1) Option A: the "Dragon's back" trail and Shek-O village
If you feel like hiking, go for the "Dragon's Back" trail. Titled as Asia's best urban hiking trail by TIME Magazine (Asia), this track runs along a ridgeline that climbs up and down in a pattern that resembles a dragon's back, passing through lush rainforests and superb vantage points that overlook the cloudy mountains and the picturesque bays of this sea-surrounded peninsula... You will find it hard to believe you are only a heartbeat away from one of the world's busiest metropolises.
Take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station (along the Island Line) and use exit A-3 to go to the adjacent Public-transport-interchange, from where you have to take bus No. 9 to Shek-O (Alternatively, you can travel with the Tramway / "Ding Dong Tram" to its terminus in Shau Kei Wan and take a few minutes stroll through the market along Kam-wa Street, to the bus interchange).
Tell the driver you want to alight at the "Dragon's Back"(龍脊)and drop off along Shek-O Road, near To Tei Wan Village.
The hike takes roughly three hours (moderately difficult) and the trail ends at Big Wave Bay (called Tai Long Wan in Chinese ), one of the only beaches on Hong Kong Island where you can catch waves and surf... It also boasts the usual array of beach services.
From here, you should travel to neighboring Shek-O, a former fishermen's village, where you can easily spend a few pleasant hours... There are some fantastic restaurants here, like Shek O Chinese & Thai Restaurant and Shining Stone , narrow streets, lined with colorful houses and sandy coves surrounded by rocky landscapes... At the end of the village there is a small bridge that leads to Tai Tau Chau, a tiny rocky islet with some nice view points towards the New Territories.
From here you can take bus No. 9 back to Shau kei Wan and proceed to wherever you want to go.
Did you know you can actually squeeze a full-day trip to Hong Kong's Dragon Back Trail into a tiny 2-minutes' video ??? This short and beautiful video (above) shows you how to get to the starting point, where to go and what should you expect to see... Well worth watching!
Although it is very small in size, Cheung Chau Island has a lot to offer in terms of history, culture and heritage...
Cheung Chau Island lies southeast of Lantau. It is a picturesque and relatively small island that can easily be discovered on a day long trip... The main attractions are the narrow pedestrian-only alleys, where the old village ambiance still exists, the traditional Chinese temples, the lovely waterfront promenade, hiking trails, beaches and nice seafood restaurants...
How to get there ? Ferries to Cheung Chau depart from Pier 5 in "Central" (right near Star Ferry Terminus). Ferries run between Cheung Chau and Central 24 hours a day, so there should not be a problem to enjoy a late dinner (although night-time service is not s frequent).
. 3) Option C: A day of history, heritage and nature in the New Territories
First thing in the morning, take Citybus No. 967 from small Drake Street in "Central" (behind Lippo Centre - exit B of MTR-Admiralty), or from the bus-stop on Connaught Road Central (next to Statue Square), and travel with it to Hong Kong Wetland Park: A beautiful nature reserve in the New Territories, where you can explore part of the world-famous Mai Po Marshes and watch plenty of migratory birds and other swamp creatures (It is particularly spectacular during the migration seasons, although there is also a lot to see and do on "ordinary days").
Other than beautiful (and easy) walking trails, there is a superb visitors-centre here, where you can see themed exhibitions about wetlands, marshes and swamps around the world...
From here, take the Light Rail to Tin Shui Wai Station, where the Ping Shan Heritage Trail starts from. The first site along the trail is Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda, right behind the railway station, and the end point is at Ping Shan Light Rail Station, from where you should take the light rail to Ping Shan KCR Station.
Here, you switch to the KCR train and travel to Kam Sheung Road. Exit B will take you to a small pedestrian bridge across a canal. After crossing the bridge, turn left to Kam po Road (it's more like a concrete covered path than a "road") and walk down to the path on its right side, that leads to the corner (near a building called " Noble Park"), where you turn left to Kam Sheung Road. At the T, turn right to Kam Tin Road and after a minute or two you will see the dark brick walls of Kat Hing WaiA 17th century walled village that retains the ambience of bygone days...
Chuk Lam Shim Yuen
(Bamboo Forest Temple)
Back to the KCR Station, from where you travel one more station, to Tsuen Wan West. Exit D will take you to the taxis stand, from where you should take a cab to Chuk Lam Shim Yuen (Bamboo Forest Temple) and see the three grand golden Buddha statues... From here, you can continue (with a taxi) to nearby Yuen Yuen Institute: The only temple in Hong Kong where the three Far East religions are worshipped: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. The large compound boasts many examples of nice Chinese temple-architecture, including a beautiful replica of the internationally famous "Temple of Heaven" (Tian Tan) in Beijing...
Proceed to MTR-Tsuen Wan (not the KCR station from where you arrived) and take the Tsuen Wan Line back to Mongkok, Tsim sha Tsui or Central.
