After clearing customs and immigration, proceed to the luggage storage counter at the ‘Meeters and Greeters Hall’, where you can store your trolley or bag till you come back…
Buy an Octopus Card from the Airport Express Counter at the Arrivals Hall: This electronic stored-value card is accepted on most public transport and will make your life easier when traveling around Hong Kong as you won’t have to bother about small change…
Now you can hop on the Airport Express Train, with which you travel all the way to Hong Kong Station, or you can take a bus (A11/N11 travels to Causeway bay, Wanchai and Central – on Hong Kong Island, while A21/N21 travels to Mong Kok and Tsim sha Tsui – in Kowloon)
The “Symphony of Lights” is a nightly orchestrated light, sound and laser show featured on 37 key buildings on both sides of the Victoria Harbour. Awarded the world’s “Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show” by Guinness World Records, this spectacle is staged nightly at 8:00 pm and is best viewed from Tsim sha Tsui’s Waterfront Promenade (you can also enjoy it from Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, on Hong Kong Island).
Not too far from there, in the area of Jordan, Temple Street’s Night Market is a good place to fetch a few bargains and feel a bit of a true Hong Kong market ambience… The brightly lit stalls are selling everything you can think of… and there are also more than a few food-stalls and eateries around, where you can indulge on simple, delicious Chinese food.
The market is open daily from 4 pm to 11 pm (although it gets busy only from 7 pm and onwards).
The area of Mong Kok, north of Tsim sha Tsui and Jordan, is famous for its open-air markets and late open shops. It is also chock-a-block with many authentic eateries and restaurants where you can enjoy some delicious local food at reasonable prices.
Ladies’ Market, along Tung Choi Street, and parallel Sai Yeung Choi Street South are Mong Kok’s best late-open shopping streets.
The area of Tsim sha Tsui (between the waterfront and Jordan’s Night Market) is Kowloon’s most busy and vibrant district… especially in the evening, when the streets are packed with diners and party goers. As a matter of fact, Tsim sha Tsui itself comprises a few different wine & dine precincts:
Knutsford Terrace: a small terrace street, lined with bars, pubs and restaurants, is Tsim sha Tsui’s smaller version of Lan Kwai Fong (although the ambience here is far more relaxed…).
Hillwood Road, north of Kimberley Road and Knutsford Terrace, has been nicknamed “Hillwood SoHo“and it boasts a few good Chinese and Asian restaurants, alongside some nice cafés…
Ashley Road somewhat resembles Wanchai’s Lockhart Road, with a good mix between restaurants, resto-bars and nightspots (forget about the girls though…).
Classy restaurants, as well as some nice cafés, can be found in Tsim sha Tsui’s leading hotels, as well as in the large shopping malls…
On Hong Kong Island
Victoria Peak (or simply “The Peak”) is one of Hong Kong’s most popular tourist attractions. The world-class views of the city and the harbour are simply spectacular… especially at night, when the countless skyscrapers are flashing in millions of dazzling lights…
ThePeak Tram is the most popular (and scenic) way of getting to The Peak.
It operates daily until midnight and climbs the full distance in approximately seven minutes. You can board it at the Lower Terminus, on Garden Road, Just a 10-15 minutes walk from Hong Kong Station (Airport Express) or MTR-Central.
Up at the top, there is a variety of restaurants, cafés and shops.
Causeway Bay is Hong Kong’s trendiest shopping district. The relatively compact area around Causeway Bay MTR Station houses some of the city’s best department stores, shopping malls and prestigious shops. Hong Kong yuppies consider Causeway Bay as the city’s “fashion barometer” – The place to go to when you want to know what’s new and “in”…
Other than countless fashion boutiques and glitzy shopping malls, Causeway Bay has more than a few good restaurants, cafés and nightspots.
Hong Kong’s modern business district – Central,is conquered by sparkling skyscrapers that accommodate the Asia-Pacific head office of international corporations, alongside bank managements, foreign consulates and stylish shopping malls.
Thanks to its “international ambience” and well-heeled shoppers, Central concentrates some of Hong Kong’s most glamorous restaurants, like Caprice at the Four Seasons Hotel, Toscana, Grissini and Le Parisien, among others…
Just a stonethrow from Central, Lan Kwai Fong (often abbreviated as LKF)is possibly Hong Kong’s most popular and most famous nightlife arena: The small quadrangle of streets, formed by the L-shaped Lan Kwai Fong Street and neighboring D’Aguilar Street, is packed with bars, pubs, clubs and some excellent restaurants that make it a popular choice for locals, expatriates and tourists alike.
Still around Central (and LKF), the SoHo is another extremely popular wine and dine district. Unlike Lan Kwai Fong, Wan Chai and some of Hong Kong’s other nightlife areas, SoHo is more about quiet bistro-style restaurants and cafés, where you can enjoy a romantic evening, or have your coffee alfresco, while watching life on the street go by…
Lockhart Road in Wanchai (Wan Chai), together with some of the streets around it, form one of Hong Kong’s most popular nightlife areas, where discos and nightclubs can be found next to girly bars, posh restaurants and casual cafés… No matter what you look for, you’ll probably find it in Wanchai.
That is Hong Kong nightlife in a nutshell… (After all, it’s only an article, not a book). Hope you’ll enjoy your night stop in Asia’s world city.
For more information on Hong Kong and its nightlife, including a comprehensive Restaurant & Nightlife Guide, great shopping tips and suggested city-walks: visit Metropolasia – Hong Kong Travel Guide where all the information you need is compiled in one easy-to-use website.
Roni Shwartz is a certified travel consultant and writes for Metropolasia