The lively and stunningly beautiful city of Hong Kong is one of the top vacation spots, where excitement never ends and there’s a lot to explore. It literally sits like a vertical playground along the South China Sea. The glass and steel skyscrapers form a remarkable skyline. Some of these buildings like the Sir Norman Foster, I.M. Pei and Cesar Pelli are embellished with striking neon lights to hold their own beauty amidst a backdrop of foggy mountain peaks. Fill yourself up with energy and vigor to explore this wonderland of spectacular architectures, delicious and exotic food, and a number of outdoor activities to enjoy.
We have a list of activities that you absolutely can’t miss during your trip!
Big Buddha (also known as Tian Tan Buddha) happens to be one of the most iconic structures in Hong Kong. The bronze statue is huge, and located at Ngong Ping in Lantau Island of Hong Kong. Although you can explore this beauty via Ngong Ping 360 Sky rail cable car, we’d suggest you climb the stairs to get the full experience of the Buddhist sanctum. Wear your best shows and don’t forget to stretch first, 268 calf-aching steps await you!
Star ferry is a historic public transportation service for the locals. It offers amazing views of the beautiful Hong Kong skyline along the Victoria Harbor. You will witness the ever famous shots of Hong Kong that are shown in most Hollywood movies featuring the city. As a bonus, it’s also quite cheap! The views from the upper deck of the ferry are spectacular, but if you want to be closer to water, you can enjoy the ride from the lower deck.
Who needs fancy malls when you can get a more personalized and fun experience in the nightly street bazaars? The Temple Street Night Market has some great stalls loaded with cheap and great stuff to load up on as gifts and souvenirs. Hundreds of stalls cover the streets after the sun goes down, and your shopping experience will be further enhanced with tasteful street side karaoke. You can also visit the fortune teller to find out when that streak of good luck will be hitting you.
This is another great way to explore the city and get a bird’s eye view of the mind blowing metropolis. It takes you up to the peak, which is the highest point of Hong Kong’s island. It stands erect 1300 feet above the sea level, and runs continuously from 7am till midnight. You’ll get plenty of time to appreciate the picturesque beauty of the town and enjoy the ride from the steep incline of the city’s beautiful mountains.
If you are an outdoorsy person who likes to get their adrenaline pumping, this is a great activity to try in Hong Kong. Victoria Peak hold an iconic beauty with wonderful views of the outlying islands and Kowloon. Hike your way up to the mountaintop instead of taking the peak tram – which can often be quite crowded and damper the experience! We highly recommend the Morning Trail which offers a short yet beautiful course along the mountain peak.
Although Hong Kong is swarmed with architectural beauty and exciting modern and chic life, about 40% of the city still remains undeveloped. This gives the travelers an opportunity to connect with nature and plan a lot of outdoor adventures. Exploring the rustic outlying island, hiking the lush green mountains or lying on the beach is all possible during your trip! Sai Kung is a beautiful peninsula, also known as the city’s ‘green lung’ for its unspoiled natural beauty. It offers miles upon miles of trails to hike, and a chance to explore a quaint and tranquil fishing village or the marvelous lava formations. You can also enjoy a lazy day by the pristine beaches!
One of the most noteworthy parks in Hong Kong is the Hollywood Park. It has a rustic turtle pond and a number of wonderful pavilions to explore. The manmade ponds, waterfalls and aviary are well worth your time, and an excellent spot to take a break from the buzzing city life and enjoy a nice picnic with your family. The nature trails are great for hiking or biking and enjoying lovely views. The Diamond Hill’s Chi Lin Nunnery across the water is very peaceful, with soaring bonsai streets, an array of wooden temple halls along with a lot of serene beauty to explore.
The delicious cuisine and exotic local foods of Hong Kong will entice your taste buds in all the right ways. The city is famous for its food and we recommend a separate day just for food tour! some of the dishes that you should definitely try during your trip include Dim Sum, which are bite sized treats served commonly at teahouses, Har Gow (steamed shrimp dumplings), Phoenix Talons (chicken’s feet), roast goose, fish balls, pineapple bread, and refreshing mugs of the famous Hong Kong-style Milk Tea.
If you want to enjoy the traditional style restaurants with local delights, try Lin Heung Teahouse, Duen Kee Restaurant, Sam Hui Yat, Yat Lok, Yau Wun Roast Meat and Four Seasons Clay Pot Rice. Don’t forget to try the delicious and cheap street food like Stinky tofu, Eggettes, fried big intestines and a variety of satays.
The robust and peppy energy of Hong Kong makes for an exciting nightlife with a lot of clubs, pubs and exotic rooftop bars! The skyscrapers are illuminated so that you can see the city in a completely different psychedelic form. The clubs are stocked with delicious drinks and lively music. Some of the famous clubs include Volar, where you can party with the DJs and dance to the beats of local music.
Hong Kong is a maze of architecture! Your best bet when finding a place to stay is to look for options closer to main attractions in the city. For first timers or people on strict budget, Kowloon, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok are both good options, with hostels like Hop Onn on Mody and Yesinn@YMT, and luxury hotels like Cordis and Hotel Hart. Causeway Bay is a kid friendly neighborhood with great accommodations for families. If you are more of an adventure seeker and want to enjoy the nightlife in the city, we recommend finding an accommodation at Wan Chai or Lan Kwai Fong. You can also find major hotel chains on Hong Kong island in the financial center.
The best time to visit Hong Kong is early winters from October to December. The weather is cool and shady, while summers can be sweltering hot and planning any outdoor trip can be a challenge! January and February are the best time to visit the city if you plan to be a part of exciting festivals and local events.
Hong Kong is surrounded by South China Sea in all directions except for North. The city has the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, Lantau Island and other small islands that can be reached by sea from neighboring areas. There is also a bridge from mainland China called the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge which is a bridge-tunnel system. However, the most feasible way to travel to Hong Kong is by air. International flights land at Hong Kong International Airport, which also happens to be the thirst busiest airport in the world and a major connecting hub for other Asian travel destinations.
Once you reach Hong Kong airport, you can reach your accommodation via the Airport Express. The taxis there are also quite cheap, and public transportation is safe and will save you a lot of money. You can also get an octopus card, which is basically a type of prepaid debit card that can be used for all MTR stations, star ferry, peak tram, 7-Eleven and even McDonalds! To really see the island we suggest taking a Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off tour that will take you to all the major tourist spots.
As mentioned above, octopus cards really come in handy during your trip. The currency of Hong Kong is Hong Kong dollar. You can use your credit card in all restaurants and some high end shopping malls as well, but its best to keep some local cash handy to enjoy the local attractions as well as local shops and street food. You will find ATMs conveniently located in all the public places throughout the city.
If you decide to go away, book your hotel, flights and activities through our trip concierge for discounts and benefits. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit and VIP gifts at many luxury hotels for the same price as the hotel’s own websites. (Book direct and you don’t get these benefits so why would you?). Our packaged vacation prices tend to be considerably cheaper than flight and hotel prices available online.