Hong Kong is my hometown. I was born here and lived here until I was nine years old. While living in Toronto, I visited Hong Kong many times and witnessed the changes in the city.
Sometimes I don’t feel I belong here, yet there is a sense of familiarity. I feel like I’m learning about the city from a foreigner’s perspective and it is refreshing to see the city from another angle.
Located at the southeastern tip of China, Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate where it is excellent to visit all year round. And with over 7 million people living in a small area of 2,754 km², this fast pace city will keep you buzzing day and night. This vibrant city does not sleep, and something is always going on. I can see why the little city attracts millions of tourists each year.
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What you need to know before visiting Hong Kong
Before you visit Hong Kong, take a look at my tips below:
Here are additional travel tips that you may find useful for travelling to Uji:
- Most visitors can visit Hong Kong for up to 180 days without a visa. Check the Hong Kong Immigration Department to see if you require a visa for HK
- Get an Octopus Card, a rechargeable smartcard for taking public transportation (MTR, bus, minibus, ferry and tram) and making purchases at participating retailers and restaurants. Purchase one at any MTR station or convenience store. It costs $100HKD but you can use the $50 stored value and get your $50HKD refundable deposit when you leave
- Hong Kong is a safe city for solo female travellers
- The local language is Cantonese but most people have a knowledge of English.
Is Hong Kong safe for solo female travellers
Hong Kong is a big international hub in Asia. People speak Cantonese, and most people have a knowledge of English. But not to worry, most signs, wayfinding and menus are in English and Chinese since they are the official languages. English is widely used in the workplace and business sectors.
As for being a solo female traveller in Hong Kong, it is very safe to wander around the city whether it is day or night. Crime is not prevalent in the city. But still, practice your safety precautions at all times. Most people mind their own business. They may look at you but purely because they are curious about where you are from and not coming from malicious intent.
Hong Kong is an international city where many ex-pats work, and millions of tourists visit each year. The feeling of multiculturalism is very apparent especially if you are on Hong Kong Island. So no matter what your background or ethnicity, you will fit in no matter what, even if you are a solo female traveller.
What to Do in Hong Kong for a solo traveller
Most people will spend between two to five days in Hong Kong. It all depends on the budget. Hong Kong has one of the highest cost of living in the world and this affect accommodation costs, which is a bulk of your travel budget. But no matter how much you can spend, there is always something to do for every budget level.
Kowloon has a local feel where you will see the majority of locals live. You will find different things to do in Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok areas. Whereas Hong Kong Island has a bit more of an international feel to the city where you will find international retailers, businesses and restaurants. There are a lot of foreigners in Central, SoHo, Sheung Wan and NoHo areas.
Must-see attractions in Hong Kong
There is only one thing you need to do in Hong Kong: go to the Peak. On top of the highest point on the island, you will see a panoramic view of the city including Victoria Harbour and Kowloon. If you go during the day, walk the Circle Walk aka Luguard Road, a big loop that starts and ends at the Peak Tram. And if you decide to experience the view at night, you will be in awe of the shimmering lights of the city high from above. Getting to the Peak is quite easy. Either take the Peak Tram, bus or minibus, or walk up the hill for 45 minutes from Central MTR.
Shopping in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of the best cities for shopping! Honestly, I don’t know any other city that has extended hours of operation, stores open until 10 pm, night markets open well into the night, and major retailers will even open on most holidays (some may also open on Chinese New Year Day!). And there is no sales tax on any purchases. What you see is what you pay. There are opportunities to shop almost everywhere. One of the most central places is Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui where you will find all the retailers under one roof. As for markets, visit the Ladies Market in Mong Kok for bargains and Temple Street Night Market for all kinds of trinkets. And make your way to Stanley to visit Stanley Market as well. Remember you can haggle prices at the markets!
Nightlife in Hong Kong
A visit to Hong Kong is not the same without seeing the vibrant nightlife. Even if you are travelling solo, it is worth experiencing the exciting nightlife, and it goes on every night. Go to Lan Kwai Fong, where bars line every street and every corner. Hong Kong people love their happy hour. Drinks are discounted in the afternoon and usually between 5 to 8 pm. And partygoers continue well into the night. LKF is probably the best (and rowdiest) place for New Year’s Eve party.
Also, check out SoHo for high-end bars and restaurants. Take the set of escalators on Queens Road Central, and it will take you to SoHo. This area is a favourite amongst expats and tourists.
Unique things to do in Hong Kong
If you want to see other sides of the city, Hong Kong has some unique spots around the city that might pique your interest. Goldfish Market only sells goldfish and pet-related items. The Flower Market and Bird Market are both nearby and are worth checking out. And a local favourite food market, Tai Po Market.
And if you like theme parks, Ocean Park has thrill rides and shows that will keep you entertained for an entire day. And the same goes for Hong Kong Disneyland.
One of my new favourite things to do in Hong Kong is the Happy Valley Racecourse on Wednesday nights. For a small admission fee, you will guarantee a grand old time! A lot of (local) people go for the actual horseracing, and you will see them studying newspapers and analyzing statistics to maximize their odds of winning. But if you are not into gambling (or don’t know what is going on, like me!), you will still enjoy the fun and social atmosphere (over some drinks, of course!)
Interested in tours in Hong Kong? Try one of these tours below:
RELATED POST – other unusual things to do in Hong Kong
Day trips & hikes
Sometimes you need to get out of the city and experience something else. One of the best day trips is visiting Lantau Island. The excursion includes a visit to The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery. Or you can visit other islands like Cheung Chau Island, Lamma Island or Peng Chau.
