PSA: Hong Kong has finally reopened borders after three years — more details below, plus things to check out when on your next trip to Hong Kong!
Photo credit: @alisonpang via Unsplash
After the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble got announced and cancelled multiple times, I almost stopped believing it’ll happen. But it’s been three long years and Hong Kong has finally opened its doors to the rest of the world!
Hong Kong entry requirements as of Jan 2023:
1) Fully vaccinated travellers (aged three or above) need to undergo a ART (can be self-administered) within 24 hours or a PCR test within 48 hours before the scheduled time of flight. Keep your negative test result as you might be required to show it.
2) Masks are still required in public spaces, including public transport.
For most of us, it’s been awhile since we’ve walked along Hong Kong’s vibrant streets. So here’s a trip down memory lane — things we can’t wait to do on our next trip to Hong Kong!
1) Feast on authentic dim sum
Our spread at Dim Sum Square!
The first thing on our agenda: dim sum. Of course, there’s dim sum in Singapore but it ain’t the same! Dim sum in Hong Kong isn’t just a meal, it’s an experience. Waitresses pushing overflowing trolleys, boisterous patrons yelling out orders — it’s almost like you’re in a scene of a Cantonese drama.
Dim Sum Square is a crowd favourite. Try the crispy BBQ pork buns (HK$19, ~S$3.20) and har gow (HK$22, ~S$3.75)! Then there’s One Dim Sum — a former one Michelin-starred restaurant that sells great dim sum at affordable prices.
2) Revive your Instagram feed
One of the many colourful walls along ARTLANE! Photo credit: @samishome via Instagram
During the pandemic, we’ve had to rely on #throwback photos to sustain our Instagram feed. Luckily, Hong Kong has many eye-catching photo spots that’s sure to bring colour to your feed!
Check out vibrant street art along ARTLANE in Sai Ying Pun and the iconic 48 Hollywood Road‘s mural of old townhouses. We took a street art tour around Central Station, which highlighted portraits of icons like Audrey Hepburn in pop art style!
3) Explore the trendy neighbourhood of Sham Shui Po
Photo credit: @kevinlu via Instagram
Sham Shui Po may be one of Hong Kong’s oldest districts, but young creatives have given the district new life. In fact, a Timeout survey in 2020 listed Sham Shui Po as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world!
Despite Covid-19, many new cafes, galleries and quirky shops have popped up in the district. White Noise Records is one example — an indie record store with live performances! Coffee lovers will enjoy Colour Brown x Phvlo Hatch, a sustainable coffee shop on the ground floor of a revamped textile shop.
4) Feel like a kid again at Hong Kong Disneyland
We could all use a bit of Disneyland’s magic. Good news is, when we return, there are several new attractions that await! To commemorate its 15th anniversary, Hong Kong Disneyland unveiled the Castle of Magic Dreams in November 2020. This castle celebrates thirteen of our favourite Disney princesses — like Belle and Elsa!
Photo credit: Hong Kong Disneyland
Castle aside, a cool new zone is opening in the second half of 2023 that’s sure to have you shivering with excitement — Arendelle: World of Frozen. Expect exciting attractions like the Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs, a speedy coaster pulled by Olaf and Sven.
5) Climb Suicide Cliff for epic city views
Who else is missing this incredible view?
Suicide Cliff is arguably Hong Kong’s most famous hike — and for good reason! Those who take on this hike are rewarded with epic views of the city, and it takes less than an hour to reach the viewpoint.
6) Or take on Hong Kong’s other fun hikes
Photo credit: @emmamialin via Unsplash
Despite being known mainly for its crowded urban landscape, over 75% of Hong Kong is covered in greenery! This means there are plenty of hikes of varying difficulty, from short trails to challenging routes that guarantee a good sweat.
The view from Sunset Peak!
If you’ve already conquered Suicide Cliff, give Hong Kong’s other hikes a try! One famous hike is the 8.5km Dragon’s Back trail, which stretches from Shek O to Big Wave Bay. It takes roughly four hours and isn’t too tough. Alternatively, hike up Sunset Peak, Hong Kong’s third-highest mountain.
7) Admire Hong Kong’s skyline from the water
Check out the junk ship’s striking red sails.
While Hong Kong’s skyline is spectacular in the day, the city truly comes alive at night. The views from Causeway Bay Pier are great — but to get right in the thick of the action, go on an hour-long cruise (from ~S$38.55) down Causeway Bay. On a traditional Chinese junk ship, no less!
