Things to do in Hong Kong

It's easy to forget that Hong Kong is more than just bright lights and skyscrapers, with each region having its own unique character and attractions. Visitors arriving on Hong Kong Island can admire the city from the deck of Star Ferry or take a tram up to the summit of Victoria Peak for glorious panoramas.

There is also the Man Mo Temple, the oldest temple in Hong Kong; the traditional outdoor street markets of Wan Chai; or the horse racing at Happy Valley. To the south, Stanley Beach hosts Dragon Boat racing every year during the Tuen Ng festival. Across the bay to the north lies Kowloon, diverse and atmospheric, while Shanghai Street offers a fascinating insight into local life.

Shopping is king in the popular night market of Temple Street and the vast retail destination of Harbour City. Guinness World Records recognise 'A Symphony of Lights' as the biggest permanent sound and light show in the world. Kowloon also hosts the Avenue of Stars, celebrating icons of Asian cinema.

Sai Kung Peninsula in the New Territories provides a welcome change of pace. Serving as the gateway to some spectacular countryside, rural life carries on here as it always has. The Ping Shan Heritage Trail tracks past old face-brick homes and forts, and abandoned towns from the region's agricultural age. Tourists enjoy trips to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, home to nearly 13,000 Buddha statues.

Of the Outlying Islands, Lantau is the most popular, not least due to the presence of Disneyland. The Lantau Trail is ideal for adventurers, as is Po Lin Monastery which is home to one of the largest seated Buddha statues in the world.

Victoria Peak photo

Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak is Hong Kong's number one tourist attraction and its popularity is unwavering. The funicular railway has steadily made its way up the mountain since 1888 and the rout…

Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak is Hong Kong's number one tourist attraction and its popularity is unwavering. The funicular railway has steadily made its way up the mountain since 1888 and the route is extremely steep and rather thrilling. More energetic and athletic travellers can scale the real peak extending 140m (459ft) above the tram terminus. The summit's iconic Peak Tower houses numerous restaurants and shops, while Sky Terrace 428 offers Hong Kong's best skyline panorama. A lot of people choose to go up Victoria Peak at night when the city lights are at their most magical.

Website www.thepeak.com.hk

Transport

Take the Peak Tram from Garden Road or bus 15C. There is also a shuttle bus (daily 9am to 7pm) that departs from Star Ferry Terminal.

Opens The Peak Tram runs every day, including Sundays and public holidays, between 7am and midnight. The tram departs every 10-15 minutes.

Admission

HKD 52 (adults), HKD 23 (children); other concessions available

Hong Kong Disneyland photo

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland offers magical adventures in seven themed settings: Adventureland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, Toy Story Land, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Main Street USA. …

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland offers magical adventures in seven themed settings: Adventureland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, Toy Story Land, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Main Street USA. Kids will love exploring Tarzan's Treehouse, braving scary RC Racer and riding the classic Hyperspace Mountain, as well as spending time with their favourite characters like Mickey Mouse, R2D2 and Winnie the Pooh. In addition to the numerous rides and various events and attractions, shops sell Disney souvenirs and restaurants offer a variety of food throughout the park.

Website www.hongkongdisneyland.com

Transport

Tung Chung Line of the MTR

Opens Daily 10.30am to 8pm. Opening times may vary month to month so check the website to confirm times.

Admission

HKD 639 (adult), HKD 375 (child); other concessions available

Statue Square photo

Statue Square

Statue Square is an amalgamation of Hong Kong's contemporary architecture, spectacularly manifest in the designs of the HSBC Building and the Bank of China Tower. The former has no…

Statue Square

Statue Square is an amalgamation of Hong Kong's contemporary architecture, spectacularly manifest in the designs of the HSBC Building and the Bank of China Tower. The former has no central core, a feat of structural engineering blended with the ultimate in aesthetic principles while the latter is much-debated because of the asymmetrically-designed pinnacle. The square also contains the Cenotaph, a memorial to those who lost their lives in the two world wars. It's a popular place for locals to meet, share meals and socialise around its fountain and seating areas. Over Winterfest, there are usually Christmas displays, trees and lights put up in the square.

Admission

Free

Wong Tai Sin Temple photo

Wong Tai Sin Temple

This grand Taoist temple is dedicated to Wong Tai Sin, a legendary hermit who reputedly had healing powers and could foretell the future. A number of fortune tellers ply their trad…

Wong Tai Sin Temple

This grand Taoist temple is dedicated to Wong Tai Sin, a legendary hermit who reputedly had healing powers and could foretell the future. A number of fortune tellers ply their trade here, offering palm and face reading. The ornate temple's red pillars, gold ceilings and decorative latticework are in the traditional Chinese style, and it's usually full of floral offerings and visitors burning incense or praying. The temple also has a lovely adjacent park called the Good Wish Gardens, a peaceful green spot with waterfalls tumbling over rocks.

Address 2 Chuck Yuen Village, Kowloon

Transport

MTR to Wong Tai Sin, exit B

Opens Daily 7am to 5.30pm, gardens closed on Mondays.

Admission

Free (donations welcome)

Aberdeen photo

Aberdeen

Some 200 years ago, Hong Kong's Aberdeen was a haven for pirates. Located on the southern shore of Hong Kong Island, it's now home to the Tanka boat people who offer visitors a cha…

Aberdeen

Some 200 years ago, Hong Kong's Aberdeen was a haven for pirates. Located on the southern shore of Hong Kong Island, it's now home to the Tanka boat people who offer visitors a chance to experience the traditional lifestyle, sample fresh seafood at the Jumbo Floating Restaurant or embark on sampan tours. Aberdeen is a lively marina crammed with junks, sampans and water taxis (kai do), along with cruisers and yachts.

Address South District, Hong Kong Island

Lantau photo

Lantau

Lantau is the largest of the 235 outlying islands in Hong Kong. It's best known for its walking trails and beaches, providing a pleasant respite from crowds and shopping. The main …

Lantau

Lantau is the largest of the 235 outlying islands in Hong Kong. It's best known for its walking trails and beaches, providing a pleasant respite from crowds and shopping. The main arrival point to the island by ferry is at Mui Wo (Silvermine Bay). The finest beaches are located along the west coast, most notably Cheung Sha. Western Lantau is also the location of the Po Lin Monastery, where one of the world's largest outdoor Buddha statues stands. Wooden houses perch on stilts in the quaint fishing village of Tai O, while much of Lantau's north shore is predominantly a farming region. The main attraction is the historical Tung Chung Fort, built to suppress the opium trade and defend the coast from pirates. Six old Qing Dynasty cannons dating back to 1832 stand on the ramparts. In Discovery Bay, upmarket housing complexes, yacht clubs and golf courses provide the ultimate designer lifestyle.

Big Buddha photo

Big Buddha

The Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha) is one of the tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddhas in the world. Found near Po Lin Monastery, it's a popular tourist destination and a major centr…

Big Buddha

The Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha) is one of the tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddhas in the world. Found near Po Lin Monastery, it's a popular tourist destination and a major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong. The 112-foot (34m) high statue sits on a lotus throne atop a three-platform altar, surrounded by eight smaller gods. Inside, visitors access the Hall of the Universe, the Hall of Benevolent Merit and the Hall of Remembrance. They can also climb the 268 steps to reach the platform where the impressive figure is seated and admire the views. Some prefer to either hike down through the hills after taking the cable car, while others get there on the ferry and buses before taking the cable car back down into the city.

Address Ngong Ping plateau

Ngong Ping 360 photo

Ngong Ping 360

The Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car is a spectacular four-mile (6km) ropeway affording panoramic views over the bay, the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery on its 25-minute journey …

Ngong Ping 360

The Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car is a spectacular four-mile (6km) ropeway affording panoramic views over the bay, the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery on its 25-minute journey to the Ngong Ping Village. The Ngong Ping Village features attractions such as 'Walking with Buddha', the 'Monkey's Tale Theatre' and the 'Ngong Ping Teahouse', as well as an assortment of shopping and dining options. The cable car is an incredible experience and there are a variety of packages to choose from, with the more expensive Crystal Cabin enjoying a transparent floor. Note that queues for this attraction can get very long.

Address Lantau Island

Website www.np360.com.hk

Opens Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm, Weekends and Public Holidays 9am to 6.30pm

Admission

Check official website


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Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery photo

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

One of the most dramatic sacred sites in Hong Kong, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is perched at the top of a hill in the town of Sha Tin. Visitors must climb more than 400 sta…

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

One of the most dramatic sacred sites in Hong Kong, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is perched at the top of a hill in the town of Sha Tin. Visitors must climb more than 400 stairs to reach the temple and the famous nine-storey pagoda. The monastery actually contains nearly 13,000 Buddha statues within its walls alone, and many more stand along the pathways and stairs. The statues come in a great variety of shapes and sizes, and the temple complex is breathtakingly colourful with beautiful views. Unlike many famous temples in Hong Kong, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery has retained its tranquil atmosphere and spiritual atmosphere.

Address 220 Pai Tau Village, Sha Tin

Transport

Take the East Rail line to Sha Tin.

Admission

Free

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