Travelling to Hong Kong and Macau can make a great weekend break from Asia, super layover or an interesting trip by itself.
Already living in Asia, meant that a long holiday weekend trip to Hong Kong and Macau was pretty easy to organise. However, with Hong Kong being a major international airport, you too could transit there on your way somewhere else. With a great mix of city, nature, food and more, be sure to stop by soon!
Arriving early Saturday morning, it was a quick trip on the Airport Express to Hong Kong Island to check into my hostel and catch up on sleep. Accommodation in Hong Kong is expensive and the quality of budget accommodation isn’t always great. I’ve stayed at Check Inn HK twice – it’s near the subway, clean and fairly convenient.
Day trip to Macau
After catching up on missed sleep from my late night flight, I took a high speed ferry direct to Macau. From the ferry bus a short local bus takes you to the historic old town. A beautiful mix of Portuguese architecture, leading up to the Ruins of St. Paul’s, a 17th century church which burnt down and now only one wall remains.
Despite being super busy, it was well worth bustling up through the crowds. After chomping through a pork steak baguette, it was off to relax in a local park before heading to the Venetian casino. There are regular, free shuttle buses from the historic area to the casinos. Therefore, even if you don’t wish the gamble, you can still go take a look and see the impressive structures! From the huge gambling floors to an inside river with gondolas – it’s worth checking out.
In my opinion, one day is enough. Take the high speed ferry back to Hong Kong and spend more time there.
Top sights in Hong Kong
Having visited Hong Kong three times, once for a 24 hour layover and two times for short holidays, I know that there certainly are a wide variety of activities.
Hong Kong has lots of little islands that are easily and cheaply accessed by ferry. Just use you Octopus transport card off you go. Walk around and have lunch – just generally enjoy the scenery.
There are plenty of islands to choose from. Just get a travel guide and pick the one that sounds best for you.
Take the funicular railway, or if you don’t want to wait hours, take a taxi or local bus (like we did). Go up for the views of the city….or clouds.
The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery
Go visit the Big Buddha. Be sure to take the cable car one way for spectacular views.
Relax in Kawloon park or shop your heart out! Kowloon has some slightly different shopping streets, including a street of goldfish sellers. You can find normal brand names here too!
Kowloon and Hong Kong Island are connected both by subway and the iconic Star Ferry. Be sure to take it across at least once!
Eating and Drinking in Hong Kong
Food! Having been recommended some top places by one Hong Kongese friend and being taken around by another I ate very, very well!
From curried beef noodles, fried rice and egg tarts, the food truly was delicious.
The Wet Market
Described as a “Wet Market” by my Hong Kongese friend, these markets are everywhere. The rent is subsided by the government so that sellers can offer high quality and inexpensive food to local residents.
I think I’d have found it a bit difficult to find and navigate one by myself – so be sure to try and enlist some local help!
Kau Kee Beef Brisket (九记牛腩)
This has to have been the best thing I ate whilst in Hong Kong. A mix of stewed beef curry on top of noodles. Whilst the portion doesn’t look big, it was plenty!
Tim Ho Wan (添好运)
Despite my friend telling me there are better dim sum places, I still wanted to go. Some of the tables had seen better days, but you don’t get to eat Michelin Star chicken feet (or dim sum!) everyday.
Yat Lok Roast Goose (一乐烧鹅)
I arrived early for a brunch of roast goose with noodle soup. It was good, but having enjoyed the beef curry noodles for dinner I was slightly disappointed.
Mak’s Noodle (麥奀雲吞麵世家)
Wonton soup – a nice, clean tasting way for a late breakfast or lunch.
Desserts and Treats
There are plenty of places for desserts and treats – here are a few that I tried.
Tai Cheong Bakery (泰昌餅家)
Egg tarts! Yum.
Kam Wah Cafe (金華冰廳)
Iced milk tea and buttery bread. A great breakfast snack.
Yee Shun Dairy (義順牛奶公司)
I enjoyed their ginger milk custard as an evening treat after my first day.
Lee Keung Kee North Point Eggette (利强记北角鸡蛋仔)
Whilst being pretty famous and popular on lots of food blogs…as it doesn’t come with toppings or fillings it was a little dry and monotonous to eat.
For drinking the easiest option is to head to LKF (Lan Kwai Fong). There are plenty of happy hour promotions earlier in the night…but Hong Kong is an expensive place to drink. As the party goes on, plenty of people enjoy LKF’s atmosphere with shop bought beers in the middle of the street.
Get yourself a travel guide, book a plane ticket and go, go go!
Have you been to Hong Kong or Macau? What was your favourite thing? Post in the comments below!
Photos and experiences were all taken personally by author.