Visiting HK? Here are 13 unmissable things to do in Hong Kong while you’re there.
1. Hong Kong Park
Amongst the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle that is Hong Kong, the last thing I expected to see was a glorious park.
Hong Kong Park is home to the biggest and best aviary I have ever seen. It contains an impressive abundance of nature including amazing trees, running water and a whopping 80 different species of animals (mostly birds).
If visiting Hong Kong be sure to appreciate the trees. All of the different types there are and the intricacies of how they grow are works of art on their own. I’d never realised my love for them before.
2. The Peak
Originating all the way back to 1888, the peak tram is a railway system transporting passengers from Central district to Victoria Peak.
The steep jaunt takes around 5 minutes from bottom to top. Admittedly the queue for the Peak Tram can get lengthy (we waited at least an hour). The vast views over the harbour and city skyscrapers made the wait worth it.
At the top, as well as an incredible panoramic view, there is the ‘peak tower’ – a building with several floors including shops, restaurants and a rooftop terrace. There’s also a chance to take a nature stroll along a wooden pathway under the trees.
I’d advise heading up to the peak before sunset. Unfortunately, the humidity and clouds made it impossible for us to see the sun actually go down. However, the contrast was striking between day views over the city as opposed to after dark when all of the building lights were switched on.
3. Hong Kong Botanical & Zoological Gardens
Take a step into the Botanical & Zoological Gardens and get lost from the busy city life. Wandering around these grounds could easily make you forget that you’re in a city at all. Looking up and seeing the surrounding skyscrapers, however (which look cardboard-cutout-like in the backdrop) are a gentle reminder.
See birds, lemur’s, monkeys and even orangutang’s for free. Saunter into the enclosed beautiful botanical garden with an abundance of intricate flowers, plants and orchids.
4. Visit Man Mo temple
Man Mo temple on the ever-famous Hollywood Road was built in 1847 as a tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo).
Traditionally, the Chinese take three incense sticks (available at the temple), light them and offer them to the gods as they prey/worship.
5. Eat Bao at Little Bao
Little Bao on 66 Staunton St in Central is a busy eatery which was recommended to us by a local couple who we met on a bus.
The menu includes a variety of steamed bun options as well as some beautiful truffle chips which were great for sharing.
Arrive at off-peak eating times to avoid the crowds. This little joint can get very busy and you may have to wait a while to be seated.
6. Tai O
Head off the beaten track to this quaint little fishing village in Lantau Island. Experience a more rural Hong Kong way of life. Forget the skyscraper apartment blocks, houses here are built on stilts over the river or made out of thin sheets of steel. Have a wander around the local markets or try and spot pink dolphins from the viewing platform only a short walk away from the village centre.
7. Ngong Ping Village
Catch a train to Lantau Island and jump on the cable car to Ngong Ping village.
See the big Buddha from the distance or climb the stairs when you reach the top to catch a closer look.
The bronze statue has only been around since 1996 but nevertheless is an impressive site to witness amongst the mountains.
The village is also home to various temples including the grand hall of 10,000 Buddhas.
This picturesque seaside town is a peaceful getaway from the big city life yet it’s only a short bus journey away.
Unlike Tai O, this town is home to a variety of modern restaurants and shops including a huge plaza overlooking the South China Sea.
Take a walk along the foreshore and get lost in the market stalls which sell just about everything and anything you could think of.
9. Eat Peking duck at Pinot Duck
Try some of the tastiest Peking duck I have ever eaten at Pinot Duck, located at Stanley Plaza or Wanchai.
Order half a duck to share between two and be amazed by the variety of condiments that are served alongside the homemade pancakes. The duck fat potato wedges are also a nice touch if you’re feeling hungry.
10. Watch the light show
Hong Kong is home to some of the tallest buildings in the world which light up every evening.
Each night at 8 pm, stand along the water’s edge at Hong Kong Island or Kowloon to witness a flashy skyscraper light show featuring laser beams alongside a Chinese action style theme tune.
11. Have a drink at the tallest bar in the world
Splash out on a cocktail at the Ozone Bar on the top floor of the Ritz Carlton hotel (also known as the highest bar in the world) and take a Birdseye view over the whole city.
Drinks are expensive so be sure to only stay for one if you want to keep it cheap (budget in around $200 HKD per cocktail).
12. Go to the night markets and eat some street food
Head to the Temple Street Night Markets and grab yourselves a bargain but be sure to haggle down from the original price. Just a tip – lots of stall holders are not willing to let you walk out without buying something so don’t show much interest in things you are not planning to purchase.
Grab some noodles from Tong Tai Seafood Restaurant (located in the hustle and bustle of the market) for a tasty meal at a reasonable price.
13. Stroll through Upper Lascar Row
Upper Lascar Row, situated in Sheung Wan, is home to many arts, vintage and antique shops and market stalls. Local vendors sell souvenirs such as mini moonstone buddha statues to offer the consumer a long life. Replicas of red chilli peppers are also sold (traditionally to be hung outside the house to ward off bad spirits).
Check out our first attempt at vlogging while in Hong Kong: