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7 Fun Things to Do in Hong Kong

hong kong city images, hong kong herbal medicine street

Welcome to Hong Kong!

How much sightseeing can you squeeze into six days in a jaw-dropping city like Hong Kong?

Probably more than you think. Hong Kong has enough sights to keep you busy.

Hong Kong is made up of a small group of islands, which evoke both, old world charm and new. It’s got beaches, mountains, gravity-defying buildings and a Disneyland.

The two main peninsulas are Kowloon and Hong Kong. Kowloon is the older and more local side; meanwhile, Hong Kong is its more up-scale and commercial sister, housing a number of chic multi-level shopping malls, trendy bars and restaurants.

In the short time I was there, I managed to pack in a lot.  Some places I liked. Some, I didn’t.

Top 7 Things to Do in Hong Kong:

1. Capture Hong Kong’s best views

There’s no urban capital, which will make you “oooh and aaah” quite the way Hong Kong city will.  As the world’s growing skyscraper metropolis, it holds marvelous views in both, day and night. You’ll definitely want a photograph souvenir.

The two best views in Hong Kong:

  • Aerial view overlooking Hong Kong city and the harbor from The Peak.

Is it possible to get an aerial of a sky-scraping city? Well, you can come pretty close. Victoria Peak (aka The Peak) on Hong Kong penninsula is 1,811 feet (512 km) high and offers one of the most spectacular views of the city,  as it stretches out past the harbor to Kowloon. Take a relaxing ride up the mountain via the The Peak Tram,

Getting There:  By MTR subway, exit J2 of the Central MTR station, then walk along Garden Road for 10-15 minutes until you hit the Lower Peak Tram terminal located at St. John’s Building.  Tram Fare is approximately HK$20(one-way) and HK$30(roundtrip).

Photo above: from wikipedia.org taken from Victoria Peak

  • The city skyline from the Avenue of Stars.

How long does the skyline stretch in Hong Kong? If you’re facing Victoria Harbor from Kowloon’s Avenue of Stars, you’ll know. The best time to view it is at night, when the city is lit up with glittery neon lights (some buildings even have light show designs). If that doesn’t hold enough dazzle for you, at 8pm there’s a fireworks show.

Getting There:   By MTR, take exit J at Tsim Sha Tsui station on Kowloon Island. Here’s timetables for the the bus routes.

Alternative places to see the skyline: Take a tour on the Star Ferry or on a Chinese junk boat.

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images of hong kong, hong kong cityscape, hong kong skyline, hong kong sightseeing, travel tips for hong kong, top attractions in hong kong, top cities in the world, best international cities in the world, best cities to visitHopping a Chinese junk boat tour is also a way to see the cityscape.
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2.   Stroll down the Avenue of the Stars

Are you a Bruce Lee fan? Have a passion for Asian or martial arts films? If so, this spot is perfect for you.

Up until the mid 1990′s Hong Kong used to be the second biggest film producer in the world. Thus, Hong Kong’s Avenue of the Stars is a version of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame… but Chinese.

If you’re an Asian film buff like I am, then this will tickle your fancy. It’s not everyday you get to match your hand or footprints with your favorite Asian stars. There were plaques with handprints of famous (and my favorite) Asian stars and directors, such as Wong Kar Wai (In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express), Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Chow Yun Fat, Jackie Chan  lining the waterfront promenade with Hong Kong’s glitzy cityscape as a romantic backdrop.  Of course, there are times finding your favorite star amongst the many that you don’t know can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Getting There:  Take the metro to Tsim Sha Tsui station on the Kowloon side near the waterfront. Take Exit J and walk to the waterfront

Website:  www.avenueofstars.com.hk

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3.  Explore Hong Kong’s Specialty Streets

Hong Kong has a handful of specialty streets, named after what they sell. Commodities can range from your average souvenir to things only the Hong Kongese might understand.

On the Kowloon side, you can visit Goldfish Street (video here), Flower Market, Ladies Market (inexpensive clothing), Reclamation Street, Jade Street and Temple Night Street Market (souvenirs and seafood restaurants)

On the Hong Kong penninsula, sightseeing starts at Sheung Wan Street (aka Herbal Medicine Street) and Hollywood street for curios and antiques.

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My recommendations:

Goldfish street

In Hong Kong, goldfish are said to be lucky.  Thus, on Mongkok’s Goldfish Street, exotic pet stores and fish shops with exotic fish sold in a plastic bags, line the streets. A goldfish can run up to anywhere from hundreds– even thousands– of dollars. Read more on CNNTravel.

Getting There:  Take Mong Kok Station, Mong Kok East Station, or Yau Ma Tei Station to Tung Choi Street.

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Sheung Wan (aka Medicine Herbal) Street

Hong Kongese take their traditional herbal remedies very seriously. Shops in Sheung Wan sell a variety of medicinal peculiarities such as bird’s nests, deer antlers and dried seafood, ranging anywhere from sea cucumbers to shark fins.

Getting There: Explore the streets around Wing Lok Street.

bird's nest soup

Hong Kong’s Herbal Medicine Street sells bird’s nests

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4. Visit Lantau Island’s Giant Buddha and Tai-O Fishing Village

Lantau Island is known as the home of the Giant Buddha. But a day trip there, holds more sightseeing reasons than just one.

The half an hour ride cable car ride to the island welcomes an impressive view over the river and mountains. Walk through Nong Ping village and make your pilgrimage to the Big Buddha. On your way back home, stop by the oldest fishing village, Tai-O. Take a boat ride through the village and luck might catch you a glimpse of its legendary pink dolphins.

Getting There: From Hong Kong Island, take the MTR to Tung Chung station. Exit the station and take the Ngong Ping Cable Car to the island.

Budget Tip: At the Cable Car terminal, buy the Sky, Land, Sea one-day pass for $200HK.

Website: http://www.np360.com.hk/en/.

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5. Explore Hong Kong’s cuisine and Street food scene

Hong Kong is an international city, yet it’s primary taste buds are Chinese. With Chinese food, much of the dishes revolve around meat.  Unfortunately, I don’t eat meat and not a big fan of Chinese food, so I was mostly limited to vegetarian dumplings, fried morning glories and some of their tea drinks.

But I’ve heard from foodie friends and there’s only been raves reviews… and I did explore the cuisine,  visually. In the restaurants and on the streets, Hong Kong has a variety of interesting dishes to offer.

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 6. Take a trip to Macau

Known as the Monte Carlo of the Orient, Macau has a big name in the casino industry. As the only destination in China where gambling is legal, it’s even topped Las Vegas in revenues, such that big western chain casinos, such as The Venetian, MGM and The Wynn, have entered the market.

But for non-gambling travelers, Macau’s has a unique feature … it’s a Chinese-Portugese fused culture. Once a colony of Portugal, the Portugese influence shows in its architecture, street names and food. Visit the historical Grand Lisboa casino and hotel or take a stroll through some of downtown’s Portugese-inspired cobble stone streets and pastelarias. It’s enough to give you a little friendly cultural confusion. For more, read What to Do and See in Macau in a Day.

Take the ferry ride out to Macau, get an extra stamp in your passport and have a look.

Getting to and around Macau:  Click here.

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China’s only legal gambling destination macau top attractions, what to do and see in macau, macau sightseeingExploring the Portugese-Chinese influences

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7. Take a walk on the outskirts of Hong Kong city.

Ever wonder where the locals go to get away from the city crowds?

Up north past Kowloon and below China are the rural acres of the New Territories, where you can hike in parks or stroll peacefully along beaches.

If islands are you thing, you can explore Lamma Island, Lantau Island or Cheung Chau.

But if you don’t want to go far, heading south presents another option, with beach towns getaways like Shek-O, Repulse Bay and Stanley. The environment is slower-paced, more relaxed … you might even forget you’re in Hong Kong.

