You will immediately be swept away in the boundless energy of Hong Kong. This once-sleepy harbor town has blossomed into an international trade hub, now globally renowned for its rich culture, Confucian traditions, and incredible Michelin-star rated restaurants.
Before embarking on an Asia cruise from Hong Kong, don’t miss a chance to explore the city and the surrounding areas. Head to the top of the Peak Tower for a panoramic view of all of Hong Kong, then shop the Temple Street Night Market. Take an afternoon to tour the village of Lai Chi Wo, where you’ll be surrounded by banyan trees and ancient temples. End the day with comforting dim sum or a nightcap at a bustling Hong Kong speakeasy.
A tram up to The Peak is a must-do activity before departing on a Hong Kong cruise. A 360-degree view of the city is promised from the top, and you’ll be amazed by the port and the Hong Kong skyline opening up before you. At the top, restaurants and shopping offer plenty to do after you’ve taken in the view.
As one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong, Man Mo Temple was built in the 1800s and offers a stark contrast among Hong Kong’s modern, sleek skyline. Inside, this ornate temple glows with red and gold altars honoring the gods of war and literature. Take a tour and pause to reflect at this national monument.
A walk along Victoria Harbor is a must for travelers itching to experience the magic of Hong Kong. There are different ferry experiences at the harbor throughout the day. Walk along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade for an afternoon stroll on the way to cultural attractions like the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Hong Kong Cultural Center.
Discover the history of Hong Kong, from its fishing village roots to British colonization and beyond, at the Hong Kong Museum of History. Spend an afternoon exploring thousands of years of Hong Kong history from the prehistoric era to modern day. It’s an ideal afternoon for families looking for an educational trip before boarding their cruise from Hong Kong.
Po Lin Monastery is one of Hong Kong’s most famous experiences. At over 100 feet tall, the seated Buddha is the tallest of its kind and is an enduring religious site that Buddhists all over the world flock to. It’s a beautiful place to walk in quiet and burn incense as a sign of worship and respect. Take in the elaborate carvings, decorations, and golden Buddha statues as you walk through the monastery.
Board a nighttime ferry boat at Victoria Harbor for a ride across the port of Hong Kong, where a stunning lightshow will amaze you. Laser lights dance across the skyline from the city’s tallest skyscrapers while synced up with music, similar to light shows in Singapore and other metropolitan destinations. You’re sure to be wowed by this dramatic spectacle.
When you’re ready to go shopping for souvenirs and antiques, look no further than the massive Temple Street Night Market, which is one of the largest markets in the city. Temple Street personifies the Hong Kong market experience. If you’re feeling daring, haggle with your vendor to snag a great deal on a souvenir.
Call ahead to reserve your spot and embark on a 90-minute tour of Lai Chi Wo, a preserved village where the houses and temples date back hundreds of years. The area also offers fantastic natural excursions where you can experience more than a cityscape. You’ll be surrounded by mangroves, banyan trees, and woodlands as you explore the village.
Foodies will find paradise in Hong Kong, where there is no shortage of restaurants and types of cuisine to choose from. Here are a few spots you might try before you board a cruise from Hong Kong:
Address: G/F, 61-63 Hollywood Rd, Central, Hong Kong
Consistently rated one of the best restaurants in Hong Kong, it’s best to book a dinner at Neighborhood a few weeks in advance. It’s an intimate space that utilizes high-quality ingredients for simple dishes like octopus ragu and handmade pastas. Neighborhood blends Cantonese flavors with experimental presentation. The menu changes weekly, so your meal is sure to be memorable.
Address: 77 Wellington Street, Central Hong Kong
Craving traditional Cantonese wonton noodles? Head to the Michelin-rated Mak’s Noodles, where you can slurp to your heart’s content. It’s a very affordable spot for lunch, where the wonton noodle bowl only costs about $5 USD.
Tim Ho Wan
Address: 9-11 Fuk Wing St Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
There are plenty of options for dim sum in Hong Kong, but Tim Ho Wan’s is one of the most budget-friendly dim sum joints you’ll come across. Tourists flock to Tim Ho Wan’s every day. Try the barbeque pork buns or enjoy the har gow (steamed shrimp dumplings). For vegetarians, the steamed vegetarian dumplings and the steamed egg cake are must-try dishes.
Address: West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Dinner and a skyline view of the harbor of West Kowloon is a standard evening at the luxe RyuGin in Hong Kong, located on the 101st floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC) building. The food is traditionally Japanese and includes a ten-course, seasonal Kaiseki menu for the freshest possible experience.
Address: 38 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong
When you need a coffee break or a small bite, Fineprint is an Australian-run cafe where you can grab an egg sandwich, avocado toast, or a pastry and a cappuccino. It’s different from the traditional Cantonese fare in the area, providing a quick break from exploring the city. At night, they serve wine, spirits, and a limited evening menu.
People have lived in the area we now know as Hong Kong for thousands of years, even when the area was nowhere near as built up as it is today. Settlement dates back to the Chinese Han Dynasty and earlier. Hong Kong Island became a British colony in the mid-19th century during the First Opium War. From then on, Hong Kong grew in size and international prestige and acts as a critical port city. Today, Hong Kong continues to be a center of trade and commerce for the world.
Culturally, the British colonization of Hong Kong is evident in its architecture. Hong Kong has a fascinating mix of modern buildings, ancient temples, and other Chinese historic sites.
When you board a cruise from Hong Kong, you’ll leave from the sleek Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. Arrive a little early before your departure time to explore the largest rooftop garden in the city, conveniently located within the cruise terminal. If you need to exchange currency, there’s a station within the terminal as well as ATMs and complimentary WiFi.
The MTR, or Mass Transit Railway, is lauded as one of the most efficient and clean underground railway systems in the world. The MTR is one of the quickest ways to get around the city. Taxis are abundant, too, and fairly cheap for getting from point A to point B. There are also free shuttle buses from the cruise port to various shopping areas in the city, each located near a central MTR station. Ferries are used to reach the Outlying Islands just beyond the city.
There are some shops within the terminal for picking up quick gifts and souvenirs before your Hong Kong cruise ship departs from port. If you’re looking for a shopping experience accompanied by flashing neon signs and the chaos of the city all around you, Causeway Bay is a popular shopping district. Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market is a spot for fresh, wholesale fruits and vegetables. For boutique shopping and malls, head over to the Central District, where more upscale brands have shops in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Dollar (HK$) is the official currency, and you’ll get a better exchange rate if you don’t exchange currency at the airport or a hotel. Credit cards like Visa, AmEx, and MasterCard are widely accepted in Hong Kong. Tipping is a must at hotels, but it’s not common to tip anywhere else in China, such as in bars or restaurants. Don’t leave a tip after a taxi ride, either, unless you have extra change and want to be polite. Aggressive haggling is fair game in Hong Kong, particularly at local markets and stalls.