Hong Kong is a city on steroids. It’s historic role as a centre of trade and the impact of British colonialism alongside traditionally Chinese heritage. It can be overwhelming, but take a deep breath and dive in to its tightly packed streets to find Hong Kong is a heady mix of sights, sounds, and smells. Booked.net looks at five of the best highlights of Hong Kong, better yet most of them won’t empty your wallet.
1 The shopping is fantastic
You can haggle on the price of souvenirs at the Temple Street night market, check out the shoes in Asia’s largest footwear department or simply wander down streets lined with with all manner of sellers even those specialising in goldfish. If that isn’t different enough, the quirky boutiques of Sun, Moon and Star streets in Wan Chai offer even more eclectic goods.
2 Turn on the lights
Blown the budget on the shopping? Don’t worry the next on the list is absolutely free. The Symphony of Lights is a nightly light show in which searchlights, neon and patterned lights flash across the city skyline with a backing track of Asian pop. The Symphony of Lights takes place daily from 8pm. For the best view, take in the show from the Avenue of Stars on Kowloon Promenade.
3 Do some island hopping
Hong Kong’s outlying islands are its best-kept secret. There are more than 260 to explore, with Lantau, Lamma, Peng Chau and Cheung Chau closest to mainland Hong Kong. Ferries run from Pier 7 in Central. The views of the city from the water are breathtaking.
4 Find a little inner harmony
Despite being one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Hong Kong still offers some respite from the hustle and bustle. The Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau island is 34 metres high, statistics that make is the largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha in the world. Be prepared to climb 268 steps to reach it, but when you do the fantastic views will more than make up for the physical effort involved. You should also visit the island’s Po Lin monastery and walk the Wisdom path flanked by 38 wooden statues carved with verses from Buddhist scriptures.
5 Get a bird’s-eye view
No stay Hong Kong is complete without a trip up the Peak. From here you can take in the full effect of the city’s Manhattan-like skyline, the vast Victoria harbour with junks lining the bay. Hop on the Peak train for the 373-metre climb to the top for the views, to walk the nature trails, or to rub-shoulders (almost) with the rich and famous in Madame Tussaud’s as well as the many attractions inside the Peak tower.