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. The beach town of Stanley stanley town hong kong, places to see in hong kong, hong kong beaches, hong kong markets, hong kong shopping, hong kong top attractions The cobblestone boardwalk of Stanleystanley town hong kong, places to see in hong kong, hong kong beaches, hong kong markets, hong kong shopping, hong kong top attractions

 

Where was my budget stay in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong can be fairly pricy. So I stayed at a hostel in downtown

Yesinn @Causeway Bay  recommend button
2/F, Nan Yip Bluding,No.472 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong  ( map)
- Take AirBus No.A11 from airport is recommended. You can take the metro to Causeway Bay MRT Station also.  The AirBus is the cheaper option.
It was convenient and not far from the subway or bus stop. People there are friendly and helpful and the hostel is modern, dorms/beds are clean and well-maintained. You get a curtain for privacy.  It was a good stay and one I’d definitely recommend. I’ve seen a couple of other hostels in the area and this was by bar the easiest and freshest.  It’s located near the Times Square Area, which is a great location. Click here for other hotels nearby.

 

Check out my Hong Kong & Macau Travel Survival Guide page (Free)

If you’d like more travel information from my itinerary to converters or how the transportation in Hong Kong works, check out my Hong Kong & Macau Travel Survival guide. If you’d like to see more images of Hong Kong, see my photo album.

 

What would you recommend to do in Hong Kong?

 

Article by Christine Kaaloa

Christine is a solo traveler, blogger and YouTube vlogger, who shares travel advice, trip planning and survival tips and tricks on how to travel alone as a woman, live and work in South Korea and to follow your passion for travel.
Christine Kaaloa tagged this post with: , , , , , , , , , , , , Read 511 articles by

17 Comments

  1. Jim says:

    Great post, sums up the essentials of Hong Kong (and going to Macau)! Unfortunately, Hong Kong and Macau both don’t seem to stamp passports anymore. :( I was hoping to get two when I went a month ago. Chungking Mansions didn’t make the list? ;)

    • Christine Kaaloa says:

      @Jim: Oh no… but I was there less than a year ago and I got both stamps. How did they stamp you in customs? Tell them you want your money back! =( Chungking~ people kept telling me to avoid it. What would you recommend about it?

  2. Angel | CNEholidays Singapore says:

    I also suggest that people watch the Symphony of Lights from the Avenue of Stars! It’s awesome!!!

  3. We had 4 days in HK a few years back but it wasnt enough so are going back late this year. There are a couple of things here we didnt get to do so will fit them in this time!

  4. @DaveDTC says:

    Top 7 Things to Do in Hong Kong: http://t.co/1tbRJXKIvu

  5. Paul says:

    Great list. A nice mix of touristy and not so touristy stuff on there. I miss the street food in Hong Kong so much – it’s one of the true highlights of this amazing city.

  6. Jo says:

    I only got to do the first two during my quick moment in HK. =( I definitely wanted to checked out the street food and gifts!

  7. kushibo says:

    I used to go to Hong Kong to shop and visit friends/relatives down there, and I think you pretty much hit everything that I would do. Great post.

    Actually, Disneyland is a fun day trip if one hasn’t been to a Disney park before. In fact, the day I went with my mom and my then-girlfriend, it was raining so they were letting people in the park for half price. It was in 2008 and it was like HK$230 or something, which is a bargain!

    I haven’t done it in a while, but Shenzhen (just inside China proper, but connected to Hong Kong by the KCR) is an interesting place to walk around for a day.

    • @Kushibo: So lucky you get to visit relatives there! And I really wish I made it out to Disneyland. I’ve seen others post photos of it and it’s definitely not like Disney in the U.S.!

  8. WesC says:

    Hey Christine!! Love your work! Hong Kong is my “2nd to do” on my places to visit. I heard nothing but awesome reviews about Hong Kong aside from the animal cruelty. Maybe next yr or yr after. Ill make my way there..

  9. SoloFriendly says:

    Great post, Christine. I’ll admit I’ve had a fascination for Hong Kong ever since I read Taipan and Noble House, which are set there. I could see myself visiting at some point when I’m not so constrained for time.

  10. Jaklien says:

    Going in the fall. Thanks for the tips!!

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