Hong Kong may be relatively small in comparison with the likes of New York, Tokyo and London but don’t let that put you off, there are still plenty of things to do that you won’t want to miss. In this post we’ll share with you our top 5 things to do in Hong Kong to ensure you have an amazing trip!
1) Get up to the Peak
Hong Kong arguably has the best skyline in the world (it’s my favourite anyway!). No visit is complete without getting to the ‘The Peak’ which is Hong Kong’s most popular way to view the city from above. Unlike most cities popular viewing points, this one isn’t just located up the highest building around, it’s actually up Victoria Peak mountain that overlooks the whole of Hong Kong, Kowloon and the harbour. This mountain is accessed via an old tram line, which is a charming experience in itself to ride. It was originally built in 1888 by a Scottish entrepreneur to get guests up to his hotel. Once you reach the top, via the steepest tram ride of tour life, get ready for a view you’ll never forget!
If you can, I’d recommend trying to get to the peak to experience the sunset followed by the magical night view. Hong Kong is known for its hazy sky which can ruin the view somewhat so try to go on a clear day if possible.
2) Experience a market
Hong Kong has a reputation for being expensive, and I would agree with this when it comes to the elegant hotels and the luxurious shops that line most streets. However, bargains are to be had at the numerous markets in the city. These street markets operate most days and there are even a few night markets. They are rammed with market stalls selling anything from clothes, bags and accessories to electronics and toys. Prices are unbelievable to us Westerners, you can pick up 5 items of clothing for £10 for example and if you show any interest in anything, it won’t be long until the seller starts bargaining with you. They often halve they’re already ridiculously cheap prices just to stop you leaving empty handed.
If you’re expecting the mountains of Michael Kors bags, Ray-Ban sunglasses and Rolex watches to be authentic, you’ll be disappointed. But for just a few quid, I have to say they were some of the highest quality copies i’d seen.
There are tens of these markets throughout Hong Kong but to give you a pick of the bunch we would recommend Ladies Market, Temple Street Market (this one runs at night) and Stanley Street Market. If you get time, it’s worth visiting a few as they all sell different things.
Have fun haggling!
3) Enjoy the freebies around harbour city
This is where you get the beautiful skyline view of hong kong city, check out the viewing platform where you can sit and watch the boats pass by and the lights glisten in the water. If you’re there around 8pm you can catch the nightly laser light show which is performed to music, best of all it’s free! Another freebie is the walk of stars along the promenade. Similar to hollywood you’ll find famous movie stars handprints along this walkway and at the end you’ll be faced with a life size statue of Hong Kong’s martial arts hero Jackie Chan.
Be sure to also look out for any exhibitions around harbour city, whilst we were there there were two Chinese lantern shows on. These were really impressive and made for a fantastic photo.
4) Visit Lantau island
If you fancy escaping the hectic streets of Hong Kong, I’d recommend taking a day out and visiting Lantau Island. You can reach it within 30 minutes by subway or via a ferry and it’s a lovely green mountainous and tranquil contrast to Hong Kong.
The island is home to the famous Tian Tan buddha, the largest sitting bronze buddha in the world. Try to take the cable cart up to the buddha if weather permits, this is an experience in itself. Pictures of Tian Tan don’t do it justice, you really need to see it with your own eyes to appreciate it’s sheer size and presence. Also in the area is the 10,000 buddha Po Lin Monastery where you’ll find literally 1o,000 buddha’s in one temple. The brightly coloured ceiling and golden buddha’s make this place quite magical.
You could quite easily spend all day on this island, there’s many other sites other than those in Ngong Ping and local buses take you between each area for a few pounds.
5) Shop till you drop
On my visit to Hong Kong I just couldn’t believe how many shops there was! Literally every 20 meters or so you pass another shopping mall and some of these malls are over 15 floors high. Its crazy! The shopfronts of the designer shops are some of the most impressive I’ve ever seen and if you’re after luxury, Hong Kong has every designer brand you could ever think of.
At the other end of the spectrum there are lots of street markets where you can pick up a bargain, or for a happy medium there are numerous high street shops such as H&M and Gap and there’s even a Marks and Spencers.
Another top tip is to visit The Peak early on in your Hong Kong visit. Whilst up there you can listen to the audio tour where each landmark below you is explained. This will leave you with plenty more things you’ll be itching to do!