My September trip to Hong Kong was a short one; only 3 days. A short Hong Kong holiday, means we are staying in Central on Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong is a huge city built on malls and towers, located on the southeast coast of China. If you only have a few days, make sure you have a great Hong Kong itinerary; you can spend weeks exploring this city.
Day 1 On Our Trip To Hong Kong
Day one of our Hong Kong holiday was spent the day exploring Central and SOHO neighborhoods of Hong Kong Island. Make use of the midlevel escalators as it is hot and humid, and central Hong Kong is built up the side of the mountain. Our first evening was spent on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong, overlooking Victoria Harbour.
ARRIVING INTO HONG KONG
Flying into Hong Kong is a sight to see; it’s almost fantasy like, with island mountains raising out of the water, through the clouds. Getting through the airport, to the ATMs, into a taxi, and the drive to the hotel is an easy course to follow. It will cost about $30-$50 USDs, depending on traffic, to get from the airport to Hong Kong Island. After navigating through a forest of towers, we finally arrived to our hotel on Hong Kong Island, the Conrad. The hotel is in a central location, and it is beautiful inside.
OUR FIRST NIGHT IN HONG KONG
Our first stop is the Soho district, on Hong Kong Island. After walking about 1.5 km uphill, getting lost, being helped by a friendly expat, we finally get to SoHo. The area is pretty awesome; an abundance of restaurants and bars, overlooking the harbor. We have some drinks at a Brooklyn New York bar… Ironic, but needed. After drinking a few beers, we walk around the SoHo area some more, before deciding to have Italian for dinner. After six days of Asian food, all we wanted was anything but Asian. My first dining experience is not authentic Cantonese…Shoot.
After dinner we decide to make our way downhill, towards the harbor, to catch a ferry to the other side. Aboard the Star Ferry, you get to take in the wonderful views of Hong Kong Island. The Ferry is roughly $3 USD. Arriving to the other side, we take a 10 minute walk to the Intercontinental Hotel. A dazzling display of lights and colors, we sat in the amazing lobby bar, enjoying great entertainment.Intercontinental you get my vote for service. Drinks were expensive but the service, quality, entertainment, and views of Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong island are worth it.
Trip To Hong Kong: Day 2
On the second day of our Hong Kong holiday, we explored the Kowloon side. We spent the day shopping, bargaining at street markets, and discovering the popular cat cafes. We learned a lot this day, especially the deeper in Kowloon you go, the less people speak English. Learn more of what to expect with these Hong Kong travel tips.
SHOPPING IN HONG KONG
The next day we begin our adventure with another Star Ferry ride to the other side, Kowloon; boarding at dock 7 on HK Island. We were in search of a secret cat café that I saw on Instagram. The name of the café is Meow Meow Day Café. How cute is that? My OCD kicks in, and I have to find this cafe. Before we could find the cat café, we need food, and we need food fast.
We are determined to find something authentic, however this turned out to be difficult. Shopping mall, after shopping mall, we can not find an authentic Cantonese restaurant. We didn’t realize we had to go into a shopping mall to find restaurants, until after walking around for 2 hours. These are not ordinary malls, these malls are luxurious; with stores like Gucci, Prada, Hermès, YSL etc. It is jaw-dropping the amount of money that is spent in this city. Making an executive decision, we walk into a random mall. This mall is clean, modern, with quality white glove service; literally someone with white gloves will get the elevator for you while you wait on red carpet; obviously lined with velvet ropes.
Satisfied from our lunch, we continue our, rather my, quest to to find this cat café. Another 20 minutes later, we are now walking through Kowloon’s well known Ladies Market. Filled with vendors selling knock off handbags, to an alleyway full of birds for sale. You know damn well, we are looking for one of those lucky cat statues with the waving arm.
Rounding the corner, we arrive at the address listed for this cafe on foursquare, but there was no sign of this cat café anywhere, or a building. I thought Matt was going to kill me. Asking employees at a nearby shop, nobody has a clue about this address. Then suddenly out of nowhere, there it is, Matt sees a sign. A sign on a piece of poster paper next to what looked like a service, or private residence entrance.
CAT CAFES IN HONG KONG ARE THE PUUURFECT SURPRISES
No clue of how to get into this place, or call the listed number, some guy lets us in. Shady as hell inside, we still continue to walk up 3 flights of stairs, following weird cat posters. We finally reach the door, and the cutest young Chinese kid greets us. Instantly, he reminds me of the kid from Superbad, that is in the cooking class and partnered with McLovin.
What a puuurfect surprise this is turning in to be. We made it, we are inside to the cat café. It’s awesome, weird and everything I expected. The owners are super cute and friendly. It kind of reminds me of an idea a 5 year old girl had playing with her friends, and it fucking works, and it’s awesome. Here are rules to Meow Meow Day cat café:
- Socks are required. If you do not have socks, or want disposable pair, there are some for purchase for about $3 USDs.
- Once inside there are cute little tables everywhere, not to mention the cats!
- The menu provides information such as required purchases. It’s about $4USDs for 1 hour in, and it includes 1 drink of your choice.
- There are hourly rates, and additional food and drinks for sale.
- Toys are available to play with the cats and kittens.
CUSTOM SUITS IN KOWLOON, HONG KONG
25 cats, 1 café, and 0 allergic reactions later, we start our journey back through Kowloon to the Conrad hotel. We are hot, we are exhausted, and we need to pee really bad. Searching for a bathroom, we stumble upon Sam’s Taylor. Matt has been yapping about getting a custom suit. After some debate, I obviously force him to go in; he is happy he did.
Walking away with 2 custom suits, and 3 custom shirts that fit perfectly, it cost us under $1000 USDs, and made within 24 hours. Typically, they need about 48 hours to 3 days to make a suit fit perfect. After our long pitstop, we hop in a taxi to go back to the hotel; we are starving. Good thing there is a mall in our hotel, we are able to grab some food and drinks at a quaint little French spot on the third level.
VICTORIA PEAK & TEMPLE STREET MARKET
That evening we head to Victoria peak. We get a taxi, as we are informed the queues for the trolly are ridiculously long. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Victoria Peak is a great spot to see the entire harbor lit up versus only Hong Kong Island. From the top, you get a good sense of how massive the city really is. Wanting to take the trolly back down to the city center, we walk over, and see a line that is wrapping all around outside. Nope. Back to the taxi stand, and off to Temple Street market.
Hot, humid, crowded, smoky, so many smells in the air, window ac’s dripping everywhere; we are in the thick of it. Temple Street market is everything I anticipated and wanted. First, go buy some tchotchkes. Matt finds little fans for phones. score! Next, he finds country flags that he forgot to buy. Yes! Oh what’s that? A cute little Chinese tea set. Absolutely. Next up we are in search of some of the crazy and tasty street food. Boy is Matt going to pay for his choices that next day. Read more on Temple Street Market.
Day 3 On Our Trip To Hong Kong
On the last day of our Singapore holiday, we wanted to experience Hong Kong Island’s other side, Stanley. I highly recommend going to Stanley or another island of Hong Kong, for a tropical beach break from the big city.
Stanley, Hong Kong Island
On our last day in Hong Kong, we decide to explore the other side of Hong Kong Island and go to Stanley. We make our way in a taxi for 45 minutes to the other side, with Matt on the verge of puking. Great! Arriving to the Stanley market area, there is not much to do during the day, other than enjoy the beach, and take in the views, which were pretty and peaceful. This side of the island is tropical, and has a much slower pace of life.
Finally some traditional Cantonese food. Dumplings and Dim Sum? Yes please. Matt however chooses not to eat a thing. His loss. Trying to find a taxi back is a lot harder in Stanley than anywhere else in Hong Kong.
LEAVING HONG KONG
Finding a taxi, we make our journey back to our hotel. We grab our bags and catch our flight; We are off to Singapore!