Hong Kong bustles with life and energy, joyously expressed through its architecture, culture, music, and cuisine. While most people equate Hong Kong with Disneyland, and for good reason since it is one of the city’s top attractions, there is more to Hong Kong than cheerful Ol’ Mickey Mouse.
One can never run out of attractions and thrills in Asia’s World City. Yes, there’s so much to do, but we’re limiting our list to six. Have fun!
1. Visit The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery.
The Big Buddha is a magnificent, 34-meter tall, bronze statue of the iconic spiritual leader of the Chinese. It sits in a meditative pose across the Po Lin Monastery, its hand in a perpetual gesture of benefaction for all the pilgrims. Count the steps up to the Monastery and whisper a wish when you get to the top. Visit Po Lin Monastery’s garden and enjoy the music of silence interrupted every so welcomely by birdsong. There is a vegetarian restaurant as well, for those who need not just spiritual but physical nourishment.
Where: Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Outlying Islands
How to get there: MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B, then take Ngong Ping Cable Car, which takes around 25 minutes. Then walk for around 10 minutes to the Monastery.
2. From the Monastery, come down to Temple Street for the Night Market.
You will find everything, absolutely everything, on a bargain in this stunningly colorful night market and street bazaar. There’s tea ware, trinkets, watches, underwear, gadgets, antiques, precious jade, street food. You can also have your future read by the many fortune tellers who set up their nightly booths as street opera singers fill the air with their soaring vocals. This is the Hong Kong way to do souvenir shopping! A mix of theatre, soothsayers, and sales—now why didn’t anyone think of that before?!
Where: Temple Street is at Yu Ma Tei in Kowloon.
How to get there: MTR Yau Ma Tei Station, Exit C, turn onto Temple Street at Man Ming Lane.
3. Dive into the delights of Ocean Park Hong Kong.
Ocean Park Hong Kong is a theme park that features marine life, family shows, animal exhibits and carnival rides. Located at the southern end of Hong Kong, here you will meet penguins, walruses, seals, and snow owls. You can ride a tram through the park and get a feel of Old Hong Kong circa 1950s. There’s animals of all sizes, like the Pygmy Marmoset, the world’s smallest monkey; the Capybara,the world’s largest rodent; and the Green Aracari, the world’s smallest toucan.
Where: Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong Island
How to get there: Bus 629 from Central Pier 7 or from MTR Admiralty Station, Exit B and alight at the park.
4. Bring your camera and take a stroll down Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade.
A trip to Hong Kong is never complete without marveling at its world-famous skyline, and the best place to do so is via a waterfront walk down Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. Stop by these historical landmarks as you go: Clock Tower, the Hong Kong Space Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and the Avenue of Stars. Yes, all these architectural wonders and cultural thrills in just one bright, bustling broadwalk, capped by stunning views of the Hong Kong Island Skyline at Victoria Harbour.
Where: Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
How to get there: MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit E. Walk towards Salisbury Road then turn right, take subway (pedestrian tunnel) next to YWCA to Hong Kong Cultural Centre, then walk to the Star Ferry pier.
Or Take the Star Ferry from Central or Wan Chai. The Promenade is next to the Star Ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui.
5. Eat, eat, eat!
With up to 11,000 restaurants, you have more than your fill of choices to satisfy your palate! And that’s not counting the defining street food! Let us narrow some of your choices down to some of our gustatory favorites.
Sok Kwu Wan, just 30 minutes from Hong Kong’s downtown, is a perfect getaway with its hiking trails, cafes, and seafood! You’ll find an old fishing village with its row of restaurants perched above the bay. Crabs and crustaceans, prawns and squid, and a vast array of fish all with one fantastic stamp on them: fresh! fresh! fresh!
How to get there: Take a ferry from Central Pier 4 to Sok Wu Wan. The journey takes 30 – 40 minutes. The seafood restaurants are an approximately 1 minute walk from the ferry pier.
Cheung Chau is not called the Seafood Street for nothing. The fish and seafood you feast on here may literally have just been hauled in, fresh and flapping and cooked in the distinct Chinese way! No wonder not just tourists but also locals flock to these fishing grounds! Enjoy your meal al fresco.
How to get there: Ferry from Central ferry pier 5 to Cheng Chau. From the Cheng Chau ferry pier, turn left and walk along San Hing Praya Street for approximately eight minutes.
6. Do not miss the 2013 International Arts Carnival.
Beginning July 5 through August 11, the International Arts Carnival will be held as a celebration of the summer months. Performances include musical theatre, acrobatics, dance, comedy, and puppetry. The line-up this year is headlines by _Architecture in Motion _by Diavolo Dance Theater, Shadowland by Pilobolus Dance Theatre, _B-Boying Gala Show – One Drea_m by Last for One and _Impression of Hua Mulan _by Hebei Acrobatic Troupe.
There you have it! Book your hotel and even flights from Manila to Hong Kong using Skyscanner and soon you’ll be spinning on your heels for one-of-a-kind shopping, dining, and theatrical thrills. Lǚtú yúkuài!