Hong Kong is brimming with life, full of people teeming through the packed city streets. It is a melting pot of cultures, having absorbed people and influences from countries as diverse as Vietnam and Britain. The former British colony is now a major tourist destination and a global gateway to many of the world’s cities. There is plenty to do and lots to see in the city and the outskirts of Hong Kong, including:
Hong Kong Skyline
See the city from above at night with views from the popular Avenue of Stars which looks directly across Victoria Harbour at the beautiful skyline of Hong Kong. Rated as one of the best in the world, it’s unmissable. You can also take a Star Ferry across the harbour or view the skyscrapers from the world famous Victoria Peak.
Hong Kong Museum of History
You will find the museum on Chatham Road, which is host to eight galleries over four floors with hundreds of permanent displays and temporary exhibitions throughout the year. If you are interested in the history of Hong Kong it is not to be missed, ticket price is HK$10 per person with concessions for students and seniors.
Hire a Junk
Hong Kong is actually an archipelago of about 260 islands so it’s worth seeing some of the rugged coastlines from these traditional Chinese boats. You could get together with a few friends and hire an eight hour charter from Tramway for $490 or go for a more luxurious experience with Jaspas and Saffron companies.
Lin Heung Tea House
Go here to test out your Cantonese speaking skills or bring a friend to act as a translator. Come for an authentic Tea House experience and go back in time to Hong Kong of old. And don’t forget to try the delicious rice dumplings!
Intercontinental Infinity Pool
After a long day of walking the busy streets, soak your tired bones in the Intercontinental for $350 per night. It’s not cheap but you get plenty for your money, with a third floor spa deck and three infinity pools at different temperatures that appear to spill magically into the Hong Kong skyline.
Temple Street market
Find fascinating trinkets, souvenirs, jade, antiques, street food and more at this bustling Chinese night market. Steeped in history, this popular street bazaar extends from Ming Lane in the north to Nanking St in the south and is a hive of bargains and fun entertainment. It takes place every day from 4pm to midnight.
Tram to the Peak
Get the tram to the Peak Tower and look at the fabulous views as you climb up in this historic ride. Once you get to Peak Tower you can take in the city views or shop, dine and enjoy the magical art of the Sky Gallery.
You could take a day trip to Shenzen; immediately north of Hong Kong, it is the first of China’s Special Economic Zones. It is home to the Shenzen stock exchange and the headquarters of many high-tech companies. Large manufacturing companies, such as Foxconn, employ millions of people here and manufacture products like the iPhone, the Kindle, Playstation and many more of your favourite electronics.
Ngong Ping and the Giant Buddha
The Tian Tan Buddha sits on Lantau Island, near Hong Kong international airport, is well worth the 260 step climb. There is also a cable car ride giving excellent views of Lantau and the Giant Buddha which will take you from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping Plateau.
Dialogue in the Dark Hong Kong
Take a tour around this exhibition which takes place in complete darkness, it has already spanned 26 countries with over 6 million visitors. You will be led around by a tour guide to discover five different environments common to Hong Kong, whilst challenging your senses.
Enjoy Hong Kong and don’t forget to take out adequate travel insurance to cover any unexpected events. There are no required vaccinations for Hong Kong, unless you have travelled from a country with yellow fever (in this case you will need a certificate). The World Health Organisation has an excellent book which is available online for free at http://www.who.int/en/.
Karen Davies is the Head of Digital & Direct Marketing at Australia Post. Australia Post offers a range of products and services to help ensure you get the most from your time away including: Mail Hold, Foreign Currency and Travel Insurance – see auspost.com.au/travel-solutions.html for details.
Image: Mike Behnken