48 hours might not sound like a lot of time to see Hong Kong, but you’ll be surprised at how much you can pack in. The best way to make the most of your stay is to plan ahead – that way you won’t waste precious hours deciding what to see when you’re actually in the city.
Hong Kong is part of China (although under it’s own laws and government as a Special Administrative Region), and if you’ve never experienced life in this part of the world, you’re certainly in for a treat.
This amazing city is cram packed with exciting things to do, and with only 48 hours to explore, it’s necessary to prioritise to ensure you get to all the must-see attractions.
So let’s take a look at the options you have, and the important aspects that will make your 2 days as fun-filled as possible.
Getting from A to B
The first thing to understand is how you’re going to get around, and this is easy – you’re going to use the excellent public transport system, the MTR. This consists of the metro, overground trains, buses, and trams.
These are efficient, plentiful, clean, and safe. To make life even easier, you can purchase a tourist Octopus Card to pay on all of them. This is a pre-payment card that allows you to ”tap in” and “tap out” at the beginning and end of each journey. Not only is it convenient, but it also gives you slightly cheaper fares than paying for each journey individually.
You can also take advantage of the many taxis. You certainly won’t have a problem finding one, as taxis are by far the most common car on the road. Fares are reasonable, but use common sense if hailing a taxi during the rush hour. Because of the congestion, the traffic can get snarled up, meaning you spend too much time stationary instead of seeing the sights.
Because of this, one of the best ways to get around in certain circumstances is to walk. Not only is it cheap (in other words, free!), but you also get to experience the manic hustle and bustle that is Hong Kong. When walking, it’s highly likely that you’ll stumble across places that you’d never know existed if you constantly use other means of transportation.
One of the best ways to begin your Hong Kong sightseeing is to jump aboard the Star Ferry and take a cruise across Victoria Harbour. This gives you a great view of the Hong Kong skyline from the water, and will really make you feel like you’re beginning your 2 days with a high.
After seeing the city from this vantage point, it’s time to head upwards for a completely different perspective. Victoria Peak is one of Hong Kong’s biggest tourist attractions. You can take the tram from the ferry terminal (although sometimes the queues for this are quite long), or the bus.
And there’s always the option of taking a taxi if you’d prefer. The drive up to the peak is something to enjoy on its own, but when you reach the top, the views over the city really will take your breath away.
If you need some sustenance to keep you going, then grab a coffee and a snack from Starbucks, or there’s a super-duper mall here with various different restaurants. But for those who want to see as much as possible in their 2 days, save your appetite for a great meal later on.
After taking the obligatory scenic photos and grabbing a snack, take the tram or bus back down to the city and head to Kowloon. This area of Hong Kong is home to some amazing markets. Two of the best are Temple Market and Ladies Market.
Market connoisseurs may well want to visit both, but to be honest, they both sell rather much the same – clothes, souvenirs, and Chinese goods. For the sake of time, you’re not going to be hugely missing out if you only see one of them.
Haggling is part and parcel of shopping is the markets. This is intended to be a fun, light hearted experience – so take it as such. In general, you can expect to purchase goods here for around 50-70% of the advertised price, but the main thing to remember when haggling is that if you’re paying a price you’re happy with, then your shopping experience has been a success.
Kowloon is home to some of the finest of Hong Kong’s best known food – dim sum. And by finest, we don’t necessarily mean the most luxurious – because some of the best dim sum can be found in the most simple of places. Temple Street Market has plenty of stalls selling excellent food, or take your pick from one of the many restaurants that can be found around all of Kowloon.
After dinner, head back to Victoria Harbour to enjoy a must see attraction – the Symphony of Lights. It’s a wonder of the modern world to see some of the tallest skyscrapers on the planet lit in various different hues. This takes place every night at 20:00 hours.
For those who want to stay out late, there are plenty of nightspots and clubs to choose from, but make sure you get enough sleep, because tomorrow morning it’s time to do some serious shopping…
If yesterday was all about seeing the sights, this morning is all about retail therapy. Hong Kong has some excellent malls, including Elements Mall and the IFC Mall. If you’d prefer something with a little more heart, head to Soho and Sheung Wan. Here you’ll find delightful boutiques, artisan shops, and designer stores – plus some enticing cafes and restaurants for refueling when you need.
You could well spend the whole of your day here, but why not head to the famous Ocean Park for the afternoon and evening? Combining white knuckle thrills with the best marine life on offer, this is a great way to spend the second half of your day. There’s something here for all ages.
A top tip to avoid the queues is to purchase your tickets online before you go. Not only will it save you time, but on occasion, you might find various discounts on offer – so saving you money as well.