On my flight returning to Aus from China, I have half a day in Hong Kong. What things must I absolutely see? Also where is the best shopping? (Is everything open really late?)
The Peak (take the Peak Tram), including the Madam Toussad's museum there. Also, take the Star Ferry from the Central District to Kowloon, and check out the promenade there. Lots of shopping in that area. I also suggest Hong Kong park, including its impressive aviary, in which you can walk on bridges at treetop level for a better view of the birds!
My favorite mall is Pacific Place, a mall contiguous to the park. You can also find great shopping just by walking around Causeway Bay. about 10 years ago
Star Ferry is a good way to see both sides of Hong Kong. The Peak is great, but very touristy.
I like the Heritage Museum and wandering around Stanley.
I loved getting the ferry to Lama Island - takes about 30 minutes. Its a whole world away from HK and the hustle and bustle, and has great seafood.
For shopping, Causeway Bay is great.
My suggestion to get round HK would be the underground - grab an Octopus card which allows X number of journeys/days for one price, and off you go. Its quick, efficient and super easy to navigate. about 10 years ago
For cheap shopping (and lots of it) head to Mongkok (accessible from the train) - it is a mix of street markets and lots of stores. Great for shoes, bags, electronics, etc.
I love Stanley but if you really only have a half a day you may struggle to get out there and back while fitting in anything else major.
The Peak is a fanastic place to get a good view of the city and beyond.
If you are on a budget, here is a selection of some free things to do in the city
http://travelinsider.qantas.com.au/ask_the_crew_hong_kong_on_the_house.htm about 10 years ago