I was lucky enough to call Hong Kong home for half a year and miss it so much already. It is probably the most interesting and diverse city I’ve ever visited, with stark contrasts everywhere you look. From the gloss of Central and the cramped high-rise concrete jungles surrounding it to the beautiful beaches, hiking trails and peaceful neighbouring islands; some of the world’s best restaurants to eye-wateringly cheap local food eaten on plastic stools just next door; the hot humid summers and chilly winters, it is a complete playground of a country. The only way I can think to describe it is as an Asian New York, but even that doesn’t do its many traits justice.

1. Eat & drink!

Hong Kong has without a doubt the best array of bars in the most concentrated area, ever. What may seem like a rundown stairwell, empty alleyway or deserted building will more often than not lead you to the most insanely cool or beautiful bar that will blow your mind and would be both rammed and crazy expensive back home. Honestly, when mum asked me what my favourite thing about Hong Kong is I shamelessly answered the bars. They are phenomenal {see my favourite bars here}. As for the restaurants, Hong Kong is definitely at the forefront of the world’s dining scene and offers every cuisine at every price, without compromising on taste. It is a foodie’s heaven {you can read about my favourite restaurants here}.

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2. Visit Lamma Island

Lamma Island is a short and enjoyable ferry ride away. World’s away from the hustle & bustle of Hong Kong Island, it is a tranquil paradise with a jungle landscape that has secluded beaches, amazing fresh seafood (I recommend Lamma Rainbow restaurant) and an awesome, hour long gentle hike called the “Family Trail”, which allows you to immerse yourself in the island life as well as get great views across the sea. {Read my full post on Lamma here.}

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3. Check out Lantau Island

There are so many interesting facts about Lantau that you can read in my full post, but if you’re keen on culture and sightseeing then a day-trip to Lantau should be a priority! With the Tian Tian Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping Piazza and Tai O fishing village {my favourite part} all to be visited, you won’t find yourself short of things to do & see. I would 100% recommend taking the cable car between Hong Kong Island and Lantau as the views are unbelievable and you can truly appreciate the vastness of this green, hilly island.

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 4. Visit Victoria Peak during both day + night

Visiting the Peak is a an absolute must for any tourist; located right in the centre of Hong Kong and only a short 10-minute scenic tram on one of the world’s oldest & most famous funicular railways, the whole experience will only take you an hour and is well worth making the time for. The views over Hong Kong are unparalleled to any other vantage point on the island and the landscape of the city is truly mesmerizing during both day & night {night being my preference due to my obsession with all things lights + sparkle}. Although I should add if you wish to skip the tram (and most probably the queue), it’s a sweaty 45-minute uphill walk (or easy walk down), or a cheap & fast cab ride.

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5. Hike Dragon’s Back

Dragon’s Back is the most famous and gentle hike in Hong Kong, manageable by people of all ages and fitness levels. The views are insanely beautiful and if you start at the right end you’ll finish up at Shek O beach and can reward yourself with a dip in the sea + excellent (albeit a little pricey) Mediterranean food at Cococabana, or awesome cheap local Thai food!

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6. Have the perfect special night: Aqua Luna + Aqua + Ozone

The evening Aqua Luna boat coincides perfectly with being on the water for the Symphony of Lights show that takes place every evening at 8pm. Although it is essentially a laser show from the buildings in time with seasonal music and very gimmicky, it is cute and puts a smile on your face, and I personally think is worth experiencing if you’re in the area, and particularly if you’re going to have dinner at either Aqua or Hutong {both linked to full reviews}. As you’ll know if you read my review of Aqua, it’s my favourite restaurant in Hong Kong, offering unbelievable Italian & Japanese cuisine as well as the best view of Victoria harbour that exists. If you feel like slipping on your dancing shoes after, Ozone in the Ritz is only a short taxi ride away and is the tallest rooftop bar in Hong Kong.

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7. Go to the Wednesday races followed by a wild night out in Wan Chai

The races take place at Happy Valley 3 out of 4 Wednesday’s a month {you can check here when they’re on} and are a super fun evening out. The stadium is packed with locals & expats alike, serious betters and those that are there purely to meet their mates and sink a few beers (this would obviously be the category I fell into). There’s just a really great atmosphere and is the perfect mid-week meeting point for a fun night out after. Wan Chai is famous for ladies night Wednesday’s (free drinks on tap ladies) where the most popular spots are Typhoon’s or Carnegies, and pretty much anything goes. Cue a big messy night, dancing on tables and a 4am visit to Burger Joys. Ophelia, on the other hand, is also in Wan Chai and one of my favourite bars in HK {see them all here}, designed by the same people as Iron Fairies and is an absolutely stunning cocktail bar. Prepare for raunchy cage dancing and performances, and delicious but expensive drinks.

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 8. Spend a lazy day at Repulse Bay

Repulse Bay is without a doubt my favourite place to chill in Hong Kong. A decent stretch of beach with a boardwalk offering what you’d only expect to find in LA; The Pulse is a health-conscious beach lover’s dream with a gym, juice bars, al fresco dining everywhere, Aperol Spritz’s enjoyed in the sunshine… need I go on? If you want to step it up a notch further, Cabana is located on the roof of The Pulse and throws a great but relatively chilled (in a good way) day party with water tubs, a resident DJ and champagne bottle poppin’. It’s a perfect spot to watch the sunset from too {it’s actually really romantic} and the staff are amazing.

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9. Take the star ferry to Kowloon and visit the night market

The star ferry is super cheap & quick and let’s you soak up the sights of Victoria harbour, and would be my recommended mode of transport to Kowloon-side (versus doing the journey underground). It’s the exact same journey as Aqua Luna, minus the free cocktail and comfy seating, so let your budget dictate your choices on this one! The night market is the same as most others in Asia, full of useless tat but some good steals are hidden amongst the illuminating rubble, particularly electronics, so have a good rummage around.

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10. Visit Disneyland and eat character dim sum

I can’t say visiting Hong Kong Disneyland would have been top of my own list but when Bekky came to visit and dragged me along I’m not ashamed to admit that I absolutely loved every second of it. There are some genuinely thrilling rides and the parade was just as good as a West End show, no word of a lie! In addition to reliving your childhood and seeing all of your favourite characters come to life, Crystal Lotus restaurant within the Disneyland hotel specialises in character dim sum so you can eat them all too {you do need to pre-order though!}.

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11. Eat dim sum, full stop.

It would be wrong to leave Hong Kong without sampling the heart of its cuisine, dim sum. You can go high-end at Lung King Heen or super cheap at places like Din Tai Fung and Tim Ho Wan, which I personally prefer as you get way more of an authentic experience, the food is eye-wateringly cheap and crazy delicious. For fun dim sum and to try the Insta-famous “vomiting custard bun” dessert, head to Social Place!

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12. Have an unforgettable night out in LKF

Lan Kwai Fong is smack bang in the middle of Central and is THE party place of Hong Kong. Swanky cocktail bars, dingy dive bars, high-end nightclubs, beautiful rooftop bars, all-night raves; you name it, LKF has it. I can assure you that you’ll have a good night there, whatever it is you’re looking for {see my favourite 10 bars here}.

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Have you been to Hong Kong before? Is it somewhere you’d like to go based on my suggestions? Or do they describe the kind of place you imagined it to be? I’d love to know, I miss it loads! xo