Hong Kong Travel Blog: Heading Off the Beaten Path

I have been to Hong Kong a lot of times. My oldest dearest friend lives there so it is a frequent stop in for me if I’m anywhere near Asia. As a result, I have done most of the main Hong Kong sightseeing things to do.  

So on my most recent trip I was keen to try some different things and get a new feel for Hong Kong off the beaten path – and hopefully find some Hong Kong hidden gems for this Hong Kong blog.

I had also been introduced to the fabulous Sassy Mama website by expat friends. Yes it’s primarily for mums but they have fantastic posts about where to eat and go – I highly recommend you have a look before you go to Hong Kong.

This post is a Hong Kong Itinerary that covers things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days. Here is my Hong Kong Blog on the best off the beaten track things to do!

Hong Kong View from Shek O
View from Shek O

1. Hong Kong Travel Blog: The Dragon’s Back trail

This is a great pretty full-on trek on Hong Kong Island. It is called the Dragon’s Back as you get quite a bit of up and down and gradual peak upon peak.

It takes about 2 1/12 hours and has some stunning views. The Dragon’s Back Trail Hong Kong is a nice little workout and it is worth wearing proper shoes. I did it in standard runners and that was fine but I would have been happier with some type of ankle protection for the downhill portion.

The Dragon’s Back Trail is one of the best off the beaten track places to visit in Hong Kong.

⇒ Save Time & Stress – book a half-day tour of the Dragon’s Back Trail

hong kong skyline at twilight
the stunning hong kong skyline

2. Hong Kong Off the Beaten Path: Shek O

Shek O is a super cute beach/surf town at the end of the Dragon’s Back trail virtually. Well, you can walk there but it’s much quicker in a cab and by the time you have done the trail you are going to be hungry!

There are surfboards and wet suits galore in Shek O which I completely didn’t expect in Hong Kong! And a couple of fantastic Thai restaurants which are just near the beach.  

Check out Happy Garden Thai restaurant in Shek O – it has a great balcony with a view of the beach. Well from a distance but you can still see it!

green vegetables in a white bowl shek o hong kong
Delicious greens in Shek O

⇒ One of the loveliest places to go in Asia is Bali. Check out my posts on the best 10 Days Itinerary Bali, Where to Stay in Bali, where to stay in Ubud and the best boutique hotels in Ubud, Bali Retreats for Singles, Bali Boutique Hotels, where to stay in Canggu and the best boutique hotels Seminyak has on offer.

hong kong shek o sign for homesick cuisine in english and cantonese
Inside the Happy Garden, Thai menu is the chef’s recommendations list and apparently this is the place to source your order. We had this amazing deep-fried eggplant with prawn meat stuffing and spicy salt. We also tried a bowl of pineapple rice – interesting – good for presentation! A very good green curry that wasn’t too spicy – I can’t do too spicy.
Fab spring rolls. And then for something different a seafood curry that was served in a giant bread roll – like how they often serve soup in the US. Delicious! Alas, they don’t serve wine but they do serve beer. We bought wine at the other thai restaurant on the roundabout and went byo – good value at 160 HKD for a bottle of sav!
hong kong shek o thai calamari on white plate with chili sauce
Thai Calamari

3. Hong Kong Off the Beaten Track: Dim Sum

So you can’t take a Hong Kong trip without eating dim sum!!! I hit two places on this trip. The first was Tsui Hang Village. The key reason we went here was for novelty dumplings!

And they did not disappoint – we got pig-shaped dumplings! Alas, they tasted a bit funky with sweet potato inside – not awful but quite odd.

hong kong dumpling shaped like pig held between chopsticks
Dumpling Pig

But a feature in any where to eat in Hong Kong blog highlight was Tim Ho Wan at the Olympic shopping centre. So I got here at 1145 on a Monday morning and got an immediate seat – but there was a queue by 1220.

The food here is amazing. You get a sheet of paper and a pencil and order away – no trolleys. The food at Tim Ho Wan was fast and fabulous. And there was a giant bottle of soy on the table which delighted me.

