Hong Kong is a city of superlatives. The most vertical city on earth, it boasts more skyscrapers than any other place in the world. But it is a place of contrasts, too, where glass towers loom over temples and heritage buildings. Nature is never too far, either. And despite its frenzied, neon-clad avenues, Hong Kong is also home to serene hiking trails and fishing villages. In short, there’s something for everyone on a city break to the Pearl of Asia. So, here come six sites to visit on a trip to Hong Kong.
1. Victoria Peak
Hong Kong ranks high among the world’s most iconic skylines. And The Peak is the best place to take it all in. This observation deck grants you a bird’s eye view of the city’s picturesque backdrop. If you’re in luck, you might even glimpse the last wooden junk boat floating on Victoria Harbour.
To get to this memorable vantage point, hop on the old-fashioned Peak Tram. But on the way back, take the path less traveled and hike through lush forests all the way to the CBD (Central By Bus).
2. Avenue of Stars
Want another view on the Hong Kong Skyline? Then head to the Avenue of Stars at sunset, as it is the perfect spot to enjoy the world’s largest light and sound show. Indeed, “A Symphony of Lights” illuminates the city-state’s skyscrapers every night.
But the Avenue of Stars is also a must-visit for cinema lovers. Modelled on the American Walk of Fame, it pays tribute to the biggest names of the Hong Kong movie industry. So, get your camera ready to take a selfie with none other than Bruce Lee.
3. Temple Street Night Market
If you’re a foodie, Hong Kong has probably been on your radar for a while. But you don’t need to dine at a Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant every day. Instead, head to Temple Street Night Market for an inexpensive dinner. From chili crab to unusual delicacies like roast pigeon, you’ll get everything you need for a yummy street food fix.
4. Wong Tai Sin Monastery
Located in Kowloon, the Wong Tai Sin Monastery is one of the most majestic holy places in Hong Kong. It was built in 1921 to revere the Taoist god Wong Tai Sin, bringer of good luck. Therefore, many pilgrims flock to the temple to light joss sticks or meet with fortune-tellers.
But despite the crowds, the monastery is a haven in the city’s heart. Lost in an ocean of sky-high buildings, the monastery garden is a particularly peaceful sight. And a mere fifteen-minute walk away, you can bask in an even quieter atmosphere at the secluded Fat Jong Temple.
5. Chi Lin Nunnery
The Chi Lin Nunnery is another architectural wonder in Hong Kong. A 30-minute walk away from Wong Tai Sin, this Buddhist temple originally dates back to the 1930s. Yet, it was rebuilt in the 90s in traditional Tang Dynasty style. The result is an impressive building made of cypress wood, using only ancient Chinese techniques. The nunnery even bears title of the world’s largest handmade wooden monument.
With its bonsai trees and ponds full of water lilies, the complex’s courtyard is also a relaxing place to take a break. Then, you only need to cross the street to take a stroll through the Nan Lian Garden. This classical garden boasts a traditional teahouse, too. So, sit back and enjoy a cup of green tea under a waterfall.
6. Dragon’s Back Hike
Are you tired of Hong Kong’s busy streets and markets? Then head for a soothing nature walk. The Dragon’s Back hike trail is a straightforward bus ride from the city center. Better yet, the trail delivers stunning views over the ocean. Plus, you’re just a taxi trip away from the fishers’ village of Shek O once you reach Big Wave Bay. So, pack your swimsuit and your towel! Indeed, Shek O brags great beaches for a swim.
7. Lantau Island
The biggest island in Hong Kong, Lantau is home to the city’s international airport. But the island is more than just a gateway. Indeed, Lantau is one of many fun day trips away from the city center. For all Disney lovers, this former land of fishing villages is even a compulsory visit to enjoy the magic of Hong Kong Disneyland. Yet, authentic towns such as Tai O draw many tourists, too. Nestled between mountains and sea, this historical village of stilt houses and traditional fishing boats is an atmospheric getaway.
Lantau is also famous for its majestic 112-feet-tall Giant Buddha. One of the largest Buddhas in the world, this bronze statue towers above the Po Lin Monastery. You can easily access the site with a scenic cable car ride. And once up there on the Ngong Ping plateau, you could even be so lucky as to attend a kung fu exhibition led by the monastery’s Shaolin monks.
One hour separates Hong Kong from Macau by speed boat. But this easy day trip feels like it is worlds apart. Indeed, Macau is where Portugal meets China. And this legacy is keenly felt on the colorful tiles of the Senado Square, or in front of the Renaissance facade of the Ruins of St-Paul’s. The Fortaleza do Monte is also a gorgeous spot to enjoy a swiping view over the city’s one-of-a-kind scenery, as eccentric glass-tile buildings loom in the distance over traditional heritage sites.
Indeed, Macau goes by the Las Vegas of the East. But if you don’t have time to stop by the world’s largest casino, no worries. You can find the best online casinos on websites like VegasSlotsOnline. And there are always new casinos to keep you entertained. Plus, most new casinos offer exciting bonuses, which means you can try the hottest slots and table games anytime on your phone. Quite the perfect way to kill time until you get back to your Hong Kong hotel.
From heritage sites to hiking trails and even beaches, Hong Kong has it all. So, whether you’re on a quick city break or a long holiday, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy in this fascinating city.