Things to do in Hong Kong
In a 24/7 destination like Hong Kong, there’s no shortage of attractions and diversions happening during the day and into the wee hours. Our recommendation? Start with the local institutions. The iconic Star Ferry is one of the cheapest ways to get around Hong Kong. The crossing to Kowloon from Hong Kong Island takes only 7 minutes, so have your camera ready for the nightly light show. For heritage kicks, a ride on a ‘Ding-Ding’ double-decker tram is a must, as is afternoon tea at the regal Peninsula Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui.
If you’re spending longer in Hong Kong, watch a horse race or enjoy a drink in the world-famous Happy Valley, or spend a day at one of the 3 theme parks: Hong Kong Disneyland Resort for Mickey et al, see the giant pandas and ride the cable car at Ocean Park or take in the Buddhism-themed Ngong Ping 360.
Hong Kong is also a shopping mecca , especially during the Summer and Winter Sales, where boutiques, malls, markets and stores are generally open from 10am to midnight. From designer goods to mass-market products, everything is available at competitive prices. Don’t miss must-do experiences like the knock-offs and themed underwear (!) at Ladies Market at Mong Kok, the ghetto vibe of Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui and antique shopping on Hollywood Road.
Had enough of the ‘Big Smog’? Head to the beach. Tai Long Wan is an hour’s hike but worth it for the white sand and views, while Shek O is the best place for people watching and alfresco bars. Hong Kong also has a heap of hiking trails ranging from easy walks to demanding treks. Head up the Lantau Trail for a panoramic view, or take it easy with a beach stroll along Sai Kung. Want more? Here’s the top visitor sites in Hong Kong.
Locals are justifiably proud of the magnificent views from The Peak over Victoria Harbour and the glittering skyscraper cityscape. The iconic Peak Tram funicular railway is a fun, if sometimes vertical, ride to the summit for unobstructed views day and night.
A green oasis in the urban jungle, Hong Kong Park is where you’ll be pleasantly surprised and soothed by water features, bountiful bird life, carefully cultivated plants and a selection of cultural venues right in the heart of downtown Honkers.
A sensual onslaught of sight, sound and smell, Temple Street Night Market is the traditional Chinese street bazaar brought to glorious technicolour life. Think hawker food, jumbled stalls, Cantonese opera singers and fortune tellers and immerse yourself in the experience.
The world’s largest outdoor bronze Buddha sits serenely atop a lotus throne on a mountain on Lantau Island, a shining beacon for tourists and pilgrims to bask in the glow of its serenity. Take a day trip to the island to check out Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery and the natural surrounds.
Hugging the Kowloon peninsula, the long Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront promenade changes from locals practising their tai chi moves in the morning to the spectacular nightly light show that dances among the buildings on either side of Victoria Harbour.
For the kid inside of you who just won't grow up, a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland is a magical must. The resort and its park have been designed in accordance with the principles of feng shui so you can be sure to receive positive chi energy while you are visiting. And some mouse ears.