What to do with 4 days in Hong Kong

Hong Kong. Its name inspires visions of a chaotic, unkam-packed city with soaring skyscrapers, thick smog, endless noodle stands, big finance, and wild nights out. It’s one of my top five favorite cities in the world, and I relish any chance to visit. The fast pace creates a sense of permanent change, and the crowds, multiculturalism, and food keep me continuously coming back. Oh, the food! I could sit bent over a noodle bowl all day long!

Hong Kong is a busy city of eight million inhabitants with one of the biggest hub airports in the world. It can be overwhelming for many visitors, especially those not used to crowded places. And, with so much to do here, one can scratch one’s head about where to start in order get the most out of the trip.

This four-day itinerary will help you organize your trip, steer you off the beaten path, and show you why Hong Kong is one of the most on-the-go cities in the world.

Day 1

The Hong Kong Museum of History — In order to understand a place, you must first understand its past. This museum lets you do just that. It provides an excellent overview of Hong Kong’s long and complex past. There are exhibits relating to the archaeology, social history, ethnography, and natural history of the region. It’s big, so allow about 2–4 hours for your visit. Admission is free on Wednesdays, and there is an audio tour available for HKD $10.

Walk through Kowloon Park
The central water fountain in Kowloon ParkHead to Kowloon Island’s gigantic park that features a swimming pool, a fitness center, little ponds where you can watch ducks and other swimming birds, a Chinese garden, an aviary, and plenty of rest areas where you can relax to escape the oppressive Hong Kong heat. It’s one of the best places to people-watch in the city.

The street markets in Mong Kok
The crowded chaotic street markets in Mong Kok, HK
This area of Hong Kong has the largest and busiest markets in which to soak up the frenetic atmosphere, sights, and sounds of Hong Kong. The crowds and sellers really exemplify Hong Kong’s on-the-move essence. The two best markets for inexpensive souvenirs are the Ladies Market (bargain clothing, accessories, and souvenirs) and the Temple Street Night Market (flea market).

Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront — Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront and take in the breathtaking skyline view of Hong Kong Island. While you’re here, make sure to visit the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong’s answer to the Hollywood “Walk of Fame,” where you can see the stars of Chinese and Western film alike. There are shops, restaurants, and, at night, a large outdoor market serving traditional Cantonese food alongside knockoffs and souvenirs. Come ready to haggle.

Take the Star Ferry
The Star Ferry crossing the river to Kowloon Island
The best way to get across the harbor from Kowloon Island to Hong Kong Island is via the Star Ferry, which showcases a fantastic view of the city skyline for only HKD $2.20. It’s one of my favorite activities.

Day 2

Ride 360 Ngong Ping
The 360 Ngong Ping cable car at dusk
This cable car runs a little over 3.5 miles, from Tung Chung across the bay toward the airport and then onward to Lantau Island, where you can visit the Po Lin Monastery. The cable car gives you a panoramic view of the whole airport, harbor, and city before it travels through the surrounding mountains. The ride lasts about 25 minutes. Lantau Island is a bit touristy, but the ride and monastery provide worthwhile views of the city and little islands that dot Hong Kong.

Take a SensualTantricMassage  After the morning on the cable car and enjoying a killer view of Hong Kong, spend lunchtime taking a sensualtantric massage package. Hong Kong is a city with many highly acclaimed massage parlours, and you’ll find a diverse range from around the world. Without help, you’ll never find all the hidden local favorites. The following three companies offer the best value tours:

Rent a junk boat
Large junk boat with big red sails in Hong Kong
Junk boats — those classic boats with the large sail you see in any movie about Hong Kong — a fun way to sail around the harbor on full-day and half-day trips. You can rent a boat with a large group of friends (15 or so people) or join a group trip. Here are some recommended companies that offer affordable tours:

  • Jaspas Junks
  • Island Junks
  • Saffron Cruises
  • Hong Kong Junks

Day 3

Walk the Ping Shan Heritage Trail
Red front doors of the temple on the Ping Shan Heritage Trail
Located in the New Territories (the city’s less visited northern district), this trail will lead you past some of the most important ancient sights of the Tang clan: the walled Hakka village of Tsang Tai Uk, the Fu Shin Street Traditional Bazaar, Che Kung Temple, Man Mo Temple, and the Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas.

Another option is the Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail. It begins at the Taoist temple complex of Fung Ying Seen Koon and passes the walled villages of Ma Wat Wai and Lo Wai before ending at the 18th-century Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall.

