Updated: May 29, 2020
There are a few destinations I've been to in the world that sit amongst my favourite. Destinations I would love to return to! And Hong Kong is one of them!
Hong Kong is a place where East meets West. Although it's now considered a part of China, it still operates under different rules. Due to previously being a British colony and being part of China, the western influence here is still very much noticeable.
China can be a difficult country to visit for various reasons, which you can read about in my China guides, but Hong Kong is much more suited to the less experienced traveller.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Hong Kong. You can hike up to the top or take the "Peak Tram". Due to being short on time I decided to take the tram during the daytime, but I did have to queue for close to an hour! I believe hiking only takes 45 minutes. So I suggest try to hit this at an off peak time if you plan to take the tram, or hike it. The trail looked quite spectacular, and I'm sure there's plenty of nature to see along the way.
You'll get some nice views of the city up here, as well as there being some shops, restaurants and bars.
I stayed for a little while, but I think it would have been better to visit here at sunset. I think watching the sun go down at the city lights up would be a much better sight than what you see during the daytime.
This area of Hong Kong is simply magical! To get there you'll need to take the "Ngong Ping Cable Car" which is found near to "Tung Chung" station. Just taking the cable car gives you spectacular views of the hills as you make your ascent.
You'll arrive at Ngong Ping Village, which is an artificial village made for tourists. However it's very beautifully designed and there are activities to do here, although it mainly consists of shops and restaurants.
It's far from cheap here, but one of the shops I recommend is "The Chopstick Gallery". They sell beautifully hand-painted chopsticks of all styles, which make beautiful souvenirs for friends and family.
At the far end of the village you'll see the "Po Lin Monastery" and "Tian Tan Buddha". There are 268 steps to reach the Buddha which can be hard work to climb on a hot day, but once you're at the top you get some wonderful views and a much closer look at the giant bronze Buddha.
The Star Ferry
The Star Ferry carries passengers between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. It's possible to cross the harbour via road and rail tunnels, yet the Star Ferry is still a very popular way to cross.
Why is it so popular with tourists? Well, at night when all the skyscrapers are lit up with various colours, it's quite a stunning sight, especially if you time it with the Symphony of Lights.
Symphony of Lights
Every evening at 8pm there is a special light show which takes place on Hong Kong Island. You'll have to watch from Kowloon to get the best views, or on the Star Ferry to combine two attractions at the same time.
There is orchestral music playing as the various buildings glow with beams and flashing lights. I was a little disappointed in all fairness. I was expecting something a little more like a firework and illumination show. Still, it's something a little different, and still a nice thing to see. Just don't expect too much from it.
Wong Tai Sin Temple
There are various temples around Hong Kong, but this was my favourite. It's dedicated to the Taoist deity "Wong Tai Sin", or otherwise known as "Great Immortal Wong".
Decorated with Chinese lanterns, pagodas and a beautiful little lake with ornate bridge at the rear. You'll find it frequented by tourists and locals alike.
There's quite a lot to explore here and also plenty to interact with, including Kau Chim (Chinese Fortune Sticks) and making wishes.
What I really loved about this place were the twelve statues of the Chinese zodiac.
One of the best souvenirs you can buy from Hong Kong is an item made from jade. The Jade Market has hundreds of stalls selling various types of green jewellery and ornaments. Some of these items will be fake, some will be genuine, so you need to be very cautious as to what you buy.
You'll likely have several vendors reaching out to you to buy from their stall. It is of course possible to haggle, but how do you know what you're getting is genuine jade?
I suggest visiting Sandra's stall 447. She sells genuine Jade, and if there are items she doesn't have, she may also be able to steer you in the right direction. I wanted to purchase a jade rooster as a good luck charm, as I'm the year of the rooster. She introduced me to her neighbours stall who sold them for a very good price.
Bruce Lee Statue
This statue has moved a few times in recent years, but as far as I'm aware he now resides on the Avenue of Stars. You'll find various other famous Hong Kong Movie star statues, handprints and pavement stars. But Bruce Lee is without a doubt the most famous around the world.
Of course, it's still interesting to check out the other stars while you're here.
Located at the Ritz Carlton on 118th floor is the Ozone rooftop bar. If sky bars are your thing then you won't want to miss this! As of writing, it's the highest rooftop bar in the world at an altitude of 480 meters.
The views are amazing, the drinks are expensive, but coming here for at least one drink is worth it. I ordered myself a dry gin martini (which was made well), and admired the views.
I did struggle to get a seat when I first arrived, as it's quite a small bar, but after a while I managed to find a spot to sit down.
Lan Kwai Fong
If you're looking for nightlife then Lan Kwai Fong is one of the best areas to go. There are plenty of different bars around this area to drink in.
I actually ended up in a bar where a huge group of British ex pats were celebrating the rugby Sevens. Most of them had been drinking all day and were dressed in various outlandish costumes. I befriended an Essex girl who she took me to some great bars off the beaten track.
Drinks prices in Hong Kong are not cheap, but the nightlife itself is brilliant.
Yes, Hong Kong has a Disneyland! It's one of the most recent in the world, only opening in 2005.
It's not as large as some of the other parks around the world, but it does have a lot of the classic Disneyland rides such as the the Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion.