5 Day Hong Kong Travel Itinerary
You’d be surprised by how much you can do with just five days in Hong Kong.
While Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places on earth, it is also quite small. That means you can easily access a wide range of destinations and activities.
I spent 6 months living in Hong Kong a few years ago and have been back for a couple of short trips since. This 5 day Hong Kong itinerary contains a few of my favourite places to visit around town.
Some of these are common attractions, while others are local secrets that you get thanks to The Lost Passport.
Day 1: Hong Kong Island
Kick-off your 5 days in Hong Kong by exploring Hong Kong Island. This is one of the main islands with a population of over 1.5 million people.
Hong Kong Island isn’t as remote as it sounds. It is well connected to Kowloon with tunnels, bridges, and train lines. It takes just a few minutes to travel between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.
While most people explore the central district from Admiralty to Causeway Bay, I suggest heading to the southern end of the island instead. There are beautiful spots here that expats and locals love to keep quiet secret.
Stanley is a small village home to the popular Stanley Market. The quaint village surrounds a small harbour where you will find a few peaceful Chinese temples worth exploring. There are also a handful of good pubs where you
After spending the morning at Stanley, continue on to one of the nice south coast beaches like Repulse Bay or Deep Water Bay. If you want to venture further around the island, Shek O Beach is also quite nice.
In the afternoon I suggest going back to the north end of the island and make a trip up to Victoria Peak. This is where you will get one of the most iconic views in Hong Kong, looking across the Central District towards Kowloon.
If you want to wrap up the night with a few drinks, then be sure to visit Lang Kwai Fong for a lively party scene with cheap drinks, or Soho for a classier night out with lots of cocktail bars and craft beers on tap.
Day 2: Cheung Chau Island
Did you know that there are over 200 islands in the bay between Hong Kong and China? These are known as the Outlying Islands. Cheung Chau island is one of the larger communities, located about 45 minutes from Hong Kong Island by the local ferry.
Cheung Chau Island is great for a full one-day trip in Hong Kong. You will love the small village vibe here with its good food, slower lifestyle, and complete lack of roads or cars.
Locals get around by foot or bicycle, play Mahjong around crowded tables, and enjoy cold beers along the waterfront. Check out my full article on Cheung Chau Island for plenty of great things to do there.
The east coast of Cheung Chau Island has a couple of nice beaches if the weather permits. Tun Wang Beach is the main spot, while Tung Wan Tsai is a more secluded beach only accessible via a walking track.
If you love exploring these small islands, then you might also enjoy a trip to the Tai O Fishing Village on the far west of Lantau Island, or the nearby Peng Chau Island.
Day 3: Kowloon
Back in the city full throttle. Kowloon is the part of Hong Kong on the Chinese mainland, though it’s still totally unlike mainland China. Remember that.
Kowloon is where you will find busy streets with colourful neon signs advertising goods of all sorts from cameras to gold jewellery. Actually, lots of gold and jewellery. You will notice a lot of signs for Chow Tai Fook, a Hong Kong based gold company whose name translates to Good Luck.
The shopping in Kowloon is in incredible too. There are certain streets for buying certain goods.
A couple of must visit street shopping destinations include The Ladies Market and Fa Yuen Street Market in Mong Kok, the Temple Street Market in Jordan, and the Goldfish Market in Prince Edward.
Remember to test your haggling skills at the markets. Prices for westerners can start at double the local’s rate. A useful word to learn in Canto is “pang di laa” meaning too expensive in a slang way. It works every time.
Day 4: Hiking Trails
You will quickly realise that Hong Kong is quite mountainous. This means there are lots of great hiking opportunities around. Actually, there is a lot more nature in Hong Kong than you would expect.
One of the most popular hikes is the Dragon’s Back, voted by CNN as one of the top 8 hikes in the world. This trail is in the southeast of Hong Kong Island nearby Shek O. That’s not too far from Stanley where I suggested visiting on Day 1.
If you are after a more challenging hike, then try the West Dogs Teeth on Lantau Island. This hike is 9.5 kilometres long with steep ascents. You will climb almost 1,000 metres of altitude from sea level to the top of the mountain. The hike will take a minimum of 6 hours and is recommended for those with a good fitness level.
For those that aren’t so fit, or just want to complete a shorter trail, then try Jardine’s Lookout. This hike is just over 1 kilometre. You can get to the start of the trail quite easily by taking the MTR train to either Quarry Hill or Wan Chai stations.
You can extend the rail by continuing along the Mount Butler Hike. Mount Butler is located a further 2 kilometres east of Jardine’s Lookout. You will get awesome Hong Kong Skyline views at both lookouts.
Day 5: Lantau Island
Lantau Island is another one of Hong Kong’s Outlying Islands. You might not realise, but it is the first place you will visit in Hong Kong as this is the island where the international airport is located.
One of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong is located on Lantau Island. The Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha) is a 34 metre tall stature of perched on top of a mountain in Ngong Ping.
The most popular way to get here is by taking the Ngong Ping Cable Car which offers awesome views of the countryside below. The cable car runs for 5.7 kilometres and a one way trip takes about 25 minutes. It’s totally worth the trip in every way.
The impressive Po Lin Monastery is another popular attraction within short walking distance of the Big Buddha and Ngong Ping Village. This monastery has been dubbed “the Buddhist World in the South” and is home to many devoted monks.
Enjoyed visiting the fishing village at Cheung Chau Island on Day 2? You’ll be happy to know that Tai-O fishing village is also located a short trip from Ngong Ping on the western end of Lantau Island. This stilt house village by the sea is one of the most cultural experiences you can have in Hong Kong. Read more about my suggested day trip to Tai-O fishing village here!
I bet you didn’t know you could fit so much in with just 5 days in Hong Kong. I hope this quick itinerary has broadened your perception of Hong Kong beyond just shopping and big city lights.
Hong Kong is a diverse city with lots of things to do for every type of traveller. Whether you want to go hiking, shopping, eat great food, or visit authentic villages, it’s all there to be explored.
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