Hong Kong is a city of many personalities – a mix of old and new worlds that meet squarely in the middle of this sky high bustling metropolis. It is also a popular layover point for flights to many other countries. So, if you find yourself in Hong Kong for just two days, as I did, here are a few of my short-stay recommendations on where to stay, where to eat and what to see to make the most of your two days in Hong Kong.
I was looking for a unique hotel experience that offered beautiful accommodation, convenient location and one-of-a-kind views, so I booked into the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong for one night, which occupies the 102-118 floors of the International Commerce Centre. From the airport, take the MTR Airport Express train to Kowloon Station, which is located in the same building as the hotel – for quick return to the airport.
The hotel is luxurious, elegant and tall. Did you know that the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is the highest (not the tallest) hotel in the world? The deluxe harbor view suite (500 square feet, and spacious by world hotel standards, never mind Asian) was on the 116 floor and the views over the city were astounding. It was like a week’s worth of sightseeing from the comfort of my lovely hotel room. The hotel is so high, it makes all the other skyscrapers seem short in comparison. Trust me – you will not find this city perspective anywhere else in Hong Kong.
The other popular place from which to see the whole city is atop The Peak. The vintage funicular tram ride up to The Peak is as much fun as the destination, and the Peak Tram is easy to reach by foot from Central Station (MTR). I recommend purchasing the Sky Terrace pass, 428 meters above sea level, giving you access to the highest elevation deck with 360 degree stellar views of Hong Kong.
There are many amazing markets in Hong Kong -Temple Street Market and Ladies Market are huge, very busy and time consuming – somewhat impractical for a two day itinerary. I would suggest Stanley Market. One of the oldest fishing villages in Hong Kong, it is a charming place with a lovely beach, Tin Hau Temple, and a great market for buying well priced silk garments, art, jewelry and souvenirs.
An absolute sight to behold, and one of my favorite places in Hong Kong is Aberdeen Floating Fishing Village, where you can see more than 600 working junk boats, a floating village that houses about 6,000 people, and even a massive floating restaurant – all set in the midst of midtown Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a foodie wonderland. Be sure to stop, buy and sample from street carts and outdoor food stalls. In Central, try the egg tarts at Tai Cheong Bakery and the shrimp wonton soup at Mak’s Noodle.
If you are feeling adventurous, I highly recommend spending four hours with Cecilia and Silvana, sisters and owners of Hong Kong Foodie Tours (hongkongfoodietours.com). It is the absolute best way to taste your way through authentic Hong Kong – in other words, eat like a local instead of a tourist. Silvana took us to Tai Po Market. Off the beaten path, the pedestrian boulevards are lined with family owned food stalls. The tour included handmade sweets, seafood at a Dai Pai Dong, delicious roasted goose, snake soup and mind-blowing steamed rice rolls. You can taste the proud local heritage in every bite.
Hong Kong is an intoxicating city that awakens the senses with tastes, sounds, smells and sights that are truly unique and forever memorable. With just forty eight hours to experience it, have a game plan for making the most of your two days in Hong Kong.