Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China. It is a place with multiple personalities. The former British colony is a major tourism destination for China’s increasingly affluent mainland population. It is also an important hub in East Asia with global connections to many of the world’s cities. It is a unique destination that has absorbed people and cultural influences from places and proudly proclaims itself to be Asia’s World City.
- Avenue of Stars
The Avenue of Stars pays tribute to the names that helped make Hong Kong the ‘Hollywood of the East’, while giving visitors a panoramic view of the city’s most iconic sight: its glorious skyline, dramatically set against The Peak. The atmosphere here is always lively, with around 30 performances, including music, drama and dance, organised each month. This is also the perfect vantage point to catch the A Symphony of Lights multimedia show.
- The Peak
The highest point on Hong Kong Island, this has been the city’s most exclusive neighborhood since colonial times – back then it was the cooler air that attracted the rich and famous; in the post air-conditioning era, the views of one of the world’s most spectacular cityscapes keep them coming. By day your eyes stretch across sparkling skyscrapers and Victoria Harbour all the way to the green hills of the New Territories. In early evening this panorama melts into pink and orange before reincarnating as a dazzling galaxy of light, shimmering beneath you.
- The Peak Tram
Riding the Peak Tram is a visual experience in its own right — Hong Kong Island’s skyscrapers slide past your window at what appear to be impossible angles as you make the ascent to The Peak on the city’s historic, funicular railway. Located at Lower Terminus, The Peak Tram Historical Gallery is a way of paying tribute to The Peak Tram, its heritage and the history of Hong Kong.
- Ocean Park Hong Kong
Opened in 1977, Ocean Park Hong Kong is a marine-life theme park featuring animal exhibits, thrill rides and shows. The park is located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island, covering more than 870,000 square metres. The Waterfront and The Summit areas are connected by the Cable Car and Ocean Express funicular train.
- Hong Kong Disneyland
You can never be sure what mysteries will be unlocked during your visit to Mystic Point Hong Kong Disneyland’s latest and exclusive attraction. At Mystic Point, you can’t always trust your senses. Discover for yourself what is real and what is not!
Grizzly Gulch takes guests on an entirely new and original experience which has been developed exclusively for Hong Kong Disneyland. Board the Big Grizzly Mountain “Runaway Mine Cars” and embark on an out-of-control runaway journey throughout a spectacular and amazing wilderness landscape.
Toy Story Land
Exclusive to Asia, Toy Story Land treats guests of all ages to an unforgettable experience. Join the toys from your favourite Toy Story films for playtime in Andy’s backyard where everyone can explore this oversized world with its three larger-than-life attractions.
Non-stop Fun from Day to Night
There are a lot more magical memories awaiting families in Hong Kong Disneyland, where you will embark on a magical journey through four themed lands: Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland and Tomorrowland.
- Ladies market
With over 100 stalls of bargain clothing, accessories and souvenirs, the Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street provides a one-kilometre stretch on which to practise your haggling skills. It gets its name from the huge amount of clothing and accessories on sale for women of all ages.
- Temple Street Night Market
When the sun goes down, the traders have already laid out their wares and the opera singers and fortune tellers begin to emerge. Welcome to the Temple Street Night Market, a popular street bazaar, named after a Tin Hau temple located in the centre of its main drag, and a place so steeped in local atmosphere that it has served as the backdrop to many a memorable movie. Trinkets, tea ware, electronics, watches, menswear, jade and antiques are scrutinised and haggled over, while claypot rice, seafood, noodles and other treats are consumed with gusto. Temple Street Night Market is an enduring example of the theatre and festivity of a Chinese market.
- Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
With its vast curtain of glass and 40,000 square-metre aluminium roof sculpted to echo a seabird soaring in flight, the striking Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is a major landmark on the Hong Kong Island skyline.
