Just got back from Hong Kong last month and I must admit, this chaotic metropolis is very different from other big cities. A typical Hong Kong itinerary will perhaps range from a few days to a week, if you cover Macau. However, as a slow traveler, I like to enjoy a destination at leisure and see beyond the usual top attractions.
So, I decided to spend over 10 days in Hong Kong!
Hong Kong island has something for every travel taste. From culture junkies to nature buffs, foodies to adventurists – everyone can enjoy Hong Kong in their own way.
For me, even 10 days seemed too less here, which is why I skipped Macau altogether. From what I heard about Macau later, I don’t think I missed much, to be honest.
So, from my massive 10 day sprint, you can cherry pick the attractions and experiences you fancy and still enjoy the city if you have only a few days at hand. As for me, I already have a huge list of hiking trails I still need to cover when I re-visit.
Table of Content
- 10 Day Awesome Itinerary of Hong Kong
- Day 1 – Lantau Island Tour and Peek into Hong Kong Nightlife
- Day 2 – Victoria Peak Hike and Wan Chai pubs
- Day 3 – Sheung wan street art and TST East Bars
- Day 4 – Escape room and Famous Dukling Cruise
- Day 5 – Kowloon Peak Hike to Suicide Cliff
- Day 6 – Feeling like a Kid at Disneyland
- Day 7 – Instagram Worthy Spots, Food tour and Upscale Bar
- Day 8 – Scaling Mount High West and Partying at Gay bars
- Day 9 – Fun-filled Day at Ocean Park
- Day 10 – Different Tastes of Hong Kong Tour
- Where to Stay in Hong Kong
- General Tips for First time Visitors to Hong Kong
10 Day Awesome Itinerary of Hong Kong
Looking for a good Hong Kong itinerary? Well this covers everything from food, tours, nightlife, hikes, amusement parks and street art.
Day 1 – Lantau Island Tour and Peek into Hong Kong Nightlife
My introduction to Hong Kong was with a guided tour to Lantau Island. Lantau island offers a host of attractions but the 360 degree cable way and the enchanting big Buddha atop a hill, are surely the top tourist attractions of Lantau.
The tour started once I got off the cable way and into the lovely Ngong ping village. A quaint tea shop was the meeting point where we got to try the detoxifying herbal flower tea.
Next stop was the Tai O fishing village. Luckily, we had a nice small group of people from around the world on the tour and it made for interesting conversations. We on-boarded the KKday bus and headed to the village.
Just like other fishing villages across Asia, this was charming and peaceful. The best part was the food. We even got some free coupons, included in our tour, to enjoy local delicacies like doughnuts, fish balls or husband (yes its a local snack).
Next we onboarded the Tai O village cruise. Its a short boat ride around the village with good chances of spotting the endemic pink dolphins. Sadly, we didn’t spot any but since then I spoke to several people who had been on the same tour and did in fact see them a few times. So, it was just unlucky, I guess.
You will also find the cutest souvenirs in Tai O Village. These turtles with spectacles made from sea shells, stole my heart.
I also saw some cat cafes at Tai O fishing village – I was not expecting that!
Later you get some free time to explore the village on your own, followed by a visit to the Po Lin Monastery which features the famous Tian Tan Buddha.
You can wander around the monastery grounds gawking at holy cows or check out the artsy Ngong Ping village. Whenever you are ready to head back, just hop on the cable way and make your way home.
I loved this tour since it had the right amount of free time vs guided tour for information. Plus, you end up paying much less as the tour includes your cable car round trip which is a big expense on it’s own (Around US$25).
If you want to save costs or be adventurous, you can even hike up to Lantau island but it can take upwards of 3 hours, depending on your fitness levels. In any case, to reach the island, you first need to take MTR to the last station which is Tung Chung and walk to the cable way.
After a lovely day tour, it was time to check out the Hong Kong party scene.
Your Hong Kong itinerary is incomplete without a taste of upbeat nightlife at the awesome party street of Lan Kwai Fong.
Lan Kwai Fong with its roadside pubs, rooftop bars and hidden clubs is a mecca for party goers. From upscale clubs like Ce La Vi to more laid back vibe at Zinc, this street is bouncing with people every night.
My personal favorites turned out to be Graffiti (free cocktails all night on Thursdays for ladies plus awesome live rock music) and Schnurrbart German Pub (for chilled out ‘sit down and chat’ atmosphere).
Tip – If you are on a tight budget, drinking in Hong Kong is probably gonna put a big dent on your wallet. You can also opt to grab a few beers at 7/11 and simply walk around the street watching drunk people and enjoying the vibes.
Day 2 – Victoria Peak Hike and Wan Chai pubs
Since one of my primary reasons for visiting Hong Kong was hiking, I was super excited to check out one of the most popular hike first- Victoria Peak!
Victoria Peak hike is a great beginners trail on paved paths with epic city views. Since Day 2 had mild downpour and for experiential purpose, I decided to take the Victoria peak tram while going up. This funicular rail, takes you right amidst skyscrapers and greenery , up to The Peak.
Once there, you still have several hiking trails. You can choose to go to the Victoria Peak garden, further up to the highest point or hike the route back down (like I did).
At The Peak, you can even enjoy several interesting attractions like Madame Tussauds Museum and the lovely Peak tower for stellar 360 degree views of the urban jungle below.
I would highly recommend buying your combo tickets here, to avoid over paying on arrival. Plus your fast track tram ticket gets you ahead of the hour long queues. Also, if possible avoid weekends for any popular hikes in Hong Kong.
That night, I decided to explore another popular nightlife district of Hong Kong called – Wan Chai.
Wan Chai, as I soon figured out, is the red light district of Hong Kong, pretty much! With sleazy strip clubs (yes sleazy and not classy, sadly) with red curtains and neon lights, there is not much to do for ladies looking for a fun night out.
However, Carnegies, is one hot spot I would highly recommend. Amazing live rock music from the golden era and refreshing tap beer is all it took to get the night going for us.
Day 3 – Sheung wan street art and TST East Bars
Day 3 and it was a happy happy day. My friend Karla arrived from Philippines and we girls, along with her photographer bud Kay, were ready to paint the town red, green and blue.
After checking out a local food market and temple, we met at Sheung Wan street. I was in the mood for a stroll around town to gawk at awesome street art. Kay recommended this spot and it turned out to be exactly what I was looking for.
We went up and down few streets taking pictures. Kay was constantly shooting Karla and these girls make a perfect photographer-model team. I managed to get some shots here and there too but waiting for people & cars to get out of the way made me impatient.
Hong Kong is hot and humid this time of the year, so I would suggest to go really early if you want the place to yourself or atleast for a photoshoot. Its almost always busy and I can see why.
After a refreshing cup of cold coffee, we headed back to unwind and freshen up for the night ahead.
After two party nights, I wanted to take it easy. Since I was staying in TST (Tsim Tsa Tsui district), wandering around the area, with my hostel mates seemed like a good idea.
Tsim Tsa Tsui east has some nice bars near the waterfront. We really enjoyed Ned Kelly’s Last Stand which was thumping with amazing live Jazz music. The band was energetic and pulled the crowd in easily. There are several other great bars in TST which you can check out if you are around.
Day 4 – Escape room and Famous Dukling Cruise
If you know me, you know that I absolutely love escape rooms. Since I tried my first escape room at Ticket to Mystery in Bangkok, I was hooked. I have been looking for mystery rooms all around the world during my travels. Also, I never miss a chance to recommend them to my readers and friends. Escape rooms are awesome!
I was lucky to find a kick ass escape room, right in the madness of Hong Kong, called – Lost. Ironically, we got “lost” looking for the place.
The game we tried was the challenging – Exodus! I must admit, we did NOT manage to escape. The game challenged our team work capability, tactical skills as well as how well we could think out of the box. Since my brains are always rusty, it was hard to crack the code. Lucky we were a good team and managed to solve a few puzzles (At least) to keep some dignity. My favorite part of the game was when we had to solve a code by playing a laser harp – YES! A musical harp where you had to play the code to escape – Isn’t that genius? Well, I wont say much more and give away clues.. so go check it out yourself.
If this doesn’t seem to be your theme, fret not, they have 11 other games to choose from. So take your pick, find a fun brainy bunch of friends to play with and book your slot!
Click here to book your mystery escape game or read more about Lost Hong Kong.
After the mind bending 45 mins, we rushed to the harbor to enjoy the sound & light show (Symphony of lights) over the evening Dukling cruise. I booked this cruise online via KKday in order to get the best deal.
Once on the ship, the feeling was amazing. My friends and I hopped onto some mats spread across on the deck. We enjoyed the slow sail with the wind in our hair and the lit up in the backdrop.
Honestly, I was expecting the Symphony of lights show to be bigger and better but it still IS something to see all hotels by the bay light up in synchronization every evening. We enjoyed this show whilst gulping our complimentary beer on board.
If you book this lovely evening cruise, you can even choose to get off at the other side of the harbor at Central, which we did. After all, we had to continue our awesome evening with a nice sea food dinner and a few more beers – Burp!
Day 5 – Kowloon Peak Hike to Suicide Cliff
Every Saturday night, there is a Couchsurfing meetup in Hong Kong. You can get details on the venue on the local Couchsurfing site/ groups online. I found out about this offbeat hike to Suicide cliff during one such meetup – Thanks to the awesome Couchsurfing community in Hong Kong.
Initially, I was planning on hiking Dragon’s back on Day 5 (which was a Sunday) but I was strongly advised against it. The popular hikes are like a festival during weekends with thousands of people flocking to scale the mountains. Unless you want to be part of a crowded city hike, avoid weekends to the core.
This was the best tip I ever got!
Suicide cliff, though the name sounds daunting, turned out to be my favorite hike in Hong Kong. It was challenging , since we took a route where no one else hiked and it was more of a climb in the bush, with no paved paths. I absolutely LOVED it to bits.
Click to read my detailed post on Suicide cliff and understand the risks and routes, before you decide to head in that direction.
After the hike, we were so tired that we wrapped up this day with some much deserved protein filled dinner at Cafe De Itamomo, and called it a night.
Day 6 – Feeling like a Kid at Disneyland
This was the most sought after day in my entire Hong Kong itinerary.
I had pre-booked my Disney tickets online, the best part was I could reschedule them for free. Knowing the thunderstorm forecast on Day 6, I had an option to choose another day. However, with my packed itinerary, I didn’t have a lot of free time and had several other tours and attractions pre-booked!
So, Karla and I, ended up enjoying Disney in the rains – Can you imagine? With our rain jackets and umbrellas and running for shelter – this turned out to be SO MUCH FUN!
Also luckily, it wasn’t pouring heavily so we were able to beat the heat with a bit of a drizzle – just the right amount.
As always, I headed straight for the big thrill rides at Disney first. Since we didn’t take fast track pass, we had to be very organized. Thanks to the downpour, it wasn’t as packed as expected either. So, with a fair bit of planning and running around with the Disney maps,we managed to cover all 7 themed sections and all rides in the park in one single day – that’s a feat!
Needless to say, we headed for the all time favorite coaster – Hyperspace mountain in Tomorrowland. Since we were in the zone, we decided to check out the Iron Man as well before running to Toy Story land. There we tried the big high speed drops at the RC racer, followed by smaller relaxed drops at Toy soldier parachute drop. Mystic Manor was a nice break we gave ourselves from the big thrill rides and then headed to one of the best roller coasters I have ever tried – Big Grizzly mountain.
Spoiler alert – I absolutely loved Big Grizzly mountain coaster because when you go slowly up, anticipating a big drop – the coaster actually goes “backward” at neck breaking speeds. It was so much fun that we did this twice.
Here’s a video of Big Grizzly mountain –
We didnt miss the usual culprits – Mad hatter Tea cups and the all time favorite It’s a small world.
At the live theater, we enjoyed a spectacular Lion King musical. The extravagant performance kept us glued to our seats and the characters. Lion king was surely a major highlight of our day at Disneyland Hong Kong.
With so many lovely exhibits and photo opps with your favorite Disney characters, live shows and fun parade – as always Disney DID NOT disappoint and we were grinning from ear to ear all day long.
Tip – Click here to pre-book Disneyland Hong Kong tickets. Why? The number one reason is you skip the long ticket queues and secondly its slightly discounted than booking online or at the counter.
After our all day sprint running around like kids at Disney, we headed start to bed after grabbing a quick bite.
Day 7 – Instagram Worthy Spots, Food tour and Upscale Bar
On our 7th day, was a sunny day so along with two hostel mates, I decided to start early and check out the so called “Instagram worthy spots of Hong Kong”. Surely, it wasn’t my top priority but curiosity got the better of me.
First we went for a nice, leisurely stroll around the pretty Nan Lian Garden. Now, this was excellent for walking and just sitting in peace and tranquility.
Spread over a massive 3.5 hectares, this Chinese Tang Dynasty style garden boasts of pretty trees, water bodies, wooden structures and picnic spots.
Next stop was the famous Yick Cheong building. To be honest, I have no clue why this is one of the most popular Instagram spots in Hong Kong. I mean, its an array of closely stacked residential houses and we have enough of those in India, really! Could perhaps be interesting for some westerners? Still doesn’t really make sense to take pictures of someone’s apartment building (to me!). However, since I was there, I did the usual touristy thing and got my Instagram picture off it –
After my feeble Instagram attempt, I went off to do the things I actually enjoy in a city.
