Hong Kong is easily one of the coolest metropolitan destinations on the planet, and after we asked Hong Kong native Lizzy Mok of @notinoffice for some insider tips, it crawled even further up our travel bucket lists. As one of the world's most exciting cities (on a breathtakingly beautiful cluster of islands), it features an essentially endless list of cultural adventures, gourmet dining experiences, and shopping excursions. Rest assured you'll never run out of fun things to do in Hong Kong. To learn about all the coolest places to shop, sleep, see, eat, and explore, click through the awe-inspiring photos of this city and learn about the best things do while you're visiting.
Things to Do in Hong Kong: View Edition
The best views are hands down from the Victoria Peak mountaintop. Even though it may be "a touristy thing to do," Mok still advises you to "go to the Peak on a nice day." She also recommends checking out "The Pulse at Repulse Bay for beautiful views. Most people don't know that we have great beaches. And there are so many cute restaurants by them." Also, make sure you catch a sunset of Hong Kong Victoria Harbour. Better yet, take a boat ride, like the Aqua Luna harbor cruise.
Things to Do in Hong Kong: Sightseeing Edition
Though you'll run into plenty of other travelers, the 111-meter-tall Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island is definitely worth seeing. While you're there, take a tour of the monastery, and then go see Man Mo Temple. The clock tower and Tsing Ma Bridge are other iconic Hong Kong structure you should see while you're there.
Things to Do in Hong Kong: Nightlife Edition
As fun as this city is during the day, it really comes to life at night. So even if you're an early bird, it's worth staying up past your bedtime. The two best areas to enjoy when the sun goes down (and during the day) are Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo, Mok tells us. In fact, she says they're a must for the copious bars and clubs. "Best clubs in HK? Dragon-i, Fly, and Volar. Best bars? Lily & Bloom, Cassia, Tazmania Ballroom. Oh, and Ozone Bar is one of the tallest bars in the world, so you can expect gorgeous views."
Things to Do in Hong Kong: Day Trip Edition
If you can only do one big thing in Hong Kong, make it a visit to the traditional wooden bridge by the pond at the Nan Lian Garden. Take a ferry over to Macau. It's about "an hour ride to Asia's equivalent to Las Vegas. Though infested with casinos, Macau has long, fascinating history. It used to be a Portuguese colony and still holds a lot of its architecture and culture," Mok tells us.
Things to Do in Hong Kong: Hotel Edition
Though there are plenty of great hotel options to choose from in Hong Kong, we picked a few favorites to help you narrow it down. Stay at The Upper House for sleek, neutral design with breathtaking views; The Pottinger for something central; Tuve for an über-chic industrial edge, J Plus Hotel by Yoo for a quirky, colorful boutique feel; and The Langham or The Peninsula for old-school opulence.
Things to Do in Hong Kong: Culture Edition
One of the best ways to get a taste of the local lifestyle is to spend a day exploring the local eateries and markets along Cat Street. Then learn about the city's rich culture both past and present at Hong Kong Museum of History, The Popsy Room, the Museum of Art, and Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum. Mok's insider tip? Check out Happy Valley Racetrack. "Every Wednesday and Saturday night, there are horse races during select times of the year, and it's a very fun experience. Drink and bet on horses with friends," she says, to switch things up.
Things to Do in Hong Kong: Outdoor Edition
Even though Hong Kong is a major metropolis, there are tons of outdoor activities to enjoy. "It's surprising to a lot of people that HK has beautiful hikes," she tells us, so if you feel like getting active outside, you'll have plenty of options. "Go hiking on Dragon's Back or Twin Peaks for beautiful views. Or head to Lantau Island, which is an easy hike and a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city," she tells us.
Things to Do in Hong Kong: Shopping Edition
If you want to do some shopping at a high-end department store, head to Lane Crawford. "It's the equivalent of Barneys New York, and they have amazing merchandising," Mok tells us. The best "small boutiques are in Causeway Bay, which is right behind Times Square. The shops in SoHo are also always great if you're looking for both high-end designer pieces as well as affordable options." A few favorites are Cocktail Select Shop, Edit, Initial, Joyce, and Landmark.
Things to Do in Hong Kong: Eating Edition
While in Hong Kong, "you have to eat seafood!" Mok encourages. The best coffee shops are Why 50 and Brew Bros Coffee, and the best restaurants are The Winery Kitchen+Bar, Little Creatures, and Kaum at Potato Head. "HK used to be a huge fishing island (though not so much anymore)," says Mok. "So go to Sai Kung for a whole street of restaurants with live seafood displayed outside. You get a table, walk outside with your waiter, and pick exactly what seafood you'd like right there and tell them how to prepare it.
They take the exact one you want right out of the water," which makes things fun. You should also go eat dim sum. For a high-end version, head to "Mott 32 or Tim Ho Wan, which is the cheapest Michelin-star restaurant in the world!" Yardbird is a great Japanese chicken yakitori restaurant with hip vibes if you appreciate restaurant décor, she tells us.