- Golden Bauhinia Square
The bauhinia is the emblem of Hong Kong. The Forever Blooming Bauhinia Sculpture that gives the Expo Promenade the commonly-used name, Golden Bauhinia Square, was a gift from the Central Government to mark the 1997 Handover — an occasion that held tremendous significance for the world’s largest nation and that stands out as a landmark event in 20th century history.
- Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
Starting at the colonial-era Clock Tower and stretching all the way to Hung Hom, a stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade takes one past the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Hong Kong Space Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Avenue of Stars.
- Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple
Wong Tai Sin Temple’s claim to ‘make every wish come true upon request’ might have something to do with its popularity. Home to three religions (Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism) its natural setting and beautifully ornamented buildings make it as much a scenic attraction as an important religious centre.
- Clock Tower
Standing 44-metres tall, the old Clock Tower was erected in 1915 as part of the Kowloon–Canton Railway terminus. The once-bustling station is long gone, but this red brick and granite tower, now preserved as a Declared Monument, survives as an elegant reminder of the Age of Steam. It has also been a memorable landmark for the millions of Chinese immigrants who passed through the terminus to begin new lives not just in Hong Kong, but in other parts of the world via the city’s harbour.
- Noah’s Ark Hong Kong
It really is like gazing upon the ark itself, which is why the world’s only full-size replica of Noah’s Ark is popular with both international and local visitors. Located on Ma Wan Island, the distinctive ark on the waterfront overlooks the Rambler Channel and Tsing Ma Bridge.
- Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
With over 100 incredibly life-like wax figures, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong delivers a fun and interactive celebrity experience in which everyone can either become a star, or just compare themselves to the real thing. Located in The Peak Tower, guests can gawk at some of the world’s most famous faces in ten themed areas: Hong Kong Glamour, Royal Family, Historical and National Heroes, TV Studio, World Premiere, SCREAM, The Champions, Authentic History, Music Icons and Fantasy Kingdom.
In a city of sizzling woks, tinkling wine glasses, boisterous celebrations, cosy eateries, pungent cooking aromas and celebrated culinary festivals, everywhere you turn there is the temptation to dig in and indulge. Resistance is futile. From walled village dishes to Hong Kong-style teahouses and dai pai dong, the true flavours of Hong Kong are revealed in its indigenous food, and the way it is prepared, served and eaten.
The devotion Hong Kong applies to shopping is a sight in its own right. The city’s heritage as an international centre of trade has led to an incredible variety of goods, while the local passion for buying and selling infects almost every corner of the city – and all those who enter it. Classic, cutting-edge, everyday and offbeat: the selection of goods being sold by the second in Hong Kong is befitting of a city that’s been a crossroads of global trade for over 150 years.
In a city where the young make fashion statements with their mobiles and the old play Chinese chess on tabs, the amount of retail space dedicated to gadgetry and electronics is probably only challenged by jewellery shops and convenience stores. For the visitor, Hong Kong’s lack of sales tax and import duty means bargains await on everything from desktop computers to music players. And, as with all shopping in Hong Kong, the experience can run the gamut from crowded street markets to plush malls. Needless to say, goods that come with warranties from recognised brand name manufacturers ensure top performance.
When you feast your eyes upon Hong Kong’s array of furniture and home accessories options, you might find yourself turning your trip into an excuse to redecorate. One glance at the jaw-dropping property prices should be enough to understand why Hong Kong’s homeowners demand creative furniture designs that fit into tight spaces. But you can also get the big stuff too, because much of the world’s furniture and home furnishings pass through this city. Hong Kong’s position at the gateway of the world’s major manufacturing centre also means value-for-money prices.
Hong Kong is a city where high finance meets high fashion, and mega deals are closed in soaring skyscrapers. But if you look beyond the glass and steel, you’ll be greeted by the sights, sounds and smells of a different, more local world. It’s complex, it’s charming and, like its serious-faced citizens with their bursts of self-effacing humour, it’s full of surprises.
— HINAL SHAH