Besides island hopping, there are hundreds of awesome hiking trails in Hong Kong. Here are some of my favourite scenic hikes in HK:
Hong Kong Island
- Victoria Peak Hike: See Hong Kong’s beautiful skyline
- High West: three ways to hike up Mount High West
- Dragon’s Back Hike: the most popular day hike in Hong Kong
- Red Incense Burner Summit on Braemar Hill: best spot for sunset and night views
- Mount Nicholson Hike: see hidden rock statues in the middle of HK Island
- Violet Hill and the Twins: hike over two mountains with over 1,000+ steps
- Rhino Rock Hike: see a rocky rhinoceros head in Stanley
- Cape Collinson hike: visit an old battery used during WWII on Hong Kong Island
- Mount Davis hike: see an old military site on HK Island
- Lamma Island: hike from Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan
- Cheung Chau Island: 1-day itinerary
- Peng Chau Island: 1-day itinerary
- Tung O Ancient Trail: hike the coastal trail in Lantau North Country Park
- Lo Yan Shan hike: hike Chi Ma Wan Country Trail in southern Lantau Island
- Fan Lau hike: explore the southwest tip of Lantau Island
- Po Toi Island: see Hong Kong’s South Pole
- Pineapple Mountain: the Great Canyon of HK
- High Junk Peak: one of the three sharpest peaks in HK
- Ma On Shan Hike: hike across the horse-saddle mountain to Sai Kung
- Pat Sin Leng Hike: hike over 8 peaks named after Chinese Mythological immortals
- Po Pin Chau: hike around hexagonal rock columns in Sai Kung
- Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail: hike around HK’s largest reservoir
- Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff: see Hong Kong’s most dramatic cliff
- Trio Beach hike: see a secret beach and rocky headland in Sai Kung
- Tsing Yi Nature Trails: meander through the easy trails in Tsing Yi
- Tsing Yi Peak: hike the three peaks on Tsing Yi Island
- Ma Shi Chau Nature Trail: see 280 million-year-old rocks in Tai Po
- Tai Tan Country Trail: hike an easy coastal trail in Sai Kung
- Lin Ma Hang Cave and Robin’s Nest hike: see a hidden cave in the New Territories
- Kai Kung Leng hike: hike on the “Rooster Ridge” in Lam Tsuen Country Park
Where to stay in Hong Kong as a solo traveller
If you only have a few days, stay somewhere convenient and close to all the places you want to visit, like Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon side or Central, Sheung Wan, Wanchai or Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island.
But my favourite places to stay in Hong Kong are the boutique hotels on Hong Kong Island. Here are a few of them:
- Tuve Hotel ($$) – Stay at the best minimalist boutique hotel and enjoy Le Labo bath amenities. Check prices & reviews: Agoda
- The Fleming ($$) – An urban boutique hotel designed with a nautical theme. Every detail in the room is well-designed. Conveniently located in Wan Chai. In my opinion, the best affordable boutique hotel in Hong Kong! Check prices & reviews: Agoda
- 99 Bonham ($$) – Tucked away in the small streets of Sheung Wan, this luxury boutique hotel has very stylish rooms. Each suite is well-designed to maximize the compact space. There’s even a gym to work off all the food you tried in Hong Kong. Check prices & reviews: Agoda
What to eat in Hong Kong
The food is fantastic in Hong Kong! The city offers many different types of cuisines around the world. While eating out can be expensive at times, there are many affordable (and delicious) options in the city.
And many restaurants will automatically add a percentage as a service fee. This is a common practice in Hong Kong. A tip is not required in some local restaurants but be prepared to see the service fee on your bill for most of your dining experiences.
A side note on the food culture and Hong Kong restaurants. Some local restaurants like to fill every seat in the restaurant. This means you may be sharing a table with complete strangers if you are going as a solo traveller. This is widespread as the culture is “eat and go.”
Typical Hong Kong Food
When you are in Hong Kong, definitely try some (if not all) of these:
- Pineapple Bun + Butter – an excellent option for either breakfast or afternoon tea. And best to eat it with a Hong Kong Milk Tea!
- Egg Waffle – similar to a regular waffle in terms of taste and texture, the egg waffle looks like a sheet of bubble wrap where each “bubble” resembles an egg
- Hong Kong-style Milk Tea – there is something special about Hong Kong milk tea. Perhaps the tea has a distinct flavour and combining it with evaporated milk. Simple but delicious!
- Typical Hong Kong Breakfast – includes eggs, spam, thick toast with butter, and macaroni in clear soup.
- Dim Sum – Hong Kong people love their dim sum! There are many to choose from. Sumai (pork dumplings), Har Gow (shrimp dumpling), rice noodle roll, chicken feet and more! Yum!
- Afternoon High Tea – a trendy thing to do in Hong Kong. A lot of hotels offer excellent high tea experiences. Typically, high tea includes savoury and sweet snacks with either tea or coffee. If you have a free afternoon (from 2 to 5 pm), do give this a try!
Hong Kong Solo Travel
Hope you like this informative post about Hong Kong! Did I miss anything? And if you like this post, share it and pin it!
Thank you for reading my Hong Kong solo travel guide
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- Hong Kong food culture: 15 must-try food
- 10 best HK coffee shops for coffee lovers
- 15 places to watch sunset in Hong Kong
- HK off the beaten path: 11 hidden gems
- How to get to Lamma Island
- Short and easy hikes in Hong Kong
- Macau itinerary: things to do for solo traveller
- My honest review of HK Express, HK budget airline