Arrival in Hong Kong
- Fly into Hong Kong International Airport - we usually recommend our readers to depart on the morning flight so you can arrive in Hong Kong by noon and have time to explore the city for the rest of the day ?
- Scoot and Singapore Airlines fly direct from Singapore to Hong Kong, while AirAsia and Garuda fly direct from KL and Jakarta respectively. Cathay Pacific offers direct flights from all three cities to Hong Kong too!
Head to Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal (15 minutes)
- Hong Kong Airport is located on Lantau Island, which also happens to be the largest island in Hong Kong! It’s home to attractions like Ngong Ping 360, the Big Buddha, and the Tai-O fishing village.
- Since you’re already at Lantau Island, start your trip by exploring the attractions here before heading to the city ?
- Begin your adventure by heading from the airport to the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal. You can take a taxi for about HKD40 (it’s only a 5 – 10 minute drive to get there!). Alternatively, you can also take the bus (routes S1, S56, S64 and S64X) to the Tung Chung Bus Terminus, which is adjacent to the cable car terminal.
- You can store your luggage at the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal for a fee of HKD100 per piece, with no advance booking required.
Ride the longest bi-cable ropeway in Asia (25 minutes)
- Head to Ngong Ping (a highland area located on Lantau Island) via the scenic cable car ride that’s part of Ngong Ping 360!
- This 25-minute cable car ride will let you enjoy incredible views of Lantau Island and the South China Sea.
- For an extra thrilling experience, opt for the Crystal Cabin which has a glass bottom, allowing you to see all the way below! Crystal cabins cost around HKD50 extra than the Standard Cabin.
- Take the cable car up and across the Tung Chung Bay - you’ll pass through the first station, where the ropeway route then changes its angle 60 degrees.
- The ride will take you up to the final stop at Ngong Ping Village, an area filled with shops, eateries and other attractions that’s also part of Ngong Ping 360.
- As you approach the village you’ll see views of the island’s beautiful greenery, get your first sighting of the Big Buddha, and even see glimpses of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. This 55km bridge is one of the longest in the world and even features an undersea tunnel ?
Have lunch at Ebeneezer’s Kebab & Pizza (45 minutes)
- Once you reach Ngong Ping Village, it’s time for lunch! Head to Ebeneezer’s Kebab & Pizza, a halal-certified chain of restaurants in Hong Kong serving up a mix of Indian, Middle-Eastern, and western dishes.
- The outlet at Ngong Ping Village is located just a short walk away from the cable car terminal. On your way there, walk along the bridge that has the Blessing Drums - drums painted with auspicious and lucky words - and snap a quick photo!
- We tried some of their naan which was nice and fluffy and made a great pairing with the chicken curry we ordered alongside. We also had their kebabs - we recommend adding on some of the delicious house sauces to complete your meal!
See the majestic Tian Tan Buddha (1 hour)
- After refuelling on the yummy food, you’re all set to explore!
- Tian Tan Buddha (also known as the Big Buddha) is the second-largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha statue in the world. Measuring 34m in total (including the base), this 250-tonne statue is an impressive sight atop of Mount Muk Yue.
- Walk through Ngong Ping Village towards the Tian Tan Buddha (you won’t be able to miss it!). It takes about 10 minutes to walk from Ngong Ping Village to the base of the Tian Tan Buddha.
- For those wanting to get a closer look, you can climb up the 268 steps to get to the statue. You’ll also get a nice view!
Admire the Po Lin Monastery (30 minutes)
- After seeing the Big Buddha, walk over to the Po Lin Monastery, a world-renowned Buddhist monastery that’s famous for eye-catching architectural elements and gardens.
- Take your time to explore the grounds which comprise a few buildings including the Main Shrine Hall of Buddha, the Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas and the Bell Tower. There’s a restaurant there that serves fully vegetarian food too.
Explore Ngong Ping Village (1.5 hours)
- It’s time to make your way back to Ngong Ping Village, and now’s the perfect time to browse around the shops and attractions here!
- Have some virtual fun at VR 360, a unique virtual reality experience that incorporates Hong Kong settings and landscapes.
- There are several different VR games that you can try. We particularly liked the Time Shuttle game where we got to shoot at targets ? There was also a game that mimicked walking on a tightrope in the air, which definitely felt quite scary!
