Top 10 Things to See and Do
1. An icon of the city, Victoria peak soars above Hong Kong at an imposing 552 metres, the highest point on the island. You can reach the top via a 125 year old peak tram, where as you would expect, the view across the city and one of the worlds most spectacular harbours is nothing short of breathtaking – visit at sunset for a truly mesmerising experience.
2. The serenely atmospheric Man Mo temple is an official monument and one of Hong Kong’s oldest temples; with rows of large spirals suspended from the roof and incense coils burned as offerings by worshipper, the entire place has an captivatingly mystical ambience that is enhanced by its stunning interior.
3. Undoubtedly the most vibrant night market in Hong Kong, the temple street market winds from North to South, cut in two my the Tin Hau temple complex. Boasting an infectiously lively atmosphere (with plenty of fortune tellers and the occasional open-air opera performance), mouth watering smells and better tastes, and all the watches, cheap clothes, fake labels, cooking utensils, pirated DVDs and miscellaneous items you can shake a stick at, it is a must-visit while in Hong Kong.
4. View Hong Kong from the water and explore some of the 260 islands and islets in its archipelago with a cruise on a ‘junk’ (the term originally used for a Chinese fishing boat which now applies to all motorised pleasure vessels).Take an organised tour or pack a picnic and hire your own charter, and experience Hong Kong from a whole new perspective.
5. Climb to the roof of the picturesque IFC mall on the waterfront; ringed with elegant bars and restaurants, it also boast breath-taking panoramic views out across the city and bay.
6. No holiday to Hong Kong would be complete without an outing to the races; visit on a Wednesday evening, when the stands are packed and the atmosphere is abuzz with excitement.
7. The Hong Kong Museum of History is worthwhile excursion if you’re interested in learning more about the cities ethnography, archaeology and local and natural history, beginning with prehistoric Hong Kong and walking you through its evolution from there, concluding with its 1997 return to China.
8. Sprawling over a vast 270 hectares, the Mai Po Nature Reserve is home to tens of thousands of birds ranging from common ducks, gulls and kingfishers to rare species, while the informative Mai Po Visitor Centre includes displays on the history and ecology of the wetlands and Deep Bay.
9. The majestic Tian Tan Buddha statue perches on a hill above the monastery; standing some 23 metres high, it is made entirely of bronze and weights 2-2 tonnes. The 260 steps are well worth a climb for a closer look at the statue and an excellent view of its surroundings. Visit on the Buddha’s birthday (in late April or early May) for a particularly lively atmosphere.
10. A significant relocation next to Victoria Harbour and an expansion have transformed the Hong Kong Maritime Museum into one of the city’s best; included in the exhibits are ceramics from China’s ancient sea trade, old nautical instruments, shipwreck treasures and a painted scroll depicting piracy in early 19th Century China.
Culture in Hong Kong
Hong Kong boasts a unique culture and heritage that is quite unlike any other; a city that both embraces the future and honours the past, soaring sky scrapers sit side by side with ancient temples, and the people are cosmopolitan and highly educated. 98 percent of the population is Chinese, and while Cantonese habits and customs dominate, they also consider themselves to be very westernised.