Hong Kong Places & Activities To Add To Your Itinerary
International travel is in full swing again, which means many folks have been busy planning their long-awaited getaways.
If you’re still mulling over where to visit next, Hong Kong is a great place with plenty of things to see and do — and of course, eat and buy — without burning too big of a hole in your yearly holiday budget.
Those always on the lookout for deals and promotions will be excited to know that the Hong Kong Tourism Board has a bunch of goodies in store for travellers.
But first, here are some activities you should add to your itinerary ASAP.
Admire the famous Hong Kong skyline
Just like our view of the Marina Bay area here in Singapore, Hong Kong has its own world-renowned skyline consisting of instantly recognisable skyscrapers like the Bank of China and International Finance Centre buildings, plus a brand new view of the West Kowloon side highlighted by a massive M+ LED screen.
One of the best ways to take in the stunning horizon is from the top of Sky Terrace 428, which at 428m above sea level — hence its name — is the highest viewing terrace in Hong Kong.
Be sure to keep your camera charged because here’s your chance to record 360-degree panoramic views of charming cityscapes and gorgeous greenery across Victoria Harbour and the South China Sea.
Getting there is half the fun thanks to the iconic Peak Tram, which opened in 1888 — yes, eighteen-eighty-eight — and launched its sixth generation with a redesigned and improved passenger experience in August last year.
Improvements include a larger car capacity, wider doors, step-free access for persons with disabilities, as well as larger panoramic windows for an even better view of the surrounding scenery.
One of the oldest funicular railways in the world, the Peak Tram runs on a 1.4km track and rises from 48m to 396m above sea level, so you get to admire amazing views on the way up as well.
Theme parks for fun with the whole fam
It’s hard to talk about Hong Kong without a mention of its theme parks.
There is, of course, Hong Kong Disneyland, where you can rub shoulders with Mickey Mouse and his gang, as well as your favourite Disney Princess or Marvel superhero.
The centrepiece of the park, the Castle of Magical Dreams, was unveiled in 2020. Previously the Sleeping Beauty Castle, the new palace now pays homage to all 14 Disney Princesses and Queens.
It’s also where you can watch a Disney star-studded musical stage show in the day, followed by “Momentous”, a dazzling display of fireworks, choreographed fountains, and lasers at night.
If you’re feeling like Ariel the Little Mermaid and want to continue your adventures “Under The Sea”, set aside another day to drop by Water World Ocean Park.
Adrenaline junkies won’t want to miss Rainbow Rush — eight rows of colourful 17m slides that send you rushing down at heart-pumping speeds before making a literal big splash at the bottom.
Take this as your reminder to pack some swimwear and spare clothes.
Explore the vibrant Hong Kong arts & culture scene
For something a little more relaxing, there is a whole host of museums, parks, and theatres waiting for you to explore.
Whether you’re a fan of Asian cinema or not, you’ll have a whale of a time comparing your hand size to the handprints of cinema icons like Jackie Chan and Tony Leung or having a kung fu pose-off with the Bruce Lee statue at the Avenue of Stars.
After a three-year renovation, the picturesque waterfront space reopened in January 2019. It now has even more seats and shaded areas, making it an ideal resting spot after a long day of walking around.
Looking like it belongs on the set of a sci-fi flick is the Hong Kong Palace Museum, which opened in July last year. It houses over 900 priceless treasures from the Palace Museum in Beijing’s Forbidden City, something that’s sure to excite the history buff in your circle.
Over at the Xiqu Centre, you can catch live performances of traditional Chinese theatre and Cantonese opera.
Art lovers can hop over to the M+ Museum to ooh and aah at the trendy Yayoi Kusama exhibition — which has the largest retrospective of the renowned artist outside Japan — and other fascinating galleries.
Before the day ends, take the family cycling or on a picnic — or both — at the Art Park.
If you’re there on a Friday or Saturday, head to the Lau Bak Livehouse after 9pm and groove to live music from a wide variety of genres over a cold glass of craft beer. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
Escape to the great outdoors
Many Singaporeans crave an escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life, and they can find just that on Cheung Chau Island, which is accessible via a 36- to 60-minute ferry ride from Central Pier No. 5.
