What to do in Hong Kong – a solo traveler guide to 12 of the best experiences in Hong Kong!
One of my top picks for a month-long trip in Asia is Hong Kong, for sure. The city has always intrigued me. As a kid, I’d always search for pictures and videos of it. Then I eventually fell in love with its history and decided I would see it firsthand someday. Well, the day finally came as a solo trip to Asia! Okay, I wasn’t by myself the whole time, as I found some friends along the way, but I did explore it on my own for a significant amount of time without previous knowledge of Mandarin. And I did it without an internet connection too! It was the best trip of my life! Seriously, if you ever have the chance to visit, just go!
Without further ado, here’s my guide to my favorite spots in Hong Kong, made with much love to all of you!
To enjoy the most popular attractions in Hong Kong and save both time and money, click HERE and purchase your Official Hong Kong Pass! For more tips about Hong Kong, traveling and my NYC day to day life, follow me on Instagram @marthasachser .
This is one of the most well-known postcards from Hong Kong. Victoria Peak was at the top of my to-visit list. Featuring an incredible view of the city, Victoria Peak is a great option for shopping and dining. In order to get there by public transport, you can take the bus or the famous tram. Get your tickets in advance HERE! They include a round trip and access to Sky Terrace 428! I only visited during the day, but I suggest you stay until sunset if possible.
TAKE THE TRAM
The city trams are one of the coolest and cheapest attractions in Hong Kong. The double-decker buses are available in several parts of the city and are very inexpensive, once they are an everyday convenience for locals. Even so, they obviously display a touristic appeal for travelers. I recommend sitting on the upper deck right at front, so that you can admire the fascinating architecture of the frenetic city that blends modernity with history so well. It is truly a must see! You can watch my vlog about it HERE!
WANDER AROUND THE STREETS AT NIGHT
What made all the difference for me during this trip was walking around Hong Kong during the day and discovering a whole new city at night: a vibrant place full of street markets, shops, bars and restaurants that gathered tourists and locals alike. In my wanderings, I found many amazing restaurants of international cuisine hiding behind the imposing buildings. I shared more about it HERE!
One of the things I REALLY wish I had the chance to do was taking a tour to the Dark Side of Hong Kong (that’s how they actually call it). It’s a tour where you can see how thousands of people live, social discrepancy and teach you more about the city’s history. You can book your tour HERE! Besides that, you can also take a night tour in which you’ll be taken to the less-known nightlife spots and learn more about the history of night markets. Find out more HERE!
GO TO DISNEYLAND
Alright, if you’re not a big fan of Disney parks, there’s also a more local option: Ocean Park. However, once I dreamed about visiting every Disney park in the world, I couldn’t miss out on Hong Kong’s. The park is smaller than the others I’ve been to, but, because it was a weekday, I enjoyed all the rides without having to wait in lines. There’s a subway line that’ll take you straight there, and, despite the US$ 80 fee (you can buy it in advance HERE!), I think it was worth it! You can see more of my day at Disneyland HERE!
VISIT THE SET OF TRANSFORMERS
Okay, I confess: I’m not that the biggest fan, the kind who watches all the movies and such… but there’s no denying that it’s pretty cool to see movie sets firsthand while traveling. Excited as always, I didn’t hesitate to check out one of Hong Kong’s most popular landmarks, Monster Building. It’s a cluster of five residential buildings in Quarry Bay that depicts Hong Kong’s population density well. It’s also one of the most photographed places in the city because of the movies that were filmed there, such as Ghost in the Shell and, of course, Transformers: Age of Extinction. If you are visiting, don’t forget to be respectful, it is a residential area and some locals are not the biggest fans of having people turning their backyard into a huge photo op party. For more tips about Hong Kong, traveling and my NYC day to day life, follow me on Instagram @marthasachser .
It’s a great place to shop, eat and discover a bit of local life, but also a very touristic spot, once there are several hotels there. It’s located in Tsim Sha Tsui, from where you can take a ferry for a cheap price and enjoy the beautiful Hong Kong skyline (see picture below). You can find out more about my experience HERE!
THE BIG BUDDHA
The Big Buddha was one of the most amazing experiences I had in Hong Kong! You can get there by bus, by car or by endlessly hiking, but I decided to play the tourist and chose the cable car, which was way easier. You can purchase your tickets HERE! I recommend going by cable car and returning by bus through Tai O, the fishing village, which takes about 20 minutes and it is worth it. You can learn more about it HERE! The bronze statue symbolizes the harmonious relationship between man and nature and between faith and the people. It was beautiful to see it up close! It’s also an important symbol for Buddhism in the world, and, of course, a famous destination for tourists. In order to get there, it’s good to have plenty of willpower, because you’ll need to climb more than 250 steps to get to the top. Find out more about my experience HERE! There are also several options for shopping and snacking there.
KOWLOON WALLED CITY PARK
Walled City is a historical park that was once a military stronghold. It became an enclave after the New Territories were released to England in 1898. During World War II, it was occupied by the Japanese. The area’s population reached 50,000 people and went through issues such as prostitution and drug abuse. In 1987, the government decided to demolish the city and relocate its residents. In 1995, Walled City Park was officially open as a peaceful spot where you could recharge and relax! A few things were preserved, as part of the south gate entrance.
STREET NIGHT MARKETS
One of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong also happens to be free: street markets. Some of them also operate during the day, but others, like Temple Street (see pictures below), only really reach their peak late at night. There’s no glamour there, it’s a place to buy souvenirs and eat street food. As I love that kind of local vibe, I just had to go. I vlogged my experience and used THIS post as a guide to the best street markets and how to make the most out of them!
WONG TAI SIN TEMPLE
Hong Kong’s most famous temple is located in Kowloon and isn’t very far from Walled City Park. It’s dedicated to three of the most widespread religions in China: Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. There, you’ll find several halls, gardens, lakes and spots dedicated to offerings and prayers. It’s a very popular place, so I’d get there early. It’s located at 2, Chuk Yuen Village, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon. Find out more about my day there HERE!
Victoria Park was one of the places I wanted to visit the most because of how accurately it depicts local life. I wanted to dive deeper into the culture and watch people practicing tai chi chuan and other sports. I woke up extra early and made my way there to see it all up close. Would you like to know more? I shared everything on my vlog, which you can find HERE!
TAI O – THE FISHING VILLAGE
This was one of the surprises this trip had in store for me. I didn’t know Tai O existed until I got to Hong Kong and started researching what to do. It was very different from everything I’d experienced before and I think it is worth the visit! I filmed it all and shared it on my vlog, which you can find HERE! Check it out, I did my best to portray my experience! In order to get there, I took a bus that departed from Big Buddha station — the whole ride took about 15-20 minutes.