Hong Kong is a city that has everything, so what you should do when you visit Hong Kong ? Here I have listed Top 10 things you should do and try in Hong Kong.
Impressive and modern skyscrapers adorn the skyline with neon lighted signage screaming to be read among the bustle of hole-in-the-wall shops down below. If the city overwhelms your senses too much, take a trip to the sub tropical beaches that surround the island of Hong Kong, or take a tea break in the old cultural tea houses and rub shoulders with the locals.
Perhaps you’d like to take a hike with beautiful mountain scenery surrounding you, or take a helicopter ride to Macau. From sea kayaking to karaoke, there’s plenty to choose from on land, sea or air. Whether you’re staying for 48 hours or 7 days, Hong Kong never sleeps so let these Top 10s showcase Hong Kong’s best offers.
If there’s one image that encapsulates Hong Kong’s beauty, it has to be the view from Victoria Peak. Looking down on Hong Kong, the panoramic view is simply breathtaking. Manhattan has nothing on Hong Kong. Visit on a bright beautiful day and you’ll be able to sense the energy and restlessness that makes Hong Kong unique. Visit late afternoon (4pm) and hang around until (6-7pm) to see the incredible night view and you’ll appreciate just how stunning this metropolitan city really is.
The Big Buddha
Visit the Big Buddha via the Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride for a stunning view of Lantau Island. Be sure to enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal already included in the admission ticket for the Po Lin Monastery, which is inside the Big Buddha statue. Whilst you are visiting Lantau Island, also make some time to visit the old fishing village of Tai O, which is a short bus ride away.
Nostalgic Dim Sum
Fancy trying dim sum? Hong Kong is the home of dim sum but how about dim sum from the 1960’s? There no other place better than Lin Heung in Central. I found my childhood taste in dim sum here! It can be overwhelming for non locals but the rules are, share a table as it’s unlikely you will get your own, and wait for the trolley to come round – there won’t be a menu to order from. At busy times, you’ll need to fight the crowd that run up to the trolleys as soon as they are wheeled out of the kitchen.
Hong Kong Harbour
No one should leave Hong Kong until they have seen Hong Kong harbour at night. Start at the Clock Tower/Star Ferry Harbour around 7.45pm and walk along the promenade towards the Avenue of Stars. Feast your eyes on The Symphony of Lights at 8pm, a spectacular daily show of laser lights and music on the harbour that mustn’t be missed. Or you could catch a Star ferry that departs just before 8pm to catch the show whilst on the water.
Currently standing at 111 years old, the trams have been around since 1904. It is fondly referred to as a ‘ding ding’ by the locals for the sound of their bells, and taking a ride on the old fashion trams is to take a step into the past. Costing only HK$2.3 no matter how far you travel, it’s a fun way to see the cities along the tramline on the Hong Kong Island. A controversial proposal to get rid of the trams was met by uproar from the locals, and whilst there are no government plans to action this, don’t miss out on a tram ride whilst it still exists, you just never know.
Ladies Market and Mong Kok
Take a trip to the bustling Mong Kok and head to the famous Ladies Market. Make sure you haggle hard for anything you want to take home and try out the street food vendors in Mong Kok. The best street food vendors are located by Dundas Road or in Fa Tuen Street Market, another worthy local market to visit. Mong Kok comes alive in the evenings and doesn’t slow down until the early hours of the morning, every single day. At the weekends, live performances run down Sai Yeung Choi Road (South) which will be temporarily closed to all traffic.
Tai O Fishing Village
Tai O is an old fishing village settled by the Tanka fishing folk and they have made it their home, building houses on stilts. Wind through the charming village which is full of dried seafood products and plenty of local culture. Try a supersized fish ball street food snack too, it’s a local specialty and look out for the home-salted egg yolks. The waters of Tai O are home to the rare pink dolphins, if you’re lucky enough, you might spot one on a 20 minute boat ride around the island. Tai O Heritage Hotel mustn’t be missed either, a conversion and preservation project from the impressive Western colonial building that was once Tai O’s police station.
Central and Mid Levels
Central is the perfect marriage of old and new. Walk around here and you’ll notice the brand spanking new buildings and roads lined with designer shops, but hit the mid levels and nostalgia greets you like an old friend. The mid levels escalators are the longest outdoor escalators in the world and makes getting up the steep levels a little easier. Many old Western colonial buildings still exist so East-meets-West is another characteristic on this part of Hong Kong Island. Those searching for good nightlife shouldn’t miss the famous Lan Kwai Fong (LKF) a.k.a Soho, where bars and clubs line every inch of the road.
Hit the beach
Finding it a little unbelievable that an urban city like Hong Kong has worthy beaches to visit? Don’t be. Hong Kong is home to beautiful beaches with white sand accompanying it. Hap Mun Wan (half moon bay) is accessible via sampan from Sai Kung but you will need to plan a day out for this beach. The photo above was taken in mid October on one of my many trips back to my second home. Alternatively, Repulse Bay beach can be reached from Central and is also very close to Stanley, another picturesque beach town in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Style Cafe’s
Hong Kong style cafe’s are a huge part of local culture where the entire day’s meal can be found under one roof be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snack or afternoon tea. There are certain iconic dishes that represent these cafes, add these to your list to try: HK style milk tea, pineapple bun with or without a slab of butter, hot out of the oven egg tart, Russian soup, pork chop oven baked rice covered in a tomato sauce and cheese, beef ho fun, french toast, egg on white (sandwich) and a yin-yang, a mix of tea and coffee for when you can’t decide on which to have!