So, we booked this awesome guided ‘off the eaten path’ food waking tour in Hong Kong – Humid with a chance of fishballs.
For me, the most important part of a guided tour is , well the guide! I must say, our tour guide – Virginia (aka the girl with the moose antlers)- stole the show at hello. She was sweet, funny and knowledgeable about both the city as well as the street food scene of Hong Kong. She was 10 on 10 and made everyone else in the tour at ease immediately.
Priced at HKD 688, the tour will give you a complete introduction to street food in the bustling metropolis. The stops are not your run of the mill stuff and most won’t even have an English menu. Hence, it makes sense to take the tour as it would be almost impossible to uncover these hidden gems as a tourist.
The menu has been carefully curated and separated into different flavors – Bitter, Sweet, Spicy, Salty and Sour. So the tour starts with bitter herbal tea & turtle shell jelly and ends with local sweets, whilst walking around town and getting a flavor of the city as well.
My favorite bites on the tour were grilled fat lady chicken wings, cart noodles loaded with toppings of your choice and of course – fishballs!
Since I don’t have a sweet tooth, I had to skip the egg waffles with a heavy heart but from what I heard, others highly recommended them.
Since it was food-filled day for us, we decided to end it on a “high” note at one of the lovely upscale bars in Hong Kong – Mezcalito.
Mezcalito is renowned for having the best Tequila drinks and the largest collection of Agave spirits in Hong Kong. We also got to meet the brains behind this spacious hangout – Leo Gutkowski. After a short tête-à-tête with Leo, we decided to try some recommended signature cocktails alongside the delicious finger food.
The best part for me was the dim lighting, comfy sofas and spectacular views of lite up Hong Kong. Mezcalito also hosts special theme nights like – Nerd Night, Salsa night and ladies night on Thursdays. The day we were there, they also had contact dance sessions going on, which were fun to watch.
After several cocktails and getting a bit tipsy, we called it a night, promising to return on a weekend!
Day 8 – Scaling Mount High West and Partying at Gay bars
This day was supposed to be a rest day but sun was shining so we decided to do a short easy hike, just for kicks.
As we googled “beginner hikes in Hong Kong”, Karla came across this unique hike to Mount high west. It entailed climbing over 2100 stairs but it said online that if you are fit, you can do the hike (And back) in less than 1.5 hours. That was encouraging as that’s exactly what we wanted – just to get out and do “something” but not exert ourselves too much as we had a big party night ahead.
So we embarked on this supposedly easy hike to Mount high west.
Boy were we in for a surprise.
Our fitness levels were so low that within the first hundred stairs, we were huffing and puffing. Eventually, it took us over 3 hours just to hike up the mountain (one way)!! Yup, that’s right. We were tired to the core but kept going with help of lots of rest stops and view points en-route. it was well worth it when we finally reached the top.
On the way back, we chose to skip the stairs and take the paved way back via the Morning trail which was much easier and took us less than 30 mins.
Still, by the time we had our epic meal at our favorite spot – Kung Fu dimsums in TST, we were just about ready to hit the bed. However, we kept the spirit of traveling and partying and headed out to uncover the the LGBT party scene in Hong Kong (out of sheer curiosity).
Though I am not the best judge of gay bars, Boo bar was quite a snooze with sit down type casual atmosphere. Zoo bar is miss-able, or at least was that night. FLM was where we ended up partying till wee hours of the morning with awesome shows, music and dancing. Petticoat lane was kind of hard to find and was packed to the brim with smiling bartenders and the biggest mug of beer I have ever had in my life. Undoubtedly, these two ended up as our favorite gay bars in Hong Kong.
We had to drag ourselves out from FLM around 3 am, in order to get few hours of beauty sleep before our next big day.
Day 9 – Fun-filled Day at Ocean Park
Another one of the much-awaited attractions in Hong Kong for me,was a visit to Ocean Park. However, I did not expect it to THAT good (As an amusement park). Somehow, I was under the impression that Ocean Park would be more about animal and marine exhibits and shows, which are not my thing.
Soon, I realized Ocean Park had the largest collection of rides I have ever experienced in an amusement park till date – and that too my favorite kinds – big thrill rides.
I was like a kid in wonderland – again!
Ocean Park turned out to be one of my top Hong Kong itinerary inclusions. That’s how much I loved it. With countless adrenaline pumping rides, there was never a dull moment. Even with our fast pass, we were short on time here.
