Hong Kong: Top Tips for First Timers

By: Maxine Sheppard

April 4, 2010

Here at Virgin Atlantic we’re very lucky to have so many knowledgeable staff in all our destinations. Our local teams have their ears to the ground and we’ll regularly bring you their picks of the hippest hangouts, the most unmissable things to do and the best places to see in all of the cities we fly to. First off here’s Brad West, one of our Country Managers, with his take on how first-timers to Hong Kong can get the very best out of their stay:


Looking down from Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

View from Victoria Peak by Dan Breckwoldt


“The first thing a newbie should do is visit Victoria Peak on the funicular tramway, one of the steepest railways in the world. It’s a great place to get your bearings and the view of the island, the harbour and across to the mainland must be one of the most stunning in all the world.


Star Ferry by keepwaddling1 on Flickr

Star Ferry by keepwaddling1 on Flickr


Every night the city shows off with a great light and laser show which includes all of the major buildings. The best vantage point is on the Kowloon side, near the Star Ferry terminal, on the Avenue of the Stars. Speaking of the Star Ferry, this legendary ten-minute journey hasn’t changed for many years and it’s a must. Travel on the upper deck for just over two Hong Kong dollars each way.”


Tian Tan Buddha, Hong Kong

Tian Tan Buddha, Hong Kong by Maxine Sheppard


“The city has so many great things to do but try to find time to visit the scenic islands around the New Territories. Travel to Sai Kung to visit the fish restaurants and get a ferry to the outlying islands for a hike or a picnic. A visit to the Big(gest) Buddha and temple on Lantau is not only a nice way to spend half a day but getting there is half the fun. Travel on the Ngong Ping cable car for half an hour up and over the hills to the village, with amazing views.”

Sai Kung Seafood Colours by McPig on Flickr

Sai Kung Seafood colours by McPig on Flickr

Five of the Best Restaurants and Bars

“Cocktails and maybe a meal at Aqua on Kowloon offers amazing views across to the island in a modern glass fronted restaurant. Try a chocolate martini and the Asian fusion skewers from the menu.


Lunch or dinner at Isola at the bottom of the IFC skyscraper is excellent and boasts the best Italian buffet in Hong Kong. For a long brunch try Cafe Too at the Shangri-La hotel in Admiralty. Book early and come with a big appetite for an all-you-can-eat feast.

Chocolate and Strawberry cocktails are the speciality at the Feather Boa on Staunton Street in Soho. It’s a little difficult to find (and pretty cramped) but it’s a great hangout for the trendy tourist.

For a hangover busting, great value breakfast try the Flying Pan on Old Bailey Street near Central – it’s also open 24/7 so maybe plan a late visit after an evening in Lang Kwai Fong.”

Have you been to Hong Kong lately? Have you got any other top recommendations for restaurants and bars? What do you consider to be an unmissable experience? Please share your tips and suggestions in the comments below. Thanks!

Photos courtesy of keepwaddling1, McPig and Dan Breckwoldt.

Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the co-editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.

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