Whether you’re a traveller, businessman or a gambler, there is a good chance your feet will land in Hong Kong at some point. The huge airport is one of the main interchanges, so even if you’re only passing through between flights, you could experience the city. I adore Hong Kong, so today I’m here to convince you to do just that with these 11 things to do in Hong Kong.
A former British colony returned in 1997 to the People’s Republic of China, you’ll notice British influences in the language, architecture and fashion in Hong Kong. The region is very developed and modern. There are many corporate headquarters, a huge port and expansive skyline. And yet, surprisingly, there are also a lot of parks and nature reserves. So, just what experiences should you try? Here’s my ultimate round-up of the 11 best things to do in Hong Kong.
My favourite things to do in Hong Kong
1 – The Peak
Experience one of the most popular views in the world from the highest hill on the island! Get there by taxi, bus, historic cable car (this costs around HK$ 52), or by hiking. Purchase your ticket to the roof from the shopping centre at the top.
2 – Take a river cruise
Sitting on a boat, drink in hand, gazing at one of the world’s best skylines is a low key experience you’ll never forget. Book yours before 8pm if you want to catch the epic Symphony of Lights Show too. You can get your ticket once you are there, but if you want to skip the queues, book online for priority entry.
3 – Instagram it
Hong Kong was home to a whole lot of hidden gems that Instagram has revealed for all to enjoy. Locations like the Yick Cheony Building, the Choi Hung Estate with its colorful basketball ground, or the Lok Wah South Estate with its famous parking garage.
Head to one of these spots and enjoy the iconic setting and snaps, but do be respectful of the people who live in the locality. Respect the locals, turn down the volume and take all your belongings – litter included – away with you.
4 – Devour dim sum!
You can’t go to Hong Kong and not try dim sum! I am Polish and pierogies are everything, so it was pretty clear that I’d love those. A small dumpling that is steamed and served in a wooden basket with a side of soy sauce with all kinds of fillings, they are ultra-moreish and you’re going to love them!
5 – Splash out in Ladies Market
Visit Ladies Market and find everything from electronic gadgets, jewellery, t-shirts, backpacks and purses to home accessories and many other wonderful souvenirs. Quality definitely doesn’t come guaranteed, but bargains do. With a bit of negotiating you can often knock 50% off the price! Grab lunch in the Mong Kok district and soak up the Neon lights and atmosphere while you visit.
6 – Take a cable car to Tian Tan Buddha
Cable cars aren’t my favourite activity but I just had to take the famous one in Lantau Island. The easiest way to get there is to take a metro to Tung Chung. From there, head to the ticket office if you have not booked online beforehand and choose from a standard cabin (HK$ 160 single/HK$235 round trip), or a crystal cabin, where you’ll enjoy a 2-inch glass bottom (HK$ 215 single/HK$ 315 double).
We chose a standard cabin – it’s fair to say I don’t have a head for heights, so a glass base was a no-go for me! The Ngong Ping 360 takes 25 minutes and is 5.7km long. I have to admit it was scary but the views were amazing! You could admire the beautiful mountains as well as the runway.
On arrival, climb 260 steps to the Tian Tan Buddah, which is the second largest outdoor bronze seated Buddah in the world. You can also visit the Po Lin Monastery and grab lunch, before returning by cable car or bus to your start point. Alternatively, continue on to visit the fishing village too.
7 – Visit the fish village Tai O
Catch bus 21 from the Ngong Ping station – sometimes the fare is included in the cable car pass. The village used to be a famous place back in 19th century, but as younger generations head to the cities, this village is slowly falling into disrepair.
It’s a beautiful place and so worth visiting to feel the real Chinese atmosphere. You’ll feel a world away from downtown Hong Kong, even though it’s only a few miles away.
Hop off the bus and start walking. Discover the houses on stilts, interwoven with a network of water canals, fish markets and temples, or buy fresh fish and seafood.
8 – Walk around Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and take photos with the Bruce Lee statue
I’ve been to this place twice and both times it was raining but even then it felt so magical. There are plenty of things to do in Hong Kong whatever the weather. The promenade is 1.6km long and has a wonderful skyline view! If you’re a movie fan, head on to the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars and take a photo with the Bruce Lee statue.
9 – Relax at Nan Lian Garden
Not far from Choi Hung Estate (another Hong Kong insta spot) you will find Chi Lin. This is a beautiful Buddhist monastery in Diamond Hills with a Nan Lian garden, a golden pagoda and stunning red bridge.
Every detail of this place has been designed and placed according to ancient rules and traditional methods. When we visited, it was very relaxing and quiet – not packed with tourists. Another must for things to do in Hong Kong.
10 – Visit seaside Stanley Village
Sometimes, even the best planned trip throws up surprises, and this was one of them! One of the taxi drivers on our way to Ladies Market recommended visiting Stanley Village. It wasn’t on my list, so this was all new to me.
Located in the bay on the south side of the island’s hills, Stanley Village is relaxing, relatively quiet and has great sea views. The vibe is one of a local neighbourhood in an awesome setting. The village is also famous for its market, but being more expensive and with less choice than in the city centre, it wasn’t a winner for me.
11 – Shop and party in Soho
Art galleries, restaurants and street food… Bars, night clubs, even the world’s longest escalator! Soho is a colorful district in Hong Kong that really does have it all. It’s a must when planning things to do in Hong Kong.
So, there you have it! Hong Kong has been on my must-visit list for a long time, so I was super excited to finally visit. I hope these things to do in Hong Kong inspire your next adventure – it makes a great destination for New Years too. And if you’ve already visited and have a hidden gem we should know about, let me know!