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Best Day Trips from Hong Kong

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Home to steamed custard buns, the Kung-Fu legend Bruce Lee, countless temples and neon signs so remarkable that the local museums curate special “Neon tours”, Hong Kong is a vibrant and stimulating city. It attracts tourists with the LKF bar-area, Hong Kong’s Soho offers exquisite dining opportunities and shopping enthusiast pilgrim to the many malls and department stores in Causeway Bay and the Kowloon peninsula.

With shopping, dining and entertainment that never stops, Hong Kong can seem overwhelming. If you need to catch your breath away from the bustle, read our guide to the best day trips from Hong Kong!

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Day trip from Hong Kong Island to the Sai Kung Peninsula

Sai Kung is a tranquil oasis, often called “the back garden of Hong Kong”. It is known for fishing villages and hiking trails, beautiful scenery and calm beaches.

The Sai Kung Peninsula attracts outdoor water sports enthusiasts; the beaches of Tai Long Wan Bay are very popular with Hong Kong’s surfers. You will also find many opportunities to do kayaking (try “transparent kayaking” where you can see down into the water as you paddle!) and snorkelling. At Blue Sky Sports Club in Sai Kung, you can take stand-up paddle-boarding (also known as SUP) to a new level, as they rent out “monster boards” that can fit up to 10 people! To cool down after an active day in Sai Kung, visit some of the local restaurants, known for amazing seafood and traditional desserts.

Going from Hong Kong Island or Tsim Sha Tsui, Sai Kung is not the most convenient neighbourhood to get to, so we recommend ordering a taxi or an Uber. Budget-conscious travellers can take the MTR (from the Tsuen Wan Line, change for the Kwun Tong Line at Yau Ma Tei station), then from Choi Hung Station at the Kwun Tong Line, you can take the 1A bus to Sai Kung Pier. If you plan to camp in Sai Kung, you do not have to travel with the equipment, there are many rental opportunities on-site.

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to the Sai Kung Peninsula

Sunrise a fish village Po Toi O Sai Kung Hong Kong

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to Cheung Chau Island

Known for its delicious seafood, perfect bicycle lanes and cute cafés hidden in its narrow alleyways, Cheung Chau Island is a popular spot for a half- or full-day getaway from Hong Kong Island. After arriving in Cheung Chau Island, you can stroll around for some time or rent a bike and explore the island on two (or four! family “rickshaws” are also available) wheels.

Hidden in the busy alleyways of central Cheung Chau, there are many small shops selling arts and crafts as well as modern design items and knickknacks. Following the main promenade, you will find more small local shops and restaurants serving seafood and traditional noodle soups. At the south-western tip of Cheung Chau Island, there is a farm and a campsite (Sai Yuen Farm) where locals and tourists come to camp and enjoy the tranquil island life.

There are 2 types of ferry serviced going to Cheung Chau. Both leave from pier no. 5 on Hong Kong Island, but there is a difference between the fast (travel time approx. 35 minutes) and the slow ferry (travel time approx. 55 minutes). The slow ferry is cheaper, so if you want to save some money and do not mind the extra travelling time, it is a good option for sure!

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to Cheung Chau Island

Cheung chau, Hong Kong. Crowd of small boats in the sea of Cheung chau island

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to Tai O fishing village

One of the most authentic examples of the South Chinese fishing towns with their unique bustle and local culture, is the Tai O Fishing Village located on Lantau Island. The little town is famous for its stilt houses, and it is sometimes called “Venice of the Orient”. It is a very cute, picturesque place; you can lazily stroll around, take your time to take photos and stop for a long meal break at one of the local seafood restaurants. Tai O fishing village is popular with tourists and locals alike, so if you want to avoid crowds, we suggest making this day trip on a weekday!

Some of the buildings in Tai O fishing village date back to the 19th century and the little town is also home to many traditional temples. You will find several small religious sites around the Kat Hing street (Tai O’s market street); also famous for its many bustling stalls and food vendors selling local desserts. When your day in Tai O fishing village is coming to an end, and you want to find the perfect place to observe the setting sun from, we recommend going on a walk from Tai Chung Bridge to Tai O Heritage Hotel (formerly known as “Old Tai O Police Station”). It is a perfect place to admire the sunset and ocean from!

