Start your first day in Hong Kong with an early hike up victoria peak for the best views of the city. from the central Take the MID LEVELs ESCAlator to CAIN ROAD, walk west along the road, through the botanical gardens and up old peak road to get to the start of the track. the hike takes about 30 - 40 mins and can be quite steep at some points. once at the top you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the city and harbour from the highest point of Hong Kong island. you can either hike back down or take the iconic red PEAK tram to central (HK$37), swizzing down the hill past towering sky scrappers in just 7 mins.
from the tram stop on garden road, take a 20 min walk east through central to coffee at fine print - an Australian run ESPRESSO-CUm-wine bar by night with a neighbourhood vive. A go-to spot for expats and locals living in the area, fine print’s regular crowd spill out on to the street, chatting AMONGST themselves and running into other reguals and friends, giving the cafe a strong sense of COMMUNITY. order at the baR, join the regular crowd outside and watch the happenings of peel street go by.
11:00am wander soho
After coffee, walk down to hollywood road (2 mins) and spend some walking around to its south known as soho (south of holywood road). a dynamic and dense neighbourgood, soh’s streets are full of boutiques, antique stores and galleries. best to have no plan other than to follow the winding streets stopping in at anywhere that sparks your interest until lunch (also in soho.
12:30pm LUNCH AT DAI DAI PONG
Once the heart of Hong Kong’s culinary scene, open-air eateries known as Dai Dai Pong’s are now an endergered species with only a handful left in the city. Established AFTER WWII after the government issued ad hoc food stall licenses to families of deceased and injured civil servants to allow them to make a living, DAI DAI PONG’s can be found on street corners and down alleys around Hong Kong. Eating at one of these iconic establishments at least once is a must during your time in Hong Kong. Opened in the late 50s, Sing Heung Yuen (勝香園), tucked off bustling Gough Street in the heart of Central, is a solid option. Pull up a plastic stall and order their signature dish: a bowl of noodles or macaorni in tomato soup (HK$ 16) and a friend bun with PEANUT BUTTER and consended milk for dessert (HK$10).
1:30pm PMQ + TAi KWUM CENTRE FOR HERITAGE AND ARTS
After lunch talk a 5min walk to PMQ (Police Married Quarters), a former police dormitory for members of the police force and their families turned cultural complex. The expansive red-bricked building tucked off the mid-levels escalator is now home to over 100 galleries, boutiques and eateries. A decidedly trendier and more diverse shopping experience to Hong Kong’s mega malls, PMQ hosts an eclectic collection of INDPENDENT retailers ACROSS FASHION, ART and HOMEwares / interiors. AFter you’ve browsed the shops, head to the tai kum centre for hertigage and arts located directly behind PMQ. a former police station the space is now mutli story complex hosting contemporary art exhibitions, story telling spaces and perofrming arts. check their programme for what’s on.
4:00pm STAR FERRY
Take a 25 min walk from PMq to the star ferry pier to take a 10 min ferry across victoria harbour to kowlooN. an ICON of hong kong, The green and white ferry has been carting Hong Kongers between hong KONG island and kowloon since the late 1880s. offering spectular views of hong kong’s skyline, the historic ferry Functions as both a major attraction for tourists and a cheap mode of transport for locals.
4:30pm TSIm SHA TSUI PROMENADE
Starting at the colonial era clock tower just next to the star ferry pier, the tsim sha tsu promenade is a walkway stretching 1.6 km along vicotria harbour. the waterfron Path winds past the hong kong cultral centre, the space museum and along avenue of the stars (modeled on hollywood’s walk of fame). Take an afternoon stroll along the boulevard for uninterupted views of hong kong island. once you reach the end lopp back towards tsim sha tsui MRT station. on your way back take a seat on one of the benches along the route and watch hong kong’s concrete skyline transform into a blur of bright lights and flashing nveon signs as dusk falls.
7:00pm BESPOKE COCKTAILS
Start the night with a bespoke cocktail at j. BOROSKI - a sleek cocktail bar hidden down an alley off holywood road. but before making your way to the bar, stop in at ho lee fook (see below) and put your name down for dinner. they’ll give you a call when your table is ready. on your way to j. boroski (5 min walk from the restaurant) think about what you like to drink as there is no menu, all drinks are tailor made for each guest. take a seat at the bar under curved ceiling lined with thousands of perserved beetles and tell the bartender what you like to drink. don’t expect the service to be speedy but the cocktails are worth the wait.
8:30 pm DInner at Ho lee fook
A contemporary take on chinese cuisine, ho lee fook has been a popular spot since it opened in 2015. set in the heart of central across from a dai dai pong (a bread of open air food stalls from which ho lee fook takes inspiration), the underground space and purposely loud music create the setting for the restuaurant’s creative approach to chinese flavours. executive chef jowett yu has created a menu that is both distinctively tradditional and contemporary, designed for sharing. must orders: Mom’s “mostly cabbage, a little bit of pork” dumplings, hong hong STYLE french toast, roast wagyu short ribs and lamb dan dan noodles.
When talking about speciality coffee in Hong Kong, it is likely that Chan "Dawn" Kwun Ho name will come up in conversation. A two time Hong Kong barista champion, his cafe Amber Coffee Brewery located on a busy street on the edge of Central is a must-visit. The attention to detail and quality of the coffee at Amber is unparalleled in Hong Kong. For something different, order the signature coffee (not on the menu) for cold brew with a unique element, unlike anything you’ve had before.
11:00am TEA WEAR MUSEUM
After coffee take a 30 min walk across Central to the Museum of Tea Ware. Housed in Flagstaff House, the building dates back to the 1840s and is one of Hong Kong’s oldest colonial British buildings. Formerly the residence of the commander of the British Forces in Hong Kong, it was converted into a museum in 1984. The museum houses a permanent exhibition featuring various types of tea where from 1027 B.C to the 20th Century alongside special exhibitions about China’s enduring tea drinking culture.