I love Hong Kong. It was the perfect ending of our trip through China. This city was everything I expected from it and more. It has so much to offer: culture, nature, islands and amazing view points. On top of that, the weather is always good, even in winter the temperature doesn’t fall under 15 degrees. I enjoyed my time in this city and today I want to show you all my favorite things to do in this city. And let me know what your favorites are in Hong Kong!
Up, up, away!
- With the tram to The Peak: a must do in Hong Kong is taking the well-known red cable tram to The Peak. This tram slowly climbs the hills and comes across hidden streets and surprisingly a lot of trees and plants. Once we arrived at the top, the area was packed with tourists and the sky was filled with selfiesticks. So you have to be patient to find a good spot. Tip: go the the Sky terrace. It’s more quiet, probably because you have to pay an entrance fee.
- With the Ngong Ping 360 funicular to Tian Tan Buddha: cannot get enough of the picture perfect views? Than you should definitely take the Ngong Ping 360 funicular to Lantau island. The cabins come in two version: a standard cabine and a crystal cabine with a glass floor. I chose the standard version, because the 25 minute ride was already a lot to handle for me. I am afraid of heights and the wind during the cable cart ride was a bit frightening. But still, the views were awesome.
Rest at the Hong Kong temples
- The Ten Thousand Buddha’s Monastery: time to explore some culture! One of the most impressive temples in Hong Kong is the Ten Thousand Buddha’s Monastery. Since the episodes of the Dutch program ‘Wie is de Mol’ in Hong Kong I have this special place stuck in my mind. The monastery is not in the city center (but easy to go to by metro) and the entrance is a bit confusing (don’t walk to the cemetery!), but you know you’re there when you’re there. The pink sides of the steps with the golden chain of Buddhas immediately caughts the eye!
- The temples of the Nan Lian gardens: in the middle of the shopping area of Kowloon there is a unique park that is the home to a couple of temples. When you walk across the Golden Pagode, you forget you’re in a busy city like and would think you’re in Japan of Korea. Don’t forget to visit the Chi Lin Nun Monastery, so quiet!
- Man Mo Temple: the Man Mo temple is one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong and is a real contrast with the business district it is in. While the bankers are stressed and running from meeting to meeting, this temple offers quietness. The Man Mo temple has a spiritual and mystical look.
Explore the city markets
- Flower and bird market: Hong Kong is the city of markets. Between the skyscraper you will find tons of these. One of my favorites is the flower and birds markets. Especially because Hong Kong is filled with flats, tiles and asphalt, it is nice to see green plants and flowers. The flower market isn’t actually a market, it is more a long street with flower shops that show their best pieces on the street. At the end of the street there is the bird market. This is a small park where the seniors of the city come together to show their best singing birds. You don’t buy here anything, you just look at the birds and the proud owners.
- Antique market: are you looking for some special things, then you might want to take a look at the Cat Street Market near Hollywood Road. The name is a bit confusing, because they don’t sell any cats here. Cat Street Market used to be the place where they sold stolen goods and the people who bought these goods were called ‘cats’. Today Cat Street Market is an antique market, where you can find all sorts of things like red stars, old coins and Chinese porcelain. A true browsing market.
- Ladies market and Temple Street night market: the Ladies Market and the Temple Street Night Market are the bigger (touristic) bazaars in Hong Kong. Locals and tourists like to come here to shop for clothing, watches, toys and souvenirs. The difference between the two markets is that Ladies markets is open during the day and the market at the Temple street during the night. A nice advantage of the night market is that it also offers a lot of street food.
Get out of the city!
- Tai O Fishing village at Lantau Island: you might not know this, but hip and trending Hong Kong used to be a fishing community 150 years ago. Because of the many islands this city has – Hong Kong has 263 islands – fishermen have always played an important role. They lived in stilt houses so they were always near the fish but also on land. You can still see a couple of these stilt houses, for example on Lantau Island. Here you can visit the fishing village Tai O. Great for a stroll along the stilt and tin houses.
- Hiking on the Dragon’s back: hiking in Hong Kong? Yes, that is possible. Hong Kong is surrounded by green hills that offer great opportunity for the energetic. One of the most well-known hikes is the 8,5 kilometer long Dragon’s Back trail in the Shek O Country Park. The name itself is already interesting. The hike can be done within three hours and takes you up to the winding path over the back of the hills. This part was my favorite, because I could see for miles and had a great view over the coast. Sadly, the weather turned against us during the hike. When we got to the top, lightning struck which was the start for a lot of rain. You can imagine, the way done was a bit of a struggle.
What are your favorite places in Hong Kong?
Entrance The Peak: a single ticket for the tram is 28 HK dollar, return is 40 HK dollar. Return tram ticket + entrance Sky terrace = 83 HK dollar (=9, 48 euro).
Entrance Ngong Ping funicular: single ticket with a standard cabine is 130 HK dollar. Return is 185 HK dollar (=21 euro)