It is believed that you haven’t experienced Hong Kong till the time you haven’t visited its skyscrapers, relaxed at its pristine beaches, experienced its culture, tasted local cuisine, and come close to its protected animal life. Many of tourist itineraries as well as travel books and magazines have tried to capture the essence of the place through their research, but Hong Kong has managed to surprise the travellers and the travel world despite the amount of literature that is available on the city and its attractions.
Though a lot of experiences define the city, we bring you the top five that you just can’t miss when you are in Hong Kong:
Panoramic Views of the city from the Victoria Peak
Such is the popularity of the Victoria Peak, also called the Peak, that every itinerary to Hong Kong mentions it as a must-visit attraction, and rightly so. The 552m high peak offers panoramic views of the bustling city and its skyscrapers, lush forests, varied waterfronts as well as giant mountains that seem to be touching the clouds. The ride up to the Peak Tower, the upper-station of tram, aboard the 125-year old gravity-defying Peak Tram is one of the most adventurous ways to access it. Besides, it can be reached by a taxi or a private car. Several restaurants are clustered in the two shopping centres that take care of dining and entertainment needs of the around 7 million visitors that visit the Peak.
Spiritual Encounter at Po Lin Monastery
Founded in 1906, Po Lin Buddhist Monastery is located in a beautiful temple complex in Ngong Ping plateau on the Lantau Island. Three bronze statues of Buddha, representing his past, present and future rest in the main temple, along with other Buddhist scriptures that stand out as brilliant models of ancient architecture. But the attraction that shines and draws millions of tourists is the Tian Tan Buddha statue, also called the Big Buddha. The Big Buddha statue is surrounded by six smaller bronze statues called ‘The Offerings of the Six Devas’ that are sculpted to be shown offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha; each of the six elements standing for a human virtue. You can take a cable car from Tung Chung for enjoying 360 degrees views of the city while on your way to the Po Lin Monastery.
Adventure at Ocean Park and Disneyland
Attracting over 5 million visitors every year, the Ocean Park in Hong Kong is on the list of every tourist seeking some moments of fun and thrill in the country. The park is divided into two major attraction areas – The Waterfront and the Summit. These areas are connected to each other by a cable car and a train. Boasting more than 40 attractions, rides and shows, Ocean Park also educates the visitors about the local marine life. Disneyland in Hong Kong is one of the two largest amusement parks in the country. It hosts several regular events to keep the visitors entertained, the Festival of the Lion King being the most popular with the tourists. Visit both these parks on weekdays between 10am to 12pm to avoid the crowds.
Mesmerise Your Senses at ‘A Symphony of Lights’
A daily light and sound show, A Symphony of Lights holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest light and sound show in the world. A 14-minute long mind-blowing presentation of music, lights and fireworks, the show starts at 8pm Hong Kong Time every day. Celebrating the vibrant energy of Hong Kong, the show covers five major themes – Awakening, Energy, Heritage, Partnership and Celebration. Each of these themes uses different combinations of music, light and laser beams to tell the story of Hong Kong’s glorious past, present and future.
Shop till You Drop at Hong Kong Retail Stores
Hong Kong has carved a reputation for itself as retail shoppers’ haven. Popular for Clothing, luggage, jewellery, cameras and electronic goods, its markets bustle with crowds of people looking for bargains. Some of the popular shopping areas in Hong Kong are Wyndham Street and Hollywood Road in Central and Sheung Wan. You can find Chinese antiques, handicrafts, paintings, sculptures, ceramic works and installations by local, mainland Chinese and other Asian artists in these markets. For designer clothing brands, you may head to malls such as the IFC and the Landmark in Central, Times Square in Causeway Bay, Pacific Place in Admiralty, and Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui.