ABOUT HONG KONG
For many travellers, Hong Kong is the gateway to Asia. Foreign yet familiar, the city is a true melting pot of eastern and western cultures, and old and new aspects of the city live side by side perfectly.
Renowned for its skyscrapers, rooftop bars, incredible views and fine dining, there’s actually much more to Hong Kong than first meets the eye. What you may not know is that Hong Kong is actually 70% green and has over 200 outlying islands, beautifully undulating mountains to hike up, cycling trails and stunning sandy beaches.
The history of Hong Kong is like no other and evidence of its heritage comes alive particularly during major festivals like Chinese New Year, Cheung Chau Bun Festival and The Birthday of Buddha. The beauty of the city is that amongst the trendy bars and restaurants, there are pockets of its heritage on any given day; beautiful ornate temples, red lanterns and walled villages.
A CITY EMBRACED BY NATURE
Nature is never far away, explore outlying islands, quaint villages, sandy beaches and undulating mountain paths. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy the wild side of Hong Kong.
PARADISE FOR FOODIES
Cantonese tastes and Greater China flavours. High-end hotel fare, alongside greasy late-night favourites. Whatever your taste buds crave, you can find it in Hong Kong. With one restaurant for every 600 people, Hong Kong is a real foodie’s paradise.
NEIGHBOURHOODS TO EXPLORE
Discover Hong Kong like a local. For those who are more curious, visit authentic neighbourhoods that are off the beaten track, and see for yourself the rich and diverse spirit.
Once a small fishing village, Wan Chai has erupted into a neon-lit cultural haven. This neighbourhood is a blend of East meets West, with lively nightlife, buzzing restaurants, sacred temples and vibrant markets.
Old Town Central
A fascinating fusion of old meets new, has created this exciting neighbourhood just waiting to be explored. Vibrant Hollywood Road showcases colourful street art and quirky fashion, with Upper Lascar Row hosting a variety of bustling markets perfect for the haggler in you.
Sham Shui Po
If you want to experience Hong Kong like a local, then look no further than Sham Shui Po. This is the place if you want to try delectable Michelin-recommended noodles, and if you’re planning to do a bit of shopping, be prepared to spend several hours here, sifting through all the eclectic wares at the open-air street markets.
The highest point on Hong Kong Island, The Peak has been the city’s most exclusive neighbourhood since colonial times — back then it was the cooler air that attracted the rich and famous; in the post air-conditioning era, the views of one of the world’s most spectacular cityscapes keep them coming.
That view is also what makes The Peak one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong.
By day the view encompasses Hong Kong’s famous skyscrapers and Victoria Harbour all the way to the green hills of the New Territories. In early evening, this panorama morphs into a breath-taking display of city light. If you listen carefully enough, you can hear Asia’s world city humming below.
The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery
The remote Po Lin Monastery, hidden away by lush mountains, became a popular attraction when the extraordinary Tian Tan Buddha statue (informally known as the Big Buddha) was erected in 1993. Sitting 34 metres high and facing north to look over the people of China, this majestic bronze Buddha draws pilgrims from all over Asia.
The eyes, lips, incline of the head and right hand, which is raised to deliver a blessing to all, combine to bring a humbling depth of character and dignity to the massive Buddha, which took 12 years to complete. Climb the 268 steps for a closer look at this remarkable statue, and to enjoy the sweeping mountain and sea views that can be seen from its base.
Opposite the statue, the Po Lin Monastery is one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist sanctums and has been dubbed ‘the Buddhist World in the South’. This monastery is rich with colourful manifestations of Buddhist iconography and its pretty garden is alive with birdsong and flowery scents. You can also enjoy a meal at the popular vegetarian restaurant.
Man Mo Temple
The Man Mo Temple is a picturesque tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo), both of whom were worshipped by ambitious students looking to succeed in the civil examinations of Imperial China. Built in 1847, this remains the largest Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong. To pause for a moment’s respite under its giant hanging incense coils makes for a pleasant contrast with the hectic pace of the nearby financial district.
Man Mo Temple is part of a complex that also includes the areas Lit Shing Kung and Kung Sor. Lit Shing Kung was created for the worship of all heavenly gods, while Kung Sor, built to the temple’s west, was an important assembly hall where community affairs and disputes were often discussed and settled.
In 1908, the temple was officially entrusted to the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. It was listed as a Grade I historic building in 2009 and is preserved as a Declared Monument.
The Star Ferry
The charming Star Ferry boats have been faithfully carrying passengers from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and back since 1880.
While the two sides of Victoria Harbour are now connected by a world-class infrastructure system of road and rail tunnels, tens of millions of people still climb aboard the humble Star Ferry vessels each year.
Many visitors take the ride for an up-close look at one of the world’s most photographed harbours, while locals have kept their affection for it because, even after a century, it’s still a highly reliable and efficient form of transport. National Geographic rates the Star Ferry crossing as one of 50 ‘places of a lifetime’.
HONG KONG SPECIALIST
The Hong Kong Tourism Board’s online training programme, Hong Kong Specialist, is designed to give you the tools and knowledge needed to sell Hong Kong. The programme has three modules, with information about the city’s history, culture, major attractions, festivals, events and much more.