Itinerary map here

The Perfect 48-hour Layover in Hong Kong

1 night: Hong Kong Island for the Peak, nightlife in Lan Kwai Fong, and a glimpse at postcolonial architectures mixed in with modern skyscrapers.
1 night: Kowloon for street food, night markets, waterfront Promenade and local vibe.

" If you have only one to two days to spare in Hong Kong, this is the perfect itinerary for you. Whether you’re on a business trip visa-run on the way to China, or just stopping by before hopping over to other Southeast Asian countries during your epic backpacking trip, this best-of itinerary allows you to taste the local flavors, see the world-renowned skyline of Hong Kong along the Victoria Harbor, and go nuts on your shopping spree; while breathing in the ultimate East-meet-West vibe. "

Some general information:

The ultra-convenient Airport Express train and well-established bus network make getting into the city from the airport a piece of cake.


Hong Kong Island

1 night


Hong Kong Island was the first place the British set their foot on during the colonial period, around here, you can still feel the remaining influence from the British to the city of Hong Kong. If you’re into history, you will find this part of Hong Kong exceptionally fascinating!

What to do:

You can’t say you’ve been to Hong Kong until you visited Victoria Peak. There are two suggested ways to get there, the Peak Tram, and the bus. The Peak Tram is one of the oldest mode of public transportation in Hong Kong, circa late 1800s. The tram station is located in between Central Train Station and Admiralty Station. It is easy to find due to ample amount of pink posted signages around the area for most tourist attractions. It has now became more of a tourist attraction as a funicular railway taking visitors up and down the Victoria Peak rather a local mode of transportation. In recent years, the line to get onto the Tram has gotten ridiculously long during the day due to enormous amount of tourists. My suggestion and solution - join the locals to take Bus #1 at the underground bus station at IFC (the International Finance Center) to go up to the Peak (last stop), then take the Peak Tram down. You will save a lot of time standing in line and get two experiences at one location! Once at the Peak, you can just simply walk around to look at the view of Hong Kong or take a two-hour stroll along the Peak Circle Walk, look around for pink posts and follow sign to Lugard Road/Peak Circle Walk to find the trailhead. In my opinion, this is the best way to get a panoramic view of Hong Kong during the day.

After coming down from the Peak, you can walk over to the Statue Square, right there in front of you is the still operating dome-shaped Legislative Building. This colonial style building is standing side by side with modern styled the Standard Charter Bank. Walking aimlessly around the area and you will see the fast-pace of the people in the heart of the financial district. One interesting sight on every Sunday around the Statue Square and Central is that you will find the entire area occupied by mass amount of Southeast Asian ladies particular ones from the Phillipines and Indonesia. They are imported domestic helpers to help families around Hong Kong raising their children in a insanely fast-paced city. You can see them enjoying themselves with their friends from home - eating, chatting and dancing, just simply having a great time far away from their real home. If you have time to spare, take the tram along Hong Kong island and hop off in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay or North Point. These are areas where locals reside, shop at wet markets and hang out.

Eat & drink:

Lan Fong Yuen on Gage Street – located off the a staircase under a shack, I enjoy their milk tea and pork chop lo ramen very much, Mak’s Noodles on Willington Street – famous for their wanton noodles, Tsui Wah Restaurant – a big chain restaurant with a collection of typical Hong Kong styled food, I like their cuttlefish ball or fish ball noodle soup. SoHo District around the Mid-level/Central area has vast choices of international cuisine due to the presence of expats living in the area. Lan Kwai Fong is the epicenter of all nightlife of Hong Kong, there you will find plenty of bars and clubs, as well as party-goers. It is not to be missed if you’re down to party. Another area for good nightlife is Wan Chai, just be aware of the professional arm-grabbing young women who are ready to negotiate.

Where to sleep:

Due to high hotel prices all around Hong Kong, I highly recommend booking your stay via AirBnb, you will get better bank for your buck. If you only have limited time in Hong Kong, I would stay close to a MTR (subway) station, particularly around Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Sheung Wan, to make getting in and out easier.


To get to Kowloon, you can either take the MTR, various buses or the historic Star Ferry. To catch the Star Ferry, you will walk to Pier No. 7 from IFC off the pedestrian bridge. Ferry service from 6:00am to 11:30pm every 8-20 minutes. The ferry sail across the world famous Victoria Harbor, this scenic ride is a must-do in Hong Kong!


This is it for spending a short 48-hours in Hong Kong for your layover. There are a lot more interesting places in Hong Kong including white sand beaches, tree-lined hiking trails, the big buddha and a lot more. Come back and spend a week to explore the rest!