- Right nearby, you’ll find Motion 360, a movie theatre experience that includes movement, wind, and water for a fully immersive experience! We really enjoyed the movie we watched which was called Discover Lantau. It simulated a ride all across Lantau Island - not only was it a fun experience, but a great way to learn more about the island too!
- Ngong Ping Village constantly hosts different events and special exhibitions, so do be sure to check out what’s on while you visit! When we were there there were super cute We Bare Bears-related displays in celebration of Chinese New Year.
- Don’t forget to drop by the gift and souvenir shops to browse for some fun souvenirs to bring home.
Head back down to Tung Chung and check-in at your hotel
- It’s time to head to your hotel! Take the cable car back down to Tung Chung Terminal and collect your luggage.
- During our last trip to Hong Kong, we stayed at Pentahotel Hong Kong in Kowloon. It’s located about 10-minute walk from the Diamond Hill MTR station. We loved the stylish contemporary furnishings of our room, and best of all, the hotel has halal-certified options for dinner and breakfast!
- For other budget-friendly accommodation options that are near halal food, check this list out!
Have dinner at the hotel and get an early night’s rest
- After a full day (including an early morning flight!), we’d understand if you just want to have dinner and get some rest. Luckily, Pentahotel helpfully has a halal-certified menu that you can order from! Choose from dishes such as Nasi Goreng, stir-fried noodles with beef, or spicy garlic lamb chops. Do request the halal menu from the restaurant staff.
- The serving sizes were generous and will definitely fill you up! We enjoyed the milk tea too
Have breakfast at the hotel
- You have a full day ahead of exploring, but first, fuel up with breakfast! Pentahotel conveniently has a halal-certified menu so you can eat right at the hotel ?
- Breakfast is served at the hotel restaurant located on the first floor (next to the reception area).
- The halal breakfast comprises select buffet items (including fruits, cereal, and salad) as well as hot menu items prepared upon order. Do indicate to the staff that you would like the halal menu when entering the restaurant, and they’ll provide you with a print-out of the menu as well as a pen, so you can mark your choices of dishes you would like prepared (you’ll need to hand the paper back to staff so they can inform the kitchen!).
- The dishes included items like steamed buns, eggs, fried noodles, congee, and sautéed veggies. We recommend the fried noodles - the fried chicken with coconut rice (which is pretty much their version of Nasi Lemak) was quite good too!
Visit Graham Street morning market (45 minutes)
- Explore Central Hong Kong to see a slice of local life, starting with visiting the Graham Street Morning Market! You can make your way to the Central or Sheung Wan MTR stations, and from there, stroll through the city to get to the market.
- The Graham Street market makes for a fascinating insight into daily life in Hong Kong - this narrow alleyway climbs uphill and is filled on both sides with stalls selling fresh produce like fruits and vegetables. It’s a crowded place to manoeuvre, but certainly an interesting one!
- As you walk the surrounding area, it’ll also be hard not to appreciate and snap photos of the architecture and landscape. The area is filled with older buildings and public housing that’s interspersed with taller, newer skyscrapers. You’ll also find stores selling traditional herbs and tonics sitting right next to upscale artisanal shops.
Learn more about Hong Kong’s heritage at Tai Kwun (1.5 hours)
- After the market, walk along the alleyways in the area towards Tai Kwun, Hong Kong’s former Central Police Station that’s been converted into an arts and heritage centre.
- Taking the Mid-Levels Escalator, head to Tai Kwun. There’s a footbridge that connects directly to Tai Kwun at the intersection of Hollywood Road and Old Bailey Street (it makes for a pretty photo spot too!)
- Tai Kwun is made of a cluster of buildings. The open area in the Parade Ground (where you’ll first enter coming from the footbridge) is a great place to get a good view of the former Police Headquarters Block, Barrack Block, and Armoury which have all been beautifully restored.
- Don’t forget to check out B Hall in the Prison Yard. Here, you’ll find a fascinating exhibition of what life was like as a prisoner at the station.
- Tai Kwun hosts several ongoing art and cultural exhibitions, performances and workshops in and around the compound. In addition, they offer guided tours (including in English!). Check their website to see the current programmes when you visit!