So often you just don’t get enough soy and have to keep asking for these little thimbles of soy.

hong kong tim ho wan dim sum menu
tim ho wan menu

I started with the vermicelli rolls with shrimp then some more shrimp with fresh shrimp dumplings. Both were amazing. The vermicelli rolls at Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong were the right level of slimy and shrimp dumplings were outstanding – plump shrimp with a delicate coating.

Next up at Tim Ho Wan was steamed dumplings Chiu Chow style which was peanuts, chives, pork and water chestnuts. This was my least favourite dish – probably my own fault as I don’t really like water chestnuts but this was apparently a signature dish and I can’t not order a signature dish.

Only in Hong Kong between flights? Check out this great post What to do on a 12 Hour Layover in Hong Kong.

hong kong tim ho wan vermicelli rolls with soy sauce
vermicelli rolls

And then the baked buns with bbq pork. These were quite different from the norm of the pure white, sticky, puffy pork buns.

The Tim Ho Wan version was more like a bread roll – but sweet and sticky bread rolls that were the perfect contrast to the delicious bbq pork interior – these were my highlight.

tim ho wan hong kong pork buns
more tim ho wan dim sum

So as always I over-ordered but all this food and coke zero were a bargain HKD98.

Book a Hong Kong Dim Sum Tour

4. Hong Kong Travel Blog Off Beaten Path: Hollywood Road and PMQ

When it comes to what to do in Hong Kong, this is probably my favourite area – and Sheung Wan is the hot new area within it. It’s all happening there – a bunch of really cute cafes has popped up and you can easily get a fabulous Australian style brunch.

I had a fantastic breakfast at Oolaa – a delicious salmon swiss rosti and some great coffee.

After brunch go and have a look at Man Mo Temple. This is a beautiful active temple – free admission. And it is extremely photogenic.

I also then enjoyed wandering down and visiting the coffin shops in Sheung Wan. You don’t often see coffins in retail so it was a unique Hong Kong hidden gem.

hong kong man mo temple lanterns
man mo temple
hong kong man mo temple inside
inside the temple

Hong Kong is far more photogenic than most people realise – If you’re looking for the best travel camera check out this thorough article

The other place that was new for me this trip was PMQ. This is a new complex of sorts that has quite a few fab looking restaurants and some really interesting little shops. The shops at PMQ Hong Kong are all about local artisans and this is a great place to pick up some stylish souvenirs. 

hong kong entrance to PMQ
Entrance to PMQ

Want to make sure that you have great looking hair in your travel pics? Don’t miss my post on the best Travel Hair Dryer with Diffuser

5. Travel Blogs Hong Kong: Some Kowloon side tourism

Two Hong Kong attractions that are conveniently located next to each other on the Kowloon side are the Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery.

The Chi Lin Nunnery is a lovely piece of quiet calm in busy Hong Kong. The buildings are well maintained and the environment is serene. You can’t take photos inside the nunnery walls but it is a nice shot from the outside. You can then wander to the very photogenic Nan Lian Gardens.

Book a Half Day Tour with Both These Attractions

hong kong nan lian gardens goldem temple
Golden temple at Nan Lian Gardens Hong Kong

The next 5 things to do in this travel blog Hong Kong are all in the fantastic neighborhood of Mongkok. Mongkok is a very happening area in Hong Kong and great for having a general wander with your camera – here is what to do in Mongkok Hong Kong:

hong kong streets in mongkok
Busy streets of Mongkok

6. Mongkok Things to do: Check out local life at Cherry Street Park Mongkok

Cherry Street Park is very close to Tim Ho Wan. I refused to be put off by the signs telling me to watch out for Rat Poison -it certainly wasn’t stopping the locals.

The park has been designed to be like an outdoor gym Hong Kong style. There was Tai Chi going on and a kid’s playground.

Cherry Street Park is quite a large park and it was a little difficult to figure out how to exit once you were in so if you get stuck backtrack to the Olympic Shopping Centre walkway thing.

