Only have a short time to explore this fabulous destination? Here are my top five Hong Kong highlights where the city shines with a highly rewarding experience for the traveller.
Eat Hong Kong
It should come as no surprise that my favourite thing to do in Hong Kong is eat! Home to an extensive array of local and international brand restaurants, Hong Kong makes dining out a pleasure.
Just as interesting as exploring the restaurant scene is seeing how the locals live and shop. I like to wander the streets filled with shopfronts and check out what’s on offer. It’s window shopping without the glass.
If you want to learn to eat like a local, Hong Kong Foodie has some excellent tours which will take you to places that you would never find yourself.
Although you can now enjoy food at Tim Ho Wan in Melbourne, it’s great to try this food at the source in Hong Kong. It is often called the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant in the world.
I was surprised when I dined here, that the first thing you do is wash your plates and utensils with boiling water from a kettle. There are five Tim Ho Wan restaurants in Hong Kong, so there’s sure to be one near you.
For me, food is one of the top Hong Kong highlights.
Go to The Peak
They call it The Peak because it is the highest point on Hong Kong Island. Of course, it’s also home to the city’s most expensive real estate. Who wouldn’t want those views if you could afford them?
Take The Peak Tram to get to the top, and you’ll marvel at how the funicular railway ascends up the very steep include. It’s been doing that since 1888. Skyscrapers slide past and soon become just little dots on the landscape.
You never know who you might meet at the top. We spied Bruce Lee, or nearly.
Escape the buzz
Take a 25-minute cable car ride from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping 360, Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island.
The monastery is very serene and the giant, bronze Tian Tan Buddha statue impressive. Erected in 1993, it is 34 metres high and faces north to look over the people of China.
You’ll have to climb 268 steps for a closer look at the statue and to enjoy the sweeping mountain and sea views from its base. This is definitely a Hong Kong highlight if you can find the time to make the journey.
Enjoy the sunset as you take the cable car back to Tung Chung or check out the Tai O Stilt Houses.
Hong Kong highlights retro flashback
The Tanka people have built their houses on stilts above the tidal flats of Lantau Island for generations. Some call it the Venice of Hong Kong.
It’s a peaceful enclave in stark contrast to the buzz of Hong Kong showing a very different way of life. You’ll get some great photos. Find it on the western side of Lantau Island.
Hong Kong’s shopping choices are legendary, but if you want to find what the creative locals are up to this is the place to go. Formerly known as the Police Married Quarters, PMQ has been converted into a hub for design and creative industries.
There are almost 100 little shops selling fashion, food, furniture and all sorts of quirky things. Don’t miss the display rooms which show how people used to live in the building. There’s a great restaurant, Aberdeen Street Social, here too. Find PMQ at 35 Aberdeen Street, Central. www.pmq.org.hk
The flight departs just after midnight, and I recommend having dinner before you board and just going straight to sleep. It means you miss some delicious food, but I’m pretty tired by that stage of the evening/morning, and sleep is my best friend.
Wake up with a great breakfast, ready to start the day in Hong Kong at 7.30 am.
If you have another flight to catch, chill out in Cathay Pacific’s The Pier Business Class lounge. Be warned, this lounge is addictive and you may never want to leave.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK travelled as a guest of Cathay Pacific.