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10 cool things to do in Hong Kong

The fun and lovely Dan and Casey of A Cruising Couple are two lovebirds slowly and indefinitely traveling the world. Here they talk about what to do in Hong Kong a place we know and love…

Ultramodern, shimmering and chic—Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan cityscape easily boasts some of the world’s best shopping and dining experiences in the world. But though there might be enough Luis Vuittons and Michelin-starred restaurants to drain even the deepest of wallets, there’s much more to Hong Kong than commercialism alone. Vestiges of British control, traditional Chinese culture, and a large international presence combine to make Hong Kong one of the most unique—and coolest—places around. There’s always something new to discover within Hong Kong’s bustling streets. We’ve picked out a few of the coolest ones to get you started.

Take a foodie tour

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Foodie Tours offers in-depth tasting tours that introduce the unique and authentic flavours of Hong Kong. Foodies can choose a culinary exploration of either Sham Shui Po or Central neighbourhoods for good eats and genuine Cantonese cuisine; the perfect serving of history, architecture, and culture is served up on the side. Be sure to come on an empty stomach — you’re going to want to savour every last morsel! 

Browse the Cattle Depot

Cattle Depot

As the name suggests, this historical building was used as a slaughterhouse for nearly a decade.  Today it’s not the livestock that makes it an interesting find, but the artist groups residing behind its renovated brick walls.  Occasional performances, exhibitions and workshops are open to the public, providing a unique and interesting way to spend an evening.

Ride the Central-Mid Levels Escalator

Hong Kong

Starting in Central, winding through SoHo, and ending in the Mid Levels, this outdoor covered escalator system is the longest in the world. It completely revitalised what were once old neighbourhoods disconnected from the city centre, transforming them into some of the hippest spots in all of Hong Kong. The escalators make a great spot to people watch while getting a feel for the lively streets they pass.

Visit the Big Buddha

Big Budda Hong Kong

Tian Tan Buddha, or simply the Big Buddha, is one of the largest Buddhas in the world. Serenely nestled on the hills of Lantau Island, it takes a bit of a time commitment and hundreds of stairs to access the Buddha’s smiling face, but the journey is worth it in the end. Try to time your visit to the Buddha on his birthday to increase the attraction’s cool factor (admission is free that day, too).

Walk around the Peak

Peak

The Peak—the highest point on Hong Kong Island—is known for its magnificent panorama of Hong Kong, with China stretching off in the distance; however, you must be graced with a rare sunny day to truly enjoy its famous views. Regardless of the weather, leave time to enjoy one of the easy walking trails around the top of the mountain, like the relaxing 3.5k Peak Circle Walk.

Go island hopping

Lamma island

Although it might not be the first thing that comes to mind, Hong Kong has a staggering number of 234 islands to explore. Regular ferries stop at the Central Ferry Pier, or you can opt to hire a junk to take you exploring for the day. Lamma Island and Cheung Chau are just two popular destinations of the many to choose from.

Feast on Dim Sum

Dim Sum

No trip to Hong Kong is complete without going to ‘yum cha’, or drink tea with a sampling of Cantonese snacks. Similar to the tradition of Spanish tapas, dim sum typically consists of individual portions, featuring steaming baskets of dumplings, buns, rice rolls, and vegetables. Most Cantonese eat dim sum in the mornings and afternoons, so be aware that many restaurants will not serve dim sum for dinner.

We highly recommend a stop at One Dim Sum, a Michelin Star restaurant serving dim sum all day long at affordable prices.

Find Zen at the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens

Hong Kong cool

The nunnery is a Buddhist temple complex made all the more memorable by the juxtaposition of surrounding skyscrapers. The Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens are free to enter, and unquestionably warrant a visit if seeking a bit of solitude from the neighbouring urban jungle. There is also a vegetarian restaurant at the nunnery that receives wonderful testimonials.

Hop on the Star Ferry

Ferry Jong Kong

Riding the Star Ferry offers a distinctly historical and cultural experience as well as a unique visual perspective of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Operating since 1888, the Star Ferry is still the preferred mode of transportation for locals commuting across the harbour. Try to catch the ferry at 8pm when the boat will pause to enjoy the nightly Symphony of Lights show. 

Enjoy the view at the IFC

Hong Kong Views

Located on the waterfront of Hong Kong Island is the International Finance Centre (IFC). Head to the fourth floor where you’ll find an outdoor viewing area open to the public, for free (adjacent to the ridiculously priced bar with not-as-good-views). Remember to bring a bottle of wine and watch the spectacular cityscape as day turns to night.

These are just a few of our favourite things to do in Hong Kong. What cool things would you add to the list?

All words and photos (except the Cattle Depot, the peak and the islands) by Dan and Casey of A Cruising Couple. 

31 Comments

  • Avatar

    sheena

    25 August, 2014 at 11:07 am

    most attraction of Hong Kong the Big Buddha..
    definitely i will try visit to the Buddha on his birthday to increase the attraction’s cool factor

    Reply
  • Avatar

    Marek

    17 June, 2014 at 3:10 am

    I have been wanting to go to Hong Kong for a while now, and seeing all these cool activities, makes me want to go even more so! Thanks for the read!

    Reply
  • Avatar

    William Smith

    10 April, 2014 at 8:58 am

    The main attractions of Hong Kong are, Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park Hong Kong, Lantau Island, Lamma Island, Hong Kong convention and exhibition center, Cheung Chau, International Finance Center, HSBC Building, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, Kowloon Park, Hong Kong Space Museum, Museum of Art Hong Kong, Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Central Plaza, Victoria Park, Clock Tower, Ngong Ping 360, High Cliff, Sharp Island, Po Lin Monastery and much more to see & do.

    Reply
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    Timothy Chow

    6 April, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Great post! When else do people get excited by a ferry ride – when it’s the Star Ferry! It’s a really inexpensive way to cross the water too – an adult ticket is only $3.40 and you get some great photos too. I would actually recommend going to peak tower at night when you get panoramic views of Hong Kong lit up. Take the Peak Tram to get there – it’s been running for more than 100 years! Lastly, I’d recommend going to the Ladies Market on Tung Choi Street. While the stuff may be cheap – both on price and quality – it’s fun just to wander the endless stalls and haggle!

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    ben

    31 March, 2014 at 8:31 am

    My country “Philippines” and Hong Kong are having some dispute, that’s why were having difficulty visiting the place. I should have gone there if it wasn’t of the issue.

    Reply
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    Peter Thomas

    28 March, 2014 at 3:42 am

    I would consider Hong Kong a romantic place for couples and thanks to this list I’m planning a vacation with my wife before the year ends.

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