You can see a lot in 72 hours – especially if you have a plan. We have chosen three neighbourhoods for you to explore. Spend a day in each and get a taste for different parts of this complex, yet charming, city.
Kowloon City is known as Hong Kong’s “Little Thailand” and it is one of the older districts.
The Harbour Plaza Metropolis or Park Hotels are great places to base yourself if you want to explore this neighbourhood, whose boundaries are Prince Edward Road and Boundary Road, and like everywhere in Hong Kong, there are plentiful public transport options to get you around.
If you stroll down Shanghai Street you will catch a glimpse into old Hong Kong. If you fancy a game of mah-jong this is the place you will find parlours with action aplenty.
You should visit the extraordinary Hong Kong Museum of History where you will gasp in awe at the detail in a re-creation of an arcaded street from Central District in 1881.
Make time to see the Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple – an important spiritual place where locals gather. Finish the day at the Temple Street Night Market – perhaps Hong Kong’s liveliest market - that spreads out over several city blocks starting in Man Ming Lane in the north to Nanking Street in the south.
It may sound odd, but try the Australia Dairy Company in Jordan for some fluffy scrambled eggs on thick buttered toast for breakfast. Yummy.
At Lau Sum Kee on Kweilin Street, Sham Shui Po, they still make – from scratch - noodles the traditional way. This is the place to try wonton soup noodles.
For dinner, if you want to go upmarket head to Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, to enjoy the creamy lobster soup at Gaddi’s. They are one of the top restaurants in Hong Kong and have been serving French-inspired cuisine for more than 60 years. You only last that long if you are good at what you do.
Mong Konk is aptly named. In Cantonese, it means a crowded corner and even by Hong Kong standards, this neighbourhood is busy and has some of the best shopping in Hong Kong.
If you need to buy computers and electronic goods head to the Computer Centre (Fa Yuen St). At the southern end of the same street you will find Hong Kong’s Sneakers Street – as the name implies it has the hottest brands and styles of sporting shoes at amazing prices.
The Argyle Centre is where you can update your wardrobe for a fraction of the price you would pay in Australia. It is also the area of Hong Kong where artists congregate, so you could quite easily pick up something exotic for the lounge room wall back home.
Mong Kok is famous for its street food. Follow your nose and you will discover treats to keep you sated all day long. Hong Kong Street Food is cheap. Which is a good thing considering how good the shopping is here.
Wan Chai is one of Hong Kong’s oldest neighbourhoods. The north shore of Hong Kong Island is one of its boundaries.
The others are Canal Road to the east, Bowen Road to the south and Arsenal Street to the West. The Wan Chai MTR station is where you need to get off, and wear comfy shoes because you will be doing a lot of walking from the tourist hive waterfront to the Cantonese street scenes near Hennessey Road.
It was one of the first areas in Hong Kong to be developed. It is densely populated with hole-in-the-wall restaurants (some of the best restaurants in Hong Kong), bars, apartments and small businesses. It is the design centre of Hong Kong so you will see lots of interior design stores with interesting knick-knacks.
It is home to the Hopewell Centre – one of Hong Kong’s first skyscrapers. Take the glass lift to the 56th floor of this Queens Street building. As you rise above the City an amazing view of the harbour will reveal itself.
Make sure you have your camera ready. Don’t worry about dining here; there are much better options.
As you walk down Queens Street join the queue at the Happy Cake Shop. They have been baking since 1979 and the warm – just out of the oven - sugar-crusted pineapple bun is divine.
If you need a coffee break to try Elephant Grounds on Wing Fung Street, which gets our vote as the best seasonal single origin coffee brew in Hong Kong.
For lunch try tapas at 22 Ships (Ship St); or an 18-hour slow cooked beef brisket Ngau Lam Wich ($16.50) served on a French baguette at Bread & Beast in Swatow Street; for dinner book a table at Bo Innovation – and try rock star chef Alvin Leung Junior’s Michelin Star award-winning cuisine.
The I Love Hong Kong menu will cost you $260 per person, but it is something you will talk about for the rest of your life.