If you live and work in Mainland China, chances are high that you, or someone you know, has done a visa run to Hong Kong.
If you are that special someone who’s visa status requires you to leave the country every 60 days, you might as well have some fun while you are at it! Hong Kong is by far the easiest, and usually the cheapest, option to get out of the country and reset your visa. Flights are plentiful and we even had friends do a run in the morning and be back by dinner. So speedy!
Though fast, those types of trips leaves you very little time to experience Hong Kong. So we took time off work for a long weekend, booked an apartment on airbnb, and got to researching how we could squeeze the most out or our short stay. This is what we came up with:
Cable Car to Big Buddha
The proximity to the airport makes Big Buddha a great starting point for your Hong Kong adventures. A quick Google search will tell you what bus to take to the cable car station and you’re just a ticket purchase away from some stomach-dropping heights and beautiful views along the way. Yes, the cable car is pricey, but in the grand scheme of things for Hong Kong, the price is fair.
Cost: 3 hkd bus fare & 180 hkd for the cable car roundtrip (totally worth the price for the experience).
Hike up to Victoria’s Peak
Luckily our airbnb was near enough to the trailhead so all we had to do was head out the door and grab some water on the way! This was the most either of us had sweat in a long time and our legs were on fire most of the way up, but the view more than made up for it once on top.
*Quick tip, Victoria’s Peak is not the observation deck where the railcar runs. This is the actual mountain peak. We did not know this and got a bit confused, so make sure you know the difference and plan accordingly. You can still walk from the observation platform up to the peak in about 20 minutes.
**The picture above is from the observation platform just fyi.
Cost: Free! However, we paid for an Uber back down the mountain…we were tired and it was getting late!
Enjoy The Outdoors
HK has a stunning cityscape that blends the harbor, skyline, and the lush surrounding mountains into one amazing spectacle. Even with that being said, we were ready to escape the monster cities of China for a day. Originally we set out to find Sai Wan Beach, but for some reason or another the bus wasn’t running that day…after we had waited for 2 hours. So our quest stalled in the town of Sai Kung and we needed to come up with a plan B. Wifi and an ice cream cone from McDonalds later, we found that we could take a 30-minute ferry to Half Moon Bay on Sharp Island and soak up some sun. Turned out that that beach is a popular spot for Chinese tourists so after a quick dip we headed for the hills. If we had more time we would’ve gone the length of the island to explore the other beaches.
Cost: Bus ride round-trip to Sai Kung…we can’t remember! Maybe in the 25 hkd range.
Ferry: 35 hkd/person round-trip
Take the Harbor Ferry
Cruising Victoria Harbor with the buildings all around is an unforgettable experience everyone should do when in Hong Kong. Buildings seemingly rise up from the water on both sides, just be sure to bring your camera! For reference, that peak with antennas on the top is Victoria Peak.
Cost: 3 hkd! So much cheaper than the metro, plus, you get breathtaking views on the cheap, what’s not to love?
Experience The City at Night
Hong Kong’s skyline completely transforms once the sun goes down. There is a light show every night at 8pm that utilizes building from all over the city. Throw in the rail cars passing by neon lit signs and you seriously have one of the most dazzling cityscapes you will ever see.
Cost: Free, just make your way to the water’s edge from either side of the harbor and enjoy the view.
Hong Kong is a aptly called “Asia’s World City” and we couldn’t agree more with that moniker. There’s a multitude of different activities to fill your time with. Whether you are on a strict budget or have “cash for days” on your next visa run, an unforgettable activity is just around the corner when you’re in Hong Kong. We have been to Hong Kong multiple times and are still finding new adventures, what is your favorite thing to do in Hong Kong?
5 Unforgettable Things to Do on a Visa Run to Hong Kong by firstname.lastname@example.org