30 Things To Do in Hong Kong You Die
Once part of the British colony, and with the past British influence still very much evident, Hong Kong is a culture-clashing mix of east meets west. Whether you are native to Hong Kong, or a first time or regular visitor, there is an abundance of things to see and do here, from narrow traditional Chinese street markets, to upmarket, elegant restaurants and hotel bars, there are many things to explore in Hong Kong.
Star attractions and hidden gems
In Hong Kong you can find temples, beaches, night-life and famous attractions, as well as markets and sights of more the more traditional Chinese way of life. For families, singles and couples there is a huge amount to explore in and around Hong Kong. Here are our tips on thirty things to see and do in Hong Kong. Whether you are a family with young children or a lone traveller on your third trip to Hong Kong, our list of things to do is aimed at finding something for everyone.
1) Travel on the Star Ferry
Take a trip on the famous Star Ferry and it will take you between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui for a very reasonable price. It is one of the cheapest forms of transport in Hong Kong and it is well worth doing the trip during the day as well as at night to marvel at the skyline.
2) Ride the tram to Victoria Peak
One of the highest points in Hong Kong, Victoria Peak, known locally just as The Peak, can be reached by a steep tram ride to the top, with amazing views below as the tram climbs higher.
3) Temple Street Night Market
An amazing array of goods is sold at the Temple Street Night Market. Haggle as much as you like but be aware that the first price given to you is often very inflated as they expect you to haggle. You can buy everything here from cheap watches (including fakes), electronics, clothes, souvenirs, and traditional ornaments. Best of all is leaving your money in your pocket and simply wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere. There are street food stalls and side street karaoke bars to add to the hustle and bustle.
4) Happy Valley Racecourse
Wednesday night is race night at Happy Valley Racecourse, there are nine races over the course of the evening and this is a very popular Hong Kong night spot.
5) Tai Chi
Join in with some Tai Chi early in the morning in Victoria Park, a tranquil green space in the middle of the craziness of the city. There are free classes a few mornings a week at the Sculpture Court too, in front of the Hong Kong Museum of Art.
6) Zoological Gardens
Take a visit to the zoological gardens and get up close an personal with a range of exotic animals. This is a great day out for the family or for an animal lover.
7) Afternoon tea at the Peninsula
The Peninsula is perhaps one of the most prestigious places to enjoy afternoon tea in Hong Kong. Take a break from the heat and enter into the cool, calm hotel and enjoy a traditional British afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones and cakes, and of course a large selection of different teas.
8) Dim Sum
Keeping with the theme of eating, if you aren’t stopping off for afternoon tea, try and stop for some Dim Sum! There are many fine restaurants in Hong Kong that serve Dim Sum, keep an eye out and try a couple.
9) Ocean Park
Ocean Park is an amusement park that can be worth a visit, even if it is just for the journey there in a cable car above the cliff faces.
10) Hong Kong Disneyland
For adrenaline junkies who aren’t satisfied with Ocean Park, try a visit to Disneyland too, with plenty of fast rides for older children and adults, as well as tame ones for younger children, plus of course the usual Disney magic and happy atmosphere.
11) Lantau Island
Hong Kong’s largest Island is Lantau. Take the ferry across for a day trip or stay overnight and visit beautiful beaches and traditional fishing villages. An absolute must see is the Giant Buddha, which is alone worth the trip to Lantau. You will need to hike up about 200 steps in order to reach the top but you can take a break and eat at the well-liked vegetarian restaurant at Po Lin Monastery.
12) Macau Island
Another day trip to take from Hong Kong is to the Island of Macau, which is another People’s Republic of China Special Administrative Region, just like Hong Kong is. Macau is a former colony of Portugal and the heavy Portuguese influence is evident all around.
13) Symphony of Lights
You cannot spend time in Hong Kong without seeing the Symphony of Lights at least once. Every night the synchronized light show takes place amidst the skyscrapers of the Hong Kong skyline. It is a spectacle well worth seeing and there are many viewpoints, but one of the best is in Tsim Sha Tsui by the Avenue of Stars.
