One of my favorite vacations of 2016, no wait my favorite ever was visiting Hong Kong and the Philippines. Back in June we decided to take the trip because we got an amazing deal on flights from SF to HK. This turned into planning a ten day trip which included hopping over to two islands in the Philippines (absolutely gorgeous places, stay tuned for a travel guide on them). In the beginning of November we were off on our adventure! Scroll down to see some of my photos from the trip and recommendations on where to stay in Hong Kong, shop and eat. If you haven’t been before, this is a trip I would add to the top of the list. Honestly, it was hard to come back home to reality!
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Hong Kong is known for Dim Sum. If you haven’t tried it before (dumplings filled with soup, shrimp, meat, veggies, etc.) you should find a place at home that serves them. There were several restaurants in Hong Kong with the cuisine. We popped into a small restaurant in Kowloon near the W hotel to enjoy Dim Sum.
We stayed at the W in Kowloon. OMG this hotel was incredible. Not only were the rooms perfect, but there is a rooftop pool on the 76th floor with views of the city. The staff was amazing and “WOOBAR” was perfect for a nightcap at the end of the day. The hotel is also attached to a huge indoor mall. This had an entrance to the subway as well (the subway in HK is so clean, the best way to get around). Highly recommend staying at the W.
While walking around Wyndham street (a great spot to pop in and out of bars and restaurants), we walked up a side street to find what was one of my favorite restaurants. Three words: Ho Lee Fook. You walk into this trendy spot with like a million gold cats on the wall (see above) and think where the heck am I? Obviously we decided to stay. You have to put your name on the list because there will be a wait (or call ahead). After being seated, you must order the Chongqing style chicken wings with Sichuan pepper. These wings have a peppercorn that give a numbing sensation in your mouth. It’s weird, incredible and delicious at the same time. I recommend ordering several diverse dishes to share because the menu is amazing. AND save room for dessert because it will blow your mind.
Now let’s chat shopping: There is high end shopping all over Causeway Bay including Times Square mall loaded with stores. Edit Boutique has amazing accessories and Lane Crawford is worth stopping by even if just to indulge in their visuals. I found myself playing in the Gucci store for a while checking out their latest merchandise. Pretty much every designer store is within reach on Hong Kong Island. If you want to bargain shop, head over the Kowloon. There were several streets mixed with store and markets to shop. This is great for trinkets or even souvenirs. I found some amazing tea and tea cups here as well.
Now for some ultra touristy things you must try. Visit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island. This is a once in a lifetime experience. Up in the mountains a giant Buddha has been built and it’s absolutely breathtaking. You will ride a gondola up to the top (I recommend a glass bottom one) and look out over the beautiful scenery. When purchasing passes for this attraction, make sure you get the pass that allows you to skip the line, it will cost more but it’s worth it. No matter what day or time, there is a line.
This brings me to my favorite part of the trip, visiting Hong Kong Disneyland!! This is the smallest of the Disney parks in the world but it was packed with that Disney magic. The “Haunted Mansion” here is named “Mystic Manor” and the ride is absolutely amazing. This time, the house is enchanted and everything comes to life as you take a tour on what seems like a hovercraft. The track is underneath the floor so you don’t even see it. I LOVED this ride. The park included classic rides like Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise, It’s a Small World, Tea Cups, a version of Big Thunder Mountain named”Big Grizzly Mountain” which was a very smooth roller coaster and more. The park closes a little earlier but we were still able to ride everything and enjoy the fireworks. It was simply magical! I have heard they are adding a Frozen part to the park, so looks like we will have to go back!
Overall, our stay in Hong Kong was fabulous. I could even see myself living there for some time. I hope you have found this travel guide helpful if you plan to visit, or maybe it has inspired you to plan a trip there soon. Stay tuned for my travel guide from the Philippines!! Trust me, you won’t believe the beauty of those islands.