Hong Kong has a giant airport with carriers that use it as the main transport hub to other destinations in Asia.  Lots of travelers are only in town for one night before flying out to the end destination.  If you find yourself stuck in HK on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, you are in luck.  My friends have been great with calling me out of the blue to say they have just arrived in HK and now need me to take them out.  If I had a layover in HK, this is how I would go about it:

Wednesday is Ladies Night in Wanchai’s Lockhart Road district.

Thursday is Ladies Night in Central’s LKF.  Guys are not allowed inside the clubs before 12.

Friday and Saturday will be busy everywhere, best to start in Wanchai and make your way over to LKF.

You want to take the HK Airport Express to Central and drop off your bags at the hotel ASAP.  If you did not book a hotel, it’s time to find a spa sauna in Kowloon East where you plan to spend the night as they are open 24 hours.  You can drop off your luggage with the doorman with instructions that you plan to return in a few hours for your massage.  Your first meal should consist of food your stomach will have no trouble digesting, que McDonalds.  You will learn to love the HK McDonalds, the extra value meals are even cheaper than NA.

$30 HKD, $21 for the filet o fish extra value meal and $9 for a cheeseburger

After McDonalds, it’s time to grab the first drink.  If you are alone, 7-11 has a wide variety of cold beers.  HK has no law regarding open alcohol and public spaces so you can drink on the streets without the need for the brown paper bag hiding in plain sight.  After the first drink, make your way over to one of the given areas above – Wanchai or LKF.  HK is not known for friendly people so if someone is standing on a street corner and approaches for small chit chat, they want to sell you drugs.  If you see a bunch of older females melting in the heat and sitting on chairs trying to coerce you to step inside for a quick drink, they want to sell you whores.

Hong Kong bars and clubs don’t have line ups outside the venue.  They have a mass of people all thinking they are Very Very Important People (VVIPs) and waiting for their owner friend to come outside to grab them.  Wait in line.  The door guys will be more responsive and courteous to the fact you are not behaving like the general HK mass.  The bars are crammed to the brink, if you happen to arrive in HK during rush hour, you will experience the same thing once inside – fire hazards.  Cover charges will entitle you to a complimentary drink.  There are certain bars that provide the all-you-can-drink experience for $200HKD but it’s best to save for a visit when you have ample recovery time (fake alcohol).  The younger crowds will be found in the heart of LKF, the older crowds will be on Wyndham and Staunton Street.

After drinking up a storm and testing the limits of the quick McDonalds meal earlier in the night to line your stomach, it’s time to end the night at Tsui Wah Restaurants.  Tsui Wah is a chain of HK chinese restaurants, as an alternate investment publicly listed on the HKEX, with locations in all the busy areas in and around HK.  It is the perfect venue for like minded inebriated individuals to fight off the hangover together.  At the late night hour, stay away from the foods that require baking, it will take too long to make, stick to the noodle soups but have a look around and order the same plates of food as neighboring tables.  You’re going to end the night with a massage so the alcohol should not have lingering effects.

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I always go with the steak at Tsui Wah – one can’t beat the price.

In the morning, you will want to take a visit to the Peak for the HK skyline and waterfront view.  Prior to the Peak, head over to a Cooked Food Centre for a dining experience like no other.  You will be dining in a style most tourist will never get to enjoy, sitting on plastic stools on plastic tables without table clothes and sharing the table with strangers.  Talk to your neighbors and share your food.  You will love the experience.  In the opening paragraph I mentioned most HK people keep to themselves, it’s hard to stay silent when you’re offering food in exchange for advice.  At the Cooked Food Centre, look for the restaurant serving dim sum.

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fish paste stuffed green peppers

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sticky rice in the background. stuffed bean curb in the foreground.

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pork dumplings in yellow, shrimp dumplings in the wrapper

If you go to the Peak in the morning, you avoid the rush of tourists that go in the afternoon.  If you are caught at the Peak tram line up in the afternoon, write off the next few hours as you will waste it standing in line.

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line is at least an hour long. Take the bus to the top or walk. If you do take the taxi, pay very close attention to the meter and taxi drivers are well known to scam fares on the route to the Peak

Grab a bubble tea at tenren tea to power you through the afternoon.

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tenren makes a better milk tea than HK chains. It’s a taiwan brand.

You are near the tail end of your 24 hrs in HK so it’s best to start making your way back to the Airport Express station to catch the train to the airport.  There are two stations, Central and Kowloon.   Go to Kowloon Station inside Elements and grab a drink at the Ritz Carlton’s top floor bar.  It will be one of the most expensive beers at $100 but you get a unobstructed view of HK Island.

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$100 Guiness at the Ritz vs $10 at 7-11.

Turn your head to another direction and get this:

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