⇒ If you’re looking to save time and stress book a Hong Kong markets walking tour that will take you through Mongkok.

hong kong mongkok columns with leaf patterns
leafy columns in Mongkok
hong kong mongkok warning sign
hong kong mongkok playground
Mongkok playground/exercise place

7. Visit the Flower Market and give the Bird Market a miss

The orchids at the Hong Kong Flower Market are absolutely stunning – you will wish you were able to take these beautiful delicate flowers home. Alas, you’ll have to settle for photos only – which the stall owners at the Flower Market Hong Kong are happy for you to take.

Prince Edward Street roadside has more upmarket flower shops as well as some cute boutiques and food places. A lot of the nicest places are on the first floor of these buildings so look out for cute signage pointing you upstairs.

⇒ Beautiful Japan is one of my favourite countries to visit. Check out my posts on One Day in Tokyo, 2 Day Itinerary Kyoto, 10 Day Japan Itinerary, the best things to do in Kanazawa and what to expect on the Nakasendo Trail.

hong kong mongkok flower market blue roses
blue roses

I also went to the nearby Bird market (the area is very well signed). I’m not really sure why I did this as I am not a big fan of birds – I think I thought I might get some good photos of birdcages.

I did get a few of those shots as you can see but the place kind of gave me the creeps – caged birds singing etc etc.

hong kong mongkok unusual shaped lemons and limes
unusual fruits at the flower markets

For less hassle book a tour of Hong Kong’s markets before you leave home – this one covers all the markets I mention in this post. This is one of the best day trips in Hong Kong.

⇒ Korea is absolutely fascinating. Check out my posts on what to do for some inspirationn: 8 Things to do in Gangnam, 13 things to do in Myeongdong, 8 things to do in Incheon, 7 Fantastic Seoul Boutique hotels, the best Seoul Day Trips, Where to Stay in Busan, the best things to do in Jeju Island and the best things to do in Daegu. Then plan your trip with my Korea Itinerary, Seoul Itinerary, Jeju Itinerary and Busan Itinerary.

hong kong mongkok bird market bird cages

8. Get great deals at the Sneaker Market

From the Bird Market wander back through Fa Yuen Street for an assault on your senses on your way to Sneaker Street. The key street here is Nelson street.

The Sneaker market Hong Kong is well signed but it was a bit confusing to figure out if you were actually in the heart of the area – so head for Nelson street. There are loads of stores on Sneaker Street and sneakers galore.

You can feel the heart palpitations of the Adidas/Nike/ASICs IP lawyers as you see signage that has surely not been signed off by head office.

hong kong mongkok sneaker store
Store in Sneaker Street

I got a pair of Adidas runners here. I had actually thought they were knock offs but was later told my several HK residents that the sneakers here tend to be the real thing. So next time I come I will buy proper ASICs shoes for running on Sneaker Street Mongkok.

Staying in Hong Kong for 3 days? Check out this great Hong Kong Itinerary from Footloose Dev

⇒ Interested in Nepal? Check out my posts on the Nepal tea house, a full Everest Base Camp packing list, an Everest Base Camp trek itinerary and a day by day Everest base camp trek blog And for post-trek the fantastic boutique hotel Dwarika Hotel Kathmandu, the Dhulikhel Resort and the best places to visit in Kathmandu.

hong kong mongkok colourful buildings

9. Get some nice pics at Goldfish Street

One of the most fun things to do while you explore Hong Kong is to take photos of fish! Goldfish street is actually Tung Choi Street in Mongkok – head for its corner with Bute street for maximum shops and shots.

This is an area for pet owners in general with pets and their accessories on sale. However, the highlight of the Goldfish Street Hong Kong is the numerous cute little bags of goldfish in gorgeous colours – very good for Instagram.

If you’re looking to take in a mix of sights and find out more about Hong Kong check out this great post on a 3 Day Visit to Hong Kong. 

hong kong mongkok goldfish in bags
Goldfish in Mongkok
Shortcut Travel Toolkit
Ready to Book? Here are my travel favourites:

⇒ For accommodation Booking.com – great prices, great clear layout of accommodation options & brilliant for cancellation (& good photos!)

⇒ Or feel like a local by staying at an airbnb or having one of their great local experiences Airbnb

⇒ For flights skyscanner.net – always have the cheapest prices and great tools to help easily figure out if it would be better to leave the day before etc

⇒ For car hire rentalcars.com – huge range of options and a price match guarantee

⇒ Every trip is improved if you know at least a little bit of the local language – Rosetta Stone is the best and often have great getting started deals.

