Monday, March 21, 2011

Top 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Must-see Attractions

Hong Kong is an endlessly fascinating destination due to its rich history, its cultural diversity and for its many faces.

From Buddha images to a vibrant nightlife to endless shopping opportunities to great fine-dining locations, the choices of what to see is mind boggling. Here are ten of the best that Hong Kong has to offer.

The Peak

Talk about getting high in Hong Kong: The Peak not only has tremendous views out over the harbour and neighbouring islands but it’s also a gastronomic destination, a place of historical interest, probably the coolest place in town as well as being the location for Madame Tussaud’s. The futuristic-looking building is also used as base camp for nature ramblers and trekkers. The Sky Terrace, standing at 428 metres above sea level, is the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong and has stunning 360-degree panoramic views.


A Symphony of Lights

Tsim Sha Tsui
A Symphony of Lights

This nightly light show is a wonderful sight to behold. The show creates an all-round vision of coloured lights, laser beams and searchlights performing a stunning, unforgettable spectacle, all synchronised to music and narration. This must-see Hong Kong experience is best appreciated by taking a harbour cruise but other good vantage points are along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront between the Avenue of Stars and on the promenade outside the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai.

Hong Kong Disneyland

The only Disneyland in the world built according to the rules of Feng Shui, the park consists of four themed lands similar to other Disneyland parks: Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland and Tomorrowland. Grizzly Trail, Mystic Point and Toy Story Land are all expected to open very soon, bringing the themes up to seven in number. The park features daily firework shows and has special events to celebrate Christmas, Chinese New Year and has regular parades and even a live musical.


Giant Buddha

Lantau Island
Giant Buddha

The world’s tallest outdoors seated bronze Buddha, the Tian Tan, is a sight to behold and is located near Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island. It was built to symbolise the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion. A major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong, the imposing image is also a popular tourist attraction. The image is 34 metres tall and weighs 250 metric tons and is so prominent that it can be seen from as far away as Macau on a clear day. The climb up the 268 steps to reach it is well worth it.

Stanley Market

This seven-days-a-week market attracts visitors by the droves and no wonder: It’s a veritable treasure trove and bargain-hunters from all over the world join in the fun of haggling with shopkeepers and stallholders. Bargain for brand-name clothing and accessories, or simply irresistible souvenirs, ornaments and other Oriental bric-a-brac in a riot of colours, scents and sights.

Another busy market that will boggle the mind with its diversity. Temple Street Night Market ostensibly opens at 16:00 but it really gets going past dark, when it is a barrage of brightly lit stalls selling cheap goods with the emphasis on men’s accessories but also selling secondhand items such as radios and antiques as well as fascinating old newspapers. Half of the fun is to hunt down the side streets for hole-in-the-wall shops. The market is also a magnet for food lovers as it features many stalls and restaurants in which to have a hot pot.


Lan Kwai Fong & Soho

Lan Kwai Fong & Soho

Lan Kwai Fong is an L-shaped, cobble-stoned lane surrounded by Central's cluster of skyscrapers. It takes up just a crowded two-block stretch but makes up for its lack of spread by exuding a lively and energetic feel. Revelers head here for the area’s world-famous collection of over 100 bars, clubs and restaurants and because of it handy location right next to the city’s business quarter which means that many of the drinkers are celebrating the end of a day at the office.

Jumbo Kingdom

A huge floating restaurant, Jumbo Kingdom has hosted royalty, movie stars and about 30 million other visitors. The ‘ship’ divides up into five culinary, themed restaurants and also sports a bronzeware exhibition and a wine garden. Jumbo Kingdom is quite a sight at night with its Classic Chinese design, brightly-lit decks reflected on the waters of Aberdeen Harbour. A meal here is an impressive experience.

Horse Racing

The only legal form of gambling and the city’s recreational passion, Happy Valley Racecourse is immensely popular with the Honkongonese. Gambling on the horses is Pastime Number One here (and it's taken very seriously), with thousands of spectators flocking weekly to the impressive track, a green expanse with an electric atmosphere surrounded by high-rises. Atmospheric is certainly is, and night racing is particularly impressive with huge lighting arrangements and huge video screens. Established in 1846, the racecourse is an integral part of the city.


Wetland Park

New Territories

Located at the northern part of Tin Shui Wai, New Territories, Wetland Park is a marvelous showcase of Mother Nature. The 61-hectare park has a 10,000sqm visitors’ centre and demonstrates the diversity of the Hong Kong's wetland ecosystem and highlights the need to conserve it. The Wetland Discovery Centre, located in the Wetland Reserve, provides visitors more hands-on experience on local wetlands and shows interesting fauna. It is home to a stunning array of wildlife including birds, dragonflies, amphibians, mammals, reptiles, butterflies and fish.

Read more: Top 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong - Hong Kong Must-see Attractions


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