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to Tai O fishing village

Tai O, Hong Kong. Hong Kong Tai O fishing village

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is a fun attraction for visitors of all ages. Located on Lantau Island, and conveniently connected with Hong Kong Island by the MTR, it is a popular destination for a fun (family or solo!) getaway.

Hong Kong Disneyland is a fairy-tale village that features 7 different “lands” where you can explore a variety of themed attractions and rides and take part in fun activities. Explore the magical kingdom, say hello to your favourite Disney characters and stop by the many charming boutiques for unique, Disney-themed souvenirs. Apart from rides and roller coasters, there are entertainment shows (like parades and performances) and special events (eg. around holidays where the entire park takes on a special theme). The park also offers great dining opportunities, so you can crown your Hong Kong Disneyland day trip with an exquisite meal!

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort also features accommodation, so if you want to stay close to the theme park (eg. if you are buying a 2-day ticket), you can check the website for theme park tickets and accommodation packages. Even if you are only interested in visiting the amusement park for a day trip, checking the official website for updates about the opening hours and ride maintenance notices prior to your visit, is recommended.

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong China - Hong Kong Disneyland marching band and the Sleeping Beauty Castle

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to Lantau Island

We mentioned Hong Kong’s Lantau Island already; it is home to Hong Kong’s busy airport, the bustling Hong Kong Disneyland, and more traditional tourist attractions like the Po Lin Monastery and Tai O fishing village. However, for a getaway from Hong Kong Island, we also recommend visiting Lantau Island to enjoy its pristine nature and the many hiking paths.

The longest hiking trail on Lantau Island (“Lantau Trail”) is 70 kilometres long; it circles most of the island, passing through rural villages and featuring waterfalls on the way. The path is divided into 12 sections of varying level and difficulty, and a famous part of the Lantau Trail is the “Sunset Peak”. The hill is a stunning viewpoint, so make sure to take your camera with you!

If hiking is not your thing, Lantau Island is also a great place for cycling. One of the most popular places to explore on two wheels is Mui Wo village, located on the eastern coast of Lantau Island. It is a slow-paced rural town, famous for its “cooked food market” (an indoor food hall where locals dine) and an array of affordable restaurants along the waterfront. Try the deep-fried squid, steamed mussels or a local noodle soup!

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to Lantau Island

Chinese temple Po Lin Monastery in Lantau island, Hong Kong

Day trip to Aberdeen fishing village

Not too far from the hustle and bustle of central Hong Kong, you will find Aberdeen fishing village. Located on the south side of Hong Kong Island it is known for rows of old-fashioned boats and “sampans” (small passenger “ferries”). The boats are used for fishing, but they also serve as houses to many of the fishermen and their families! For around 60 HKD (approx. 7,5 USD) you can book a “sampan” tour around the Aberdeen harbour.

Many (local and foreign) visitors come to Aberdeen fishing village in the evening for a meal at the famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant – one of the largest floating restaurants in the world. The restaurant is designed to resemble a traditional Chinese palace, and it can seat more than 2000 people! Apart from the large dining hall, the complex also includes a tea garden. It’s a fun experience and a great chance to taste high-quality traditional Cantonese and modern fusion dishes in a very remarkable setting!

The Aberdeen fishing village is one of our day tour recommendations because it is easy and convenient to get to (there is a direct MTR connection with the South Island Line from Admiralty Station on Hong Kong Island), but you’ll be surprised how different its scenery and atmosphere are from the sleek business culture of other parts of the Hong Kong Island.

Day trip to Aberdeen fishing village

Aberdeen, Hong Kong. Hong Kong fishing harbor port in the evening

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to Lamma Island

A getaway to Lamma Island is one of the most popular day tours among tourists and locals alike. With a frequent ferry schedule from Hong Kong Island (the ferries leave from Pier no. 4), getting to Lamma Island is both quick and easy. There are two ports on Lamma Island that the ferry goes to (the two located on the opposite sides of the island); Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan. 

