Hong Kong neighbourhood guide: Must visit areas of Hong Kong

Time Travel Hong Kong
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Surrounded by the South China sea and bordered by mainland China in the North, Hong Kong is a bustling city with so much diversity that it can be overwhelming for not only first time visitors, but for many who have visited a number of times! Being my fifth visit to Hong Kong, I decided to venture beyond the norm and find the best neighbourhoods for both first time visitors and those looking to get off the beaten track. Here are the top 8 must visit areas of Hong Kong:

neighbourhood guide

Start Here: Central

Central is home to many of the city’s most distinct skyscrapers and architectural highlights, so it’s a good place to start for the first time visitor and anyone wanting to get a taste of typical Hong Kong in the 21st Century. This area is also home to many (if not most) of the cities’ expats, so if you want to mingle with people from all around the world head to one of the popular cafes or bars in this area and you will be spoiled for choice – and nationalities!

Tourists love: Tsim Sha Tsui

Just across the harbour on the Kowloon side is the popular Tsim Sha Tsui. TST is home to most of Hong Kong’s markets, many of the best shopping malls are here, and there are oodles of dining options to choose from throughout this area. The Intercontinental has the best harbour views and is a superb luxury hotel, while the Peninsula is a typical choice for a fancy lunch or spa treatment.

Shopping in Causeway Bay

Causeway Bay is THE shopping destination for Hong Kong locals – so be sure to drop by and see/understand why. This area is densely compact, so be sure to expect to forgo personal space and don’t be surprised when you get smacked into by a person passing by – it is inevitable! Some of the biggest landmark shopping areas in the area include Sogo, Times Square Mall, and IKEA is also here.

mongkok hong kong

The hustle and bustle of Mongkok

Flashing neon lights in abundance? This must be Mongkok. It is here where one will find the busy streets, horrible smells, and something new around every corner. The relatively new Landmark Place Hotel Mongkok is positively changing the area by bringing a luxury hotel and world-renowned spa to the area, so be sure to consider staying here if you’re looking for authentic Hong Kong with a modern flair.

Wan Chai

As the oldest district in Hong Kong, Wan Chai has changed dramatically over the years. Especially over recent years, Wan Chai’s old and shanty buildings have been replaced by an urban revival. While it was once known for being ‘that’ part of town offering Asian girls in abundance (for a fee), it has really come a long way in recent years and is an interesting ‘one to watch’ neighbourhood – just don’t blink, it’s changing constantly!

Sheung Wan

This is perhaps one of the most exciting up and coming neighbourhoods in Hong Kong. Traditionally this was a cheaper part of town to live, but recently has become more and more expensive as locals are forever looking to relocate with the never-ending rent price hikes. The area around Hollywood Road and Cat street is perfect for antique shopping and treasure hunting.

Lamma Island

Hipsters, hippies, the ‘hip’ area of town is where you will least expect it – Lamma island! Catch the ferry to Lamma island for a really different look into Hong Kong life. It’s also a great part of town for hiking and outdoor activities – true bliss to escape the city!

fishing village lantau island

Lantau Island

Another one of the outlying islands to visit is the tourist-popular Lantau island. Here one will find the Big Buddha, Tai O fishing village, Ngong Ping 360 cable car, and Hong Kong Disneyland. While a more popular island for tourists (okay, it is over-saturated with tourists), it really is a must visit once whilst in Hong Kong.

World of Wanderlust visited Hong Kong as a guest of the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

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    Get Up, Get Out, Get Living
    April 30, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Looks like I’ve missed a few spots – should probably plan a return trip 😉

    July 20, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Ahhh I was just thinking HK for my next trip, these articles are perfect timing!!! Best blog ever!!

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    July 17, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Great post! looking forward to visit Hong Kong on my next trip! 🙂

    July 15, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Nice guide, I would like to speak some mandarin… why Latin America is not one of your destinations?

    July 15, 2014 at 1:33 am

    I visited HK over Christmas and New Year! It was the perfect weather for exploring. What I like most about the place is that getting away from the (sometimes overwhelming for a small town gal) crowds is so easy! There are lots of parks scattered around (like HK and Kowloon Park) and even a trip to the more traditional New Territories is a quick escape and so, so beautiful!

    Department of Wandering
    July 12, 2014 at 1:23 am

    Another great, informative post, Brooke. I would love to visit Hong Kong soon–or maybe even move there to work!

    Jake Ryan
    July 12, 2014 at 12:04 am

    I’m heading to Hong Kong next and pretty much reading every one of your posts about it, so thanks.


    Isa Dione
    July 11, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    When I saw your picture of Central Hong Kong I immediately thought ‘Hopefully there will be a blog post about it” – hurray, I was right! 😉
    I have heard so many good stories about hiking on Lamma island, but I haven’t been there yet. Another one on the list!

    Departures With Aimee
    July 11, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    This is soooo nice! I really want to visit Hong Kong, maybe next year. 🙂

    July 11, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Wow! I wish I’d go one day! very useful info|!