Browse through vintage treasures at Cat Street
- Just a short walk away from Tai Kwun, it’s time to look at antiques, curios, and other quirky finds at Cat Street market, which has been around since the 1920s!
- While it’s called Cat Street, the market is actually located on a street called Upper Lascar Row. The name Cat Street came about because back in the early days, many of the goods sold at the market were reportedly stolen items. Because stolen goods are called rats in Cantonese, the people who buy them were in turn, cats!
- At the market, you’ll find an assortment of stalls and shops selling everything from figurines to old records, magazines, ceramic ware, and more. We had a lot of fun looking through everything, and it can be a nice spot to look for a unique souvenir to bring home.
Have an Indian feast for lunch at Bombay Dreams
- Getting hungry from all the walking? You’re in for a treat - a feast filled with biryani, roti, curries, tandoori and more awaits at Bombay Dreams! ?
- Bombay Dreams is an Indian restaurant that offers authentic Indian cuisine. It has an ala carte menu, but the eatery is very popular for its lunch buffet - the restaurant was packed while we were there, so it’s best to make reservations in advance.
- We were lucky enough to get to enjoy the buffet, and while it’s somewhat pricier (HKD198 per person), the variety of yummy food available and the upscale ambience of the restaurant definitely made it worth it. We even got to see the tandoori and the naan bread being made right before us in open kitchens facing the dining area.
Have a one-of-a-kind shopping mall experience at K11 Musea (2 hours)
- Next up, we’re exploring Victoria Dockside! This recent development on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront has a collection of new buildings, one of them being K11 Musea, an upscale mall that’s unlike any other mall we’ve been to. To get there, head to Tsim Sha Tsui or East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR stations.
- Entering K11 Musea, we were immediately taken by the beautiful details and furnishings of the mall. It’s definitely an Insta-worthy spot!
- Head to the mall’s centre atrium, called the Opera Theatre, and look up to the stunning view! With the centrepiece called the Gold Ball (the spherical object on the right), the Opera Theatre is filled with carefully positioned lights and sloping fixtures that overall just looks incredible.
- K11 Musea was designed with a unique concept: to be a cultural-retail hub that not only offers shops but integrates elements of art, culture and heritage. Each level of the mall has a specific theme, and as you explore the mall you’ll see art displays, temporary exhibits, and interactive stations according to the theme!
- Every store at K11 Musea is truly unique in Hong Kong - as a requirement, all stores are either the flagship store for that brand in Hong Kong, the first outlet in the city or sell exclusive merchandise.
- Some of the notable stores include the MOMA Design Store (the store associated with New York’s Museum of Modern Art that sells contemporary design products), the National Geographic store, and Fortnum and Masons (the first outlet outside of the UK!).
- At this point in time, there are no halal-certified restaurants in the mall, but we definitely loved some of the artisanal coffee spots available! There’s an Arabica (the popular coffee brand from Kyoto) located at the mall, and we also tried Bloom’s Coffee. This cafe boasts a sleek, copper and gold-toned aesthetic, and the coffee was delicious ?
See the handprints of your favourite Hong Kong celebrities at Avenue of Stars (45 minutes)
- K11 is located right by the Tsim Sha Tsui harborfront. You can walk from the mall right onto the waterfront promenade, and here you’ll find the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong’s version of the Hollywood Walk Of Fame!
- See the handprints of notable Hong Kong stars like Jet Li, Jackie Chan and more all along the railing by the waterfront. You’ll get a great view of the harbour and Hong Kong Island too!
- Walk to nearby Salisbury Garden, where you’ll find a bronze statue of one of Hong Kong’s most beloved actors of all time, Bruce Lee.
Admire the sunset views from West Kowloon Art Park (1 hour)
- Have a nice evening stroll and see some amazing sunset views at West Kowloon Art Park!
- This green space is located in the new West Kowloon Cultural District, a development with spaces dedicated to performing arts, events, and exhibitions.
- The park overlooks another portion of the harbourfront and is a great place to take scenic photos of the city (especially at night!).
- We really loved the relaxed and chill atmosphere of the place - we saw locals having picnics, walking their dogs or eating at one of the few eateries there.
Savour authentic Lanzhou Beef Noodles for dinner (45 minutes)
- After soaking in the views of the city, it’s time for dinner! Enjoy authentic hand-pulled noodles, beef and mutton dishes, and other Lanzhou specialities at this halal restaurant.
