Hong Kong can be divided into four main areas, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon across Victoria Harbour, the New Territories north of Kowloon and the Outlying Islands in the South China Sea which include Lantau, Lamma, Cheung Chau and Peng Chau. This article covers Hong Kong Island, click here for Kowloon and the New Territories or the Outlying Islands.
Hong Kong Island
View from The Peak – Image courtesy of Nathan O’Nions @ Flickr
The Peak: If the weather is clear, take the peak tram (funicular) to The Peak (Victoria Peak), the highest point on Hong Kong Island to take in the view, which is equally breathtaking by day and night. If you feel like a stroll, a 3.5km/1h walk circles Victoria Peak (Harlech Rd and Lugard Rd). The walk is a good way to work up an appetite for shrimp at Hong Kong’s Bubba Gump restaurant on The Peak.
The Central-Mid-Level Escalators: If riding the longest outdoor escalator system in the world, where scenes from ‘The Dark Knight’ were filmed is not enough of a draw-card for you, consider the following; the alternative is walking uphill and the escalator is lined with bars and restaurants! The escalators run from Queen’s Road Central to Conduit Road are a good way to reach the shops mentioned in my Hong Kong Shopping Tips article.
Man Mo Temple: If you only see one temple, make it Man Mo (124-126 Hollywood Road). The oldest and best known temple in Hong Kong, Man Mo is worth a visit just to smell the incense wafting from the giant cones hung from the ceiling. If you’re feeling peckish after your visit, pop into nearby restaurants at 108 Hollywood Rd, Classifieds for a bite to eat. French Street Art bar/restaurant Bibo is also nearby at 163 Hollywood Rd. Press the button beside the golden door to head in for a pricey but incredible cocktail and a squiz at the street art inside.
Hong Kong Park: This eight-hectare park in the middle of Hong Kong is hemmed in by skyscrapers on one side and mountains on the other. The Park features a large walk through aviary, conservatory and a Museum of Teaware in a beautiful colonial building which also contains a tea house where you can refresh yourself with tea and dim sum. Keep an eye out for couples having their wedding photos taken well in advance of their wedding day in the park.
Aviary in Hong Kong Park – Image courtesy of FHKE @ Flickr
Horse Racing at Happy Valley: If you are visiting from September-June, spend your Wednesday night at the races. Horse racing is one of the few legal ways to gamble in Hong Kong and the atmosphere at Happy Valley is electric. Ladies, leave your hat at home, Ascot this is not!
Aberdeen: Whilst most visit Aberdeen, located on the south-eastern coast of Hong Kong Island, for Ocean Park (see below) it is not without its charms. From Aberdeen promenade, take a sampan tour or take a gander at the boats moored at Aberdeen Boat Club and the ornately decorated Jumbo Kingdom floating restaurant.
Ocean Park: If you are visiting Hong Kong with children, consider a visit to Ocean Park in Aberdeen. A Seaworld-esque theme park with animals including giant and red pandas, dolphin and killer whale shows, an aquarium and rides ranging from tame to the thrilling.
Stanley: Board a double-decker bus in Central (6, 6A, 6X) and grab a seat at the front of the top deck to enjoy the hair-raising but scenic trip to Stanley at the Southern end of Hong Kong Island. Browse the open air markets for cheap and cheerful clothing, accessories and art, pop to the beach and refresh yourself with a drink or a meal at one of the restaurants on the Stanley Promenade such as The Boathouse, Classifieds or Xia Fei Shanghainese.
Tours: If an organised tour is more your style, try one of the following:
Hong Kong Island Orientation Tour
Toolkit – Articles, Cards and Apps
For a briefing on Hong Kong’s occasionally wild weather see my article ‘Hong Kong Weather and Warnings’ and download the My Observatory (Hong Kong Observatory) App for live weather information and warnings during your visit.
For tips on getting around Hong Kong on foot or via public transport see my article ‘Pounding the Hong Kong Pavement’. Get yourself an Octopus card at a Mass Transit Railway (MTR) station or ferry pier and download the following apps:
- Uber or the HKTaxi or Easy Taxi – Taxi Cab Apps to call cabs and Hong Kong Taxi Translator App to communicate with cab drivers and
- MTR Mobile and MTR Next Train Apps for information on the MTR network.