Although Hong Kong was established and ruled under the Chinese Empire in 214 B.C, (and then later under the British Empire in 1841), archaeological studies show humans lived in the Chek Lap Kok area (now the Hong Kong International Airport), over 35,000 years ago! Centuries later, it has now become one of the most bustling, ecstatic cities in Asia with over 7.3 million different nationalities.

But business persons and expatriates are not the only ones flocking to the “Pearl of the Orient”, as it’s so famously known as. Hong Kong is filling up with a new wave of artists, musicians, and activists that have given the city a whole new appeal to travelers from all over the world. From delicious food, exquisite views, and endless activities, Hong Kong has it all. But to make sure you’re getting the full experience, we have put together this insiders guide so that you don’t miss out on anything.

Central-to-Mid-Levels Escalator

Have you ever seen The Chinese Box or even The Dark Night? The backdrop for scenes in these films was Hong Kong’s central-to-mid-level escalator—the world’s longest outdoor escalator—spreading 2,600 feet in distance, and elevating over 443 feet above the ground. For those who want to walk across while snapping photos, you should know that from 6am. to 10am, the escalator moves downwards, and from 10:15am to 12am, the escalator moves upwards.

Whampoa Gourmet Place

Regardless of where you go, food is always a must, and Hong Kong is the place for some of the best eats you can ever find.

Their cuisine is influenced by all parts of the world—Cantonese, non-Cantonese Chinese, Western world, Japan, and Southeast Asia—which is what makes it so unique. From world-class cuisines and cheap yet finger-licking bites to posh pubs and Chinese classics, Hong Kong never disappoints. But if you’re looking for places that won’t cost you a fortune, we recommend these three restaurants.

Wing Lai Yuen: Great place for lunch! They serve Sichuan-style food such as chicken with chiles, and cold pork slices in a soy-based sauce. They even sell freshly pulled noodles with terrific consistency—a perfect place to take your taste buds on an adventure. Located on the first floor in Whampoa Garden. The average price is about US$10 for two persons.

Din Tai Fung: Go here for dinner. A Taiwanese restaurant with some of the best drum sum. Their pork dumplings and noodles with sesame sauce and crushed peanuts are a must! Located on the third floor in Whampoa Garden. Average price for two is around US$26.

The Drunken Pot: Eat here anytime. It’s an all-you-can-eat hot pot like no other, serving some of the most original dishes. Their most popular ones are Local Hand-sliced Beef, Sake Soup, Bomb Tofu Gelato, Bi-coloured Xiao Long Bao Dumplings and Bi-coloured Xiao Long Bao Dumplings. Located at 8 Observatory Road tower. Average price for two is about US$50.

Star Ferry

The Pearl of the Orient is known to have a lot of traffic, so why not take yourself off the streets and explore the city on a ferry? Open seven days a week, you can cross the harbor by paying around $0.50 one way. You can get some of the best views of the entire city and all its skyscrapers.

Tsim Sha Tsui

You always hear about Lan Kwai Fong and Soho, but there’s a lot to explore in Tsim Sha Tsui (abbreviated as TST)—a giant world bazaar with many stylish shops, mouth-watering local foods along Kimberly Road, and a gorgeous view of Victoria Harbour along The Avenue of Stars. You can also find K11 here, which some say is the world’s first art mall, featuring sensational art exhibitions as well as events that run throughout the year.

Ping Pong 129 Gintonería

Once you’ve explored the city and eaten the best foods, end your day at Ping Pong 129 Gintonería, which prides itself in having one of the most extensive gin collections, ever. The place has an impressive scene of a large bar, high ceilings, artworks that are a bit different (to say the least), and plenty of tables to enjoy a beverage or ten. 

Apart from becoming one of the largest financial and economic hubs in Asia, Hong Kong has also grown to be a top tourist destination for travelers from all over the world. From cheap bazaars, lavish shops, and fascinating sites, to fine dining restaurants and mini food trolleys—the city never ceases to amaze anyone who steps inside.

If this or any other destinations speak to you, we’d love to help you get there in comfort and put some savings in your pocket. Submit a flight request or contact your agent and we’ll find the best dates to travel there!