After countless hours of obsessive research, I will be heading to Hong Kong this week and of course I have a plan, a 3 day Hong Kong itinerary. I think it's a good one. If nothing else, it is overloaded with new experiences, an obscene amount of strange food and plenty of bucket list checks.
With only three days of travel in this attraction-loaded city, I have jam-packed as much as possible. Are all of you non-planning travelers gasping at this strict Hong Kong itinerary? Don't worry, these plans are not set in stone. Spontaneous adventure is always welcome. I'm flexible.
After a non-stop fifteen, yep 1-5, hour flight from San Francisco we will arrive in Hong Kong at 6:00am, just in time for some coffee. Do you think they have a Starbucks in the airport? We will purchase a travel pass giving us two Airport Express trips, as well as three days of non-stop MTR rides. That's the Hong Kong subway system that will be our main mode transport. The Airport Express will drop us off at the hoity-toity Conrad Hotel in the Central District of town. With any luck, or just because I am a gold member, they will allow us an early check in.
photo credit | conrad
Following the briefest nap or three shots of espresso, the adventures will immediately begin in order to make the most of the short three days.
Since my first meal in London was Dim Sum and in Barcelona is was Sangria at an Italian restaurant, there was no way in Hong Kong my first meal could include an egg tart. It had to be Spanish tapas at Boqueria. That's how I roll. Besides, it looks uber cool and is close to the hotel.
photo credit | Boqueria Restaurant
When our bellies have been filled, we will walk off some calories at the Avenue of Stars, a tribute to the Hong Kong movie industry and similar to Hollywood's Walk of Fame. I hope to put my hands in the concrete hand imprint of the famous martial artist, Jackie Chan.
After feeling a little closer to the stars, the Hong Kong Itinerary will take us on a walk through the Central District. During this stroll we will witness Exchange Square (the Hong Kong Stock Exchange), Statue Square and St. Johns Cathedral.
Is it dinner time yet? Nope, but there is nothing wrong with eating dessert first at the swanky Dessert Kitchen. Here they serve the most unique and beautiful sweets like Ujikintoki, a traditional Japanese dessert. So unique, we might have to go back after supper too.
photo credit | dessert kitchen
Nightfall will bring a trip on the Aqua Luna junk boat to see the Symphony of Lights. This spectacular light show happens every night at 8 and we will be seeing it from the Harbour on an ancient Chinese boat. I'm ondering how it will compare to the incredible fountain light show at Barcelona's Magic Mountain of Montjuic?
photo credit | antwerpenR
It's 8:30 by now and the stomach has to be growling. Even though this may be early dining by Hong Kong standards we will head over to Yardbirds to indulge in some trendy yakitori.
Their skewers feature all parts of the animal; knee, thigh, gizzard, heart and neck. Sounds like an adventurous eaters haven of offal.
Day one of this Hong Kong itinerary is a wrap. Time for some well deserved sleep. Good night.
Day two of the Hong Kong itinerary starts with a ride on the Central Mid-Level escalator, the longest uncovered escalator in the World. I have no idea where it will take me, but it doesn't really matter.
photo credit | pondspider
Lunch will be at one of the cheapest Michelin starred restaurants in the world, Tim Ho Wan. There we will be noshing on what they are famous for, the dim sum. Michelin is well recognized for it's restaurant rating system, and I am honored that my restaurant, Sugo Trattoria, has been Michelin recommend for the past five years. But, I want to know what it takes to get that star.
photo credit | TomEats
Then we will be off to Tin Hau Temple to pay a visit to the fortune tellers that hang out nearby. Hopefully, my very first fortune telling experience, not including the cookies, will actually bring good fortune.
Afterwards, it is all about overindulging on Hong Kong markets. First will be the goldfish market which specializes in selling these friendly sea creatures. Then off to the Ladies Market because sometimes I claim to be one. Here I will practice my haggling skills while trying to score some new clothes. Lastly, it's off to the Temple Street Night Market for Hong Kong trinkets and food. Hopefully they will be selling fried chicken feet.
photo credit | f8Bthere
Dinner on day two of the Hong Kong itinerary will be at the carnivorous Blue Butcher. As the name would suggest, they serve meat. A large plate of the Kurobuta Pig Belly & Cheek is already on my mind.
After this full day, there will still be time for a glass of wine and dessert at Amo Eno Wine Bar. I am sure of it. A glass of jammy red and the chocolate brownie with merlot cherry chili jam is just what the doctor ordered. Good doctor.
photo credit | amo eno
The morning will start with a ride on the Ngong Ping 360 cable car, a clear box tram that travels high in the sky. The car will bring us to see the amazing Tian Tan Buddha, otherwise known as Big Buddha.
We will climbed the 268 steps to see this majestic Buddha that sits 34 metres high. That's 195 less steps than when we climbed to the top of the Duomo in Florence. Phew.
photo credit | wiredtourist.com
Buddha makes me hungry, so it's off to the Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant for lunch. It's a restaurant that floats. Duh. Here we will order the signature dish, the Flamed Drunken Shrimp which is prepared right in front of you.
After lunch, we will head to see the Ten Thousand Buddhist Monastery, a temple with over 13,000 Buddha statues. It's a Buddha kind of day.
photo credit | Arthur Chapman
We will then make a quick stop to Se Wong Yee for a memorable bite of snake soup. Though it is a popular Hong Kong dish, I will just be eating it for the street cred.
After the adventurous food experience it will be time for Happy Wednesdays at Happy Valley Racecourse. On this weekday evening the racecourse has great food, drinks and entertainment, all while being able to bet on the ponies. Each Wednesday is a different theme and it will be Wines of the Valley when we are there. Could that be any more perfect?
As if this Hong Kong itinerary wasn't sensory overload enough, after these three days we hop on a plane to head to Chiang Mai, Thailand for a whopping two weeks. Can you imagine the adventures I can squeeze into two weeks?