Hong Kong is full of amazing activities and is a city with an abundance of options for any age group or interest. We travelled to this city in January and were not very lucky with the weather we got but we certainly made the most of it. Over the 4 days we spent here, we experienced a variety of attractions but still have a few things we would try on another visit as the weather hampered some of the things we had planned to do…perfect excuse for another trip right?!!
We decided to buy single-day passes to Disneyland and felt it was more than enough time to spend at this particular park. We had been to Disneyland LA a couple of years back and felt a few days was hardly long enough to fully experience all that park had to offer. Hong Kong’s Disneyland was much smaller and far less busy so we got around all the rides we wanted and watched any shows we wished in the one day. It certainly was a smaller park but still had the same amazing vibe as the other Disney resorts and we thoroughly enjoyed our day spent wandering from one ride to the next.
Tip: Take the MTR to the Disney station to get in the mood. The train is Disney themed with Mickey Mouse shaped windows and Mickey’s white gloves to hold onto for balance…so cute!
Victoria Peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong island and is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. On the day we were going to visit The Peak, it was extremely overcast. Due to our limited time in the city, we chose to go along anyway knowing the views would possibly be obstructed by cloud. We purchased our tickets on the day of our visit at the base of the attraction, so could have easily rescheduled if we had the luxury of more time.
We took the very steep and exciting vernacular up to the peak. This was a fun way to see the city as we crept our way up the side of the mountain. On reaching the end of the line, there were shops and cafes to browse through and relax in, while we waited (in vain!) for the clouds to clear. We had a coffee and sat at a window seat in the café which would be an incredible view over the city on a clear day. There was also the option to go out onto the balcony area to see the view and take some amazing photos…we will have to try again on our next trip I think!
There were lots of fun things to do inside the building at the top of the Peak especially for kids or for a day of low visibility as there were some great photo opportunities and clever props.
Tip: Sit on the right-hand side of the vehicle on the way up and the left on the way down for the best views of the city.
Getting there: The Peak can be reached by taking the Peak Tram, by foot or private transfer. The tram can be easily accessed by foot from the MTR’s Central station meaning a taxi or private transport is not necessary.
Hong Kong Park
Instead of taking the tram to The Peak, we decided to walk from Central station to explore a little more of the city and were glad we did. As we wandered in the direction of The Peak, we walked through a beautiful garden, Hong Kong Park. This was a beautifully manicured oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle. The gardens had some beautiful lily ponds, a greenhouse, playgrounds, a restaurant and an aviary. We enjoyed watching the turtles dipping and diving in the water as we meandered along the paths…a perfect way to entertain the kiddies too! The Olympic Square is also located at Hong Kong Park and is an interesting place to sit for a rest along the walk. It is an elaborate clearing within this Park and even a great spot for a picnic.
Symphony of Lights
This dazzling exhibition of searchlights, LED screens, lasers and lighting is certainly one not to be missed. The sky over Victoria Harbour is alive each night with an incredible display of colour and music. Buildings on both sides of the harbour (Hong Kong island and Kowloon) work together to produce this spectacular nightly event. Although you can catch glimpses of the light show from many areas throughout the city, there are certain vantage points near the harbour with the best views, if this is something you are interested in seeing clearly. You can also take a cruise to watch the show unfold from the water or sip a cocktail from one of the many rooftop bars around the harbour to get the view from a different angle. An orchestra performed the soundtrack that accompanies the show each night and this can be heard nightly from 8pm in designated areas.
Tip: Download the show’s mobile app to tune into the soundtrack from anywhere you like…perfect if you wish to watch the show from a cocktail bar instead of standing outside on the harbour.
If grabbing a bargain or working on your haggling skills is something that tickles your fancy, then these markets are a must. Running every day of the week, this huge stretch of market stalls houses everything from t-shirts to chopsticks and all varieties of interesting souvenirs in between. As it is located in the Mong Kok region of the city, we were lucky enough to be able wander through these markets on a few different occasions as they were only a street or two from our hotel. We found the atmosphere here very different earlier in the day than it was at night and would recommend visiting during both time periods to experience all this market has to offer.
Unfortunately, due to the weather and our whirlwind stop in Hong Kong, we did miss out on this attraction. We heard amazing things about this elaborate bronze statue and will certainly be making it a priority on our next visit. It seems that half the fun of visiting this widely-recognised landmark is the means in which it can be reached. You can choose to climb the many (268!!) steps or take a cable car to get a closer look at this amazing statue and indeed for a better appreciation of the sweeping mountains and sea views below. Opposite is the Po Lin Monastery which is apparently another hidden gem in this lush mountainous sanctuary. Sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon when staying in a hustling city such as Hong Kong…nothing like a tranquil break to help you appreciate such a diverse part of the world.
So, on that note, (and before I add too much to our wish list for the next trip!), I will leave you to digest these little tips and ideas for what is certainly a very vibrant city. I hope this post may be of some help to anyone considering a stop-over in Hong Kong or indeed an incentive for you to put it on your “List”.
Thank you for taking the time to read our post and if you wish to learn more about this incredible city or read about our favourite food and drink spots from this trip, check out our previous posts. You can also pop over to our Instagram page for some visual teasers of what’s to come next…a day trip to Macau!Our Instagram
But for now, happy planning!
Richard and Michelle.