As I stood lost and confused in the middle of Hong Kong with no data and no cell reception, wondering how I was gonna get to my Airbnb with the host’s vague directions, this old lady (my savior) stopped with her husband and asked if I needed help with directions. She started talking to me, asking me where I was from, and then started knowingly guiding me towards the Airbnb apartment. Once we got inside the building, she looked at the Airbnb description (which had no floor number or room number, only the room passcode) and then called the Airbnb host on her Samsung Galaxy, asking him for directions. She made sure that I got to my room, took the time to explain some of the features (in Hong Kong, there’s a separate control for the water heater), took a successful selfie with me, and then invited me to breakfast the next day at her favorite restaurant nearby. Moments like these make me so incredibly grateful for the kindness of strangers and made me only more excited to begin exploring the beautiful and chaotic city of Hong Kong.
Top 5 Things to Do in Hong Kong
1. Australia Dairy Co.
The dining experience here is like none other. They sit random strangers together on a small table and you eat directly across from each other separated by only a foot of space. I tried making conversation but most of them just smiled at me and went back to eating 😂 They also eat very quickly here or I just eat really slowly because three different people came and went while I was eating. Anyways, this was some of the best scrambled eggs I’ve tried, they were so light and fluffy and well paired with the lightly buttered toast.
2. Lan Su Chinese Gardens
Remember the Grandma from the beginning of this post? Her saving me brought us closer together and the next day, she took my friend Tess and I around Hong Kong, treating us to breakfast and then taking us to Lan Su Chinese Gardens. These gardens feature rare plants native to China, beautifully built pagodas, and a tea shop.
3. Tim Ho Wan
Tim Ho Wan is known as the “world’s cheapest one star Michelin restaurant.” Not gonna lie, the waitresses’ top priority isn’t necessarily good customer service but you can’t really complain as you bite into the flaky bun, coated with a sugar topping like a pineapple bun, into the warm bbq pork inside for less than 3 USD. If you needed further convincing, this place is also Anthony Bourdain approved.
4. Ozone Bar at the Ritz Carlton
It’s the tallest bar in the world and you know the drinks are fancy when they’re bringing out blowtorches. You have an amazing view of the skyline and the inside interior is also decked out with modern furniture, purple lights, and a dinosaur egg-like ceiling. The bathroom also ranks as one of the top 5 bathrooms I’ve been lucky enough to visit.
5. The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery: Hello from Big Buddha, the tallest outdoor bronze Buddha in the world. While here, we hiked up to the Big Buddha, learned more about the history of the local monks, and discovered an abandoned hostel.
Tram up to Victoria Peak
The view from Victoria Peak is well worth the tram ride to get up here. The tram ride itself is pretty fun as you get to rise up above the city and witness the changing views. Once you arrive at Victoria Peak, you can take advantage of the shopping mall or eat at one of the numerous restaurants.
Side note: Tess and I came back after exploring Hong Kong one day and found this thoughtfully addressed package in front of our room. It was from Grandma Leung and contained fruit peelers! I was very touched by her kindness, especially when she had already done so much for us. It reminded me of how it really is the people you meet on your travels that make or break your experience.
Our trip to Hong Kong was just the beginning of our adventure in Southeast Asia. Read more about how we packed for the trip and how we planned so we were able to successfully visit Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand in three weeks.
If you want to see what else there is to do in Hong Kong, you can find more information in Sharon’s blog post.