Although Hong Kong boasts everything required for an on-point holiday in the sunshine, from beautiful beaches to fine dining, the city is often a stopover destination more so than a well-thought-out, much desired pin on the map of travellers the world over. If you’re passing through this vibrant city with limited time to explore, ensure these trips are on your list.
Explore Lan Kwai Fong
Akin to the likes of Kho San Road by night, for a more palatable experience, Lan Kwai Fong should be explored during daylight hours. Ride the length of the Central-Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system which stretches 135 metres through the steep, hilly surrounding area. Your trip will last twenty minutes but should be spliced with pit stops to explore the backstreets, stopping for a drink or two along the way in the local hangouts. You’ll find everything from Lebanese and Irish to Portuguese and Russian being served up, making it a mecca for foodies.
Azure waters, beachfront bars and golden sands – yes, this is still Hong Kong. A popular place of retirement for expats and the rich, Repulse Bay is the ultimate sub-tropical, paradisaical getaway from the rush of Hong Kong’s bustling streets, and is just a short bus journey out of the city centre. Whilst Hong Kong is home to many beaches, Repulse Bay is one of the largest, ensuring there’s plenty of space to set up shop for the day and soak up the sun. Boasting a handful of restaurants ranging from Australian rotisserie chicken to healthy juice bars, as well as a colourful waterside temple, the beauty of Repulse Bay is in its tranquillity. The sunset from the concrete pier is not to be missed as the sun falls beyond the hills in the distance, traversing a thousand shades of orange, pink, red and yellow.
Image source: Backpacking with Bacon
A Symphony of Lights
As if Hong Kong’s skyline wasn’t impressive enough, the city is home to the world’s longest running permanent lighting show, occurring daily 365 days a year for over a decade. Impeccably coordinated to carefully orchestrated music, the show features lasers, lights, pyros and a whole lot of theatre. Whilst many will argue that the best way to witness the Symphony of Lights is from the elevation of the peak, taking the ferry across from Hong Kong Island to TST at the exact time the display begins will allow you an up-close of events as you drift across the bay, followed by a panoramic view from the other side as the show crescendos to its finale.
Following the Symphony of Lights, make your way to the dizzying heights of Victoria Peak to soak up the skyline from a birds-eye perspective. It’s here that you can gain a true perspective of the sheer size of this sprawling city formed of rolling hills, soaring skyscrapers and sporadic islands. The glistening sea before you can be enjoyed from the peak’s circular walkway and serves as a relaxing post-dinner wind down away from the chaos of the streets. When accessing the peak, the tram is a popular activity in itself, causing chaotic queues that stretch beyond the hour mark. If you’re feeling fit, take the trip on two feet, or alternatively hail a taxi to the top.
Tim Ho Wan
Unexpectedly located in the depths of one of Hong Kong’s many mega shopping malls, Tim Ho Wan’s dim sum restaurant may well be the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant on the planet. From the looks of the dining room, had you just walked past unaware of its reputation, you almost definitely would not have not entered due to its bog-standard appearance, but what awaits amid the subtle decor is in fact some of the most sought-after eats in all of Hong Kong. The menu changes on a daily basis, but have no fear, you’ll have plenty of time to study it as you’ll undoubtedly need to acquaint yourself with the queue.
Ten Thousand Buddhas
Take the time to head outwards of the city and visit the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. A lesser-visited tourist attraction perhaps due to its location, those who hike to the top will be rewarded with far-reaching views of the city, clad with green. Along the way you’ll pass by 10,000 handmade buddhas, each completely distinct from the last, but all equally as strange. Whilst some might argue that it’s obvious the people behind its conception ran out of money as they neared the top and the quality of the buddhas begin to noticeably decline, there’s a certain charm to it all. Explore during the morning when temperatures are cooler.