For a day trip, we recommend taking the ferry to Yung Shue Wan, you will find more fun and interesting thing to do there. Yung Shue Wan used to be a fishing village, but with the many expats (seeking refuge from the bustle of Hong Kong Island) moving to Lamma Island, the village has grown and is now home to cute boutiques, restaurants and family-run cafés. 

Go on a little hike through the wilderness of Lamma Island, and you will reach the Hung Shing Ye beach. The path to the Hung Shing Ye beach goes through some old villages, and in case you need a break, finding a place to sit and rest on your hike will not be a problem. At the beach, you will also find restaurants and bars, as well as a resort, in case you want to extend your Lamma Island day trip!

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to Lamma Island

LAMMA, HONG KONG-Restaurants overlooking the sea in the small Chinese port of Lamma island.

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery

Situated centrally on Lantau Island, resting at an altitude of 400 meters, atop the Ngong Ping plateau, you will find the Po Lin Monastery. It was established in 1906 and has since become a world-renowned Buddhist monastery, visited by both Buddhist devotees and tourists. Rather than a single temple, the Po Lin Monastery is a complex of various halls (dedicated to Buddha himself and different Bodhisattvas), gardens, several libraries and alters. The most famous part of the complex is the “Tian Tan” (which translates to “Altar of Heaven”) Big Buddha which was opened to the public in December 1993.

A fun part of your Po Lin Monastery day trip is getting to the Ngong Ping plateau. We suggest taking the Ngong Ping Cable Car from Tung Chung on Lantau Island. Almost 6 kilometres long, the Ngong Ping Cable Car ride takes approximately 25 minutes. From the glass-walled cabin you get a breathtaking view of Lantau Island; enjoy the sights of its lush nature and try to be the first one to spot the Great Buddha Statue from afar! Tickets for the Ngong Ping Cable Car (290 HKD, approx. 36 USD for an adult ticket) can be purchased on-site and online, but we recommend pre-booking through the website to avoid queues and to get a further discount.

Day trip from Hong Kong Island to The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery

Tian Tan Buddha - The worlds's tallest bronze Buddha in Lantau Island, Hong Kong, China with colorfull flags

A trip from Hong Kong to the Great wall of China

Great Wall of China, the set of ancient fortifications build across the mainland Chinese territory does not need a long introduction, and the possibility of day trips from Hong Kong to Great Wall of China is sure tempting!

To visit the great wall, you must get to Beijing, China first! It is easiest to go to the Chinese capital by plane from Hong Kong International Airport. The flight will take 3 hours 25 minutes, and there are over 40 daily departures. If you are time-flexible and do not mind long travel time, go by high-speed train from Hong Kong West Railway Station. The train journey to Beijing West Railway Station will take 9 hours, and there are daily departures from Hong Kong at 8.05 AM. 

From either Beijing West Railway Station or the airport, you can continue to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall (54 kilometres north of Beijing Airport and 87 kilometres north-east from the train station). It is advisable to book a private tour, but you can also reach Mutianyu by public transport (take bus no. 916, then transfer to H23) or hire a taxi on your own. From Beijing West Railway Station a taxi ride to Mutianyu should take less than 2 hours and the cost should not exceed 50 USD. 

A trip from Hong Kong to the Great wall of China

Mutianyu, China - Unidentified tourists walking on the Great Wall of China, in the Mutianyu village, one of remote parts of the Great Wall near Beijing

Day trip from Hong Kong to Macau 

Most of us have heard about Las Vegas but Macau, the Asian gaming and gambling capital, seems to be a well-kept secret! Like Hong Kong, Macau is a Special Administrative Region of China, and it is a bustling place filled with impressive casinos (like “The Venetian Macao” and “Grand Lisboa” known for its remarkable, “spiky” top), large shopping arcades but also remarkable heritage sites from the Portuguese colonial times.

On your Hong Kong to Macau day trip, make sure not to miss the Ruins of St. Paul’s Church. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it originally consisted of St. Paul’s College and Church. Now, only the southern facade of the church is left, where you can still see some very fine carvings presenting Biblical scenes and religious motifs. Apart from the post-colonial and Christian religious sites, you will find many traditional Chinese temples, tucked in the streets of Macau’s Taipa village. Bigger temples like Na Tcha or A-Ma Temple are a part of the UNESCO World Heritage, and we highly recommend you add temple explorations to your Macau day trip itinerary!

If you want to add some activity to your day tour, we suggest a hike to Macau’s Mount Fortress. The structure was originally built as a defence base but is now housing the Macau Museum.

Day trip from Hong Kong to Macau 

Macau, China city skyline at dusk.

Day trip from Hong Kong to Shenzhen in China

A Shenzhen day trip from Hong Kong is also one of our recommended excursions! Easily reachable from Hong Kong (take the East Rail Line to Lo Wu/Luo Hu border where you will be able to obtain the short-term “Shenzhen Visa”), Shenzhen is a hub for business and a mecca for modern culture and shopping.

One of the top places on our Shenzhen itinerary is the “Design Society”. It is China’s first museum dedicated solely to design. Its remarkable building structure was designed by the Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, and it houses not only exhibitions but also a café and a restaurant serving typical Cantonese dim sum. Shenzhen is also a popular retail destination for Chinese and international visitors. Go shop-amok in mega-malls or purchase quirky art and design pieces in some of the city’s many bohemian artists’ villages.

Shenzhen is also home to “Window of the World”; a village with a collection of approximately 130 replicas of world-famous sights and landmarks, like the Parisian Eiffel Tower, London’s Houses of Parliament and the Roman Colosseum. Last, but not least, we recommend a visit to the Shenzhen Museum where you can learn about the centuries-old culture of the region. The exhibitions will help you understand the events that have led and contributed to Shenzhen’s massive expansion.

Day trip from Hong Kong to Shenzhen in China

SHENZHEN, CHINA - view from Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center during China Hi-Tech Fair 2019.

Day trip from Hong Kong to Guangzhou in China

One of the first things you will notice about Guangzhou (formerly called “Canton”) is its lushness; it is almost easy to forget that Guangzhou is the third-biggest city in China! With its location along the South China Sea, the city is one of the country’s most important trading points.

But Guangzhou is much more than business and trade! The city is known for its avant-garde architecture with buildings like Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House (also known as the “double pebble”) or the remarkable skyscraper of the Canton TV Tower that resembles a thin hourglass. 

On your Guangzhou China day trip from Hong Kong, make sure not to miss the Shamian Island! The island is a former European concession with small, cobbled streets and architecture that contrasts the rest of the city. Another recommended place for a relaxed stroll is Guangzhou’s Xiaogang Park, located in the southern part of the city. Home to several well-known restaurants, the park also attracts local and international foodies and tends to be fairly busy on the weekends! 

From Hong Kong, you can now reach Guangzhou with the high-speed train that departs from the West Kowloon Station in Hong Kong. The journey will take around 50 minutes, and the fare for a second class ticket is 215 CNY (around 30 USD).

Day trip from Hong Kong to Guangzhou in China

GUANGZHOU, CHINA - Guangzhou cityscape skyline over the Pearl River illuminated in the evening. Guangzhou, China

Hong Kong layover trip

Make the most out of your waiting hours, and join a Hong Kong layover tour while waiting for your connecting flight! Due to its busy international airport, many international travellers transfer in Hong Kong, and if you have a few hours between your connecting flights, we recommend joining a Hong Kong layover trip where a local guide will show you around some of the city’s attractions and points of interest, making sure you get back to the airport on time.

With easy visa regulations (most nations can get the free tourist visa on arrival that allows the visitors to stay in Hong Kong up to 90 or even 180 days), you should be able to pass the immigration quickly to meet your guide in the airport arrival hall. They will then take you to the famous Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island, one of the best viewing points in central Hong Kong!

You will continue through Hong Kong’s bustling SoHo and the more traditional Wan Chai district to visit the Aberdeen fishing village. If the time schedule allows, you can try the traditional “Sampan” cruise in Aberdeen harbour. Turn your waiting hours into a fun trip, and make sure your guide knows when to drive you back to the airport on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island!

Hong Kong layover trip

Junk in Hong Kong harbour at evening

Recommended Day Trips from Hong Kong

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Best Day Trips from Hong Kong

Best Day Trips from Hong Kong

Best Day Trips from Hong Kong

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!