About Hong Kong
Where to start with Hong Kong? There is so much to see and do!
Arriving at Hong Kong airport you can soon be on your way to your chosen area via the airport shuttle express. This is located at the airport, within the terminal and takes approximately 35 minutes to reach the central district in Hong Kong stopping via Kowloon.
Every single sense is hit full on when you venture out into Hong Kong. It's busy, noisy, with a wonderful array of sights, smells and sounds all around you.
The many towering skyscrapers dazzle and sit very comfortably with the little street market stalls, where it is not uncommon to see vendors taking a nap whilst you browse their wares.
Hotels are abundant, in every category. Famous names such as the Shangri La Hotel, Intercontinental or the Mandarin Oriental. One is sure to find a hotel to fit both budget and tastes in and around Hong Kong or Kowloon.
Shopping is a huge part of the Hong Kong culture, from the high end shopping malls to simple markets, you have an abundance of choice. Nowadays many Western shops have opened their doors to Hong Kong shoppers, including most recently Top Shop and Next. However local stores such as Shanghai Tang are a must for original products, be it jewellery, silks or leather goods. Hong Kong is a haven for Designer shopping with labels such as Louis Vuitton being very popular out there.
There are many attractions and days out to consider when going to Hong Kong. Hopefully, the following selection will give not only our personal advice but advice which will be helpful to most visitors.
© ianandjanicegoto markets are part of Hong Kong life - here the man and lady are sleeping on the job
The Markets: It is a must to visit one of the Hong Kong markets, Ladies market in Kowloon is stall after stall of goods from tee-shirts to leather goods. It's a full on walk along the stalls but even if you aren't tempted to buy it's a treat to watch all the haggling going on. Prepare to haggle, it is part and parcel of market life. Another great market to visit is Stanley Market, it is not quite so spread out as Ladies Market and it's nice and shady as some of it is under-cover. Plan to spend a day out at Stanley, there is much more than just the market here.
The Peak: Looking down on Hong Kong from the Peak is quite spectacular, ensure you pick a clear day to take the tram to the top. It is very enjoyable. Once there you have a wide variety of things to do, shop at the indoor market or mall. Eat at one of the many restaurants. Inside the mall near the Starbucks you have a few good eaterie options. Or simply just meander around taking in the view of Hong Kong and beyond. It's stunning. One of our staff actually did a walk up to the Peak from Conduit Road, it's steep and a hard climb but we are told it's well worth the effort and you are keeping fit at the same time.
©ianandjanicegoto: the tranquil Hong Kong Park
Taking the Escalator: The escalator runs down from mid-levels to central, passing through the bustling area of Soho from 06.00am until 10.00am then it switches direction going upwards until midnight. It's a fantastic way to mingle with locals going about their business and you can stop off at the intersecting streets for a coffee, snack or cold drink. Lunchtimes and evenings see's a plethora of restaurants open for business and there are many to choose from catering to all nationalities. Soho is the busiest area with almost all types of shops from antique to boutique, many bars and a fantastic selection of restaurants.
Ferries: Ferries are part and parcel of Hong Kong life, the ferries are used to transport people off Hong Kong Island to Kowloon, the Northern Territories, outlying Islands and bays. It's an inexpensive way of getting around and you have a wonderful vista of Hong Kong from the boat. The Star Ferry goes from Pier 7 and transports you the short journey across to Kowloon. You can also book a Star Ferry tour of the harbour.
Junk Boats: The Junk Boat is a fantastic way to sail around Hong Kong's famous Victoria Harbour and take in the spectacular views of Hong Kong and Kowloon. Especially at night when the skyscrapers put on their nightly light show "The Symphony of Lights Display". Junks can also be chartered for days when you might prefer to set sail and cruise the South China Seas.
The Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery: Located on Lantau Island. It is worth the trip out here, plan a whole day for this trip. Expect queues for the cable car. In peak months it can be an hour or more. Even so, it is worth the wait to take the cable car and wonder at the views unfolding beneath, there are special cable cars with glass bottoms to give you an even more exhilarating experience, if you take one of these glass bottom cars you can cut the queue time down considerably but they do cost more. Amazing views as you pass Hong Kong airport and up into the hills. It's a truly special place, the Big Buddha or rather the Tian Tan Buddha rests atop a hilltop some 34 metres high, looking serenely down. A truly special place to visit and one can take
Happy Valley Horse Racing: The race course is in Wan Chai and races are usually held each Wednesday evening under the floodlit course. It is a very popular mid-week event with hundreds of people attending. The backdrop of Hong Kong skyscrapers at night give an amazing backdrop.
Stanley: Besides the great market in Stanley you can indulge yourself in some nice sea-food overlooking Stanley Bay. It's a lovely beach and vista with a wide boardwalk which was completed in 2008 when Stanley waterfront was redeveloped. The large Colonial house is Murray House, originally built in 1844. The house was dismantled from it's origins at Central Pier and rebuilt at it's present location in Stanley in 1999. There are restaurants on both the first and second floors giving a nice view of the bay and beyond. The ground floor is home to the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.
©ianandjanicegoto: Lamma Island looking down onto Sok Kwu Wan with its fishing boats and restaurants
Lamma Island: We highly recommend taking a day out to Lamma Island, not only do you get to enjoy the ferry journey which in itself is very scenic, the Island is quite beautiful, tranquil in comparison to Hong Kong and Kowloon. There are no cars with the exception of fire trucks and open-back vehicles (used for construction) bicycles are used widely. It is a great place to take a hike, allowing you to take in the sights and sounds of this beautiful Island. After a good few hours hike, a nice reward awaits you at Sok Kwu Wan, brimming with sea-food restaurants, the fishermen and their small fishing boats are scattered around the bay in front of you. It's a great way to end a special day on Lamma Island.
Our Articles about Hong Kong
- A day at the races: Janice visits Happy Valley Racecourse
- Travelling to Hong Kong from London: Ian and Janice write about the trip to Hong Kong
- Arriving in Hong Kong: Ian and Janice arrive in Hong Kong
- The Hong Kong Apple Store and Wanchai Computer centre