Hong Kong is unlike anywhere else… it’s epic, modern, historic, cultural and chaotic all mixed into one. Here are some of my favourite Hong Kong attractions that made our trip so special (and will hopefully make yours amazing too!)….
The Star Ferry is a circular one hour tour of the iconic Victoria Harbour. It stops off at three locations on both sides meaning you can hop on and off all day, or just simply enjoy a relaxing cruise with an interesting on board commentary. If all you want to do is hop across the water, that’s also an option and the prices are totally reasonable. Oh, and the views are incredible!
No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a trip up Victoria Peak, the highest mountain on the island. You’ll get incredible views over the city (day or night!) and it’s somewhere you’ll definitely need to take your camera too. There are quite a few things to do in the Sky Terrace, such as the option for drinks and dining (very romantic!) but the view is the main attraction and what you’ll be most mesmerised by.
Price: HK$50 for the cable car ride to the top or free if you walk up
The Big Buddha, as it’s locally called, is one of the iconic symbols of Hong Kong. It stands at 34m high and the sheer scale and depth of detail will stay with you for life. It’s 260 breathtaking steps (literally haha) up to his feet or a cable car ride with dazzling views all the way. Prepare for long queues – so I’d head over early in the morning and try and get ahead of the crowds.
Price: HK$ 3 for a one way trip or HK$34 for a four day pass
There’s no better way of getting round the city than on the public trams, and you’ll feel like a local as you see the sites from the cars. The four day pass is great for families or if you want to pack a lot into a short trip to the city. It can kind of be used as an alternative to the tour buses too – you can hope between Hong Kong attractions using your pass, and then jump on again when you’re ready to see the next one.
It’s telling about the design of the city that it contains numerous free green spaces to refresh yourselves. The Hong Kong Park is visited by tourists and locals alike and families with young children will delight in the enormous adventure playground.
Price: A free hike
If you like your hikes short but tall with amazing views from the top (pack your camera…!), then pack your boots too and head up the Dragon’s Back. It’s a little way out of the city, but provides a good contrast to hustle and bustle of the streets and the views out over the South China Sea are incredible. It’s the kind of activity you’ll want to do if you’re spending more than a few days in the city and have time to explore a little more far and wide.
Price: Free of charge, but given out on a first come, first served basis
Set in the middle of downtown Hong Kong, the Nan Lian Gardens are tribute to the rich Chinese heritage of the city, with plenty of Tang Dynasty architecture on view. The trees and pathways are great to explore and it provides a cool break from the heat of the city. If you love the cultural sides of the city and seeing the more traditional, historic side to Hong Kong – then this is something you shouldn’t miss.
Price: HK$ 345 for an adult, children are half price
This is something completely different to the rest of Hong Kong. No cultural relevance or historical significance, just the best water park in South East Asia. A great way to cool off with kids, with plenty of rides and shows to keep adults entertained too.
Price: Free, but feel free to leave a donation
An oasis of calm in the city. It’s a little off the beaten track, but if you’re into bonsai trees and want to see some of the best Buddhist style buildings Hong Kong has to offer, then put this at the top of your list.
Price: Varies depending on what activities you undertake
Lantau Island holds the Big Buddha and Ngong Ping Village, but the rest of the island feels like a beautiful tropical resort. You can simply wander the alleys sampling the excellent street food, head to the beach or hike through the miles of carefully maintained trails around Lantau Peak.
Price: HK$10 to get in, plus whatever you want to bet with (take the risk?)
A visit to Happy Valley Racecourse brings you close to Hong Kong’s finest, with everyone getting dressed up for the occasion. It’s normally open on Wednesdays and Saturdays in peak season and the warm breezes off nearby Victoria Harbour makes it some of the best evening entertainment the city has to offer.
The long hike up the mountain is well rewarded with over 13,000 replica Buddhas, 3,000 more than the name suggests. The main forecourt has a beautiful pagoda leading into the main worship hall filled with peace, serenity and Buddha statues. You can also get excellent vegetarian food provided by the monks.