Hong Kong – Travel Tips

hongkong

Attractions

The Harbour
See the best skyline in the world light up and take a stroll down the Avenue of Stars. Nightly music and light shows at 8pm.

The Peak
A mountain to the South West of the Island and the biggest tourist attraction in Hong Kong with spectacular views of the city and bay. The Peak Tram is worth the visit alone, though be sure to skip the official viewing platform in favour of ‘Governor’s Walk’, which – after 10 minutes – will bring you to a magnificent clearing with the best view of the city. The Peak also has a branch of Madame Tussards and several restaurants.

Lamma Island
Peaceful and tranquil, a small chilled out outlying island (one of Hong Kong’s 248 islands) with no cars or multinationals – just small shops, restaurants, clean air and a beach.

The Big Buddha
The famous monastery on Lantau Island features the biggest bronze, seated outdoor Buddha in the world. Free to see, and great for an afternoon trip. Accessible by ferry, cable car or MTR – reserve at least half a day to get there, explore the complex and return.

Aberdeen
Famous for the boat people living in floating villages and for its floating seafood restaurants.

Sai Kung
Evolved from fishing villages, Sai Kung is a mecca for seafood lovers. Visitors can also stroll around the market centre, explore the back lanes, visit the Tin Hau Temple, or enjoy different delicacies at Western-style pubs and restaurants.

10,000 Buddhas
Awesome and very popular temple in Shatin featuring 13,000 gold and black statues of Buddha. Closes 5pm, Free.

Kam Shan Country Park
See the wild monkeys roaming the countryside in the New Territories.

Big Wave Bay / Deep Water Bay / Shek O
Explore some of Hong Kong’s best beaches.

Museums
Entrance to Hong Kong’s museums – including the Space, History, Science, Heritage and Art museums – is free on Wednesdays. The Space museum also has an Omnimax cinema.

Wetlands Park
A new ecological park in the New Territories.

View from Central Plaza
The 43rd floor of the Central Plaza has a viewing platform superior to nearby Bank of China’s. MTR exit A5 Wanchai.

Activities

Karaoke
Not a little TV up the corner, but a full night-out in itself. Get the food and drinks in for an evening with a huge flat screen, sofas and sound system. Most ‘K-TV’s have an English database of songs, look out for branches of ‘Neway’.

Free Tourism Board Events
Check the Tourism Board website for free weekly events including a tea appreciation class, cookery, tai chi, Duk Ling boat rides, Chinese medicine class, Feng Shui, Cantonese Opera appreciation class etc… Also, check if your visit coincides with a festival!

Tea at The Peninsula
High-tea at this legendary world-class hotel overlooking the glittering harbour, is said to be one of the best ‘things to do before you die’. Go in the early evening when the lobby is beautifully lit and a live quartet plays softly in the background.

Star Ferry
Take the classic cruise across the harbour on one of the world’s cheapest ferry rides.

Tram Trip
Take a late night tram trip on Hong Kong island or a bus down Nathan Road to see the City of Lights in its full glory.

Gallery Hopping in Soho
Get lost in the alleyways exploring the small galleries and junk shops. Look out for the annual ‘art walk’

Cycling in the New Territories
Riverside cycling – rent a bike (under HK$30/£2 an hour) in Tai Wai and return it in Tai Po – a flat, scenic two-hour route around the New Towns.

Theme Parks
Hong Kong has Ocean Park – a big water theme park with dolphins and rides covering a large area on Hong Kong Island, and Disneyland – the new attraction on Lantau Island.

Clubbing in Central
Hang out with the beautiful people in Lan Kwai Fong.

Tai Chi in the Park
Head down to Victoria or Kowloon Park at sunrise to watch the Tai Chi artists warming up for the day. Check out the free Kungfu in Kowloon park at the weekends (see the Tourism – Heritage website)

Drum Jam
Take your pick from over 70 drums and join the locals for a free two-hour long Drum Jam at the Fringe Club! For those more creative with their hands, why not consider going to an Art Jam!.

Eat in SoHo
Get lost in the restaurant district, just off the world’s longest escalator.

Horse Racing at Happy Valley
Every Wednesday more than 23,000 people pack the stands in Causeway Bay – more is gambled on one day of racing than the UK spends on gambling over a year! Entrance is HK$10.

3D IMAX, Omnimax or 4D cinemas
Check the listings and experience one of the territory’s luxury cinemas.

Shopping

Retro Clothes Outlets
Find some treasures amongst the vintage clothing stores in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Harbour City
The biggest shopping centre in Asia – a sprawling two storey mall in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Electronics.
Lots of cheap electronics at near-Mainland prices to browse before returning home. Check out the Direct Sale Centre located in Mongkok and Causeway Bay. For mobiles, visit one of the two cell phone malls in Mongkok.

Antique Shops
Chinese propaganda posters, Mao merchandise and other tat in back-to-back, dusty antique shops in Mid-levels, Central.

Temple Street Market
The hustle and bustle of the famous Temple Street market – full of bargains and tourist tat.

Other Markets
A jade market, ladies market, bird market and various food markets can all be found off Nathan Road.

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My tips as featured in the November 2010 issue of JetStar in-flight magazine: