One of the most acclaimed places when it comes to vacations, Hong Kong is any vacationer’s paradise. From its glistening skyscrapers to the rustic villages; Hong Kong has a plethora to offer. The quick transition from a bohemian style life to the cosmopolitan bit is rather astounding.
Hong Kong’s rise as an international gateway means millions of people will visit the city when travelling to or from Australia to Europe, the Middle East or Asia, and why not when the thriving city is the perfect step into Asia. With bilingual English/Cantonese signs, an abundance of international food options and a decent exchange rate, Hong Kong is one of my first options when I want to travel. So here are my recommendations of five things you should consider doing if you are visiting for your first time!
Chinese Junks and Ferries
Running between Central and Kowloon is the lifeblood of the city both in the past and today. On one side, Hong Kong Island which is also known as Central – the business district of Hong Kong and the other, Kowloon, home to Tsim Sha Tsui – a predominantly hotel and shopping area, the museums near the waters edge and the tourist areas of Mong Kok and Nathan Road.
One of the cheapest activities in Hong Kong is to take one of the Star Ferries between Kowloon and Central. The 10-minute ferry ride will cost you about HK$2.40 and give you a unique view of the city skyline. Gazing out on the Kowloon side you will see the Avenue of the Stars and perhaps capture a glimpse of a celebrity adding their hand prints to the walk of fame. On the Hong Kong Island side you will see the curved roof of the Convention Centre, the International Finance Centre – which held the record for being tallest building in Hong Kong until 2010, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of one of Hong Kong’s most famous vantage points – The Peak.
For the most picturesque view I recommend taking the ferry in the evening. The city really puts on a show as the buildings light up, twinkling various shades of neon. If you visit during the holiday season you may even see a Santa Claus or two outlined on the buildings.
If you have a bit more money to spend, take the time to catch a tradition Chinese Junk and sail the harbour in style. Tours on the Junks cost around HK$100 per person.
There are a number of options to tour Victoria Harbour. Please check out this post for a comprehensive list of information.
Nestled amongst the most lavish houses in the country, Hong Kong Island is one of the most popular attractions for visitors – the Peak. Taking the red tram which run up the mountain side, the tram ride takes you on a rather memorable ride reminisce of something like a theme park roller coaster with angles of four to 47 degrees on the ascent!
Upon surviving the steep climb to the top, you are greeted with a myriad of shops and restaurants at your disposal, as well as a Madame Tussaud and a Ripley’s Believe it or Not. But it’s not any of those which visitors flock for – it’s for the Peak Tower and the Sky Terrace which offers views across the city and, if the day is cloudless, into China.