Skip the Line tours – Viator have over 14,000 of these – I am always so happy when I have pre-booked one of these! And you can cancel most Viator tours with full money back if you’re more than 24 hours out

⇒ And finally and super important – Roam Right for Travel Insurance have an excellent rating and lots of choice. I particularly like their policies that just cover medical or car rental. They also have great options for adventurous travellers.

Where to stay in Hong Kong

For a brilliant location and all you need in a very efficient space check out Bishop Lei International. The location on Hong Kong island is right in the heart of the mid-levels – particularly good for foodie travellers as you will be able to walk to some of the island’s best restaurants.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor Book Now

hong kong skyline

Close by is the super funky Lan Kwai Fong Hotel. From 100 pounds a night you will have access to their Michelin star hotel plus a great location in the heart of Soho on Hong Kong Island.

Read reviews on TripAdvisorBook Now

hong kong mongkok flower markets flowers
the flower market

For a fantastic decadent option, Kowloon side check out the Langham. My parents always stayed at the Langham Hong Kong. It is a beautiful hotel and has a fantastic outdoor bar and outdoor pool – and you can get deals from about 150 pounds a night. The Langham is Kowloon Side.

Read reviews on TripAdvisorBook Now

hong kong kowlood boxes on display for sale with street sign For one of the ultimate boutique hotel experiences, you can’t go past the super famous The Peninsula in Kowloon. This is one of the most famous hotels in the world for good reason. The Peninsula Hong Kong is best known for their stunning afternoon tea and also have some fantastic shopping.

Read reviews on TripAdvisorBook Now

hongkong mongkok colorful rubbish bins
even the rubbish looks artistic!

⇒ Working out where to go in Asia? Check out my Hong Kong Travel Blog, Hoi An blog in Vietnam, One Day in Singapore, Where to Stay in Bali, Kamalaya in Thailand, and Kuala Lumpur in One Day for some travel planning inspiration.

After more things to do in Hong Kong? Click here for a great Hong Kong Top 10 things to do 

hong kong mongkok flower market orchids


Hong Kong airport is one of my favourites! It is possible to grab a coffee at Starbucks before going through immigration at Hong Kong International! There is also a great airport express train that gets you into the city fast – and low cost if you want as it connects with MTR station options.

Flights to Hong Kong

⇒ Check out my reviews of Qatar Airways Business Class Review, Thai Airways Business Class Review, Malaysia Airlines Business Class Review, British Airways World Traveller Plus Review and Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy Review.

hong kong prawn dim sum at tim ho wan
Love prawn dumplings!

Do you need a Visa?

It can be a real pain trying to figure out if you need a visa for a country and then all the hassle of figuring out how to apply, how long you can go without your passport, when the embassy is open etc.

iVisa has completely revolutionised this process and put it all online and make it super simple and paper and hassle free.

Hong Kong Tours

If you’re trying to figure out how many days in Hong Kong will work for you or which day trips from Hong Kong will suit you best I think it depends on whether it is your first or a subsequent trip.

This post covers things to do in Hong Kong 3 days itinerary. For a first trip there is such a long list of what to see Hong Kong that I would suggest 5 days. And don’t miss a trip on the famous Star Ferry.

Book a Private Tour of Hong Kong

If you are travelling solo and keen to explore group tours there are several that cover Hong Kong and are worth checking out:

Just You Hong Kong

Exodus Holidays China/Hong Kong,  

Explore Holidays Hong Kong  

G Adventures Hong Kong.

Who Paid for What with this Post

I covered all of the costs associated with my trip to Hong Kong This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through and end up making a purchase I will most likely receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you knew this.


hong kong mongkok high rise buildings

Like my Post? Why Not Pin It?

hong kong off the beaten trackI travel quite often to Hong Kong so I did all the touristy stuff. That's why I wanted to explore original things to do in Hong Kong. This post is a Hong Kong Itinerary that covers things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days. Here is my Hong Kong Blog on the best off the beaten track things to do

44 thoughts on “Hong Kong Travel Blog: Heading Off the Beaten Path

  1. Gwendoyn says:

    Thanks so much for the post! I love trying new places to eat and working up an appetite beforehand. I’m hoping to test out your suggestions in the next year!

