Whether you’re dropping by on a stopover or making the dash for a big city break, Hong Kong will immerse you in its buzz – and its beauty. A heaving sky-high metropolis of bright flashing lights set on a beautiful blue harbour, this city-state has a side that everyone will love. From shops and theme parks to celebrity sights and natural landscapes, beyond the traffic and crowds there’s a bounty of treasures to discover. Family or couple, young or old, here are our top five sights to add to your Hong Kong holiday to-do list.
Who doesn’t love a fabulous city view? And with a skyline like Hong Kong, you’d be silly to miss it. It is by far one of the most unique and incredible cityscapes in the world. Take the iconic Peak Tram up the mountain and into the cascading green hills of the New Territories. Once you reach the top, the views are spectacular. Peer out across the smidgen of green wilderness to the sparkling skyscrapers that meet the winding curves of the deep harbour, and on the other side, the added city hustle of Kowloon. If you wait until the sun goes down you’ll see the city spring to life in a dazzling kaleidoscope of multi-coloured lights.
Temple Street Night Market
You won’t be left with nothing to do at night anywhere in Hong Kong. But by far a post-sunset highlight is the Temple Street Night Market. A popular street bazaar, the vibe is local and rather rowdy – and it plays out in Kowloon every night. Browse the trinkets, souvenirs, antiques and electronics, pick up some bargain clothing, and indulge in a piece of iconic jade jewellery. Follow the string of bulb lights from stall to stall, from fortune-teller stands to traditional Chinese medicine stalls selling bizarre remedies. It’s also a great spot to tuck into some local street food in the authentic surrounds of a lively Chinese market, where busking opera troupes provide a lively backing.
Avenue of Stars & A Symphony of Lights
It may not be LA, but Hong Kong’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame is still worth a wander. Dubbed the ‘Hollywood of the East’, Hong Kong has fostered a strong movie industry for many years, and this promenade pays tribute to the names that helped to earn the city that reputation. Take a stroll past the commemorative plaques, celebrity handprints, movie memorabilia and descriptive milestones. You’ll even meet eye-to-eye with kung fu action hero Bruce Lee, albeit a rather life-size bronze version. Perched along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront of Kowloon, it also comes with beautiful water and Hong Kong Island views, and at night, it’s a great spot to catch the Symphony of Lights multimedia show.
Hong Kong Disneyland
It may be the new kid on the block, but Hong Kong Disneyland needs little introduction. The latest addition to the fairytale-loving chain, the magical world of Walt Disney is hard to resist for children and adults alike. The whole family will love the journey through Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland and Main Street USA. And this year saw the opening of Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, and Toy Story Land, where you’ll feel as small as a toy amongst the oversized attractions of Andy’s backyard. Nestled on beautiful Lantau Island, it’s a breath of fresh air from all those skyscrapers. The surrounding untouched mountains, beaches and winding walking trails are full of natural promise.
Wong Tai Sin Temple
An enchanting temple that promises to ‘make every wish come true upon request’, Wong Tai Sin Temple is as popular as it is colourful. An elaborate assembly of multicoloured roofs, towering pillars and intricate lattice work, you’ll find every one of the five elements laid out in perfect feng shui: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. Inside, the scene is set with blooming bunches of flowers and smoky trails of incense. Attracting locals from all walks of life, what’s incredible about this temple is that it’s home to three different religions: Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Beyond the temple, don’t miss the Good Wish Gardens, a beautiful Chinese garden with carp ponds, waterfalls, zigzag bridges and colourful pavilions to explore.