I had contemplated an extended layover in Hong Kong for awhile. However, with the Canadian dollar being so weak at the moment, I was initially apprehensive. After two weeks in Vietnam, Hong Kong’s prices felt noticeably high. Fortunately, we were only there for a few days and managed to survive in a teeny tiny hotel room for four nights.
Hong Kong has something for everyone. It’s a hub of activity and an eclectic mix of culture and consumerism. I was dying to experience both the old and new. Travellers will appreciate the traditional diners and eateries, the vibrant nightlife, the extraordinary views, and the seemingly infinite markets of Kowloon.
Sightseeing & Activities/
The Kowloon markets are so much fun and come in all shapes and sizes. Without a doubt, the flower markets were our favourite. We spent hours perusing the beautiful blooms on display and regretted not being able to take anything home with us.
Be sure to check out the Goldfish Market and Bird Market, both are unconventional and interesting, and the Ladies Market for souvenirs.
Hong Kong is known for its shopping and nightlife, but most of the brands are similar to what you’d find in North America and Europe. With our dollar being so weak, we steered clear of the malls and ventured to the aforementioned markets. If you’re looking to drop some cash, Causeway Bay is a good place to start.
Whatever you do, make sure you hike (rather than taking the tram) up to The Peak. It’s a fantastic workout and the spectacular view provides the perfect reward.
While most tour books highly recommend day tripping to see Big Buddha, we decided to give it a miss. Natalie had already been and I was satisfied with the Buddhas we had already seen in Vietnam. Maybe one day I’ll go back!
The food scene in Hong Kong blew me away. Traditional diners, where not a word of English is spoken, sit alongside trendy cafés and ultra modern ice cream parlours that delight both the eyes and the tastebuds.
Oddies Foodies: My favourite spot, by far, was Oddies! The tiny storefront on Wan Chai Road is usually jam-packed with locals and tourists. The Hong Kong-style waffles look as good as they taste!
Via Tokyo: If matcha’s your thing, you’ll love Via Tokyo. The matcha soft-serve here is drool-worthy. And for those who prefer soft-serve in other variations, they’ve got that too!
Mido Cafe: This timeless cafe is straight out of the movies, in fact many Hong Kong movies were filmed here. The mint interior is timeless and charming. The food isn’t anything special, but the atmosphere makes up for it.
Little Bao: I’m bao-obsessed, and this place came highly recommended by several people. After a particularly gruelling hike up to the Peak, Natalie and I were craving something a little different. She had the vegetarian bao and I had the pork belly, and we were both thoroughly impressed by both the quality of the baos and the super friendly service.
Grassroots Pantry: After all the ice cream we’d inhaled, it was time to replenish with some greens. Grassroots Pantry, with its swoon-worthy interior and plating, is the place to do it.
Hello Kitty Chinese Café: While Natalie and I were the only adults there without children in tow, all my childhood dreams came true at the HK restaurant in Kowloon. The wait is worth it for the Hello Kitty dumplings, buns, cutlery and decor.
After drinking way too much Vietnamese coffee (usually instant coffee with condensed milk), I appreciated the vibrant cafe culture in Hong Kong.
The Cupping Room: The tiled floors at the Wan Chai branch are as iconic as the flat whites. Breakfast here also deserves a mention!
Elephant Grounds: Another solid option for fantastic coffee. Their ice cream also looked delicious, but I didn’t have a chance to try it!
We had a bit of drama with our accommodation (which was no one’s fault but my own) and ended up staying at Mini Hotel – Causeway Bay. While the walls are paper-thin and the rooms are smaller than my closet, the location was perfect, which is really what I’m all about.