A weekend trip to Hong Kong is popular, if not by choice. Many people spend a few days in the city at the end of a week of doing business in town or to recover after a manic few days cutting deals in China.
It’s the perfect city for a two-day break. Fantastically diverse but compact at the same time. With perhaps the world’s best metro system it’s simple and quick to find your way around.
If this is your first time in Asia, you couldn’t have picked a better city to fly into. Hong Kong is an easy introduction to a continent that can be overwhelming at first. The heavy influence of western culture, from burger joints and coffee houses to English speaking and queuing will be instantly recognizable.
Yet underneath the British veneer is a city that’s more traditional than mainland China next door. Untouched by communism and cultural revolutions, Cantonese culture remains powerful, you only need to look at the boisterous crowds queuing outside temples during festivals or the palm reading tents at the local market.
In our Hong Kong two-day tour we’ll take you around the blockbuster sights of the city and try and give you a flavor of both the Chinese and Western character. We’ve got skyscraper views, multicultural bazaars and plenty of food; both Chinese and western. And yes there is shopping involved.
There’s no hiking and you don’t need to pack anything in particular. It will be worth picking up an Octopus card; a prepaid travel card that lets you swipe in and out of public transport.
Day 1 - Morning - The Skyline
Splashed across every guidebook and travel magazine down the years Hong Kong’s skyline is perhaps the most iconic in the world – and, yes, there are more skyscrapers here than in New York. Nowhere does Hong Kong live up to its international reputation for money making and power broking more than in Central.
The main business district perched on the north shore of Hong Kong Island is a bastion of power, privilege and luxury shops. Take a walk around the streets near the huge international finance towers at the waterfront and marvel at the canyons of skyscrapers. Most are off limits; although there is a garden on top of the IFC mall.
Don’t miss a trip to Statue Square where you can see the historic Hong Kong senate building, from where the city was once governed, as well as the jaw-dropping HSBC headquarters. This futuristic skyscraper is stacked like lego and remains one of the best-designed and most popular buildings in the city. Sat outside you’ll see Stephen and Stitt the lucky HSBC Lions who are still peppered with bullet marks from the Japanese invasion.
Lunch - Dai Pai Dong
Proving that even here, in the city’s capitalist stronghold of Central, Hong Kong has a dual personality, take lunch at the dai pai dongs on Graham Street.
These basic street food stalls sell noodle and rice dishes to office workers who perch on wooden tables while they shovel down their food. They aren’t fancy but the food they serve is good, the price is just a fistful of dollars and it’s an enjoyable way to rub shoulders with the city’s white-collar business people.