When I think about Hong Kong, I think about its towering skyscrapers racing to touch the clouds. I think about its busy streets and its crowded markets. I think about the fast-paced life through its mile-long escalators. As grey and crazy this picture I may paint, this gives Hong Kong its energy. It’s an organized, sophisticated chaos as I would like to describe it.
But behind this serious façade, Hong Kong has a good amount of fun – in fact, a ton of it. The blend of the East and the West makes the city eclectic with something for every traveler – families, groups and even solo travelers.
Since we’ve already laid the groundwork in Part 1: Know Before You Go of this travel series, it’s time to run down the best places to visit in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Island
There’s no better starting point to your introduction to Hong Kong than at Old Town Central. Scratch the surface of Hong Kong’s history at one of its oldest neighborhoods filled with character of both East and West. You may take one of the self-guided walking tours to go around the chic alleyways and see the remnants of the city’s colonial past or go on a gastronomic adventure straight to a food coma.
How to get there: You’d likely to take the MTR and alight at Sheung Wan station and take exit A.
Operating hours: The neighborhood does not close but the establishments do. So check the individual stops you intend to visit for the operating hours.
Tickets: The entire neighborhood is free to explore
Best for: Solo travelers, history junkies, street photographers, foodies
Your sojourn around the Old Town Central may also take you to the Man Mo Temple. This 19th century temple is the oldest in Hong Kong dedicated to the gods of literature and war. Gaze at the hanging coils of incense adorning the ceiling while you say a little prayer that you don’t break much of your bank whilst on this trip.
How to get there: Alight at MTR Central station and take exit D2. Turn right to Theatre Lane. Walk along Queen's Road Central towards The Center. Then take the Central Mid-Level Escalator to Hollywood Road.
Operating hours: Daily (8AM-6PM)
Tickets: Free to explore
Best for: Culture enthusiasts, solo travelers
Who needs a drone when you can climb up The Peak and see Hong Kong, vistas and all, from above? Begin your experience with an exciting ride aboard the century-old Peak Tram. Once at the top, get to The Sky Terrace 428 to be rewarded of a sweeping, panoramic vantage point of the Victoria Harbor. With the jaw-dropping view and the breezy atmosphere, it’s a perfect place to chill and spend an entire afternoon waiting for the city lights to sparkle for a change in scenery.
The Peak Tram:
How to get there: From MTR Central station, take exit J2. Turn right, through Chater Garden, cross Queen's Road Central, and make your way up Garden Road. You will pass by the Bank of China Tower and Citibank Plaza on your left and St John's Cathedral on your right.
Operating hours: Mon-Sun (7AM-12MN)
Tickets: Available at the Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminus with return tickets costing HKD52 for adults and HKD23 for children and senior citizens. Better yet, get a slightly special treatment with a special lane and hassle-free access when you book with Klook. I recommend booking the Peak Tram + Sky Pass (Roundtrip).
Best for: Families
Sky Terrace 428:
How to get there: Ride the Peak Tram from Lower Terminus
Operating hours: Mon-Fri (10AM-11PM); Sat-Sun and Public Holidays (8AM-11PM)
Tickets: Available at the ground floor and third floor of The Peak Tower for HKD52 for adults and, HKD26 for children and senior citizens.
Best for: Families, cityscape photographers
Ocean Park Hong Kong is probably the go-to attraction for thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies with rides that will leave you breathless. Take the kids for a day of learning and to get up close and personal with the pandas and penguins, the sea lion and the sharks.
How to get there: Take the MTR South Island Line all the way to the Ocean Park station
Operating hours: Daily (10AM-8PM)
Tickets: Best to purchase online. When buying from the Ocean Park website, it will cost HKD480 for adults and HKD240 for children. Skip the queue with a mobile voucher when you book your Ocean Park Hong Kong tickets on Klook with the best price.
Best for: Traveling groups, families, thrill-seekers
Should you find yourself wanting for a day away from the hustle and bustle to metropolitan Hong Kong, stroll along the beaches of Repulse Bay for a day under the sun. Take out those swimsuits and sunscreen to chill out at probably the best beach in Hong Kong.
How to get there: Take bus numbers 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260 if you’re coming from Central, 63, 65 from Causeway Bay and North Point, or 73 from Cyberport and Aberdeen.
