Guides

Short breaks in Hong Kong – two days of temples, markets and Asian feasts

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Choose your Hong Kong hotel then let this two-day itinerary lead you from incense-scented temples to shrines to fine food. Soak up a rich experience on your stress-free short break in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong short break day one

Morning

Take the Peak Tram funicular from Central to the 552-metre-high Victoria Peak, for views of boat-filled Victoria Harbour and the futuristic Bank Of China tower rising from the hills. Stroll along Lugard and Mount Austin roads to spot palatial white mansions, before a late breakfast at the Peak Café. Return by bus to Central.

Start: Peak Tram Terminal, or bus No 15
Nearest MTR: Central


Afternoon

In cavernous City Hall Maxim’s Palace in Central, select sticky dim sum (dumplings and steamed buns) from the trolley. Book ahead for lunchtime or weekends.

Stroll west to the mammoth 792-metre-long Mid Levels Escalator, ascending the moving walkway while window shopping on the way past. You can jump off for quirky shops and cafés around areas of Central like NoHo and SoHo.

At the top of the Escalator, Hollywood Road’s antique shops are near Man Mo Temple, filled with smouldering incense coils. On nearby Upper Lascar Row, Cat Street market is the place to find old Chinese movie posters and Mao memorabilia.

Start: City Hall
Nearest MTR: Central


Evening

The seven-minute Star Ferry ride from Hong Kong Island arrives at boisterous Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon on the mainland. Walk – or take the MTR train – to Jordan’s brightly lit Temple Street Night Market for silk ties and faux-jade chopsticks, before feasting on fresh noodles and garlicky seafood at a dai pai dong (food stall).

Start: Star Ferry Pier
Nearest MTR: Central

Hong Kong short break day two

Morning

Sail from Central to Hong Kong’s largest outlying island, Lantau. From the pier, the bus winds to Po Lin Monastery with views of the immense bronze Big Buddha at the top of 268 flag-lined steps. Worshippers flock to nearby statue-filled Po Lin with giant smouldering incense pots. Join them for a vegetarian Cantonese lunch in the monastery restaurant.

Start: Outlying Islands ferry pier
Nearest MTR: Central


Afternoon

Stay put on Lantau island and take the glass-bottomed cable-car, Ngong Ping 360, from Po Lin monastery to Tung Chung, flying above deep green hills. 

After the MTR train back to Central station, take a short walk east to Sheung Wan. Here, the narrow streets are home to Hong Kong’s traditional tradesmen, making chops (wooden or bone signature stamps) or selling Chinese medicines like dried seahorses and ginseng. Contrast this with the Edwardian-style Western Market, filled with fabrics and Asian kitsch.  

Start: Ngong Ping 360.
Nearest bus: No 2 from Mui Wo ferry pier  


Evening

If it’s a race night, head to Happy Valley Racecourse for weekly horse-races around the spot-lit track. If not, round off your Hong Kong short break with dinner in Central’s Lan Kwai Fong or SoHo. Try smart European or Japanese restaurants, or good-value Thai at Wing Wah Lane’s outdoor tables. End the evening sampling cocktails at hidden-away bars, or the huge Post 97 café-bar. 

Start: Happy Valley. 
Nearest MTR: Wan Chai.
 
Or Lan Kwai Fong. 
Nearest MTR: Central