Day 10 – Different Tastes of Hong Kong Tour
This was another easy day as I wanted to unwind later with the awesome people I met during my Hong Kong trip.
Taking it easy, meant hopping on a lovely guided tour – Different tastes of Hong Kong.
Basically, for USD 70, this tour gives you a great introduction to the city of Hong Kong. I would recommend doing it at beginning of your trip.
Since, I took it at the end and had already tried most things on my own, I was a little underwhelmed with the tour. However, others who tried it at the start loved it.
From the ding ding tram to the star ferry, walla walla boat and walks, you can experience all popular modes of transportation in Hong Kong with this tour.
A lovely lunch in a local shop is included, plus services of an English speaking guide and a mini-van to take you places.
On the tour, you also get to ride the longest escalator and enjoy traditional and historic insights to the city. Tons of photo opps in the busy streets of Hong Kong too.
One of my favorite parts was witnessing a local “voodoo” ritual (locally called as Da Siu Yan). Yes, its very much like voodoo but framed as Chinese exorcism!
There are old ladies who sit under the flyover and if you provide them with a picture of someone you want to curse (Think your arrogant boss or the ex lover who cheated on you), they will do it for you. In return for their “magic”, you can offer them any fair amount as donation and your curse is set into place by beating the picture with a shoe and chanting a spell. This happens in plain sight and no one (Except us) really stopped to watch – so, it seemed like this ritual was part and parcel of their traditions/ lifestyle.
After the tour my friend and I went for a quick stroll around one of the best spots in Hong Kong – Victoria Harbour. Absolutely loved chilling in the evenings there, watching the city lit up and decided to spend some time during the day too – just as beautiful with the Hong Kong skyline in the backdrop.
Where to Stay in Hong Kong
Budget – After trying a few hostels, I checked into Yesinn @YMT. It was brilliant. I was told spaces in Hong Kong are tiny and thought pretty much all hostels and budget accommodations would be crappy but I was wrong. This place was amazing. With a huge lovely sitting/ lounge area and big, clean rooms and bed – YesInn was fab. If you are looking for a budget stay option in the center of the city – This is it! Click here to read reviews and book now.
Ready to book? Read reviews of best hotels in Hong Kong first!
General Tips for First time Visitors to Hong Kong
Visiting Hong Kong for the very first time? Keep these tips handy for smooth sailing throughout.
Buy Pocket Wifi at airport – Pocket WiFi can come in very handy – for me, especially for navigation in a new country. I love to wander off on my own and when I am lost, I can easily use Google maps and get back on track. Plus the convenience of pre-booking this Wifi is you can pick it up at the arrivals hall and instantly be connected. Use multiple devices and never worry about crappy 4G/Wifi again. Click here to buy Pocket Wifi at just USD 3.5
Pre-book Octopus card – Pre-book your Octopus card (Which gives you discounts on local MTR) for easy pick up at the airport. This means you don’t have to scurry for local currency or find a station to buy it after you reach Hong Kong. All you need to do is book it online and pick it up at arrivals hall. You can use the card to pay for MTR, Tram or bus tickets and it even works in some restaurants as a form of currency. If you pre-book it here, you also get complimentary HKD 10 topped up on it.
Take Airport Express to reach city – Airport express is fast, clean, less crowded and cost effective way to reach Hong Kong city from the airport. Pre-booking means you save almost 30% on the ticket cost. Click here to pre-book for as low as USD 9.
Taxis are better than Buses and Uber – Roadside taxis in Hong Kong are more cost effective than Uber (Which is not the case in most countries). Bus network is good but if the buses are full, they don’t stop , which can happen often. For late nights when you need to cross over the river, taking a cab is your best bet as MTR shuts down at midnight (or 1 am for few routes).
Best time to Visit Hong Kong – Best months to visit are March, April, October and November for ideal weather, no rains and cool evenings. I went in May which wasn’t a very wise decision due to random drizzles and humidity but I didn’t really mind it much.
Visa Info for Indians – As of 23rd Jan 2017, Indian nationals do not require a visa to visit Hong Kong. Coming from a country with a weak passport, this was a big relief was me. The only catch is the visa free rule applies only if your stay is less than 14 days. You can apply for your pre-arrival registration by clicking on this link. Its free, easy and takes around 10 – 15 mins to fill out all information accurately. Just carry a print out of the document and your are done.
If, however, you plan on staying more than 14 days you can apply directly to the Hong Kong immigration department. For info, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
So this was my Hong Kong itinerary for 10 days. Have you been to Hong Kong and visited these spots or what would you choose for your next trip? Share in comments below.