Hong Kong is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the far-east. It is a major business location in Asia and is known to be a modern urban destination. Make no mistakes about it though: Hong Kong has retained its distinct traditional Chinese heritage. Even though it was under British rule for centuries, local Chinese culture is still the rule, which is why Hong Kong is such an interesting place to visit. Here, the East meets the West, and the modern goes hand and hand with the traditional. Since English is relatively widely spoken in Hong Kong, a visitor would not have a difficult time with the language barrier. With this nice mix of exotic destinations and visitor convenience, a tourist should have a grand time staying in Hong Kong and never run out of things to do in this fascinating place. Here are ten of the best:
10. VISIT THE AVENUE OF THE STARS AND A SYMPHONY OF LIGHTS
Here, you can catch the majestic beauty of the Hong Kong harbour. It is also here that the world’s largest permanent light and sound show is located. This is a show-stopping light and laser presentation synchronized to music played in the venue. The Avenue of Stars, with its paved tribute to local movie actors, is also likened to Hollywood’s prestigious Walk of Fame.
9. TRY LOCAL CUISINE
Your taste buds are in for a treat as Hong Kong is widely known for its excellent cuisine. Mouth-watering Oriental delicacies abound in the many restaurants and eating places in Hong Kong. Centuries-old recipes are readily accessible for everyone to savour and enjoy. Since western influence is very present, food choice is never a problem. The city is also home to some of the finest chefs in Asia, assuring satisfaction even to the most exacting customers.
8. VISIT THE BEACH
Lantau Island is an excellent location to get away from the city. Here, you may visit secluded beaches, go fishing in traditional fishing villages and enjoy the abundant natural beauty that Hong Kong has to offer. This makes for an enjoyable outing for everyone in the family. Other popular beach destinations are Repulse Bay, Middle Bay, Shek O and the Big Wave Bay.
Oftentimes, Hong Kong is depicted in pictures as a concrete jungle, teeming with tall buildings and blinding lights. There is another side to this urban destination, though. Its countryside is a wonderful place to visit too, and there are actually a number of nature parks (country and marine parks) to go to. The Hong Kong Wetland Park, the North East New Territories and the Sai Kung peninsula are popular nature trip destinations where you can enjoy hiking, strolling and other sightseeing activities.
6. GO TO THE HORSE RACES
In Happy Valley, you can enjoy live races on Wednesdays. A night of betting on races and beer drinking is an excellent way to relax after a full day of activities. This place is ideal for tourists who enjoy gambling and having fun downtime coupled with relaxing night entertainment.
5. BUDDHA SIGHT-SEEING AND IMMERSION IN LOCAL HERITAGE
Due to its Chinese heritage, Hong Kong is a predominantly Buddhist country. A perfect place to visit to get a feel of the olden character of Hong Kong is the Temple of the Thousand Buddhas. There are about 12000 Buddha statues to marvel at here and old temples to see. Other popular heritage sites are the Hong Kong heritage Museum, the She Kung Temple, Tsang tai Uk, the Kowloon Walled City Park, Stilt houses in Tai O, the Tien Tan Buddha Statue and the Po Lin Monastery.
4. ENJOY THE STAR FERRY CRUISE
Your Hong Kong experience would not complete without taking a ride on this world renowned ferry. It will be a glorious day or night of sight-seeing while aboard this ship, which will take you on an easy 5-minute ride across the famous Victoria Harbor.
3. SHOP, SHOP, SHOP
For years, Hong Kong has been known as a shopping mecca. Since the local government here imposes no sales tax or VAT, shopping products have consistently maintained their low prices. From medicine to trendy clothes, Hong Kong provides a vast array of choices. Technological gadgets in particular are widely known to be available at their cheapest here.
2. VISIT THEME PARKS: DISNEYLAND AND OCEAN PARK
Disneyland and Ocean Park are very popular amusement destinations not only for kids but also for the whole family. On top of the thrilling theme park rides, Disneyland offers exciting entertainment attractions such as the festival of the Lion King show. Ocean Park likewise offers many theme park rides to the public and boasts a giant aquarium for underwater animal-seeing. The Park also provides visitors with a unique treat: a live viewing of Chinese pandas. This would truly be a fun experience for everyone and can make even the harshest cynic feel like a child once more.
1. MARVEL AT THE SPECTACULAR VICTORIA HARBOUR SKYLINE.
Hong Kong has become a hub for modern architecture. The city has some of the most breathtaking skyscrapers in the world lining the Coast of Victoria Harbor. An aerial tour of this would surely leave tourists in awe, wanting a repeat ride. On a side note, 4 of the tallest skyscrapers in the world are found in Hong Kong. This is the most famous tourist spot in the city.
Hong Kong is indeed a wonderful place to visit. With its seemingly endless offerings of attractions and activities, it is not surprising that the rate of tourism has always been high. It was once feared that with the turnover of Hong Kong to China, the local economy would suffer a tailspin. That was in 1997. It has already been more than a decade and Hong Kong is still thriving like a busy bee’s nest. Credit must go to local administrators, planners and strategists who have been able to buck the tide of scepticism and mistrust that Hong Kong initially faced. Although there seems to be some level of concern regarding immigration, the overall business and economy in Hong Kong remains strong. Truly, to have a complete experience of the complexities and beauty of the Far East, Hong Kong is a must-see destination.