Operating hours: All day
Tickets: Free to enjoy
Best for: Beach bums, families, couples
If nature walks are your cup of tea, then traverse the 8.5-kilometer Dragon’s Back for a very stimulating and fat-burning 4-hour hike. Give yourself a pat on the back when you conquer the ‘dragon’ and set eyes on the breathtaking coastal view. The trail is difficult and that there are no replenishment stations, so you better stock up on food and water.
How to get there: From Exit A of the MTR Shau Kei Wan station, walk to Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus. Take Bus 9 and alight at To Tei Wan, Shek O Road.
Operating hours: Tours normally start at 8AM and will take about 4 hours
Tickets: You may book a 4-hour private hiking tour with Klook to the Dragon’s Back.
Best for: Solo travelers, experienced hikers, nature lovers, couples
Literally sitting on top of the mountain, the enormous bronze Tian Tan Buddha watches over Hong Kong and sends blessings to its people and its visitors. The fastest way to get to this remarkable statue is via the Ngong Ping Cable Car. After paying respects to the Big Buddha, visit the opposite the sacred Buddhist sanctum, Po Lin Monastery, for a quick immersion into its rich history spanning over a century.
How to get there: After you take exit B of Tung Chung station, ride the Ngong Ping Cable Car for about 25 minutes then walk for about 10 minutes to the monastery. Alternatively, you may take Bus 23 from the Tung Chung Town Centre that will take about 45 minutes then walk for about 8 minutes.
Operating hours: Tian Tan Buddha is open daily (10AM to 5:30PM); Po Lin Monastery is also open daily (8AM to 6PM)
Tickets: Round trip tickets for the Ngong Ping Cable Car costs HKD210 for adults and HKD100 for kids. Enjoy an exclusive lane to the cable cars when you book a Ngong Ping 360 Standard Cabin ride with Klook.
Best for: Culture enthusiasts, traveling groups
Bring back the child in you as you enter the happiest place on earth, Hong Kong Disneyland. Kids will giddy up after getting a high five from Goofy and watching the afternoon parade. After a fun day of rides and spectacle, watch the closing fireworks display and try not to get dewy-eyed when you hear your childhood songs.
How to get there: Alight at Hong Kong Disneyland station
Operating hours: Daily (10:30AM-8PM)
Tickets: General admission tickets cost HKD619 for adults and HKD458 for children. But when you book with Klook, you can enjoy discounts and enter directly with a QR code. Purchase your Hong Kong Disneyland tickets now.
Best for: Families, pretty much everyone who grew up to Disney movies and songs
Across the harbor from Hong Kong Island, the bustling metropolis of Tsim Sha Tsui is stealing the limelight. Take a stroll along its popular promenade starting from the historic Clock Tower all the way to the Avenue of the Stars. Visit during the early evening so you’ll have enough time to catch the Victoria Harbor entertain you with the iconic A Symphony of Lights. Consider the TST Promenade a one-stop shop for sight-seeing, people-watching and picture-taking.
How to get there: Take Exit L6 of the East Tsim Sha Tsui station
Operating hours: Catch A Symphony of Lights daily at 8PM for 10 glorious minutes
Tickets: The entire promenade is absolutely free to see
Best for: Solo travelers, traveling groups, cityscape photographers
Another awesome way to see the Symphony of Lights is while riding the Star Ferry. Your trip to Hong Kong is hardly complete without a trip via this Hong Kong institution. A trip during the day is equally beautiful just make sure to take as many photos as you want from all angles of the Victoria Harbor.
How to get there: Take Exit L6 of the East Tsim Sha Tsui station and a short walk along Salisbury Road will lead you to the pier
Operating hours: Daily (6:30AM to 11:30PM)
Tickets: HKD2.7 for adults and HKD1.6 for children during Mondays to Fridays; HKD3.7 for adults and HKD2.2 for children on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays
Best for: Cityscape photographers, couples
Hong Kong also offers calming parks should you need a quick breather in the middle of the city. Located at Diamond Hill, the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden features Tang Dyansty architecture and offers a perfect backdrop for your next Instagram post.
How to get there: Alight at Diamond Hill station and take Exit C2
Operating hours: Daily from 7AM to 9PM for the Nan Lian Garden and from 9AM to 4:30PM for the Chi Lin Nunnery
Tickets: Absolutely free
Best for: Nature lovers, landscape photographers
Depending on your travel days and your budget, you can mix-and-match these experiences to tailor your interests. And of course, there are a lot more enticing places to see in Hong Kong and many will fill you up to get going. On the next part of this travel guide series, we will take a gastronomic tour around this world city that Hong Kong.
MORE OF THE HONG KONG TRAVEL SERIES: