Hong Kong! Exciting, brash, frenetic, crowded… the list of adjectives we could use to describe this unique city is virtually endless. There’s so much to do there – how on earth do you choose what to see first?
Well, that’s where we can help a little, with what is (in our humble opinion) the definitive list for the 9 top things to do in Hong Kong.
From the mainstream to the little bit weird, there’s something here to suit pretty much every taste.
1. Take a Tram Tour
These double deckers have been traversing the streets for well over a century, and will take you through various areas, such as Happy Valley and Causeway Bay.
The best thing is that no matter how long your journey, you’ll pay a flat fee of $HK2.30 (and you can pay by Octopus Card too.)
2. Watch the Symphony of Lights
Every night at 20:00, the famous Symphony of Lights show sparkles across the Hong Kong skyline.
3. Visit Lantau Island
One of the largest of Hong Kong’s offshore islands, Lantau, is easily reached using the MTR. But, don’t expect to arrive by train – the word ‘island’ gives a clue that you’ll need to cross a body of water.
But reaching Lantau isn’t actually done by boat. Instead, you’ll take the 3.5-mile cable car (known as the Ngong Ping 360) from Tung Chung MTR station – which whisks you across the ocean below to arrive safely on the island shores. If you’ve got the time (and the stomach), take the Crystal Cabin, which is made entirely of glass – including the floor!
Once there, enjoy the Big Buddha (up 268 steps), take the bus to Tai O -a wonderful old fishing village, enjoy the markets or simply laze on the beach.
4. Hike the Dragon’s Back Trail
The great thing about Hong Kong is that it takes no time at all to leave the frenzy of the city and get out into the wilderness.
If you enjoy walking, then the Dragon’s Back is a great day out. It’s a ridge that lies in the Shek O Country Park and is widely renowned as one of the best urban hiking trails in all of Asia, if not the world.
Just over 5 miles long, the views over the city below are amazing. End your walk on Big Wave Bay and dive into the ocean to cool off – then head to one of the many surrounding restaurants for a wonderful seafood meal – you’ve earned it, after all!
You can take an organised tour, but for the best day out, it’s best to take your time and do the hike independently. You’re going to want to stop plenty of times for photos – just be sure to bring an empty memory card!
5. Go Shopping
Be sure to visit the shopping area of Causeway Bay. The small (well, small by Hong Kong standards) Beverly Center Mall is great for Japanese and Korean fashion, as well as cosmetics and toys. Compared to typical Hong Kong prices, the mall is relatively inexpensive for most things.
There are loads of other interesting shops and boutiques too – be sure to allow enough time to explore.
Of course, you have to visit a Hong Kong market or two to experience the other side of the city’s shopping experience. Temple Street and Ladies Market are two of the best-known markets. Lascar Row and Ap Liu Street are also worth a visit.
6. Visit a Theme Park
They may not be your “thing,” but both Ocean Park and Disneyland Hong Kong are great ways to spend a day. Disney, of course, needs no introduction, but Ocean Park is a combination of theme park and ocean animals.
It’s a delight for both kids and adults, and well worth a day of your time. Be sure to check out their website prior to visiting to see if there are any deals on tickets.
For both parks, purchasing tickets online will mean you can skip some of the queue lines upon your arrival.
7. Have a Day Out at the Races
Happy Valley Racecourse holds regular race meetings featuring some of Asia’s top jockeys. Whether you’re a horse racing fan or not, a day (or evening) at the races really is a fabulous way to spend a few hours.
Combine it with some smart clothes and a glass of the fizzy stuff (water, that is!), and it really can be a day to remember.
8. Visit The Top of the World…
…Or so it may seem from the Sky100, 360-degree observation deck at the International Commerce Center. Located on the 100th floor, the high-speed lift whisks you there in only 60 seconds.
Open every day from 10:00 – 21:00 (22:00 on the weekends), we recommend going up just before dusk.
You’ll get to see the city below in daylight, and then get to marvel as it turns into a fairyland of lights below you. Don’t forget your camera!
9. Visit The Peak
You can’t visit without taking a trip up to Victoria Peak (usually referred to as simply, The Peak). The best way up is to take the tram from the Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminus.
The trip up this steep hill (to around 1,300 feet) is an experience in itself. At the top you can enjoy the incredible views across Hong Kong Bay, go shopping and enjoy a delicious meal.
Once again, there will be plenty of photo opportunities, so your camera is essential.