A common saying is that, “a Hong Kong second is a New York minute.” It certainly feels that way with how people and traffic always seem to be rushing to the next destination.Don’t get lost in the bustle! If you only have a “Hong Kong second” then this is the guide to help you understand and explore Hong Kong’s neighbourhoods in a pinch.

HK Island:

Central 中環

A HK Second: The Manhattan of Asia.

A HK Minute: Central is where you’ll find exclusive high-end shopping and Michelin-level fine dining at malls like The Landmark. The crazy density of skyscrapers makes it the perfect place to find a restaurant or rooftop bar with epic views. Head higher to the iconic Victoria Peak to get the most iconic view of the city. If you’re looking for the nightlife scene, Lan Kwai Fong (LKF) is a must visit! Party until sunrise in one of the 100 bars and clubs all found within a few blocks radius. A stone’s throw away is SoHo, where the narrow winding streets contain some of Hong Kong’s most chic restaurants and exotic bars known only to Hong Kong insiders.

Sheung Wan 上環

A HK Second: A blend of old historic and new modern Hong Kong.

A HK Minute: As one of the earliest places settled in and developed by the British, you’ll find impressive colonial architecture throughout the neighbourhood. Many historic temples like the famous Man Mo Temple are found here, along with streets filled with handmade crafts and antique stores. Check out Sheung Wan’s Dried Seafood Street, made up of Wing Lok Street and Ko Shing Street, where you’ll see and smell shops making traditional Chinese herbal elixirs and drying exotic seafood on the rooftops and streets as they have for more than fifty years.

Causeway Bay 銅鑼灣

A HK Second: Shopping, more shopping and food. Hong Kong’s Shibuya.

A HK Minute: If you’re someone who likes to shop 'til you drop, head to Causeway Bay. You'll find everything from trendy clothing and jewellery to even electronics at places like Times Square, Hysan Place, SOGO, and Windsor House. For a quick break, head down to one of the excellent cafés located on Fashion Walk. If you’re especially hungry after your spree, you’ll be happy to know that Causeway Bay is teeming with restaurants in every style of cuisine and at any price point possible. Perfect in case you’ve maxed out all of your credit cards from all the shopping.

Travel tip: For a fun way to get to Causeway Bay, jump on a tram (or ding-ding in Cantonese) from Sheung Wan.

Sai Ying Pun 西營盤

A HK Second: SYP. The hippest neighbourhood in Hong Kong.

A HK Minute: Sai Ying Pun exudes that indefinable quality that makes every “hipster” neighbourhood cool. Think Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Fitzroy in Australia or Brixton in London. From quirky boutique shops to small concept cafés, bars and dining spots, Sai Ying Pun is all about being new and looking cool while doing it. If you enjoy discovering a city at a slower pace, or if you’d rather chill with a cuppa or drink and people watch all day, you’ve found your match in Sai Ying Pun.

Stanley 赤柱 & Repulse Bay 淺水灣

A HK Second: Historic landmark and luxury beach lifestyle.

A HK Minute: Stanley and Repulse Bay are some of the most visited Hong Kong destinations by travellers and locals alike. At Stanley, you’ll discover a pace of life and beach side lifestyle that seems to have more in common with Malibu and the Mediterranean than Hong Kong. Stroll to Stanley Market and stop by at one of the many bistros and small bars there. Alternatively, check out The Pulse in Repulse Bay for some beach time. Enjoy a perfect evening here with a drink in hand and watch a warm beautiful sunset fill the sky.


Mong Kok 旺角

A HK Second: MK. Hong Kong from the movies.

A HK Minute: If you’ve watched any movie featuring Hong Kong, you’ll see a city that’s portrayed as rough around the edges, full of neon signs, shady characters, crowded streets and an electrifying atmosphere. Welcome to Mong Kok. Be sure to check out the mouth-watering Cantonese street snacks here, like curry fish balls, eggettes, cheung fun and, if you dare, stinky tofu. Mong Kok has some of the best value shopping that Hong Kong has to offer. Sneaker Street is a great spot for shoe aficionados and Ladies Market is where you’ll find jewellery, accessories and clothing all on the cheap.

Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙咀

A HK Second: TST. Where to see the best skyline in the world.

A HK Minute: Take a ride on the iconic Star Ferry - it’s been running since 1888. Perhaps the most culturally diverse part of Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui has some of the city's best luxury shopping malls, like Harbour City. Pick up an affordable custom suit from one of the many tailors here - it only takes a day to make one. The harbourfront features a promenade where you’ll find amazing alfresco dining and the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong’s equivalent of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Head to the harbour early in the evening to watch an incredible skyscraper laser show, the Symphony of Lights.

New Territories:

Lantau Island 大嶼山

A HK Second: Nature and history collide.

A HK Minute: Lantau is the perfect place to get a truly unique Hong Kong experience that stays tourist friendly. Take a gondola up to see the Big Buddha (not an exaggeration - it’s one of the biggest in Asia) at the Po Lin Monastery. You’ll find a simpler way of Hong Kong life at Tai O, an old fishing village where the Tanka community has lived a similar lifestyle for generations. Journey on one of the most epic hikes ever to Lantau Peak or Sunset Peak to see how Hong Kong’s natural beauty is just as impressive as its skyline.

Sai Kung 西貢

A HK Second: Where Hong Kongers go to get away from it all.

A HK Minute: Sai Kung is where Hong Kongers trade in the craziness of the city's bright lights and skyscrapers for a touch of nature. Here, you can eat some of the freshest seafood, caught right out of the sea and instantly cooked right in front of you. You can relax on one of the pristine beaches at the Sai Kung East Country Park or go cliff jumping at Sheung Luk Stream. If you’re in Hong Kong in the summer, catch a “junk boat” ride from Sai Kung Pier, where you can rent a boat, hang out on the open waters, and sun tan the day away.