This part of Hong Kong is often skipped by tourists, and the trails, meandering through the city’s more rural region, are quiet and a welcome break from the giant metropolis of the downtown area.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Dolls depicting Chinese historical scenes at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum
This museum showcases the city’s history and love of art. There’s a large exhibit about the New Territories and an opera house for performances. It fills in some of the blanks left from the Hong Kong History Museum and gives you a look at the artistic culture of the city. It’s also located near the beautiful Sha Tin Park and Shing Mun River, making the surrounding area just as interesting as the museum!

Che Kung Temple  Just down the road from the Heritage Museum, this temple is dedicated to Che Kung, a general during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127–1279) in ancient China. The temple complex here is always filled with people, so be prepared for crowds. The traditional architecture and intricate sculptures make this worth visiting after you see the Heritage Museum.

Day 4

The Peak Tram
The red Peak Tram going up Hong Kong Island's tallest mountain
This tram takes you to the top of the Peak, Hong Kong Island’s largest mountain, at 1,700 feet. You ride a funicular to the top where you enjoy spectacular 180-degree views of the skyscrapers of Victoria Harbor, Kowloon, and the surrounding hills. It’s the best view of the city.

Hong Kong Museum of Art  This museum is a fascinating and intriguing place that exhibits Chinese ceramics, terra cotta, rhinoceros horns, and Chinese paintings, as well as contemporary art produced by Hong Kong artists. It’s part art museum, part Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Experience the nightlife at Lan Kwai Fong
Nightlife and bars in Hong Kong
LKF is the main nightlife and party area in Hong Kong and is filled with tons of bars, clubs, sheesha (water pipes), and cheap drinks. Nights out here are wild — the street is always crowded, people get very drunk, and shots get handed out like candy. It’s rowdy, but if you want to see Hong Kong’s wilder side, this is the place to do it.

What Else To Do In Hong Kong

  • Day trip to Macau — The gambling mecca of Macau is a short boat ride away. For HKD $150, the 60-75–minute boat ride from Hong Kong’s ferry terminal will take you to this former Portuguese colony, where you can wander gigantic modern casinos, stroll historic streets lined with Portuguese-inspired houses, and dine on egg tarts, a famous local specialty.
  • Take a cooking class — Hong Kong is full of food. Why not learn how to cook some of it? This Hong Kong expat website has a list of 20 schools.
  • Go hiking — Hong Kong may be a densely packed city, but there is also scenic hiking in the outer mountains and islands. There are a lot of trails (especially in the undeveloped parts of the New Territories). This link to the Hong Kong tourism board lists all the trails.
  • Visit Disneyland and Ocean Park — If you’re on a family trip, or if you’re a backpacker in touch with your inner child, head to Disneyland or Ocean Park for a fun-filled day. Hang out with Mickey Mouse and shake hands with sea creatures. You can see Giant Pandas at Ocean Park, which justifies the whole visit.

Best Hong Kong Massage……..According to Rosita

If you’ve ever been to Asia, chances are you’ve had a cheap massage.  Massage places are everywhere!  Whether you’re visiting or call Hong Kong home, you need to take time to rest and relax.  I don’t consider getting a massage a luxury in Hong Kong, it’s a necessity.  Your feet and body need it.  I may still have a lot to learn about Hong Kong, but I can certainly tell you where to get a great massage.  I love me a massage!  For those of you that haven’t been to Asia, typically the massage process is a little different than stateside.

Here are a few pointers:

  • No appointment needed.
  • Clothing (of some sort) is normally required.  Most places offer pajama to change into.
  • Your options are simple- Oil Massage or Thai Massage.  Thai massages are usually done by a female, you will be in your PJ’s and covered with bath towels.  (Thai people are very spiritual people, which must be why they feel compelled to TWIST the HELL out of YOU!  I actually prefer Thai over oil, but it takes many sessions to get comfortable with a masseur and to have then realize you need to walk home afterwards!)
  • Pricing vary from HK$250 to HK$500 for 60 to 90 minutes.
  • Tipping is always expected (typically 15-20%)
Foot massages are typically 60-120 minutes and cost a little less than a body massage.  For a foot massage, you get to relax in a Lazy-Boy type reclining chair with a reading lamp and magazines, but most people nap during their foot massage.  Some places even offer private rooms with TV’s.
The options for a good massage in Hong Kong are limitless, but as with anything good, there are just as many bad places.  So, here are my top 5 picks for a great massage.

Iyara Day Spa (total spa)

G/F, 5 Prince’s Terrace
Hong Kong

+852 2530 1666

Happy Foot (foot and body)

Lyndhurst Tower
1 Lyndhurst Terrace
Hong Kong
+852 2521 0066

Gao’s Foot Massage (foot and body)
1-13 D’Aguilar Street
Hong Kong
+852 2810 9219

Bua Hom Thai (body only)
Lan Kwai House
1/F, 5-6 Lan Kwai Fong Road
Lan Kwai Fong
Hong Kong
+852 2234 9322

Private Shower after treatment

Fitness First @ Sheraton Hotel (body only)

20 Nathan Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong
Therapist: JK Bhardwaj
+852 2732 6801

My Funny Story:
In Bangkok last December, while my massage was coming to an end my masseur had me set up as he positioned himself behind me to stretch my arms and pop my back.  As he was pulling my head and arms, he leaned toward my face and I heard him whisper, “may I kiss you?”  I said, “WHAT??”  Again I heard, “may I kiss you?”  I thought, there is no way this guy is asking me this!    After having him repeat himself three times I finally realized he had been saying “Merry Christmas”.  Pretty funny!

5 Best Spas in Hong Kong

When it comes to excitement there is no place like Hong Kong, but when you want to unwind and relax, there is no place like Hong Kong.

Spa At Four Seasons is located at 8 Finance Street. The Spa features a Chinese Wellness Custom that begins with a warm scrub. Rice milk is then poured on the shoulders and spine, after that a honey mixture is smoothed on skin. The mixture is washed off under a rain shower, then the treatment is ended with a full body massage.

Zenjoy is located on the 9th floor of a high rise on Johnson Street in Wan Chai, it has separate floors for men and women. The spa is clean and affordable. It features Lymphatic Meridian Massage which is also called a deep tissue massage. They also perform dry cupping massages.

Mandarin Oriental Spa & Wellness is located at 5 Connaught Road Central, it offers holistic treatments in a stylist décor. They feature the Mandarin Oriental Signature Spa Therapies which consist of hands on body massage with custom blended essential oils, that begins with a consultation to determine state of wellbeing. Customers are encouraged to arrive earlier than appointment time to relax in the indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna. Afterwards they are given diet and exercise advise.

Oriental Harmony offers a two people massage who works in unison to relax you. The treatment begins with a foot soak to relax your mind, then a warm scrub is applied that smooth the skin, then the massage to balance the body. The treatments ends with a head and foot massage at the same time to energize.

Imperial Jade Ritual starts with a herbal compress and reflexology to open meridian energy lines. The massage stimulates acupressure points that aid in tension release. A scrub follows to awaken the skin prior to the body mask to get rid of toxins. The treatment ends with a face mask and during which cool jade stone rollers are used on face to life and tone.

Mummys Moments is a post natal treatment to soothe muscle and make way for figure to return. A herbal remedy is applied to tummy to help flatten it and help body heal naturally. The essential oils used are safe for nursing mothers which include lemongrass and ginger.

The Ritz Carlton Spa is located on the 116th floor of the hotel with floor to ceiling windows. It is the world’s highest hotel spa. Upon arriving you are given tea, then you are given a diagram to point out problem areas and a consultation to customize your treatment. The relaxation area overlooks the city. For women they offer a Lava Shell Body Treatment and for men a hot volcanic stone massage.

The Mira Spa is located at 118 Nathan Road, it features a wet zone with whirlpool, showers, saunas, infinity pool and heated floatation lounges to enjoy before or after your visit. Their feature treatments are:

MiraTouch Journey starts with a foot ritual, then a deep TOUCH massage to remove tension and improve circulation. The use of essential oils and plant extract speeds up metabolism. The treatment ends with a pressure point scalp and shoulder massage. Sleepless in Hong Kong is a head to toe massage using essential oils that relax and promotes a good night’s rest. You are given a facial to recondition the skin.

Mira-culous uses a salt and coffee scrub to exfoliate and then the skin is layered in marine algae and massaged with plant oils to soften. While you are wrapped you are given a facial to firm and tone the skin.

Yin & Yang Massage uses natural products that respect the ancient art of alchemy. This massage promotes a sense of inner balance and deep relaxation.

When choosing a spa the price don’t always mean you get good service. You should know what you are looking for in a spa and pick one accordingly. Investing in a spa is well worth it, because they are geared to help you relax and cope with the stresses of everyday life.

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