48 hours in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, the former British colony and now autonomous Chinese territory, is one of the world’s top financial centers, and a famous destination for business travelers from different parts of the world. The city also attracts millions of tourists every year for its charm, great cultural diversity, spectacular scenery, famous cuisine, and phenomenal nightlife.

But would Hong Kong be a good city to visit when traveling with a kid? Absolutely! Hong Kong has a wide variety of attractions that will keep everyone entertained and happy, from parks, big buddhas, cute pandas, and much more.

During our 48 hours there, we kept ourselves busy, and at the end, I wish we had more time. 

Day 1: Symphony of Lights

We arrived at the Harbour Grand Hong Kong Hotel in the afternoon but it took some time for our room be ready. We sat in the lobby, ordered a bottle of wine and some food, and waited. We were feeling tired, so it was a good break.

At night, the plan was to see the Symphony of Lights, and then dinner. 

The Symphony of Lights is a well-known tourist attraction in Hong Kong. We heard from some locals that, on the Kowloon side, there is a boardwalk running by the water–the best spot to see the show. We took a ferry to Kowloon and ran to find the perfect spot, along with many other people. 

The show started and we kept waiting for the climax. We were still waiting when it ended. We looked at each other wondering, “that’s it?” It was quite a disappointment. The show was just some laser lights shooting out and some LED projections on a few buildings. The skyline is beautiful at night, but the show added nothing to it. If you happen to be in Kowloon at night, go ahead and check it out, but don’t make it a special trip.

We took the ferry back to the other side of the bay, and that night we had dinner at Bistecca Italian Steak House in Lan Kwai Fong. We were not disappointed. The restaurant’s entrance was underwhelming, but the food was delicious and the service was fantastic. 

Day 2: Ngong Ping 360, Big Buddha, and SoHo

The plan for the day was to visit the Ngong Ping 360 Village on Lantau Island. From our hotel, we took the subway to Tung Chung, an area on the north-western side of Lantau Island, where the ticket station is located. At the station, we found the ticket booths and the cable car departure platforms. The queue was huge and moving slowly, so I’d highly recommend buying tickets online in advance.

The Ngong Ping 360, a cable car ride with scenic 360-degree views, connects the town of Tung Chung to the Ngong Ping Village. During the 25-minute glass cabin ride, we could see gorgeous views of blue water, lush valleys, and spectacular green mountains on Lantau Island and beyond. 

At the end of the ride, a short walk took us to Ngong Ping Village, a cozy tourist spot set on Lantau Island, adjacent to Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal, Big Buddha, and Po Lin Monastery.

We wanted to visit the Big Buddha first. Besides the village been well-marked, the Big Buddha is 34 meters high, including the base, so there would be no trouble figuring out which direction to go. We walked about 15 minutes through the village to the 268 steps to the base of the statue. We walked around to appreciate the Buddha itself, the mountains, the sea, and beyond.

On the back of the base, there is another stairway that took us to the second level. There is a small museum with paintings and articles describing Buddha’s life and teachings. We spent about one hour there before making our way back to the village.

Even though the village is small, we had great time there. We wandered around, grabbed something to eat, and visited some souvenir shops and tea houses.

Some friendly cows showed up, walking freely in the village, and my daughter was delighted to see and touch them.

Around 4pm we went back to the mainland and headed to SoHo, a neighborhood with steep streets, and full of restaurants, fashion boutiques, art galleries, antiques shops, bars, and cafes. The sun went down and SoHo came alive with people everywhere, showing up for food and drinks. I believe you can find any kind of cuisine at SoHo, from trendy coffee and cake stores, to chic international cuisine and Cantonese food.

It was Thanksgiving Day, and we were in the mood for a small celebration.  After checking Yelp, we decided to go to Ibérico and Co. and luckily got a table. So there I was, a Brazilian, celebrating an American holiday, in Hong Kong, at a Spanish restaurant. We couldn’t be more multicultural. We ordered small plates and sampled a wide variety of different dishes. The whole experience was unforgettable. The food was outstanding, the drinks were fantastic, and the service was exceptional.

After dinner, we continued to wander around, and, on an impulse, we stopped at Tycoon Tann for Peking Duck with caviar. Delicious!  We got a drink called Captain’s Duty, voted the “Best Cocktail in Town” in 2015. Yum! We made yet another stop at a chocolate store for some special treats.

SoHo was packed with people and the atmosphere was cheerful. 

Day 3: Victoria Peak

If you have only a day in Hong Kong, Victoria Peak is the place you must go to enjoy the incredible views of the city. It is breathtaking!

From the hotel, we took the subway to Admiralty Station and walked to the Garden Road Station to buy our tickets. Again, another long line, but luckily it was only about a 30-minute wait.

The tram ride to The Peak was short and scenic. As the tram was rolling up the steep mountainside, we were amazed by the beauty of Hong Kong, and it gave us an idea of what was coming next.

When we arrived, we entered the Peak Tower via the Peak Market, which is a commercial center full of souvenir shops and restaurants. Escalators connecting all levels of the tower took us to the viewing point at the Sky Deck.

At the ticket booth, we chose to pay for the Sky Terrace instead of the free viewing from the mall terrace. It was an additional fee, but worth it. The audio tour was included in the ticket price, and it was a big plus because we got a lot of information on the skyline and landmarks of Hong Kong.

We returned to the hotel at 3:30pm. We sat in the lobby restaurant for a drink and snacks while waiting for the shuttle to take us to the train station. I was amazed by the service we had at the train station. We checked our bags right there and once we got to the airport, we didn’t have to deal with luggage anymore. I loved it! Extremely convenient!

Bye for now, Hong Kong

We’d definitely go back to Hong Kong whenever we have a chance. Two days were not enough to explore such a unique city that exhibits remains of British culture and values, alongside Chinese traditions. It would be great to visit some temples, museums, parks, and markets. My daughter would love to see the pandas. Additionally, of course, we’d love to explore more of the dining options, including the regional Cantonese food.


One Comment

  1. Amazing!!! I already heard about some of these places cause I watch TV shows and one day they talked about Hong Kong. And the pandas 🐼, I would love to see them! It is my dream to visit the Asia.

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