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How to See Hong Kong in 24 Hours

23 May 2019 | by Helen Williams

A common port on many Far East cruises, the metropolitan city of Hong Kong has plenty to offer those who visit the vibrant city. From the dizzying heights of Victoria Peak to the bustle at Temple Street Market, the experiences just waiting to be had here are certainly unforgettable ones. If you’ll be stopping at Hong Kong on your cruise, take a look at our guide to how to see everything in just 24 hours.

Getting Around Hong Kong

Hong Kong is probably one of the easiest cities in the world to navigate, thanks to its extensive and reliable MTR (Mass Transit Railway) network. Usually, the best way to use this is by buying an Octopus Card, which can be used on the trains, buses, and ferries and be topped up as much as needed. This costs around $150 HKD (£15) including a $50 HKD refundable deposit. However, if you will only be in the city for a day you can pick up a Tourist Day Pass instead, for around $65 HKD (£6.50).

As well as the trains, most visitors will end up using the infamous Star Ferry – Hong Kong’s oldest form of transport which was founded back in 1888. This is a tourist attraction in itself, taking passengers to and from Kowloon Bay and Hong Kong Island for the equivalent of about 25 pence each way.

4 Must-See Attractions in Hong Kong

1. Victoria Peak via Tram

Just as old as the Star Ferry, The Peak Tram is too a symbol of Hong Kong. This funicular takes guests on a ten-minute uphill journey of just less than 1½ kilometres to reach Victoria Peak. From the top visitors will be rewarded with a fantastic view of Hong Kong harbour, which is especially magnificent at night. There is a nightly Symphony of Lights show at 8 pm too, which is great to watch from Victoria Peak.

2. Lantau Island and the Giant Buddha

A bus or train journey from the Kowloon side of Hong Kong is Lantau Island; a scenic area which is home to the Tian Tan Buddha of Po Lin Monastery. This striking statue can be seen in all its glory from the overhead cable car, which goes from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping and takes just under half an hour. On the journey, you’ll see some stunning scenery, as well as the 112 feet Buddha. Ngong Ping village itself also offers pretty buildings and a quaint atmosphere.

3. Temple Street Market

Locals and visitors alike frequent Temple Street Market every night. Stalls start to open at around 6 pm and the place stays vibrant until into the early hours. The market offers everything from knock-off designer wear and kitschy souvenirs, to incredible street food and traditional Chinese artwork.

4. Lamma Island

For a breath of fresh air, head to Lamma Island. This peaceful patch of land is around a half an hour ferry journey from Hong Kong Island and has an entirely different feel to the fast-paced city. Come to Lamma to relax in a café, wander down quaint cobbled streets, and take in panoramic views of the ocean from the hills during a scenic walk.

Top 5 Things to Eat for a Foodie in Hong Kong

1. Dim Sum

Even though Dim Sum originates in North China, this complex and flavoursome array of foods are now most associated with Hong Kong. A Dim Sum menu features countless different delicacies, including fried or steamed dumplings with an assortment of fillings.

2. Fried Rice

Whether you try a dish of fried rice in a high-end restaurant or from one of the stalls in Temple Street, you’re unlikely to be disappointed with this tasty yet simple dish. You can have it mixed with meats, fish, vegetables, or just herbs and spices if preferred.

3. Milk Tea

A love it or hate it beverage, for an authentic Hong Kong experience visitors should try this at least once. Milk tea is one of the remnants of British colonial rule and has been adapted locally by using condensed or evaporated milk instead of fresh cow’s milk. The drink is sweet and fairly milky and can be consumed hot or cold.

4. Fish Balls

You’ll see plenty of these available at street food vendors where you can expect to find a wonderful array of different colours. Made with blended fish, herbs, and spices, these little morsels are a true delight to the taste buds and can be served either on skewers or sometimes in a broth.

5. Chinese Barbecue

Unique in that the meats are marinated to perfection in sticky Chinese sauce, Chinese barbecue foods are rich and delicious. Known locally in Cantonese as siu mei, you’ll find all sorts of different options in restaurants and at stalls. Pork or goose is generally the most popular.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you form something of an idea of what you want to get out of your visit to Hong Kong, and a loose plan is particularly necessary if you’ll only be here for one day. If you’ve yet to book but are feeling inspired, take a look at our Hong Kong cruise deals.

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