The ten finest issues to do in Hong Kong

It’s exhausting to not fall in love with Hong Kong at first sight, a disarmingly high-rise metropolis within the dreamiest of island settings. Then you definately begin to uncover simply how memorable the meals scene is, how vibrant the nightlife is, how countless the buying is – and recreation over, you’re smitten. 

Hong Kong really is among the world’s most iconic cities, which is all of the extra outstanding given its relative youth, sprouting from the seeds of British colonialism to dizzying heights of wealth and success. Current years have introduced a raft of latest challenges, as China seeks to convey its upstart territory to heel. For now, at the least, this unimaginable metropolis retains its attract. 

There actually is not any set strategy to expertise this unimaginable metropolis, however this record affords the preferred, distinctive, and strange issues to do in Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong’s Star Ferry is part-commuter transport, part-sightseeing boat © CHUNYIP WONG / Getty Photographs

1. Marvel at Hong Kong’s skyline from the deck of the Star Ferry

Regardless of rumors in 2022 that the service would shut after 142 years, Hong Kong’s iconic Star Ferries proceed to chug the ten-minute journey throughout Victoria Harbour between Kowloon and Central. Costing mere pennies every approach, it’s a commute dressed up because the world’s most cost-effective sightseeing cruise. It’s additionally merely one of the simplest ways to absorb the skyscrapers (over 500 are above 150m/492ft tall) and jungle-clad hills that Hong Kong Island is finest identified for.

Detour: Star Ferry additionally runs a one-hour Harbour Tour voyage with pick-ups at Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, and Wan Chai.

2. Savor craft cocktails in Asia’s most artistic bars

With eight venues rating in Asia’s 50 Finest Bars for 2022 (together with first and third place with Coa and Argo respectively), Hong Kong’s bar scene is positively buzzing with creativity. Coa is all about boutique agave and the flavors of Mexico, whereas Argo makes use of sustainably sourced staples like espresso and cacao to make an announcement about local weather change. Hong Kong’s trailblazing mixologists additionally embrace Quinary, impressed by Spanish molecular restaurant El Bulli, and The Outdated Man, which takes its inspiration from Ernest Hemingway.

A smiling young tourist woman sits on double decker tram in Hong Kong on a sunny day
The tram is an inexpensive approach of traversing Hong Kong © CHUNYIP WONG / Getty Photographs

3. Discover Hong Kong island by tram 

Hong Kong’s teetering trams have been traversing the north shore of Hong Kong Island since 1904. Wanting like slimmed-down London buses, the double-decker “ding dings” are a enjoyable and low-impact technique of exploration, and also you get a killer view from the highest deck. Hop on an east-bound tram to North Level and also you’ll have the added thrill of trundling proper by way of the center of Chun Yeung Road Market, inches away from stalls and carts stacked with shiny cabbages and recent seafood.

4. Queue up for Michelin-starred roast goose

Glitzy Hong Kong has among the finest (and costliest) high-quality eating in Asia, however you’ll be able to nonetheless eat like a king on a budget if you already know the place to go. Yat Lok and Kam’s Roast Goose are two unpretentious native diners specializing in the Cantonese staple of roast goose over rice. Each serve wonderful renditions of the dish for round HK$100 (approx US$12), and each additionally occur to have a Michelin star.

Native tip: Goose leg is extra extremely prized than breast and sometimes prices extra on menus.

The view from Victoria Peak looking out across the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island and Victoria Harbour
The views from Victoria Peak are well worth the sweat and blisters © Bogdan Okhremchuk / Getty Photographs

5. Go for a hike up and round Victoria Peak

Taller than Hong Kong’s highest skyscraper, the 552m (1811ft) Victoria Peak is Hong Kong’s hottest magnificence spot, with hordes of holiday makers driving the white-knuckle Peak Tram to its higher terminus for jaw-dropping views of the town and the South China Sea. To skip the crowds, think about mountaineering up from Pok Fu Lam Reservoir, a comparatively mild ascent, after which circling the highest following the Ludgard Street loop, a flat, accessible path with panoramic viewpoints. They’re well worth the effort, however enable 2.5 hours to finish the 6km (3.7 miles) route.

Planning tip: Intention to hit the Peak at sundown to see the skyline in each day and evening mode.

Fans stand in a crowd at the famous Happy Valley racecourse, used by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for horse racing meets, at night
Take within the environment – and possibly place some bets – on the Blissful Valley Racecourse © gionnixxx / Getty Photographs

6. Have an evening on the races, Hong Kong fashion

Wednesday evening is race evening on Hong Kong Island, with hundreds of revelers descending on the Blissful Valley Racecourse to look at horses thunder across the observe, place a wager or two, and drink copious quantities of beer. The environment is often electrical, with stay music and foolish wigs a-plenty, and entry prices simply HK$10 utilizing your Octopus (subway) card. It’s one of the enjoyable issues to do at evening in Hong Kong. The oval race observe, first specified by 1845, is neglected by a cliff face of towering house blocks and makes for a outstanding setting.

Native tip: Exterior of race days, joggers are welcome to make use of the course as a public operating observe.

7. Get nostalgic for outdated Hong Kong at Yau Ma Tei

For a style of outdated Hong Kong, steeped in neon and nostalgia, head to Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon the place you’ll discover mahjong parlors, martial arts dens, dried seafood sellers, cleaver outlets, plus Hong Kong’s oldest theater, performing Cantonese opera. You’ll want to cease in for a cuppa at one of many space’s retro cha chaan tang (teahouses) and if you happen to’re feeling in high-quality voice, head to a neighborhood “singalong parlor” for old-time karaoke and beers with the locals.

Devotees, some with candles, stand in front of the shrine at the Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong
The Man Mo Temple may give guests a style of Hong Kong’s folks traditions © Andrea Pistolesi / Getty Photographs

8. Hunt down Hong Kong’s atmospheric city temples

Simply neglected amid all of the tightly packed, high-rise modernity are Hong Kong’s many city temples, with their double-eave tiled rooftops, resident fortune tellers and hanging coils of incense. Some are devoted to Tin Hau (Mazu), a sea goddess, whereas others honor a Chinese language common referred to as Che Kung. The gods of literature and conflict are additionally represented, as is the case with the magnificent Man Mo Temple. Entry is often free, even to one of the best temples, and the temples are at their busiest throughout Hong Kong’s common folks festivals.

9. Embark on an island-hopping journey

There are some 250 islands round Hong Kong, a couple of of that are a simple ferry journey away from the piers at Central. You would possibly strive laidback Lamma with its hippy vibes and craft beer shacks, or hipster Cheung Chau with its temples, trails and seashores. Lantau, Hong Kong’s greatest island and joined to the mainland since 1997, is house to the world’s largest seated bronze Buddha, in addition to the world’s most well-known mouse at Hong Kong Disneyland.

10. Bag a discount at Hong Kong’s road markets

Hong Kong is a consumer’s nirvana with extra malls per sq. mile than most locations, nevertheless it’s on the road, and in its markets, the place you’ll discover one of the best retail buzz. Temple Road Evening Market is ideal for souvenirs, whereas the close by Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market is a hive of commerce in any respect hours. Cat Road is the go-to spot for classic and curio stalls, and for snacks the retro “cooked meals markets” (da pai dong) of central and east Hong Kong island dish up homely meals like fish balls in soup and wok-tossed noodles.