Welcome to Hong Kong, a labyrinth of skyscrapers along China's southern coast, named as "fragrant harbor." As one of the world's largest financial giants, with the highest transport traveling rate, where "east meets west" and fused influences from Britain and China delve deep, this is one of the most densely populated and most visited areas in Asia, second only to Shanghai, China.
Landmarks and Attractions in Hong Kong
Home to over 7 million people, Hong Kong offers a myriad of things to do and see. Get an immediate and encompassing perspective from the 396m Peak Tower atop massive Victoria Peak. Hitchhike on the Central-Mid-Levels (world's longest outdoor covered) escalators, stopping at art galleries and antique shops, or take the Hong Kong Tramways for a scenic ride. Down in the Statue Square, discover a fusion of modern architecture and design. Sample Hong Kong's history and culture at the splendid high-tech Heritage Museum, which brings past to present. This, also, is a city of temples: breathe in sweet incense at the Man Mo Temple, be told your fortune outside the Taoist temple Wong Tai Sin, or get friendly with the world's biggest outdoor bronze Buddha at Ngong Pin (on Lantau Island).
Family Fun and Nightlife in Hong Kong
Hike, swim, and sample delicious seafood at outlying Hong Kong islands such as Lamma and Cheung Chau. The "city" of Hong Kong is made up of about 260 of these unique islands. Take a boat ride on a floating restaurant in Aberdeen Harbor, or opt for a scenic natural hike on the countless trails – two-thirds of this island is spectacularly forested or rural! Horse-racing is a local passion you may not have betted on finding here; every summery Wednesday or Saturday you'll find the enthusiasm churning in the stands of the Happy Valley Track. Don't forget to catch a ride on a famous but near-extinct junk (a bat-winged boat) tour.
The fun never ends with the setting of the sun in Asia's world city. Check out the popular nightlife spots at Wan Chai (home to the oldest pubs) and Lan Kwai Fong (focal point for debauchery). Be swept away by the mesmerizing Hong Kong Ballet and Dance Company and Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, or live it up at annual festivities such as the city's International Film Festival, International Literary Festival, Dragon Boat races, Le French May, Winterfest, Rugby Sevens, and Symphony of Lights.
Off the Beaten Path in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, veer off the beaten path and connect with the locals to taste the richness of the culture. Learn about pearls, feng shui, Cantonese opera, Chinese tea, ginseng, local herbs and medicines, and so many more unique distinctions. Experience an authentic local lifestyle at traditional villages such as Tai O, noted for its stilt homes (the "Venice of Hong Kong"). Rise with the sun and head to one of the many lovely parks to watch (or even participate in!) sessions of Tai Chi. For a special treat, stroll down to Tsim Sha Tsui's waterfront at nightfall around 8pm (every day), and witness a magnificent laser-and-light show above the skyscrapers beyond the harbor. Listen to the beloved songbird serenades at Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, or leave the city behind for a day in a deserted heavenly island like East Sai Kung.
Hong Kong Shopping and Restaurants
Night markets are a memorable favorite experience in Asia. Visit the lively Temple Street Night Market after 7pm to bargain the night away, or check out markets at Fa Yuen Street, Cross Street in Wan Chai, Graham and Gage Streets, and Stanley Market (ridiculously amazing prices for pretty much anything — what's not to love?). Explore the antiques on Hollywood Road. And in the bustling shopping district Tsim Sha Tsui, you'll find everything from shopping malls to designer stores to bars and cafes and museums.
Partake in a traditional Sunday brunch of yum cha (dim sum) at any teahouse or restaurant—a popular favorite is the Lin Heung Tea House. For sophisticated pricy dining try Mido Café or Tsui Wah; for mouthwatering Sichuan cuisine (and an opera serenade from the chef!) come to Da Ping Huo; eat curry at Chungking Mansions; for a quick, cheap, delicious bite, stop at a street-side Dai Pai Dong. For international flavors in Hong Kong, try the Russian Borscht at Ruby restaurant, fried curry crab at Cambo Thai, halal beef burgers at Islam Foods, Baked Alaska at Jimmy's Kitchen, or Vietnamese chicken curry at Saigon Pho.