Be sure to catch the daily Symphony of Lights Show — a stunning 14-minute display — at 8PM!
8) Discover hidden gems in Mongkok
Photo credit: @j_lam83 via Unsplash
Mongkok is one of Hong Kong’s busiest districts — thriving arts and food scene, plus a shopaholic’s paradise. You’ll need a few days to truly appreciate this district!
Photo credit: 618 Shanghai Street
On your next trip to Hong Kong, pay 618 Shanghai Street a visit. It’s a revitalised strip of shophouses opened in 2020 that’ll give you a glimpse into local craft businesses. In need of retail therapy? Head to Sneakers Street to cop the latest sneakers or Argyle Centre, a five-storey shopping arcade!
9) End the night at Hong Kong’s lively night markets
Temple Street. Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board
No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to a night market. We miss the open-aired stalls, hunting for good deals and the overall crazy atmosphere. Temple Street is one of Hong Kong’s OG night markets, with street food and cheap clothes.
Ladies’ Market is another go-to, with over 100 stalls stretching almost 1km. Here you’ll find all sorts of affordable women’s clothing, plus accessories and toys!
10) Escape the city for a day at Sai Kung
Sai Kung is nicknamed the ‘back garden of Hong Kong’. Why? This peninsula is the country’s second-largest area and is known for idyllic scenery, gorgeous beaches and thrilling activities.
During our last visit, we hiked a (short) portion of the 100km MacLehose Trail, spotted rock formations on a boat tour and saw the High Island East Dam Reservoir. There’s still plenty of Sai Kung left to explore, and we can’t wait to be back.
11) Dine at Michelin-star restaurants (at affordable prices!)
With 71 Michelin-star restaurants, Hong Kong’s culinary scene is a dynamic one. The best part is, you don’t have to spend a fortune for the Michelin experience.
Yat Lok is a favourite amongst both locals and tourists, serving glorious roast geese (HK$108, ~S$18.50) since 1957. Ho Hung Kee at Causeway Bay is another must-visit, offering springy noodles with tasty wantons (HK$40, ~S$6.80). The food alone is enough to convince anyone to book a flight to Hong Kong!
Read also: Ultimate Hong Kong Food Guide: 50 Best Eats
12) Explore Lantau, Hong Kong’s largest island
Getting there is already an adventure — via a glass-bottom cable car! The last time we visited, we checked off the Tian Tan Buddha before taking on the Lantau Sunset Peak Hike. It takes about five hours to complete, but the sweeping views of nature are well worth it — 10/10 would go again!
13) Soak in Kowloon City’s rich culture
Photo credit: @cath_fu via Instagram
Kowloon City is an area bursting with culture and history — with landmarks from as far back as the 13th century. It was also home to Hong Kong’s original airport! This district is nicknamed Little Thailand due to its abundance of Southeast Asian restaurants.
Visit Kowloon Walled City Park, which has a notorious past as a Chinese military outpost in the 16th century. These days, it’s a pristine garden with historical exhibitions.
14) Spend a day at the beach
Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board
When you think of Hong Kong, a “beach getaway” probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But the golden beaches and blue waters at Shek O beach might convince you otherwise!
Besides sunbathing, enjoy windsurfing and stuffing yourself with Asian cuisine at beachside restaurants.
15) Take the tram up to Victoria Peak
Photo credit: The Peak
We’re rounding up our list of things to do in Hong Kong with one of the city’s top attractions, Victoria Peak. To get there, you can either hike up or, the more fun way — take the Peak Tram (from S$16.90). It ascends from 28m to 396m in just eight minutes!
Stroll along the Peak Circle Walk, which wraps around the highest point on Hong Kong Island. Then, head to Sky Terrace 428, a viewing platform that’s 428m high. If you manage to tear yourself from the view, check out Monopoly Dreams (from HK$260, ~S$44.60), the world’s first Monopoly-themed attraction.
Photo credit: @hkpeakgalleria via Instagram
What’s more, the Peak Galleria — a mall on Victoria Peak — was newly renovated in 2019. It now features more stores and a fresh, modern look.
Planning Your Next Hong Kong Itinerary?
Photo credit: @jay.phuc.photography via Instagram
Whether it’s your first time or nth time, a trip to Hong Kong is something we always look forward to. Plus with new attractions, cafes and shops opening all the time, there’s always something new to experience!
Now that we can finally revisit Hong Kong, we look forward to experiencing everything again.
What are some of your favourite things to do in Hong Kong? Share with us in the comments!