge cemetery built into a steep hill with many many stairs, climed all of them to then awe at the amazing view from so high above.
We kept walking and suddenly found ourselves in some kind of tropical jungle. All of the sudden there were no tourists at all, and I found myself with my new white shoes and blouse in an environment that did not fit such an outfit at all haha. We kept hiking the small trail, crossed Mount Pottinger and eventually arrived at Big Wave Bay Beach.
All sweaty, no bathing suits with us and super thirsty the delicious coconut was a life saver. (Seriously I have never had such a delicious coconut in my whole life..)
Unfortunatly the weather that day was still really foggy with lots of smog, so we were almost unable to see the water leaking the beach. Nevertheless lots of people were clearly enjoying their time there.
Only a few hundreds meter from there a bus takes off. You may choose between the route to Shek O Beach, or right back to where you started your route – Chai Wan.
I had done some research in advance, and came across a vegan restaurant called CS Vegan. I was highly excited to visit it. In the description of google maps it said “living room like atmosphere”. I had no idea what to expect, but when we got there it was exactly that: a living room like atmosphere. First of all there is no store name outside the building letting you know you are there. Only a tiny business card next to the entrace will ensure you, you are right. We then had to ring the door bell to be allowed entrance. As we entered the small room, a friendly, local Chinese lady welcomed us. She offered us some drinks until the freshly homecooked food would be ready to be served.
As promised, at exactly 6pm the buffet opened. It started out with rice and vegetables. But with time she brought out more and more delicious chinese vegan foods. In the end there was a huge variety to choose from.
The next 2 hours we would eat away as much as we could – for only 9€. Crazy right?! I definitely was in chinese vegan food paradise!
Over the time more and more people would join us while the lovely owner would sit in the middle of it all reading her book.
Funnily to me this was one of the most outstanding memories of my trip to Hongkong.
I believe this is a must do for all the vegans traveling Hongkong. If you want to see and experience the real Chinese culture this is your address.
Next we took the ferry from Wan Chai Ferry Pier to Kowloon. Every night at 8pm there is a light and sound show, where some of the buildings send out white and green rays of color.
The ferry ride is also only a few cents and again most easiest to pay with the Octopus card. This is a must do when visiting Hongkong.
It takes off about every 5 minutes and will reach the other side within 5 minutes. Yet those 5 minutes of crossing the water already allow super stunning views over the skyline.
Once arrived on the other side, there is a long promenade where every few meters musicians were playing and singing their songs.
Next and last stop for this long day was night market at temple street. If you are looking for souvenirs, purses, accessoires or small gifts, this is your place. Don’t forget that this is a market, and you’ll have to bargain to settle on a price.
It is also really lovely to just wander around the streets and soak in all those smells (some maybe not so willingly haha) and Chinese city night life with all those lights, vehicles, colors, people and noises.
A few hours of sleep and we were ready to hit another day full of adventures.
We took to metro to the foot of the Peak, where the peak tram takes off. The popular cable car takes loads of tourists groups up the steep hill. For only 37 HKD per ride it is much more convenient to lean back and enjoy the stunning views along the ride, rather than walking up all the long way.
We were lucky enough to pass the long waiting line and get right to the cable car as we were holders of Octopus cards.
Once up on the hill, we first went to the viewing platform Lions Pavilion.
The day before I have read about the Peak, and came across recommendations to hike around the Peak Tower to spot different viewing points and sights. When leaving the tower there will be 3 roads to choose to walk on. Many suggest either walking the long tour by deciding on the very left street. You will walk a circle and get back out on the very right path. Another suggestion is to walk the right street right away and turn back around after a about 20 minutes (if you don’t want to walk for too long).
However no one talked about the middle street. So we decided to explore it 🙂 Mount Austin road will lead up a hill, pass by a playground and eventually finish off at Victoria Peak – the highest point. An incredible view will pay off the sweat and short breath! The masses of tourists suddenly disappeared, and we found ourselves to be the only ones up this amazing spot.
After a few hours of walking around and soaking in those magical views, we took the tram back down.
Right outside the tram station a bus takes off to Star Ferry Pier. Within not even 5 minutes we arrived at the harbour, where we again took the ferry (this time during day time) to Kowloon.
I suggest seeing the skyline once at night and once during the day. Both views are spectacualar, and I wouldn’t want to have missed one of them.
Again walking along the water side across the promenade and further we eventually arrived at the Avenue of Stars – the Walk of Fame of Hongkong. Well Google Maps told us so, but we couldn’t spot any stars, statues or whatsoever. It took us a moment to figure out that the famous waterside avenue is currently under construction.
For the duration of construction they moved the “stars” into the Garden of Stars just across the street. There we were able to find Bruce Lee’s statue, Chackie Chan’s hand prints and some amazing paintings of celebrities.
On our way to Ladies Market we stumbled upon a friend. I mean can you believe it – in the huge area and many crowds of Hongkong to cross paths with the one person you know. Life is crazy!!
Anyway, we then together hit the Ladies Market which basically is a day version of the Night Market. You’ll find one stall after the other, shop owners who suggest prices that are too high 😉 and all kinds of souvenirs (for friends, family,… or yourself).
And then our 48 hours came to an end real quick. After a last meal in a Chinese restaurant, we had to rush back to the hotel and pack just about in time to leave to the airport. Isn’t it funny how time always runs short in the end 😉