Hong Kong is a transient city I’ve moved to 3 times in the last decade. Call me an expat turned local. But if I were visiting for 24 hours for the first time, here’s what I’d do:
1)Victoria Peak-For the active ones, there are both steep/short and long/winding hikes to the top. The shorter hike starts at the end of Old Peak Road (take a cab to the end of old peak road and you won’t miss it) and is a steep but tree lined shady hike to the top. For the average fit person it should take about 20 minutes, but be forewarned, the hill will certainly get your blood pumping. Otherwise get to the peak tram in Central and take a leisurely uphill tram to see the view. It’s not necessary to goto the skydeck, the free views are the same.
2)Dimsum-There’s nothing dim about dimsum- the wheeled carts of food feature brightly decorated delicacies made for sharing. It’s Chinese tapas. I typically take visitors to the Maxim’s on the top floor of city hall (with a view to boot)-don’t forget the baked savory pineapple pork buns and indulge on that fresh mango dessert at the end.
3) Ding ding-The easiest and cheapest transport in HK is the 2 dollar tram. Well it might be 2.50 HKD by now, but not much more. Go on the top deck for open air views and you can ride from the west side of HK island to the east. (or vice versa) The tram line traverses major roads and is one of the best ways to experience the island. Apparently also easy to catch Pokemon.
4)Star Ferry-A ferry between HK Island and the Kowloon peninsula (which is the closest to China). Also a cheap transport, hop on at Central (HK) or TST (Kowloon) pier for a short ride and plenty of photo ops.
5) Temple street night market-Beginning early evening (by 5pm) vendors turn a couple of streets in Mongkok into open air markets. (Get out at Mongkok mtr and look for signs) These are extremely diversified markets selling clothes, wallets, purses, (“LV”, “Gucci”, “Prada”, etc) knick knacks, toys, and all sorts of bits and bobs. Even if you’re not a shopper it’s an experience you want before shopping goes the way of the world wide web and drones. Do bargain.
Bonus round: Goto Lan kwai fong for a nightlife district on steriods.