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Hong Kong, the vibrant urban financial hub has more to it than the skyscraper-studded skyline, it is usually known for. Architectural landmarks, shopping plazas, temple sites, an array of food and a great nightlife are just some of the Hong Kong travel experiences that make travelers return each time for. This dynamic city has something for everyone, from Disneyland and tramways, street markets and fancy shopping arcades, to quiet lush parks. The former British colony is an eclectic mix of influences from China, Britain and it’s current cosmopolitan vibe. Here’s why you need to go to Hong Kong and all that you absolutely must do there.
The Peak……..where the excitement hits a whole new level!
The Peak also known as Victoria Peak is perhaps the most popular, must-visit attraction in Hong Kong with a cluster of scenic spots. Getting there by the Peak Tram – one of the world’s oldest funicular railway that rises to 1300 feet above sea level – is where the excitement begins. The Peak Tower makes for a striking travel photograph with its iconic wok-like top. It is also a great spot for shopping and dining. Next, the Sky Terrace that stands 1404 feet above sea level offers 360-degree panoramic views of the city. Do take a peek into the Sky Gallery that displays works of art by the city’s artists. This for sure is at the top of things to see in Hong Kong.
Man Mo Temple…… a must for students! (and others….)
The air filled with the heady scent of incense has a somewhat magnetic effect on visitors, as it pulls them towards this temple - one of the oldest in Honk Kong. Built in 1847, this temple dedicated to the gods of literature and war, is most often crowded with student devotees eager for blessings. Among the gods, one can see the god of literature, in a green robe holding a writing brush. The Chinese god of war, police force and Chinese triads flank the main altar. Inside, the air is filled with bluish smog from the incense creating somewhat of a pious and psychedelic atmosphere. And colors, as you can see are quite a riot here!
Po Lin Monastery……. Peaceful and calming
Meaning Precious Lotus, the Po Lin Monastery was built in 1906. Folklore says that three men discovered a flat stretch of land in the middle of mountains and decided to convert it into a place for meditative and religious practice. A massive Buddha statue was completed in 1993 and that’s when it started getting noticed. The Buddha statue is one of the most known attractions. Do try the vegetarian delicacies in the restaurant run by the monks here, visitors swear by them!
Victoria Harbour……a ride back in time
One of the most “Hong-Kong-experiences” is taking a ferry across Victoria Harbor. The iconic green and cream colored double-Decker ferries date back to 1888. These were the only means of transportation between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island before the underground train link and the cross-harbor road tunnel was built. For a grander experience, one has the option of an evening dinner cruise.
Sai Kung beach…..sun, sand and whole load of fun!
When the hustle, bustle and crowds get to you, head to Sai Kung for a more peaceful experience that Hong Kong has to offer. It is a quiet, serene beach located on the Sai Kung Peninsula, a former fishing village. The area is also known for its seafood restaurants that are located along the beach. By the time night arrives, the beachfront is lit up with lanterns of small chartered boats fishing for squid, and tourists can participate in the fishing activity too. This is a must-go place for beach bummers and especially if you’re alone and looking for an escape.
A heritage walk like none other
Get a straw hat, a bottle of water, sunglasses and you’re ready! Once a British colony in the 19th century, the colonial architectural sites in Hong Kong are best experienced on foot that you can do alone too.
• The Cenotaph, located between Statue Square and the City Hall is a monument that commemorates the dead in the First and Second World War.
• St. John’s Cathedral, the second oldest building in Hong Kong is built in a plain, unadorned style adapting the 13th century English architecture and decorated in Gothic style. The cathedral was converted into a club for the Japanese during the Japanese occupation from 1941-1945.
The Flagstaff House is one of the oldest British-style architectural buildings, which is located inside the Hong Kong Park. A longtime residence of the Commander of the British forces, it is now converted into The Museum of Tea Ware.
Former French Mission Building was built in 1917. Currently housing the Court of Final Appeal, the granite and red bricks in Neo-Classical style architecture represents the Edwardian period.
Yuen Po Street Bird Garden
Yuen Po Street is one of its kind street garden where revelers not only get to see exotic birds but also buy them. This Bird Garden came up in 1997 and was meant to relocate the bird sellers from Mongkok. The garden is filled with birdsongs and visitors can feed birds by buying supplies from the market itself. The garden also includes a flower market and is a hell of a chirpy place.....for the obvious reasons!
Where to shop and eat
Tsim Sha Tsui promenade
Shopping, eating and cultural attractions – Tsim Sha Tsui promenade has it all packed in one place. Grab a drink or a bite at one of the many bars and restaurants at the waterfront during the daytime. The area has a number of shopping malls like Miramar Shopping Centre, K11 and New World Centre among others. A walk along the promenade offers a tough choice between the Hong Kong museums of Space, Art, Cultural Centre and Avenue of Stars! During the day this place is filled with young couples, joggers and tourists whereas you can catch the light and laser show across Victoria Harbour at night. Just make sure to come early and grab a front row seat for the best view.
Ladies Market….. shop till you drop
The Ladies Market at Tung Chi Street is a shopper’s paradise. It was named so because of the amount of ladies clothing and accessories that were being sold here, but the market has things to be bought for men and children as well. About 1 km (0.6 miles) long stretch of tiny shops stuffed with bags, clothes, shoes, and watches, you can even find household items, that include goldfish for your aquariums! If you would like a shopping tip: Do haggle and bargain for best prices.
Jumbo Floating Restaurant
Sip unlimited drinks and choose from an elaborate Chinese and modern fusion menu, as you look at the glittering night-lights and skyline at night. This floating restaurant with a Chinese palace-like architecture was built in 1976. The exteriors of the bog boat are quite splendid and in the night when this colossal restaurant is lit up, the view is stunning!
Tin Lung Heen
Want to try some Cantonese food? Tin Lung Heen is the place to go. The fine dine restaurant is at the Ritz Carlton on the 102nd floor, with a view that will blow your mind and the impeccable service Ritz Carlton is famous for!
This restaurant located at the lovely Victoria Peak is known for the signature shrimp dumplings, steam rice among the other delicacies on the two different menus. It is also known for its signature desserts and thus the name.
Another food-with-a-view restaurant to eat at in Hong Kong, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co is based on a motion picture, Forrest Gump, and is a chain spread all over the world. Signature dishes include all Shrimp dishes and yes they are quite marvelous!
Hong Kong boasts of one of the most efficient and well-planned public transportation network, with Subway, buses, ferries and trams, there are multiple options to reach different spots in the city.
How to reach:
By Air: Hong Kong airport is one of the major airports, which is well-connected by a number of international and domestic flights.
By sea: Hong Kong can be reached by sea from Macau.
By road: Hong Kong can be reached by road from neighbouring places in cars and buses.
By train: Reaching Hong Kong by trains from Beijing, Guangzhou or Shanghai is easy with a number of trains.
Where to Stay
Here are our top picks of hotels that cover budget to luxury !
Hong Kong has lots of options to suit every budget. To look at all the options, simply type Hong Kong in the nice little search box on the right.For a more comprehensive choice, you can head straight to our Hotel Search page
This was the fascinating Hong Kong for you and things to do in this vivacious city. And yes we know that we have not been able to cover quite a bit but Hong Kong is a destination we would like to revisit again and again! So keep us company as we travel the world and let us know what you would like to read and know about Hong Kong or just about any other place in the whole wide world!