10 Things to Do in Hong Kong - Handpicked Itineraries
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10 Things to Do in Hong Kong

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Hong Kong. The very name sounds far away, foreign and somehow unattainable, as if to suggest that you can visit the city but never really know it. Looking at the city’s immense skyline suggests the same – it’s hard to imagine actually being a part of that vast metropolis, with its innumerable skyscrapers and millions of twinkling lights. Underneath its flashy exterior, however, Hong Kong is surprisingly approachable. Here are just a few of the ways to get to know the city a little better.
BY
Luxtripper Travel Editor

1. Overwhelm your taste buds

With an incredible array of international cuisines, and dining options ranging from humble street stalls to impressive Michelin-starred restaurants, Hong Kong lives up to its reputation as the culinary capital of Asia. The variety is overwhelming, but there are certain Hong Kong specialities that stand out and shouldn’t be missed, such as roast suckling pig, snake soup, dim sum and egg waffles. Adventurous taste buds will be rewarded!

2. Visit the wetlands

For such a large and modern metropolis, Hong Kong is surprisingly in touch with nature. There are several nature parks surrounding the city, including a marine park, botanical garden and wetland park. The most impressive of the parks is the Mai Po Nature Reserve, which is spread across 270 hectares and home to thousands of species of plants and animals, including nearly four hundred species of birds. The best way to visit the park is by organised tour, in order to fully appreciate the park’s unique flora and fauna.

3. Spend the day at the races

It’s probably not the first thing most people imagine doing when they visit Hong Kong, but a trip to the race tracks is actually a typical Hong Kong experience and an exciting and unique way to spend an afternoon while visiting the city. The racing season runs from September to July, with each race at the iconic Happy Valley racetrack attracting hundreds of enthusiastic fans from Hong Kong and around the world. It’s an intense and exhilarating experience, and sure to be an unforgettable part of any visit to Hong Kong.

4. Appreciate the Arts

With both a rich artistic history spanning several centuries, as well as a booming contemporary art scene making headlines through the world, Hong Kong has solidified its position as a worldwide artistic centre. The two most prominent galleries are the Gagosian and the White Cube, but dozens of other galleries dot the city’s artistic landscape, complemented by a steady flow of jazz performances, orchestras, ballets, film festivals, and street performances.

5. Look down from The Peak

No visit to Hong Kong would be complete without a trip to the top of Victoria Peak, known simply as “The Peak”, for a stunning panoramic view of the city and harbour. The highest point in the city, The Peak is perhaps the only vantage point from which one can truly grasp the immensity of Hong Kong, looking down on the vast skyline from above as it stretches towards the distant mountains. The easiest way to arrive at The Peak is by tram, which is a memorable experience in its own right and offers beautiful view.

6. Learn Portuguese

A former Portuguese colony and an easy day trip from Hong Kong, Macau is a unique and eclectic fusion of Mediterranean and Asian culture, architecture and cuisine. Portuguese forts and churches intermingle with Chinese shrines and temples, and traditional Portuguese delicacies such as salt cod and custard tarts are readily available alongside more typical Chinese fare like egg rolls and dim sum. More than for its culture, oddly enough, Macau is known for its gambling – a major activity there since Portuguese settlement. Glittering modern casinos dominate the skyline in Macau, leading to its reputation as the “Monte Carlo of the Orient.”

7. Sail the seas

Many people don’t realise that Hong Kong is actually not a city, but an archipelago made up of 260 islands. To explore a few of the many islands, visitors to Hong Kong can charter a junk – a traditional wooden red-sail boat – and enjoy a day at sea. While it’s not the cosmopolitan experience most expect when travelling to Hong Kong, it’s a unique and memorable way to experience this fascinating destination.

8. Shop all night

For shopaholics, Hong Kong is a dream come true. Besides numerous modern shopping malls and countless high-end boutiques selling designer brands from around the world, there is a seemingly infinite selection of local shops, markets, and street stalls selling everything imaginable, from electronics to clothing to more curious items such as antique Chinese handicrafts and even mystical stones and gems. For a particularly unique shopping experience, Temple Street Night Market offers a lively atmosphere and rich variety of sights and smells.

9. Step back in time

Hong Kong may be a modern city, but it has been built on a foundation of ritual and tradition.  There are many places to  view remnants of the city’s history, and many opportunities to experience Hong Kong’s rich culture. Man Mo Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city, and retains an ancient environment with fragrant incense and delicate lanterns. This atmospheric temple is surrounded by skyscrapers, and provides a peaceful sanctuary in the midst of the bustling  financial district.

10. Unwind in style

If there’s one thing Hong Kong does incredibly well, it is luxury. The city attracts the world’s richest and most powerful for a reason, and alongside its elite high-end shops and splendid restaurants are some of the world’s most luxurious hotels and resorts. Perfection is the norm, so each resort must be truly impeccable in order to stand out from the rest. The Upper House not only stands out in terms of service and accommodation, but literally towers above the rest – the hotel is located at the top of Pacific Place shopping mall and boasts panoramic views of the city and harbour. Its restaurant, Café Gray Deluxe, is one of the top-rated restaurants in Hong Kong, with superb food and an amazing view.

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