Here’s what your tour planner is most likely to bypass when devising your itinerary for the futuristic city. I pick something for every kind of soul
1. HOP ON, HOP OFF BUS TOUR (For the history and culture enthusiast)
This open-top bus tour takes you past Hong Kong’s most magnificent sights, accompanied by informative commentary that points out all the landmarks of significance, whilst offering insight into Cantonese culture and tradition. The tour is hassle-free too meaning you can hop on and off at various break points along the route whenever you like. Among the three separate routes, choose to take the green route of The Stanley Tour. Leaving the bustling city, it winds its way to the south of Hong Kong Island, providing stunning views of lush countryside and coastline. There are several stops on route including Lower Peak Tram Terminus, Ocean Park, the picturesque Repulse Bay, Stanley’s world famous market and Aberdeen.
Please the shopaholic in you by buying local artifacts at the covered market or enjoy Stanley’s relaxed atmosphere. You can also enjoy a ride on a sampan, a traditional fishing boat, around Aberdeen Harbour
2. NIGHTLIFE AT LAN KWAI FONG (For the party animal)
You haven’t been to Hong Kong if you haven’t witnessed its nightlife. Energetic Hongkongers know how to party and they do it in style. The short L-shaped legendary nightlife zone in the middle of the city’s busy Central business district, Lan Kwai Fong is one of the hottest places to party in the world.
From British-style pubs, live-music venues and karaoke restaurants to hipster hang-outs and wine bars, it caters to every kind of party-loving population. Mingle with celebrities and local trend setters at chic clubs or shake it up with exotic cocktails, raucous jelly shots and delicious food. If you like neither, get in the thick of it by watching some antics on the road or gear up for fun and vibrant street photography.
3. VIBRANT STREET MARKETS (For the shopping addict)
Women are arguably the best at haggling and how about if you get an opportunity to practice the art even on your travel? Lively street markets of Hong Kong offer just about anything you would want to buy and that too at great prices, provided you know how to bargain. Home to more than 100 stalls selling clothing, accessories and cutlery, Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street is operational from noon to 11 pm and a must-visit for some shopping pleasure. For a bustling atmosphere that portrays every Bollywood director’s vision of Chinatown, head to Temple Street Night Market. As the sun goes down, this street bazaar comes alive with hawkers selling everything from antiques and electronics to kitchenware, opera singers, fortune tellers and and old men gambling on the game of Chinese chess.
Hungry already? There’s plenty including claypot rice (rice served in a pot with different kinds of meat and soy sauce), seafood and noodles you can consume with gusto.
At night time, Sai Yeung Choi Street South, near Mong Kok entertains you with some local street performances and delectable street food. Don’t miss curry fish balls and deep fried egg cake.
How to get there: To reach Mong Kok, take MTR and get off at Mong Kok station. The market is just a 5-min walk from here
4. A DAY THE THE BEACH (For the laid-back soul)
Hong Kong isn’t all about skyscrapers and street food. It has plenty of both tranquil and colourful beaches to swim, sunbathe and surf and they are all less than an hour from the city center. Shek O with its fine golden sand, frantic family activity and rolling hills is a perfect option for a sea seeker. The stretches of Stanley and the surrounding Repulse Bay come with excellent swimming areas and windsurfing conditions, and are easily accessible by bus. Or venture further off the beaten track to the Golden Beach on the Gold Coast. This is one of the longest beaches in Hong Kong and is lined with tropical trees that run all along the length of the sandy shore. Join the volleyball players for an exciting game or spend some time sipping a bear at one of the alfresco cafés.
5. HIKING THE DRAGON’S BACK (For the adventure freak)
If you see the map carefully, you’ll notice that Hong Kong is gifted with many tracks painted in emerald and azhure. Pick one of those and hike for rewarding panoramic vistas of coast and offshore islands and spotting of rare species of birds. Part of Hong Kong‘s 50 km hiking trail, Dragon’s Back ridge is an undulating 8.5 km-long hike just a hop from bustling Central. The lovely path takes you through shady groves of bamboo, lush woodlands and hillsides often covered with wild azaleas or rose myrtle. Interact with the passing paragliders and rest to your heart’s content at the pavilion overlooking the urban landscape of Chai Wan. Sitting between Mount Collinson and Pottinger Peak, Pottinger Gap is where several trails intersect and marks the start of Pottinger Peak Country Trail. Conclude your trip with a dip in the cooling waters at Shek O village or Big Wave Bay and a grand seafood feast.