To coincide with the release of the updated Hong Kong travel guide, the experts at Lonely Planet have provided us with Hong Kong’s Top 5 experiences!
A floating piece of Hong Kong heritage and a sightseeing bargain, the legendary Star Ferry was founded in 1880 and plies the waters of Victoria Harbour in the service of regular commuters and tourists. At only HK$2.70, the 15-minute ride with views of Hong Kong’s iconic skyline must be one of the world’s best-value cruises. While the vista is more dramatic when you’re Island-bound, the art deco Kowloon pier, resembling a finger pointing at the Island, is arguably more charming.
Rising above the financial heart of Hong Kong, Victoria Peak offers superlative views of the city and the mountainous countryside beyond. Ride the hair-raising Peak Tram – Asia’s first cable funicular, in operation since 1888 – to the cooler climes at the top, as skyscrapers and apartment blocks recede into the distance. Escape the crowds by striking out on little-worn paths that encircle the mountain. At dusk Victoria Harbour glitters like the Milky Way on a sci-fi movie poster, mysterious and full of promise, as the lights come on.
Food Lover’s Paradise
Hong Kong is a city that lives and breathes seemingly just to eat and drink. It’s also one of the only cities in the world where Michelin-starred meals can be had for a song. You could be ripping gourmet roast goose with your bare hands in a humble street cafe one night and dining on fusion delicacies with harbour views the next. Ease into the day with ‘pantyhose’ milk tea at a cha chaan tang (teahouse) then roll your sleeves up for a dim sum bun fight at lunch.
Man Mo Temple
Experience Chinese folk religiosity in Soho. Permanently wreathed in sandalwood smoke from the hanging incense coils, this famous temple is dedicated to Man (god of literature) and Mo (god of war) and the gods who govern them. Formerly a cultural and political focal point for the local Chinese, the temple now commands a following beyond conscientious students and the martially inclined, as locals and tourists come to perform age-old rites and have their fortunes told.
Temple Street Night Market
Beneath the glare of naked bulbs, hundreds of stalls sell a vast array of booty, from sex toys to Nepalese daggers. You can browse for handy gadgets or quirky souvenirs, and test your bargaining skills. Nearby, fortune-tellers beckon in English from dimly lit tents, and Cantonese opera singers strike a pose. If you’re hungry, the many open-air stalls offer snacks or a seafood feast. Sure it’s touristy, but its mesmerising and impenetrable aura makes everyone – including locals – feel like a welcome visitor.
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