Hong Kong at the edge of the South China Sea, a metropolis of flickers and glows, its iconic skyscrapers like molten columns, the bay reflecting all the cool blues and fuchsias of the city’s desire. With little available flatland and the most skyscrapers in the world, Hong Kong is so dense with buildings, up to a hundred stories high, that they rise from the mountainsides as if full of helium. Hong Kong is a floating city: It floats between worlds, on fluctuating currency exchange rates and IPOs, and over the sedimentary layers of its past: the ancient fishing village, pirate haunt, former British colony. (Michael Paterniti, National Geographic)
Hong Kong is fascinating and if travelling abroad – you must consider stopping over for a while. Here are some reasons why.
Public transportation rules
Hong Kong is no place for motorists, with about 380,000 private vehicles for a population of over seven million. But it’s a public transit utopia. Buses, ferries, railways, a tramway and they’re all interconnected, clean and cheap.
A must see attraction. The highest point on Hong Kong Island, and the city’s most exclusive neighbourhood due the views of one of the world’s most spectacular cityscapes. During the day the vista stretches across sparkling skyscrapers and Victoria Harbour all the way to the green hills of the New Territories. In early evening this panorama melts into pink and orange and as night falls a dazzling array of city lights shimmer before you.
Hong Kong Park
After The peak, visit an oasis of green amid the sky scrappers. It is a great place to just spend an hour or two wandering. Hong Kong Park features an excellent bird aviary, a greenhouse, the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, fountains, lily ponds, playgrounds, and a restaurant.
Mongkok’s Ladies Market is one of Hong Kong’s most popular street markets. Don’t let the name fool you – it caters to women, men and children of all ages. About 1km long, it is crammed with all types of clothing stalls and accessories like handbags, shoes, watches and the northern section sells goldfish, household items and everything and anything you may be interested in purchasing. The market is open in the afternoon but really comes alive in the evening, and doesn’t close until after 11:00pm
Temple Street Night Market
One of Hong Kong’s biggest and arguably best markets. The market doesn’t get busy until after dark, and it’s worth a visit to see the crowds and colors and enjoy some food. There are hundreds of stalls on Temple Street, but also on many of the streets that intersect with Temple Street. The emphasis is on clothing and fashion, but you can find stalls selling just about anything. You should be warned that many of the goods on offers are fakes or copies – as you would expect. You’ll also find many Dai Paid Dongs serving street side snack food on plastic seating, and the food is great!
Kong Kong Disney Land
Its smaller compared to the one in California and recommended if you have children or are a disney enthusiast. The overall scale is smaller than other Disney Parks, with only one adrenalin-inducing roller-coaster ride (Space Mountain). The rest of the park is made up of tamer attractions and outlets selling Disney merchandise and fast food. It is located on Lantau Island, very near to Hong Kong airport. Meals, snacks, drinks and souvenirs in Disneyland are expensive.
Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
The Promenade runs along the tip of Kowloon’s waterfront, and is one of Hong Kong’s most spectacular walks. It offers some of the best views of the Hong Kong skyline and bustling Victoria Harbour. It is a great place for sightseeing, people watching, to grab a bite, and enjoy the the Hong Kong panorama.
Lantau Island is well known for its unspoilt countryside, lush green valleys and giant outdoor Buddha statue. A visit to the statue is a great day out and features a stunning cable car ride up a mountainside with panoramic views of the airport, the South China Sea, lush mountains and the approaching Buddha statue. Note, the Buddah is situated atop 268 steps but worth the effort.
Another recommendation is a visit to the historical fishing village at Tai O where locals still live in stilt houses. You can take a dolphin cruise and/or just walk the streets of this marvellous village.
Lamma is situated only 3km off the south west coast of Hong Kong Island. Apart from a large power station on the western side of the island and a single wind turbine the island is virtually unspoiled. Take a 20 minute ferry ride from Central Pier 4 to Yung Shue Wan where You can walk from one side of the island to the other in about 2 hours.
Once off the boat, walk down the pier and turn right. You’ll pass a variety of restaurants and bars. You’ll see a small sign pointing to Hung Shing Yeh Beach. Follow that winding path and you are on your way. Soon, you’ll see restaurants fronting a beach. It is clean and the scenery is beautiful. Walk across the beach to the Family Walk path that hugs the shore. It goes up and offers great views that are in stark contrast to Hong Kong.
Follow the sign to Lo So Shing Beach. It’s 15 minutes to the beach but is is more secluded, more beautiful and has white sand. Go back and follow the path until you see a town ahead of you on the waterfront. At the point where the Family Walk reaches Sok Kwu Wan’s shoreline promenade, you’ll find row of excellent Chinese seafood restaurants that serve cold beer and great food. The ferry pier back to Central Pier 4 is past the restaurants. The last ferry leaves at 10:30 pm.
Probably the most popular day out for Hong Kongers…Stanley Village is just a forty minute bus ride from Central. This seaside town is popular and hosts a string of restaurants and bars along its waterfront promenade.
A well-to-do residential area, with a relaxed feel to it. Its wide, curved beach is popular with both locals and visitors and is great for morning strolls, sunbathing, or enjoying the sunset. This crescent-shaped stretch of sand is one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong. Repulse Bay also hosts designer shops and award-winning restaurants.
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