- For a value-for-money option, you can get one of the set menus where you can choose a main along with a side dish (or a can of Coke if you don’t want the side-dish). We also highly recommend the mutton skewers - they were so tender and flavourful!
Visit Wong Tai Sin, one of Hong Kong’s most iconic temples (1 hour)
- Wong Tai Sin temple is a super well-known temple in Hong Kong. Locals believe that praying here can make your wishes come true! The temple was built to commemorate a monk of the same name and is visited by Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian worshippers.
- The temple has become a popular tourist attraction, thanks to the beautifully symbolic architecture of the temple structures, as well as its significance to locals - it’s a great spot to see local religious and culture being practiced. Visitors from all faiths are welcome in the grounds, though do be respectful of those worshipping.
- As you explore the temple grounds, you’ll see locals and visitors lighting incense sticks and offering prayers. Besides being a place of worship, visitors also often seek divine guidance or have their fortunes told. In fact, there’s a whole adjacent complex where many fortune-tellers have a stall to offer their services!
Explore Hong Kong’s old school charm in Sham Shui Po (2 hours)
- Sham Shui Po is a residential area located in northwestern part of Kowloon that is the perfect place to see a different side of Hong Kong. Historically populated by the working-class, the neighbourhood retains a vibe much unlike the glitzier central areas. It’s the perfect place to leisurely walk around and soak in the sights and sounds.
- Sham Shui Po is a popular area to pick-up textile-related goods. In fact, there are streets dedicated to ribbons (Nam Cheong Street), fabric (Tai Nan Street) and beads (Yu Chau Street). Whether you’re looking for sewing materials, lace, or the perfect printed fabric, you’ll find it here!
- Looking to try more traditional Hong Kong snacks? Then a pit-stop by A1 Tofu Company is a must! This bean curd store has been selling this beloved local snack for more than 50 years ? The bean curd comes in a variety of flavours, including black sesame, horlicks and almond paste.
- Sham Shui Po is also known for having many photo-worthy spots, and one of the most iconic sights of the neighbourhood is the Man Fung and Kam Ning buildings. The Man Fung building instantly became an Instagram favourite after a Madrid-based artist painted it with a larger-than-life mural. Right next door, Kam Ning building stands out with its bright yellow hue.
Lunch as Ma’s Restaurant (45 minutes)
- Specializing in Xinjiang cuisine, this halal-certified restaurant is only a 5-minute walk from Prince Edward MTR Station!
- Choose from the variety of dishes available from their menu - some of our favourites include their sweet and sour fish, salted egg yolk prawns, and the chilli beef. And if you haven’t been to Ma’s Restaurant before, be sure to try the veal goulash ?
- Ma’s Restaurant also serves traditional Chinese desserts too, so be sure to save some space for a sweet treat to end the meal. We tried the black sesame tang yuen (glutinous rice balls) which was served steaming hot in a smooth sesame paste. Definitely a must try when you’re there!
Have fun at the first Monopoly-themed park in the world (2 hours)
- See the beloved board game come to life at Monopoly Dreams, the unique theme park located at The Peak Hong Kong.
- The park is located on Level 3 of The Peak Galleria, which is a separate building behind the main building where passengers disembark from the tram.
- Be guided by a butler to Mr Monopoly (i.e. the park staff!) as you explore the different settings.
- See the biggest Monopoly token in the world while exploring a room fashioned as Mr Monopoly’s house! It’s the car token and is practically as big as a real car ? You can also see rare items like a gold-plated Monopoly board.
- Besides Mr Monopoly’s house, there are a few different areas where you can play games or take photos. Play the Ultimate Banking game, where you step into a booth and try to catch as much Monopoly money blown in the air within 30 seconds. You can even use the cash at the gift store (though do note there are certain terms and conditions - the staff will help explain it to you once you complete playing!).
- Be sure to check out the gift store on your way out. Not only are there cute Monopoly-related merchandise like magnets and keychains, but there are also really cool limited edition and crossover Monopoly boards, such as the Stranger Things edition Monopoly and even an Angry Birds version!
Go shopping along Nathan Road (2 hours)
- Nathan Road is a popular area to shop, eat and browse for visitors and locals alike. No matter if you’re a first-timer or a repeat visitor to Hong Kong, this main street that stretches 3.6km through Kowloon is definitely a must-visit!
- Nathan Road starts from Sham Shui Po in the north and goes down all the way to Tsim Sha Tsui.
- Around the Mong Kok area (two MTR stations down from Sham Shui Po), you’ll find the famous shopping streets like Fa Yuen Street (also known as Sneaker Street) with its variety of sportswear stores, as well as Ladies Market.
- Further down the road, you’ll find Yue Hwa Emporium, a departmental store selling Chinese-related products. If you’re looking for traditional products, Chinese-style clothing or homeware items like pillowcases, tablecloths and more, this is the spot to go!
- As you approach Tsim Sha Tsui, you’ll hit Granville Road, the trendy fashion street with a mix of boutiques and factory outlet stores, the items here are trendy yet affordable as it caters to a younger crowd.
See the dazzling Gala of Lights show at Ocean Park (1.5 hours)
- End your night with a bang by witnessing Ocean Park’s new nighttime entertainment offering, the Gala of Lights! This multimedia and performing arts display is an incredibly entertaining spectacle that will delight both children and adults.
- The show is made up of a few segments, the main one being the Soul of the Ocean, an immersive 12-minute multimedia show that not only incorporates projections, special effects like water and fire jets, and music, but also a whole troupe of acrobatic dancers. The show tells the story of an ancient creature that lives within Ocean Park and its keepers.
- We really loved the show and were blown away by the display from start to finish!
- The other main highlight is Visions of Hong Kong, a 6-minute multimedia fountain show that takes viewers on a journey through Hong Kong’s history, culture and identity.
- Soul of the Ocean starts at 7pm, while Visions of Hong Kong starts at 9pm. In between the two main displays there are other fun and interactive experiences for guests, from fire and water shows, to drums that guests can play that activate water fountains and pretty light displays.
- General Admission (incl. Gala of Lights): HKD498 (Adult); HKD24 (Child aged 11 & below)
- Gala of Lights only: HKG 240 (Adult); HKD120 (Child)
- General Admission: Mon-Fri; 10AM-6PM, Sat-Sun; 10AM-7PM
- Gala of Lights: 6.30PM-10PM (Animal exhibits, rides and other attractions are closed at this hour)
Have a fun day out at Hong Kong Disneyland (full day)
- If you’re Disney lovers (like us!), you can never miss out on the opportunity to visit Hong Kong Disneyland when you’re in town. We recommend devoting an entire day to spending time at this awesome theme park before heading straight to the airport!
- Check out of your hotel after breakfast and head to Hong Kong Disneyland. We recommend taking a taxi as it’s the easiest way to get there with your luggage in tow, and also because it's best to get to the park as early as possible in the morning to beat the crowds!
- If you’ve been to Hong Kong Disneyland before, we recommend heading straight to Tomorrowland to try their latest ride, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! In this ride, you get to ride a special vehicle when you can shoot from, fighting alongside Ant-Man and The Wasp to prevent S.H.I.E.L.D data from falling into the hands of evil organisation Hydra.
- You can then spend your time going on all your favourite rides, be it thrilling rollercoasters like Hyperspace Mountain and Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, or more laid back rides such as Mad Hatter Tea Cups or The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh.
- For lunch, head to either Tahitian Terrace Restaurant or Explorer’s Club Restaurant, both which offer halal food. We love Explorer’s Club because it offers a variety of cuisine including Korean, Japanese and Indonesian food. Plus, there’s a prayer room conveniently located just beside Explorer’s Club too ?
- Since you probably won’t be able to attend the night-time events or parades to catch your flight, make sure to catch a show or two during the daytime before you leave! You can download the park app to keep track of performance and event schedules, so you can plan ahead accordingly. Some of the top shows include Festival of The Lion King (an acrobatic musical performance featuring Simba and friends) and the Flights of Fantasy Parade (the afternoon parade featuring beloved characters from Toy Story, The Jungle Book and more!).
Head to the airport for your flight
- Time will probably fly by at Disneyland and soon enough, it’ll be time to head home ☹
- Retrieve your luggage and head to the airport. It’ll take around 30-minutes to get to the airport via the MTR (transfer at Tsing Yi Station and transfer to Sunny Bay Station).