There, visitors can stroll along sandy beaches, indulge in some water sports, and stop over at landmarks like the Mini Great Wall and Yuk Hui Temple, one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong.
From the temple, take a hike down Cheung Chau Family Walk to Cheung Chau North Lookout Pavilion, the highest point on the island.
It’s where you can observe killer sunsets and sweeping views of the surroundings, including Lamma Island on one side and Tsing Ma Bridge on the other.
Don’t worry about getting hungry because Cheung Chau Island is home to numerous celebrated eateries.
Check out Kam Wing Tai Fish Balls, famed for its giant seafood skewers, and Kwok Kam Kee Cake Shop, which has been churning out its iconic ‘lucky buns’ for decades.
Hong Kong restaurants that provide elevated dining experiences
Speaking of food, a travel itinerary would only be complete with a list of must-try restaurants. And in a food paradise like Hong Kong, there is no shortage of them.
Two places that will have you whipping out your phone to snap pics for the ‘gram at every serving are Chinesology and Yung’s Bistro.
Pretty much everything from Chinesology’s Caramelized Lotus Root — which looks more like a sculpture than a snack — to its Free Range Chicken looks way too good to eat. Don’t wait too long to tuck in, though.
On the other hand, Yung’s Bistro has been serving up mouthwatering authentic Cantonese cuisine for over 80 years, so you know you’re in for a treat.
Everyone knows that Hong Kong is the place for dim sum. But The Chinese Library takes things to a whole new level with the lavish presentation of its free-flow weekend dim sum lunch that looks fit for royalty.
Another memorable — not to mention unique — dining experience awaits at Neptune’s Restaurant, which is housed within the Grand Aquarium in Ocean Park and makes you feel like you’re underwater.
No matter how heavy your meal was, there’s always room for dessert.
For something more down-to-earth but no less delicious, look for Mrs Fong Chinese Desserts, which earned a mention in the Michelin Guide for its traditional cakes made from scratch daily.
Last but not least, those seeking a tipple or two after-hours can check out Penicillin, named one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2022.
The bar boasts its very own in-house climate-controlled fermentation room, which is used to create organic ferments that go into its cocktails.
Grab some souvenirs before heading back
Before hopping on that flight back, you might wanna pick up some souvenirs for your friends and family members back home who couldn’t join you on the trip.
Aside from standard stuff like lao po bing and keyrings, impress your giftee with something more unique and hard to get elsewhere, such as a tub of preserved beancurd from Liu Ma Kee or a fabulous sandalwood fan from Cheung Shing Fans Factory.
Hong Kong is also where you can find old-school Chinese steelyards, a weighing apparatus, from Lee Wo Steelyard, as well as custom-made chopping blocks from Man Kee.
In a world where traditional craftsmanship is sadly dying, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find people who still keep these businesses going, so drop by quickly before they disappear altogether.
Goodies for Hong Kong visitors
Hong Kong may not be a vast city, but it certainly has a lot to offer.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board has prepared over a million welcome gifts to make visitors feel even more welcome. Each visitor may choose one goodie from this list to enjoy:
- A complimentary drink worth over HK$100 (S$17) from one of over 100 bars, restaurants, and hotels
- A HK$100 (S$17) cash voucher for use at one of over 120 restaurants, shops, and attractions
- A special gift worth HK$100 (S$17) from an attraction or museum
- MTR Airport Express single journey ticket worth HK$115 (S$19)
- A pair of MTR Adult Tourist Day Passes worth HK$130 (S$22)
Only visitors staying in Hong Kong for no more than 90 days are eligible for the consumption vouchers, which can be redeemed via online travel portals, travel agents, and Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Centres. Get all the necessary details here.
Aside from the fixed attractions we mentioned above, there are also a lot of upcoming events and seasonal celebrations that can help you decide when to hop on that flight. Check them out here.
And finally, click here for more inspiration and useful guides on what to do while you’re there.
Time to start planning that trip
You don’t have to jet over to the other side of the world to have a splendid holiday full of memorable experiences.
Whether you managed to score those free tickets to Hong Kong or not, the city is waiting for you to come and have a good time.
With welcome vouchers to offset your expenditure and a wide range of activities to suit every budget, you can be sure to have a vacation that you can truly enjoy to the fullest.
This post was brought to you in collaboration with the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
Featured image courtesy of the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
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