Best Things To Do in Hong Kong City
Tour Sham Shui Po
You can choose to take a foodie tour, or a simple city tour of the Sham Shui Po district. Either are fascinating.
A regular walking tour explains the history of the region and also stories of the people who lived here. You'll tour tenement buildings, shophouses, alleyways, and food markets in the region.
While I was there we used a company called XXX for a tour of the district and I highly recommend them. Check it out here. For a food tour check out Eating Adventures.
It doesn't matter if you choose to come here during the day or at night, both are spectacular. By day you can walk the promenade and enjoy fantastic views while at night the Symphony of light quite literally lights up the sky. You can learn more about the Symphony of lights tour below under the heading 'shows in Hong Kong'.
If you want a sunset cruise to remember to take a ride on the Aqua Luna. Your ticket will include free drinks and fantastic views.
One of the largest street markets - where knowing how to haggle is essential! There are over 100 stalls of bargain clothing, accessories, and souvenirs and while there are some things for men most items are for women.
Nan Ling Garden
If you want to enjoy nature without leaving the city you have to come to this garden. It truly is an oasis in the city and plus it's free!
Chi Lin Nunnery
Right next door to the garden is the Chi Lin Nunnery, a beautiful building that deserves a look.
A huge ferris wheel (similar to the london eye) is a huge attraction on Hong Kong Island. Ride it for magnificent views.
Ride Star Ferry
You can travel between Hong Kong island and Kowloon (and more destinations) by Star Ferry. Riding the ferry is an attraction in its self. The most popular line travels from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central and Wanchai from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM, and offers amazing views. This is especially true when departing from Tsim Sha Tsui. The Star Ferry has carried passengers for over 120 years and the eleven-minute journey across the harbor is definitely a must do in Hong Kong.
Traveling on the ferry is very cheap. Prices vary depending on if you are traveling on a weekday (cheaper) or weekend (slightly more expensive). Upper deck seats cost between $2-3. Lower deck cost only $2-2.90. You can pay with your Octopus card, cash, or at the onsite vending machine.
Find Street Art
The city streets of Hong Kong are similar to a high end gallery with tons of street art just waiting to be found (and photographed with). Check out this article from Time Out for the best street art locations in the city.
Eat all the food
Like food? Hong Kong has you covered. From Instagramable meals to cheap street eats there is so much to eat while you're there.
Theme Parks in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Disneyland
This extension of Disney is significantly smaller than other Disney parks around the world but has been recently expanded and offers new attractions (like Toy Story Land!). The queues are usually short for the majority of the year and it is MUCH cheaper than any other Disney park for both entry and food. It is located on Lantau Island, about 12km east of Hong Kong International Airport.
A local staple that is still packed on weekends with both tourists and local families. The park has roller coasters and large aquariums but its most visited exhibit is the Hong Kong Pandas. There is a wide range of rides from slow and sweet to adrenalin pumping. Ocean Park is located on the southern side of Hong Kong island.
Ngong Ping 360
Located on Lantau Island, Ngong Ping 360 is a Buddhist themed park. You can see Imperial Chinese architecture, interactive shows, demonstrations, restaurants and coffee shops. I went while in Hong Kong and was sad that the longest cable car ride in Hong Kong was down for repair. If it's open while you're there don't miss it - the views are stunning. The ride also takes you to the largest outdoor seated Buddha which is impressive in its own right.
Shows you shouldn't miss in Hong Kong
Symphony of Lights
Located in Victoria harbor, the symphony of lights is a beautiful multimedia show of lights that happens every single night. You can enjoy the show from either side of the harbor or on a boat!
Day Trips from Hong Kong
You'll think you have time traveled to Vegas, but no it's just Macau. Only an hour away from Hong Kong you'll find mega-resorts, gambling, and also some interesting historical areas. Of course, the main draw, especially for tourists, are the casinos. Macau is also the new gambling resort capital of the world and holds 5 of the world's 10 largest casino resorts.
You can choose to go to Macau as a day trip or a longer layover but getting there is relatively easy. You'll need your passport to travel between the two regions but most foreigners don't need to obtain a visa ahead of time. Macau's border works similar to Hong Kong's, a short line and a landing slip to hold onto until you leave.
Read on: How to plan a day trip to Macau
Hong Kong isn't just big city skyscrapers! You can actually enjoy nature, from hiking to gorgeous beaches, a short distance from the city.
Lantau Island, the largest of Hong Kong's islands, is extremely mountainous inland with Lantau Peak a popular hiking trail also known for it's sunrises. You can find beaches there as well but the most well-known sight it Po Lin Monastery, the site of the bronze Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the big Buddha. You can read more about the Buddha below.
You've probably seen pictures of this bad boy all over social media. And I'm happy to say it doesn't disappoint in person.
To find the Big Buddha you'll have to visit the remote Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island. Although it looks ancient it actually was erected in 1993. It sits 34 meters high and you can reach it by walking up 200+ steps to the top.
The famous Buddha isn't the only thing to see out here. There is also the Po Lin Monastery that contains gorgeous and colorful Buddhist relics with a garden that surrounds it and holds many birds and flowers. There is a vegetarian restaurant nearby and hiking trails including the gorgeous wisdom trail and Lantau Peak.
Sai Kung Island Hopping
The outlying islands in Hong Kong are a joy to visit and are some of the best memories I have from Hong Kong. You can see the islands for cheap by taking ferries around the region or you can opt to hire your own boat.
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you.
Lonely Planet Pocket Guides are my absolute favorite because, as the name suggests, they are tiny enough to fit in a pocket or a small bag while still giving you a ton of information. But, here are some other books I recommend as well...
And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).