Early in the morning, take KMB bus No. 92 from the Public transport interchange at MTR-Diamond Hill, and travel with it to Sai Kung: a beautiful seaside town on the shores of island-dotted Port Shelter Bay.
You can also board a red-roofed minibus on Mongkok's Dundas Street and travel with it to Sai Kung (From MTR-Mongkok take exit D-3 to Sai Yeung Choi Street South and walk straight till you reach the end of the street and turn left to Dundas Street. The minibuses park is on the right side, along TWGHs Tsui Tsin Tong Outpatient Building).
Sai Kung Peninsula
Whether you came with a bus or a minibus, you will be dropped at the terminus, which is a short stroll from Sai Kung Promenade... Here you can find some nice cafés and excellent seafood restaurants, looking on the bay and the typhoon-shelter, where some of Hong Kong's last remaining Tanka Junks can still be seen (They no longer serve as fishermen's homes but can be rented for a short harbour-cruise or for cuttlefish fishing).
Other than the seaside restaurants, there are some great places inside town, such as Jaspa's , on Sha Tsui Path (an open piazza on the left side of Man nin Street, when coming from the sea) or Sauce, right next to it, where generous portions of western food are served together with a variety of wines and beers. Anthony's Catch, one of the best places in Hong Kong for Italian style seafood, can be found on Po Tung Road (From the bus & taxi park, near the promenade, walk up Fuk Man Road till you get to a T at the end of the street. Cross Po Tung Road to the other side, turn left and after a few steps you will notice the restaurant's red awnings, and the line of potted plants that borders its alfresco dining area).
Not many tourists take the bother to visit Sharp Island and the Hong Kong Geopark, but those who do don't usually regret it.
From Sai Kung Town, you can continue your trip to one of the lovely spots around Port Shelter Bay or Sai Kung Country Park:
Take a Kaito boat from Sai Kung's pier and sail to Sharp Island (Kiu Tsui): A nature reserve island with two beautiful beaches, namely Kiu Tsui Beach (more "organized" and popular) and Hap Mun Wan (slightly more pristine)...
Take green-roofed minibus No. 7 or 9, or KMB bus No. 94 from Sai Kung to Pak Tam Chung, at the entrance to Sai Kung Country Park, where you can enjoy the lovely nature trails, or a visit to Sheung Yiu Folk Museum (an abandoned village that became an open museum). On Sundays and public holidays, you can also take KMB 96R or Citybus 698R.
From here you can proceed to Wong Shek, on the northern side of Sai Kung Country Park: A fjord looking bay with a well equipped water sport centre, where you can hire equipment, or take a walk, or just laze out and enjoy the stunning nature sceneries... Wong Shek Water Sports Centre is open daily (except Tuesdas) and you can get in touch with them on 2328 2311. you can travel to Wong Shek with KMB bus No. 94 (On Sundays and public holidays, you can also take KMB 96R or Citybus 698R)
Green-roofed minibus No. 7 travels all the way to Hoi Ha Village and the world-famous Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, one of the best places in Hong Kong for diving... Other than underwater sceneries, the beautiful bay boasts some lovely nature walk and nice peaceful atmosphere.
5) Option E: A day of architecture, shopping and heritage sites in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Shau kei Wan
Start the day at the Golden Bauhinia Square, on Wanchai's waterfront, right behind Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, where a flag rising ceremony is held every day at 8am, commemorating the handover ceremony of 1st July 1997, when 150 years of British rule over Hong Kong came to an end.
Johnston Road is next, with its wide choice of export surplus shops.
On the other side of Johnston Road, you should visit Spring Garden Lane and Tai Yuen Street: Two historic lanes with plenty of street stalls and small shops that sell a variety of different goods at good prices.
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Take the MTR or Tramway to Causeway Bay, where you can visit some of Hong Kong's glitziest and trendiest malls (Such as Times Square and The Lee Gardens), as well street-markets, like Jardine's Bazaar and Jardine's Crescent, where nice fashion accessories are sold at good prices (Read more about Shopping in Causeway Bay)
Leafy Victoria Park, on the corner of Causeway Road and Gloucester is a good place to relax and catch your breath, before the shopping madness continues...
From here, you can cross the pedestrian bridge across Victoria Park Road, turn left and walk along Causeway Bay's waterfront until you see the famous Noonday Gun on you right (Opposite the Excelsior). This historical naval-gun has been firing once a day, exactly at 12 midday, since the 1860s, so if you want to watch the small ceremony, make sure to be there on time.
From Causeway Bay you can either take the tramway to Happy Valley Racecourse, one of the world's finest hippodromes, and visit the Hong Kong Racing Museum, or you can ride the tramway all the way to its terminus in Shau kei Wan and visit the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, as well as the market and the small Chinese temples (You can also take the MTR to Shau kei Wan - The station is just a couple of minutes away from the Tramway Terminus).