Hong Kong has long played a significant role in world commerce, mainly due to the fact that it was a possession of Great Britain for so many years and was one of only a few cities in the Far East which looked and acted like a modern city. It is significant that, even though it has reverted back to Chinese rule, it has maintained its stature and importance in the world community. It is a great city to visit, since it is sophisticated, with wonderful hotels and eating establishments, and has a wealth of attractions to entice the tourist. Here is my list of great things to do.
1. Take the Peak Tram — The city’s best views can be accessed on Victoria Peak, which rises dramatically above the skyscrapers.
2. Burn Some Incense at Man Mo Temple — The smoke from incense coils fills the interior of this popular temple just outside the Central District of the city.
3. Cruise Picturesque Hong Kong Harbor — Take a cruise to experience the dramatic views from the water of this impressive city and its mountains.
4. Take the Star Ferry from Central to Kowloon or Vice Versa — The ubiquitous ferry shuttles passengers at all times of the day and night from busy Central to Kowloon.
5. Get a Seat Along the Kowloon Waterfront for the Evening Light Show — One of the most spectacular light shows in the world is available each evening, and it’s free!! Just find a seat, perhaps along the Avenue of the Stars, or near the Clocktower, and watch the skyscraper lights across the harbor dance to the music.
6. Take an Excursion to the Po Lin Buddha — The huge, bronze, seated Buddha, one of the world’s largest is accessible via a lengthy tram ride. Climb the stairs to get a close-up of view of Buddha’s serene face.
7. Gamble on Macao – Take a fast ferry ride to this formerly Portuguese island to experience China’s version of Las Vegas. Stroll around the town which reminds visitors of Europe, architecture-wise.
8. Bet the Horses at Happy Valley Racetrack — Hong Kong Island’s best gambling venue is this racetrack, at the base of Victoria Peak, which draws the best Asian horses and riders.
9. Ride the Longest Escalator in the World – The Mid-Level Escalator brings workers down to the city in the mornings, then reverses to take tourists up the hills of the Central District.
10. Do Some Shopping at Stanley Market — This giant flea market is located in another part of Hong Kong Island and is probably the best place to find bargains in this expensive city.
11. Swim or Relax at Repulse Bay — A visit to this scenic section of oceanfront, on the south side of the island, can be combined with an excursion to Stanley and/or Aberdeen.
12. Stroll Along Nathan Road — The main shopping street in the Kowloon District begins at the waterfront, near the Star Ferry terminal. It is lined with numerous shops and restaurants.
13. Admire the Glittering Bank of China Tower — This beautiful skyscraper was designed by noted architect, I M Pei, and is one of the focal points of Hong Kong’s skyline although it is not nearly as tall as some other buildings.
14. Take a Sampan Ride Through Aberdeen Village — This floating community sits dramatically opposite a group of tall apartment buildings and symbolizes one of the central contrasts of a thriving metropolis like Hong Kong — old versus new.
15. Take a Walking Tour of the Peak — The streets of the peak will lead visitors to several breathtaking overlooks and some decidedly different views of Hong Kong Island.