It’s been a while since I went somewhere without an itinerary. But when I qualified for a free roundtrip ticket to Hong Kong via a Cathay Pacific and HSBC promo, I decided to spend a long weekend in this top financial center — without a plan. And to be quite honest, it was one of the most relaxing long weekend trips I’ve had in a long time.
Here’s what I ended up doing:
I checked in at Mini Hotel Central because of its chic boutique hotel vibe, budget-friendly price and excellent location. The rooms are tiny but well-maintained so they’re good enough if you’re traveling alone or with another person. My favorite part of the hotel is the living room because of the free coffee and cozy chairs, making it a perfect lounge area after a long day of walking around and shopping. And boy, did I do a lot of shopping! Oh, and eating too!
Since I stayed in Central, I spent a lot of time in that area. Thus, I did most of my shopping in IFC, The Landmark and Queen’s Road. Those 3 places were actually enough to bankrupt me! They had so many items that were difficult to find back home! I really had to make a conscious effort to stay within budget while I was going from store to store.
Aside from department stores and stand-alone boutiques, I also enjoyed walking around the narrow alleys of Sheung Wan, Central. In this hippie district, I discovered small trinket stalls, fruit stands and flower markets.
While I do get tired of visiting the touristy places (like Hong Kong Disneyland and Victoria Peak) over and over, I never get tired of the food in Hong Kong. In fact, even though I’ve visited this city countless of times in recent years, I still don’t think I’ve scratched the surface when it comes to experiencing the amazing cuisine that this global culinary destination has to offer. Nevertheless, let me give you a rundown of all the restaurants/cafes/ice cream parlors that I tried on my trip:
Breakfast: I’m the type of person, who needs coffee to jumpstart her day. And I think the best places in Hong Kong to get that caffeine fix are The Cupping Room and Elephant Grounds. Just so you know, the baristas from The Cupping Room are multi-awarded and recognized internationally so they really take their coffee seriously. I highly recommend getting their flat white with a cruffin or Eggs Ben. As for Elephant Grounds, pair an ice cream sandwich with their bulletproof coffee! You won’t regret it!
Lunch: Themed dim sum places became my thing while I was in Hong Kong. Here, I visited Yum Cha in Central and Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine (the world’s first Hello Kitty themed Cantonese restaurant) in Kowloon. I have to admit, though, that while the food was cute and Instagram-worthy, both restaurants were on the pricey side.
Dessert: If you love ice cream as much as I do, then you must visit Emack & Bolio’s, Little Bao and Oddies Foodies in Hong Kong. Emack & Bolio’s is probably my favorite out of the three because until now, I still dream about their cake batter ice cream on a cone covered in Fruit Loops!
Dinner: A friend of mine introduced me to Yardbird, an izakaya-style restaurant that’s only open from 6PM to 12AM, last year and I immediately became a fan. I’m so obsessed with their chicken meatball yakitori and sweet corn tempura that I’ve vowed to have dinner there everytime I visit Hong Kong. Yes, it’s that good!
Over to you, what activities would you recommend for a long weekend in Hong Kong?