Hong Kong is one of those cities you keep coming back to whether on purpose or a layover. And it’s not really hard to see why. Hong Kong is my favorite city simply because it’s extravagant, full of color, and definitely international. They speak two of the most spoken languages that are English and Mandarin Chinese.
For some people, layovers are troublesome and are such a time-wasting experience. Others see it as an opportunity to glance inside a city’s taste of everything it has to offer- in this case, diversity and color. I love long layovers. Especially to cities that I don’t need any other special requirements to get through the immigration (a.k.a. visa/transit papers). Visiting a city without having to pay for the flight is the best free thing ever! Living in China for a couple of years now, I’ve had my share of layovers when going and coming back from the Philippines. And this is my second I layover in Hong Kong where I’m planning to go out of the airport.
Before ever traveling, the fact that I was born in this now rich vibrant city of Hong Kong and one of the Autonomous Regions in China, was just a “cool” thing to have in my identity papers. My first visit to Hong Kong was when I was in high school hence; it was all about Disneyland, Ocean Park and such. But now that I’m older, I’m more interested in the cuisine, the people, and the arts and architecture of every place I travel to.
Having a ten-hour stopover in Hong Kong, I’ve planned my time very carefully to be sure I’m making the best out of this mini trip. Listed all the things I wanted to see and taste. Read all the reviews of some attractions and planned my travel time in between. BUT most of my planned schedule didn’t work.
Originally, I planned to hike the Braemar’s Hill. But I didn’t calculate the time correctly. Hence me not going instead. The line to the immigration was very long. And to my mischief, I was stuck in the line of an ATM machine where there’s a Korean family who was there for a very long time. It took me about 3 hours just to get to the city center.
Instead of heading to the said hill for a 2-hour hike, I went to the Clock Tower to meet Constance. A very nice girl from Hong Kong whom I met through Couchsurfing.
Couchsurfing is an APP for travelers who want to meet locals, hangout, and/or stay at a place (a room or a couch) for free or in exchange for company. I think that using this APP is completely the same as long as you don’t break the basic rules.
I decided to use Couchsurfing because I only had a few hours in Hong Kong and I don’t want to spend it getting lost. And I can say that it’s a really good opportunity to meet locals. I met Constance through Couchsurfing after I found her profile, reviewed it and send her a message. That’s about that. She then agreed to take me on a mini walking tour.
My Hong Kong Itinerary:
- Clock Tower-
Tsim Sha Tsui Station. (Orange Line)
This has to be one of the most iconic landmarks in Hong Kong. It’s located next to the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier and from here you can walk along the Victoria Harbour down to the Avenue of Stars.
- Dim Sum-
Walk around Tsim Sha Tsui.
Make sure to find a place that has Dim Sum as their specialty.
- Choi Hung Estate-
Choi Hung Station (Green Line)
I think everybody knows about this pastel-colored residential building and it is very conveniently just a few minutes walk from the station exit.
- Shek Kip Mei Estate-
Shek Kip Mei Station (Green Line)
This one of many iconic residential buildings in Hong Kong.
Shek Kip Mei Estate
As the end of our trip was near, Constance took me to a very cute “instagram” cafe near the Shek Kip Mei Estate.
- Return To The Airport-
Bus no. A10, A11, A12, A26, A29, A29P
Other Things You Can Do On A Layover In Hong Kong:
- Hike The Braemar Hill-
Bus no. A11 to North Point then take the bus no. 27 to Braemar Hill.
Hike to Braemar Hill is about 2 hours up and down and it’s about 1 hour from the airport so one should mind their time calculations.
- Hunt Good Places To Eat The Best Dim Sum
- Catch The Sunset At International Finance Center-
This place offers a different view of the city from the top.
- Victoria Peak-
CTB A11 Bus from the airport to Hong Kong MTR stations then to terminus I of the Peak.
Last two years ago (2017), I had another layover in Hong Kong on which I went to the Peak at 11PM. It was almost closing time (which is at midnight) and people are already very few but I still went cause come on, it’s the Peak. I’d rather see it for a while than stay at the airport and do nothing for the whole evening. And by the way, my flight that time was on the next morning.
From the airport to Disneyland Station.
This must be the nearest place to kill time while waiting for your next flight.
Thank you for reading!