    • The Boutique Adventurer says:

      Thanks Gwendolyn!!!! Much appreciated!!! xx

  2. durhamslovelifetravel says:

    Love Dim Sum and those cute little piggy dumplings are too cute, I would totally be like a kid and be playing with my food. Looking forward to going someday and hitting the night life

  3. Tess Chupinsky says:

    I probably won’t be making my way there again any time soon but if I do, these will be my go-to places to check out! Especially Dragon’s Back Trail!

  4. Chloe says:

    I’d love to travel to Hong Kong one day as I feel there is so much culture and history that I need to explore. The Dragons Back Trail looks like it has some amazing views.

  5. Amber says:

    Fun! I’ve never been to Hong Kong. I love that pig dumpling.

  6. The Travel Ninjas says:

    Hong Kong is one of our favourite towns too. We haven’t hiked the Dragon’s Back Trail yet so we’re looking forward to that for our next visit. And thanks for the yummy tips on where to eat. We’d love to try a pig shaped dumpling – so it is sweet potato and not pork?

    • The Boutique Adventurer says:

      it is sweet potato – didn’t taste that great but it looked good!

  7. Imaobong says:

    All of these activities sound like so much fun, I’ve never considered going to Hong Kong before now but it looks like a pretty good idea 🙂

  8. notesoflifeuk says:

    I’ve never been to Hong Kong, but would love to visit one day. Loving the look of the pig shaped dumplings!

    All the best for 2017! 🙂

  9. Jenni Petrey says:

    We were only talking about planning to a trip to Hong Kong today, so this is great timing. It is one place that I have always wanted to travel to.

  10. Gokul Raj says:

    Wow…the view from the Dragon Back trail is amazing. Sad that HK withdrew its Visa On Arrival for Indians because of pressure from Chinese Govt. Else it would have been a fin place for me to visit.

  11. Arvin says:

    Been to Hong Kong Twice, on my recent trip I was looking at the trek to Big Buddha at Lantau Island instead of the cable car, the trek to Dragon’s Back trail looks even more interesting and challenging!

  12. Lara Dunning says:

    I don’t know much about Hong Kong so it is great to get your insider view of the city and the place to see and where to eat. Pig dumpling-how cute! Beach town-who knew? Thanks for sharing.

  13. Sondra Barker says:

    I’ve always been interested in Hong Kong and all it has to offer! Of course, I’d also love some genuine dim sum!

  14. The Roaming Renegades.com says:

    Although we only had a couple of days just passing through Hong Kong, we really did fall in love with the place! We managed to squeeze in the dragon back ridge trail, and it was a really stunning hike, and finished down at big wave bay to watch the surfers! Just seems like it has something for everybody!

  15. Passports and Pigtails says:

    Pig shaped dumplings and coffin shops? Love it! I love a post that covers the lesser known travel areas. Dragon’s Back and Shek O sound exactly perfect for us. We’ve never been to Hong Kong, but will definitely keep these in mind when we do!

  16. Elizabeth O. says:

    It’s been a while since I last set food in Hong Kong. It would be nice to go back and experience the good food and the amazing sights!

  17. Anne says:

    Hong Kong is one of my favourite destination. It has amazing food options , the dumplings looks so cute. I love exploring new places and trying the authentic food. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Nathan says:

    So difficult to narrow it down to just 5 things but I think you did a great job. I’m happy to see that dim sum made the list! No HK list would be complete without it!

  19. Diana Chen says:

    I love HK! I hadn’t heard of the Dragon Back trail before and would love to check that out on my next visit there! And of course we had lots and lots of dim sum there- I seriously think I could eat it everyday and not get sick of it!

  20. Oindrila says:

    Travelling to HK has been in my bucket list since I was a child. Would love to explore all the places you’ve mentioned.

  21. Joyce says:

    Ohh! Great photography everything looking perfect. I love all photos. Thanks for the post.

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