Hong Kong is proudly regarded as Asia’s world city. Hong Kong has the highest number of skyscrapers in the world. (317 according to Wikipedia). Hong Kong is a popular tourist destination as well as a transit hub for citizens of many nationalities.
To begin with you will most likely land at Hong Kong International Airport. HKIA is around 38 KM from the city centre. To travel from the airport to the city you have 3 options – Taxi, Bus and the Airport Express. TIP: Hong Kong Airport express is the fastest and the most convenient way to get to the city.
Things to see and do
1. A walk at the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade
Tsim sha Tsui offers breathtaking views of Central HK. The promenade consists many buildings of historical importance. The Clock tower, Avenue of stars, the cultural centres as well as the museum is all located along the promenade. The Symphony of lights begins daily at 8 PM and ends in about 15 minutes – The show lights up the entire Victoria Harbour.
2. The Peak
The Peak provides stunning views of Central as well as Kowloon island. It is the highest mountain on Hong Kong island with an elevation of 1811 feet. The Peak provides amazing photo taking opportunities with stunning views and is a must see attraction at HK. Travel to the peak by the tram to experience the stunning landscape of Hong Kong. Madame Tussauds is located at the peak.
3. Ocean Park and Disneyland Hongkong
These are the two most popular theme parks / amusement parks located in HK. You need a day each to visit both the attractions; however, if travelling on a budget and your main motive is to experience the rich culture of Hong Kong – you can visit just one of the two or give a miss to both. Its all upto you and your preferences.
4. Stanley Beach
A beach in Hong Kong – Surprised ain’t you. Yes, Hong Kong does have beaches and attractions which are a complete opposite of Central Hong Kong. Stanley and repulse bay is located on Hong Kong island. Stanley located at the southern end of the island is not included in the Hongkong MTR map and it is best to travel to these areas by using a Taxi. Stanley even consists of a popular flea market.
Finally the reason why most people visit Hongkong – “Shopping”. Street markets can be found all across Hong Kong from Central Hong Kong to Kowloon. Street markets are located in by lanes of most streets. Bargaining should be involved in most of your purchases as the prices may be inflated depending on the mood of the hawker. The more popular night markets are located on the Kowloon side which includes temple street markets, ladies market and so on. The main shopping area is Hong Kong island is “Causeway Bay”. Causeway Bay is a better version of the markets which are located on the Kowloon side. Causeway Bay has street markets to high end department stores.
Note: If you have extra time in HK it is worth visiting the Lantau islands and have a look at the big buddha and the cable car.
Where to Eat
Food is everywhere in Hongkong from Michelin star restaurants to local street side food. All the popular fast chain restaurants we are used to is also present in Hongkong. HK is very popular for its desserts and dumplings so once in HK you should all try.
Typical costs and budget tips
In Hong Kong space is a constraint and hotels may not come cheap depending on the season. For a young traveller it is best to stay in a hostel or a mini hotel. Before booking your hotel or hostel it is advisable to research online and look out for reviews online. If on a budget it is best to avoid taking a taxi and depend on the Hongkong MTR. You can also save money by dining at local food outlets and buying packaged drinking water from one of the supermarkets or a 7-eleven. Try exploring hong Kong on foot and experience Hongkong like the locals.
For Hongkong travel tips for Indians please refer to my previous blog post at http://asiatravelsin.com/hong-kong-travel-tips/