During my recent trip, I fell back in love with Hong Kong and all its bustling streets, beautiful landmarks, and the warmth of the people. It was almost impossible not to take a photo at every corner and capture every beautiful moment! What’s even better was that I got to go around all of these places for less than 10 USD!
So to help you out, I handpicked a few of my favorite Instagrammable spots for those of you who are interested in visiting this lovely city! I also took the liberty of preparing a travel checklist and a how-to guide on the MTR Tourist Day Pass to make sure you’re well-prepared for your trip.
What to Bring:
Whether you’re travelling alone or with friends, going around a foreign city can be difficult if you’re not prepared. To maximize your experience, here’s a list of things to bring while going around Hong Kong:
- MTR Tourist Day Pass – None of the places we went to had any entrance fees, but to get to them, you’ll need to have the MTR Tourist Day Pass on hand. The good thing is that it’s only 450PHP! Imagine being able to visit all these spots for just less than 10 USD?! Such a good deal already!
Book your Unlimited Day Pass here.
- 4G WiFi – Like the tech-savvy generation we are, having WiFi helps us stay connected and makes it easier to get around the city with the use of Google maps.
Book for your Wifi here.
- Camera – Because you’ll never know when the perfect shot will show itself
- Smartphone – For those of us who don’t want to carry around a bulky camera, your smartphone will be your best friend in capturing memories during your trip as well as accessing the Maps app.
- Passport – If you’re lucky, some shops might offer discounts for foreigners as long as you have your passport on your person.
- Pocket Money – With that said, make sure you have some money both in the local currency as well as in US dollars, just to be sure!
My Top 10 Hong Kong Spots
Let’s get down to business! These are the list of places we went to, made easily accessible through the use of the MTR. It was really hard to rank them because they were all iconic and lovely in their own way, but here goes!
Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and TST Promenade – Tsim Sha Tsui
The Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) Promenade stretches all the way from the colonial-era Clock Tower to Hung Hom. The sea and cityscape are beautiful enough on their own, but along the way, you’ll also pass by the Avenue of Stars and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. The Cultural Centre’s odd architecture makes for several IG-worthy shots. However, the Avenue of Stars is under reconstruction until 2019. If you get to experience the TST Promenade in all its glory, I’m sure you’ll have a year’s worth of photos for your ‘gram.
Man Mo Temple – Sheung Wan
This is one of Hong Kong’s oldest temples and it pays homage to the Gods of Literature (Man) and War (Mo). With the light bouncing through the incense smoke and against the pillars, your creativity can really flow into your photos. Despite its rich history, there aren’t a lot of sights to see for tourists. But it’s definitely still worth it to make this one of your Hong Kong stops!
Central Street Art – Old Town Central
Before heading to Man Mo Temple, we passed by streets covered in graffiti and murals. The place is called Old Town Central and it was relaunched by the Hong Kong Tourism Board just last year! The place really shows you a unique perspective of Hong Kong’s culture, as well as filling your phone’s gallery with street art!
Royal Pacific Hotel and Towers – Tsim Sha Tsui
On the banks of Victoria Harbour stands a hidden gem for your Instagram shots. Royal Pacific Hotel and Towers isn’t a tourist spot, per se, but its symmetrical architecture, luxurious interior design, and abundance of natural light gives you a chance to stock your memory cards full of creative and gorgeous shots! I would’ve loved to see if the rooms were as beautiful as the lobby as well.
Nam Shan Estate – Shek Kip Mei
The estate was built for the rehousing of the residents after a fire over 30 years ago. Now, the building’s facade is painted with different shades of green, the color of life and growth. Besides its amazing history, the touches of green in a concrete jungle and the symmetry of the playground made my eyes fall in love with Nam Shan Estate.
Chi Lin Nunnery – Kowloon
Chi Lin is a large (over 33,000 sq. metres!) Buddhist temple complex that was built as a retreat for Buddhist nuns. It is currently the largest handmade wooden building! Its construction was based on Chinese architectural techniques that only uses cuts in the wood to make them interlock. That means that this entire structure was created without the use of nails! The place is large and serene enough that, even during its busiest hours, you won’t be running into too many tourists so you can take your perfect IG shot without any hassle.
Nan Lian Garden – Kowloon
Nan Lian Garden is a Chinese classical garden designed in the style of the Tang Dynasty. As a person who appreciates detail, I was amazed when I found out that this 3.5 hectare garden was so meticulously landscaped! Every hill, rock, body of water, plants, and wooden structures are purposefully placed where they are. It’s truly a sight for sore eyes!
Man Fung Building – Sham Shui Po
And now, we’re down to my Top 3! Now, this next place isn’t exactly for the faint of heart. You have to get into one of the buildings on the opposite side of the street, climb to the rooftop, and take your shot there. Please do be careful as there won’t be any guards or railings to keep you safe. The Man Fung Building (the one beside the yellow building) was once a nondescript building until 2016. Madrid-based street artist Okuda San Miguel transformed the building into a colorful geometrical fox. The thrill of the risk and the magnificent end goal pushed Man Fung near the top of my list!
Montane Mansion (“Monster Building”) – Quarry Bay
The private residential complex is five overwhelmingly large, dense, and compact interconnected structures. The locals nicknamed it the Monster Building. The symmetry and striking architecture makes the place a perfect example of why Hong Kong is called a concrete jungle. But before shooting your shot, please remember that this is a private residence. Make sure not to make too much noise or stay any longer than necessary!
Choi Hung Estate – Kowloon
And now for my number one! This place literally translates to “Rainbow Estate” and it does not disappoint! Apparently, the building’s facade was painted in 8 different hues in order to uplift the spirits of its residents. Well, it sure uplifted mine! The best spot to take photos is by the basketball court and the colors stand out the most on non-sunny days. This place is actually one of the most instagrammed locations in Hong Kong. If you get to see this place, I’m sure you’ll all understand why it’s at the top of my list!
How to Get Around
- Take the MTR and drop off at Choi Hung Station on the Kwun Tong Line. Take either Exit C3 or C4, and you’ll find yourself at Choi Hung Estate!
- From Choi Hung Station, you can take the MTR to the Diamond Hill Station and take Exit C2. This is where you’ll find Nan Lian Garden and the Chi Lin Nunnery which are just across from each other.
- Your next stop will be Nam Shan Estate. Take the MTR and get off at the Shek Kip Mei Station on the Kwun Tong Line (Exit B2). Make sure you’re wearing comfy shoes, because it’s a 5-min. walk before you get to the estate.
- Next up is the Man Fung Building! Take the MTR and get off at Sham Shui Po Station on the Tsuen Wan Line. Take Exit A2 and make your way to the spot which will be around 10 minutes away by foot.
- Next drop off will be at the Tsim Sha Tsui Station on the Tsuen Wan Line. Take Exit A1 and head to Canton Road where you’ll find the Royal Pacific Hotel and Towers and TST Promenade.
- Central Street Art is just along the way going to Man Mo Temple. To get there, drop off at Central Station on the Tsuen Wan line, then take Exit D2.
- Lastly, take the MTR to Quarry Bay Station on the Island Line or Tseung Kwan O Line. Take Exit A and walk a little while until you see the entrance to Montane Mansion.
Here are Visual Maps So you can be guided accordingly:
And there you have it! I would love to hear what you guys think about this list. If you have other Instagrammable spots in mind, make sure to comment them down below!
Meanwhile Here are some more HongKong guides you might want to check out: