45 things to do in Hong Kong

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Doing Hong Kong in a hurry? Here's your first reference point for things to do while you're here.

  1. Take a trip on the Star Ferry Get on at Tsim Sha Tsui and head to Central to get great views of the Hong Kong skyline. This is one of the cheapest and most enjoyable forms of transport in the city. There are 12 boats in the fleet and the crossing only takes seven minutes, so have your camera at the ready.
  2. Take the tram to The Peak Runs continuously from 7am until midnight and gives passengers plenty of time to gape at the views of the city that fall away below as the tram heaves itself up the steep incline.
  3. Happy Valley Races on Wednesday nights If it’s just socialising you’re after, you’ll enjoy hanging out in the beer garden. But if you fancy a flutter, there’s ample opportunity at this famous Hong Kong institution – each evening hosts nine races.
  4. Visit Victoria Park Tranquility in the middle of the urban jungle. Play bowls, tennis, go for a swim, or just sit by the lake and relax. If you’re an early riser, you can catch the old folks doing tai chi in shady corners.
  5. Mid-Levels Escalators at rush hour Enjoy the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world, and consider stopping at all the bars you see on the way up. The walkway also offers a prime viewing point for spotting potential future spouses.
  6. Visit the Zoological Gardens Strike up a friendship with a Red-crowned Crane, a Bornean Orang-utan, or the popular Pygmy Marmoset.
  7. Ocean Park Take the cable car over dramatic cliff faces before reaching the many adrenaline-inducing amusement rides. Opening hours: 10am to 8pm daily; daytime: $320 adults, $160 child.
  8. Laze at Shek O Beach  A half-hour taxi ride from Central, or a short haul by MTR and bus, this beach has great facilities and a beautiful outlook. Enjoy a relaxed dinner in the village while you’re there. See also: Hong Kong beaches to beat the crowd
  9. Learn at the Science Museum Plenty of great exhibitions and lots of brain food. Not one bit boring and it’s free on a Wednesday.  
  10. Tea at the Peninsula For some posh nosh, visit the lobby of the prestigious Peninsula Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui and order the traditional afternoon tea. Enjoy with the string quartet to keep you calm.
  11. Soak in the Temple Street Night Market Bric-a-brac, fortune tellers, watches, fans, electronics, clothes, street-side karaoke, sex toys, and knock-off paintings – all for brilliant prices. Not to be missed.
  12. Get malled at Festival Walk If you must visit a mall in Hong Kong, it might as well be this one – with a skating rink on the top floor, large glass windows offering views of Lion Rock, and connections to the MTR and KCR light rail, it’s easily the best choice.
  13. Dim sum! Pick one of Hong Kong’s many fine Chinese restaurants and eat till your heart’s content.
  14. Shop for antiques on Hollywood Road Porcelain, Buddha sculptures, Maoist memorabilia, and Ming dynasty ceramic horsemen – Hollywood Road acts as one of the world’s most enticing antiques shopping areas.
  15. Ride the Ding-Ding Hong Kong has many forms of public transport, but the tram is the one that best retains that old-school feel. Get in at the back and pay at the front as you leave by the front.
  16. Jumbo Floating Restaurant This iconic landmark of Hong Kong took over 4 years and millions of dollars to build. With the look of an ancient Chinese palace Jumbo King draws in tourist and locals alike.
  17. Find out Hong Kong's secrets Explore the city behind the city – but keep it to yourself…
  18. Play at an Open Mic Night Grab your gat and jam at one of the many quality Open Mic nights in town; or just get along to check out the local talent.
  19. Catch an indie rock show There are a number of regular lo-fi rock shows that happen from week to week, check out our pick of the fortnight's best shows here.
  20. Eat one of Hong Kong’s 50 best meals Explore the city the best way – with your mouth.
  21. Take a hike! Find a track and schedule that suits your fitness level – from a multi-day slog over the mountains, to a paved-path jaunt to the beach. This will prove beyond doubt that Hong Kong is more than just a finance centre.
  22. Ladies Market in Mong Kok Find anything here from a fake Gucci watch to a potato peeler – and just you try to leave empty handed.
  23. Take a harbour cruise  Enjoy the nightly light show, the Symphony of Lights, at 8pm, or tuck into a dinner on a cruise ship while the sun sets.
  24. Meet the Big Buddha The massive bronze Tian Tan Buddha is the largest outdoor seated Buddha in the world. Take the MTR to Tung Chung and then hop on the Ngong Ping 360 Skyrail or take a bus to the top of the hill.
  25. Party in Lan Kwai Fong Party hard with tourists, expats, and locals alike in the city’s central point for debauchery…
  26. And continue on Lockhart Road Take it into the wee hours in Wan Chai’s notorious Red Light District.
  27. Eat at Da Ping Huo Excellent Sichuan cuisine in a private kitchen. The chef (and co-owner) sings an opera song from the Sichuan province after your meal. Be sure to book early.
  28. Sing Karaoke Participate in Hongkongers’ favourite nocturnal pastime – and order in food to your private room.
  29. Take a trip to Shenzhen Jump on the train, or a bus, and take a day trip to Shenzhen to hunt out clothing bargains. Get a cheap massage while you’re there.
  30. Yuen Po Street Bird Garden Songbirds are popular pets in Hong Kong and their owners take them for walks everyday. It is a sight to behold. Open from 7am to 8pm daily.
  31. Wong Tai Sin Temple One of Hong Kong’s busiest and biggest temples, Wong Tai Sin Temple is dedicated to a shepherd boy who had special healing powers and came to be revered as a demi-god after his death.
  32. Mosey around Tai O Fishing Village Known as the ‘Venice of Hong Kong’, Tai O is home to traditional bamboo houses supported by stone columns in water.
  33. Go cycling on Lamma Island Jump on the number four ferry from the Central Piers and spend a day in lazy Lamma. Bikes are available for hire on Back Street in Yung Shue Wan, the main village. Finish off the day with a seafood meal.
  34. Stanley Market Plenty of bargains to be found in this beautiful seaside market, and check out the colonial Murray House while you’re there.
  35. Hong Kong Space Museum Sky shows, iMax film, and interactive exhibits. Open Mon, Wed-Fri 1-9pm; Sat & Sun 10am -9pm, closed Tues.
  36. Learn to cook authentic Chinese food Discover the secrets of the wok and soy.
  37. Pink Dolphin Watching  Find out about some of our most curious creatures of the water.
  38. Tour Sai Kung’s deserted beaches Leave the city behind for a day and indulge your senses with white sandy beaches and clear blue waters in the remote East Sai Kung Country Park, where access is restricted to foot or boats.
  39. Check out the gay scene It's a small but vibrant community, and there's also something happening.
  40. Eat a curry at Chungking Mansions An authentic taste of India in the heart of bustling Tsim Sha Tsui.
  41. Take the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum Guided Tour Trace the history of China’s pre-Mao president and his life and times in Hong Kong.
  42. See a show or exhibition at the Fringe Club A beautiful colonial building that sits just above Central’s party district is a great place to find some non-mainstream art, or to catch a play.
  43. Check out a Chinese Festival Check the diary and see if you can catch one of the many Chinese festivals Hong Kong is famous for.
  44. Take in the view from Hong Kong’s tallest building  Perched on the 118th floor of the ICC, Ozone is touted as the highest bar in the world. Come for the view and stay for the master class drinks.
  45. Take a day-trip to Macau Casinos, great eats, historic churches, and great architecture. All you have to do is jump on a ferry and fight your way through the queue at Immigration.

 

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