14) Avenue of Stars
Whilst in the area watching the symphony of lights, it is worth looking down at the ground and seeing the Avenue of stars. Whilst it may not quite be the Hollywood Walk of Fame, there are quite a few well known names of actors such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan who have their hand prints and autographs set into the ground on this avenue.
15) Ladies Market, Mong Kok
A bit more rough and ready than the Temple Street night market, this market in the Mong Kok area, sells almost anything you could think of including a lot of counterfeit items so keep your wits about you, but go and enjoy some haggling.
16) Lamma Island
Take another one of Hong Kong’s ferries to Lamma Island. It is a fairly quiet island with many seafood restaurants and is a great place to go cycling or hiking.
17) Stanley Market
Don’t discount a visit to this market even if you have been to some others. Stanley market is a lovely market in the seaside town of Stanley. It can get incredibly busy at the weekend as it is popular with both locals and tourists. A better time to visit is during the week. Some bargains can be had and unusual items picked up, if you are prepared to sift through the junk and cheap clothing stalls.
18) Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum
Whilst in Stanley, take a visit to this more unusual museum if it sparks your interest. The museum showcases the history of Hong Kong’s prison and has some mock cells and gallows to take a look at.
19) Wong Tai Sin Temple
This is perhaps the largest and busiest of Hong Kong’s temples, but it is a must see if you are in Hong Kong.
20) Jumbo Floating Restaurant
This restaurant has become a landmark of Hong Kong, and it’s food is popular with both tourists and local people. It was built to resemble an ancient Chinese palace and is a great place for dinner for a special occasion.
21) Look out for pink dolphins
These pale pink and often white coloured creatures are a popular tourist sight in Hong Kong and there is the option to go on a whale watching and dolphin watching tour in the hope you will be lucky enough to see some of them.
22) Chinese New Year celebrations
If you live in Hong Kong or are visiting during Chinese New Year, you must take part in some of the celebrations. One of the highlights is the annual International Chinese New Year night parade which is held in Tsim Sha Tsui. The atmosphere is that of a giant outdoor street party, and the lights and spectacle make for some great pictures for any keen photographers.
23) Tsuen Wan
Tsuen Wan is an area in the New Territories, in easy reach of Kowloon. This is a place of many monasteries and temple complexes and is worth a visit for that reason. Try a visit to Chuk Lam Sim Monastery, the Western Monastery or the colourful temple complex of The Yuen Yuen Institute.
24) Man Mo Temple
One of the oldest and most famous in Hong Kong, this temple in the Shueng Wan district is worth popping into if you are nearby.
25)Go surfing in Shek O.
The beach at Shek O is lovely and is rarely busy, but for the big waves needed in order to try your hand at surfing, head about 2km north to Big Wave Bay.
26) Hong Kong Museum of Art
Full of Chinese antiquities and fine art, as well as more contemporary Hong Kong art, this museum is a little gem in Hong Kong if you are fond of art.
27) Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival takes place in Stanley and is a lot of fun to watch the races, and soak up the atmosphere amongst the drums and gongs.
28) Take a trip on a Junk boat
A Junk is a traditional Chinese fishing boat and you can take a trip on one often as part of a package tour, or for the more adventurous you can charter one with a group of friends and decide where you want to be taken for the day.
29) Ride the mid-levels escalator
The longest, outdoor, covered, escalator system in the world is situated in Hong Kong. It is made up of 20 escalators and transports tourists and commuters alike from the hilly areas at the top of Hong Kong to the city and Central areas.
30) Eat some street food
Have a bite to eat at some of the stalls in and around the markets, or at some of the cheaper tea shops and restaurants in the less touristy destinations. If you are a tourist you may not get a menu in your language but you will undoubtedly be able to try some delicious and authentic Chinese food.