Dramatic and dynamic, Hong Kong plays to the rhythm of its own drum. This uber-lively city is one of the most vibrant metropolises in the world, so when you visit, you don’t want to miss a single thing. Here are our seven quintessential experiences that you simply can’t afford to miss when you’re in Hong Kong…
1.Reach New Peaks
Whatever you do in Hong Kong, make sure you visit The Peak. The city’s fanciest neighborhood is also the highest point on Hong Kong Island, so the views of Victoria Harbor and the city’s dazzling skyscrapers are just incredible. Ride the famous Peak Tram and check out the views from Lugard Road Lookout or Lions Point View Pavilion. Stunning!
2.Haggle to Your Heart’s Content
Looking for a real taste of local culture? That’s easy: just make your way to the Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street in Kowloon. This one-kilometer stretch of bargain hunter heaven features more than 100 stalls of bargains—so start haggling! And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a ‘lady’ to enjoy this market; there are also plenty of souvenirs, home furnishings, bags, watches and trinkets up for grabs.
3.Parade Along the Promenade
One of the things that hits you slap between the eyes when you visit Hong Kong is the incredible way that the city blends the old with the new. Just take a walk along Kowloon’s Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and you’ll understand. Start at the colonial-era Clock Tower and stroll past the Hong Kong Cultural Center and the Space Museum to Hung Hom—all the while taking in some incredible views of the city’s skyline and bustling waters of Victoria Harbour.
4.Sail Like a Star
In Hong Kong, Star Ferry boats are superstars in their own right. These humble little ferries have been carrying people between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon since 1888, so it’s no wonder that the locals are especially affectionate when it comes to the Star Ferry. National Geographic even rated the Star Ferry crossing as one of 50 ‘places of a lifetime’.
Hidden away on the lush mountainside on Lantau Island, which is less than an hour from the city, the Big Buddha—formally known as the Tian Tan Buddha—sits at a whopping 34-meters-high with his right hand raised to deliver a blessing to everyone who visits him. Climb the 268 steps to take a closer look at this mighty bronze Buddha and then make your way to the Po Lin Monastery, which faces the Big Buddha. The gardens there are exquisite and filled with birdsong all day long.
6.Experience the Bazaar
Night markets may be becoming a trendy hipster hang-out in the US and Canada, but Hong Kong is an expert when it comes to bazaars after dark. When the sun sets Temple Street in Kowloon bursts into life with singers, fortune tellers, street food cooks and traders. Dating back to the 1920s, this is the city’s last surviving night market, so go along and support the traders who work at this precious little piece of Hong Kong’s living history.
7.Immerse Yourself in Merry Chaos
When Hong Kong’s workers spill out of their offices at the end of a busy working day in search of a cocktail or two, Lan Kwai Fong in Central is the place to be. This legendary nightlife district is home to more than 90 restaurants and bars, ranging from the stylish to the rambunctious. Grab a street-side table and watch the merry chaos unfold before you—and keep your eyes peeled for stars of Hong Kong’s cinema scene.
THE INDUS TRAVEL HONG KONG EXPERIENCE
Are you ready to sample the delights of Hong Kong? Then check out our Best of Hong Kong & Vietnam. This incredible 11-day journey allows you to discover the very vest of Hong Kong and Vietnam in one exciting, convenient and affordable itinerary. It kicks off with four days in Hong Kong, where you can fully immerse yourself in the city’s round-the-clock energy. You’ll then make your way to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi before going to Halong Bay, where you’ll board a traditional sailing junk boat to experience the bay’s iconic rock formations. And then you’ll be off to wander the cobbled streets of the beautiful, ancient town to Hoi Ann, before you hop on a plane to Saigon where a knowledgeable guide will reveal the pleasures of the city and its nearby villages.
To find out more about our Hong Kong & Vietnam, please feel free to contact us at any time with your questions.
About the Writer: Vickie Sam Paget
Vickie is a freelance writer and editor based in Vancouver, BC. When she’s not creating dynamic travel or tech content, globetrotting or gazing at the North Shore Mountains, you can usually find her curled up with a good book or sipping a pint of the good stuff in her local Irish bar.