Dense and colourful, Hong Kong is full of surprises. The archipelago of 260 islands is heavily populated and full of modern skyscrapers, yet manages to be extremely well-organised, with pockets of beautiful nature. Read more.
Dense and colourful, Hong Kong is full of surprises. The archipelago of 260 islands is heavily populated and full of modern skyscrapers, yet manages to be extremely well-organised, with pockets of beautiful nature.
From Temples to Beaches
Chinese temples are dotted throughout Hong Kong, hidden in the hills and tucked between the high rises. Be sure to visit some during your stay to experience the ancient rituals dedicated to Buddhist, Taoist, and local deities. Near the financial district you’ll find Man Mo Temple, built in 1847 during the colonial era, it’s one of Hong Kong’s oldest examples of traditional architecture. A tribute to Man, the god of literature and Mo, the god of war, it provides a quiet haven from the frenetic pace of the city. A newer but no less serene shrine sits on Lantau Island: the Tian Tan Buddha, a 34 metre high bronze statue that faces towards mainland China. Grab a bite to eat at the vegetarian restaurant in the Po Lin Monastery near the statue. To the northwest of Lantau is the traditional stilt-house fishing village of Tai O, while beautiful swimming beaches lie to the south.
Every night at 8pm Victoria Harbour dazzles with the ‘Symphony of Lights’, a light and laser show accompanied by music. Watch from Victoria Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island, or from a boat tour on the harbour. Back on land, dive into the thick of the city by making your way to Temple Street night market in central Kowloon. The traditional market is a hectic explosion of colours, where locals and travellers haggle over trinkets, souvenirs, and food. On Wednesday nights the historic Happy Valley Racecourse, an institution since the 1840s, comes alive with excited punters who flock there for a cheap night of eating, drinking, and cheering. After soaking up the thrilling atmosphere, relax with a drink at the Ritz Carlton bar - the highest bar in the world.
Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) operates an express train from the airport, just 25 minutes from Kowloon and Hong Kong stations, as well as ten other rail lines. Hong Kong is also well serviced by buses, taxis, and historic double-decker trams. Ferries connect Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the outlying islands.
Where to stay
Hong Kong is flooded with accommodation options, with everything from five-star hotels to affordable hostels. Central and Admiralty are popular, lining Victoria harbour along the north of Hong Kong Island. To the east of these are Wan Chai, full of restaurants and bars, and the shopper’s paradise of Causeway Bay. Over the harbour, Kowloon is Hong Kong’s touristic heart, while alongside it Tsim Sha Tsui is home to the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Cultural Centre.