Updated: September 18, 2017 (added: “list of other places we’ve been”)
THINGS TO DO AND EAT IN HK
We went to Hong Kong for two weeks in Spring ’15, so this might be a bit outdated. Here’s a list of places that I would probably re-visit, the next time we go back.
Octopus Card – A re-loadable money card that can be purchased at the customer service desk near the express train exit. It’s a must for transportation and can also be used at a lot of retail stores.
SIM card – We purchased a one2free SIM from the 1010 shop at the airport. Since we didn’t need to make any phone calls, we got the data only cards instead.
Google Maps – I heavily relied on this app to get around.
Where to stay – If you plan on taking the MTR to get around, I highly recommend staying close to one of the train stations. Taking a long walk home at night is never ideal.
ATM – I found that withdrawing cash from 7-11 ATM’s had the best foreign exchange rates, when using a debit card that has no foreign transaction fees.
Things to do:
Ngong Ping (The Big Buddha) – If you plan on going to see The Big Buddha statue, and don’t plan on walking the entire Philosopher’s Path, I recommend taking the “crystal cabin” to the top. It’s equipped with a glass bottom and gives you a birds eye view of Lantau Island. Once you climb all of the steps to get to the statue, you can enjoy the breathtaking views!
Nan Lian Garden – Take a break from the busy city and have a stroll through Nan Lian Garden’s grounds. It was a serene and beautiful place to visit! If we’re ever back in Hong Kong, I’d definitely visit again on a sunny day.
The Peak – I’m not sure if it’s better to go during the day or at night, but the wait time for the tram going in both directions were ridiculous! I think it took us nearly 3 hours just to get down with the tram. I loved the views, but I don’t think I’d ever wait that long again.
Ocean Park – Theme park, aquarium and zoo all in one. If you have the time to go, expect to spend almost a whole day here! Maybe you’ll get lucky and see the red pandas awake and playing.
Victoria Harbour – We found a spot on the Avenue of Stars and waited for the Symphony of Lights to start. It’s supposed to be a “spectacular lights and sounds show” but it seemed like all we heard were advertisements haha. Maybe we were just in the wrong area, but I wouldn’t recommend waiting for it. Just seeing Hong Kong Island’s skyline lit up was good enough for me.
Other places we’ve been:
Places to eat:
Spring Deer – I loveee eating Peking duck! But what’s better than Peking duck buns? Peking duck wraps! I just prefer the steamed pancake wraps over the thick steamed buns that everyone can get from an asian grocery store’s frozen section. There’s a few places in Texas that I’ve had the wraps at, which is pretty good, but it wasn’t as good as Spring Deer’s. The roasted duck is carved table side for you to see and it comes out so perfect. The best thing of all is this location is pretty inexpensive. I highly recommend trying this place!
Kam Wah Cafe – One of the things I miss most are the pineapple buns w/ butter from this cafe! The flaky, crispy crust and soft, pillowy insides of this bun is absolutely amazing. Pair it with a slab of butter and you have the perfect breakfast or snack. I could eat this any time of the day.
Australia Dairy Company – They’re known for their classic steamed milk pudding but I didn’t get a chance to try it. However, I did try their HK-style French toast and it’s the best I’ve ever had. If you’ve had the ones in Houston at House of Bowls, this is wayyy better! The HK-style milk tea is also pretty good, but very potent. It has a more bitter taste than the type of milk tea we’re used to. Fair warning, they’re also famously known for their rude service! While we were there, I saw a server screaming at a customer and he literally slammed her order on the table, right in front of her. I can’t remember if there were English menus, but I just showed them pictures of what I wanted, from my phone.
Sam Shing Hui 南記海鮮飯店 – This was around the Gold Coast / Tuen Mun / Castle Peak Bay area, at the Sam Shing Hui seafood market. You just buy your live seafood and bring it to a nearby restaurant for them to cook (I think we went to Nam Kee Restaurant 南記海鮮飯店). If you like peking duck, you’ll love the roasted goose here!
Tim Ho Wan – Known as the cheapest 1-Michelin star restaurant at the time (2015), it did not disappoint. Everything we had here while we were in HK was pretty good, but the star of the show was the Baked BBQ Pork Buns. When I tried this again in NYC, it just wasn’t the same. I’m not sure if it was because they were still working out the kinks, since it newly opened. The only thing that was good were the BBQ pork buns. However, it was overly sweet when I had it in NYC. In HK, it was perfect. We went right when it opened, so there wasn’t a wait. If you go any later, definitely expect a long queue.
Paradise Dynasty – I was in a major xiao long bao / soup dumpling phase during this time, so we just had to go to Paradise Dynasty. We went during dinner so there was a pretty long queue, but it was worth it! You’re given a number and there’s a screen in the waiting area that’ll show you what number is next to be seated. I didn’t like half of the flavors that we tried, but I’d go back again to get the original, foie gras and black truffle on its own. We tried this again recently during our Japan trip (April ’17) and it wasn’t the same. The Hong Kong location was much, much better!
Din Tai Fung – I know there’s one in America, but for some reason, it just tastes sooo much better in Asia! There’s just so much more soup in the ones I’ve had overseas, compared to the states.
Lee Keung Kee North Point Eggette – This is one of the most famous egg waffle carts that I know of. There’s been plenty of places in America that started selling egg waffles, but I haven’t found a place like this one. I prefer the crispy, hollow egg waffles here over the other dense, heavy ones I’ve tried so far. If they had condensed milk to dip this in, it would be perfect. The pork dumplings and fish balls are good here too.
The Market Buffet at Hotel Icon – I’m not sure how it is now, but it was pretty good when we went during Spring ’15. It was steak and seafood heaven. If you’re not a seafood lover, there’s also plenty of other selections to choose from different cultures. The unlimited foie gras and lamb chops here were amazing.
肥公車仔麵 – I don’t think there’s an English name for this place, but it’s a tiny shop found in Mong Kok. Inside, you can create your own beef noodle soup. The meats and vegetables are laid out and all you have to do is point at what you want and they’ll add it to your bowl. Outside the shop, there’s a window where you can order the stir-fry version of the noodles. There’s plenty of places like these around Hong Kong, but this was the only one we’ve tried.
Other places we’ve been:
Food: Ippudo Ramen, Capital Cafe (truffle egg toast), Fooody, McDonald’s (pineapple season), Pepper Lunch, Temple Street Hot Pot,
Desserts: Lord Stow’s Bakery (egg tarts), Lucky Dessert, Cafe Aboong (taiyaki), Tai-parfait (taiyaki), Teawood (honey toast),
For more photos or places I haven’t listed, you can find it on IG under the hashtag #sherrytravelshk