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Things to do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the most visited countries in the world. Hong Kong’s tourism industry is booming and it’s easy to see why. As I mentioned in my previous Hong Kong itinerary article, you need 3 or 4 days to truly appreciate everything that Hong Kong has to offer. when you’re here, try not to miss any of the following things to do in Hong Kong.

Things to do in Hong Kong
Things to do in Hong Kong

The Big Buddha

Located on Lantau Island near the airport, this is the largest sitting Buddha in the world, and arguably Hong Kong’s most famous tourist attraction. You can take the subway directly to the island (about 30 mins from the city centre, $2)or jump on a ferry from Victoria harbour (from Victoria harbour, takes 1 hour, $4).

Once you arrive on Lantau island, to get to the Big Buddha you either take…

– the bus (cheapest option – $3 or $4 USD, takes about 40 mins)

– the cable car (awesome views, 20 mins – about $11 USD, my recommendation)

– walk but it’s far and steep so bring walking shoes and arrive early. I guess it takes 3 or 4 hours so kudos to anyone who does this!

Big Buddha Hong Kong
Big Buddha Hong Kong

Tai-O fishing

Also, from Lantau island you can also visit Tai-O fishing village, a traditional village about 30 mins away from the Big Buddha by bus. Great photo opportunities and if you’re lucky you can jump on a boat for a tour of the old town and see some Chinese pink dolphins (they were apparently sleeping when I went!)

Victoria Peak

There are 2 amazing views of Hong Kong, one from Victoria harbour and one from here. On Hong Kong island, you take the old tram to a large viewing area of the whole of Hong Kong, it’s a breathtaking view from the top so make sure your camera is charged!

The view from the peak in Hong Kong
The view from the peak

Victoria Harbour and light show

Along with the peak, this is the other traditional view of Hong Kong. Arrive on the Hong Kong island side, along the Avenue of the Stars,   around 7pm and see the mesmerizing HK skyline in all its glory. At 8pm every evening, they have a light show for 15 minutes with a lot of the skyscrapers shooting lasers across the island, it’s not going to rock your world but skyline alone will hold your gaze for a longtime – seriously beautiful.

victoria harbour light show
victoria harbour light show

10,000 Buddhas Monastery

Found at the Sha Tin, it’s not actually a monastery! But it does have over 10, 000 buddhas. It’s not massive and it’s not overtly ornate but there is something special in simply looking at the vast numbers of Buddhas on show, well worth an hour or two of your time.

10, 000 Buddhas Hong Kong
10, 000 Buddhas Hong Kong

Junk or Starferry boat trip

A trip on the Star Ferry is listed in Time Magazine as one of the 50 things to do in your life, I wouldn’t quite go that far but it is a quaint little journey. Costs around $4 USD and takes around 20 minutes, it offers great views of the harbour and it’s a box you need to tick, so get down there and jump on board.

hong kong junk boat

Day trip to Macau

When planning your HK trip, factor in a day trip (or one day & one night) to this little gem. Vegas of the East is waiting hungrily for your cash 😛

macau casino
Macau casino

Shopping in Mong Kok

Mong Kok, TST, anywhere in HK really – this place is a shopper’s paradise. You can’t turn a corner without seeing another Luis Vuitton store or huge shopping mall. People are literally queuing up to enter shops and the hordes can’t get rid of their money fast enough. If you’re on a backpacker’s budget, you can window shop for hours. Around Mong Kok, there are street stalls galore – fake bags, watches, football shirts, sunglasses… eat your heart out Khao San Road, this place has you beaten!

Shopping in Mong Kok
Shopping in Mong Kok

Golden Temple of Chi Lin Nunnery

I was lucky enough for a couch surfer to bring me here otherwise I would have missed it, similar in stature to the Golden Pavillion in Kyoto, Japan, this small temple complex offers genuine respite from the chaos that grips Hong Kong all day long. It’s beautiful, serene and yet another great HK photo op! Find it at Diamon Hill in Kowloon.

Golden Temple of Chi Lin Nunnery
Golden Temple of Chi Lin Nunnery

Final thoughts on things to do in hong kong

There’s so many things to do in Hong Kong, it’s difficult to choose what to see and what not to. But if you stick roughly to these gems, then you’re guaranteed a great time. Hong Kong really surprised me with its the diversity of attractions so I hope you guys all love it as much as I did. Happy travels

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21 thoughts on “Things to do in Hong Kong

  1. Pingback: 在香港做的事情; 计划你的旅行在香港为便宜!-数字游民指南
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  3. I disappear for a while and then come back to comment on multiple articles in one day.
    I literally am buzzing to go live in Hong Kong after reading this! Well this and the Macau article.
    I know I went to Hong Kong with my dad a couple of times on business trips (single parent: when he had to be somewhere for work his company was faced with pay for a babysitter or pay for them to come along, weirdly coming along was cheaper and therefore usually what we got to do) and I liked it: but I don’t think we did any of this!

  4. These are fairly good tips, though I must say that when you live in Hong Kong getting away from the skyscrapers is the best thing you can do. There are loads of amazing islands and hikes on the edge of Hong Kong (especially at Sai Kung, Ma on Shan and at Tai O).

  5. Another must do. Ride the HK Tram at night from Central to Causewaybay. Make sure to ride on the upper deck and sit next to a window. You can appreciate all the glitter of the lights. It only costs 30 cents USD.

    I live here now and I still love taking the tram. Makes me feel that I live in the early 1900’s. 🙂

    Afternoon tea here is also a must do. While the Peninsula is nice, there is usually an hour wait. I would suggest The Clipper Lounge @Mandarin Oriental as they have an afternoon dessert buffet along with the sandwiches. Or a booth at Cafe Grey Deluxe for an AMAZING view as well as afternoon tea.

    Happy Valley for the Wednesday horse races is quite nice as are the Pandas at Ocean Park.

  6. hey rawdah – if you’re there on a thursday night, couchsurfers have a meet up every thurs evening 🙂 I heard of a michelin starred restaurant which only costs around $20 USD, do some research on that maybe – that would be awesome!

  7. Great tips – I really wanted to make it to Macau but it seemed quite pricey to take the ferry just for a day or two?

        1. lol, im pretty sure i got my ticket directly at the port and paid around $120 Hong Kong Dollars – maybe u thought they meant USD?! :S

  8. I didn’t understand why a trip across the harbor on the Star Ferry was considered a must-do either. It’s nice to see the skyline, sure, but I guess I’m more of a sucker for old architecture rather than all the newness of Hong Kong’s skyline. Although I do agree with you that the view from the Peak and the Harbour Light Show are must-dos.

    I went to Nan Lian Garden on my second trip to HK and you are right about it being a must visit.

    To add to your list, I’d also include:

    -watch a night time horse race with the locals and many expats. Filled to the gills with bettors, good beer and fun.

    -see the pandas and the new aquarium at Ocean Park. And also, ride the roller coaster that extends over the ocean.

    -have tea time at the Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon. It’s an old tradition and you’ll feel very royal.

  9. Tsk tsk tsk Johnny (shakes head), Golden Pavillion in Osaka? KYOTO!!! 😛

    The best thing I got to do in Hong Kong was a day junk boat cruise – costs about $100 but it’s unlimited food (nice food), drink, and a whole day trip to outer islands where you can swim outside the chemical soup that Hong Kong harbour is….
    Lucky I did not have to pay anyway, as it was a treat from my friends I was visiting:)
    Oh, and the best thing – in the end everyone gets to take the remainder of the cocktail/punch they make onboard in takeaway bottles…as many as you like!

    1. oh sh*t! cheers – edited 😛 thanks slava!!

      booze cruise in hk, considering the price of alcohol in HK – this could definitely be an option if you have a big night planned 🙂

      1. I would not plan a big night after the drink cruise! Haha…Although you ARE Irish (and I am a bad Russian)

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