HONG KONG TOP TEN SIGHTS
Hong Kong has something for everyone ranging from the spectacular harbor views from Victoria Peak to the relatively quiet sedate Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island. In addition to the major sights, Hong Kong has a wealth of culture where east meets west and old temples can be found in the same area as modern skyscrapers.
Deciding on what to see and where to go will also depend on how long you have in Hong Kong.
To see most of the major sights will take around 5 to 7 days of leisurely sight-seeing. To see all the sights in a hurry say over 2 or 3 days is not a good idea as you will you not enjoy each sight & be totally exhausted at the end. If you only have 2 or 3 days to spend in Hong Kong, it is best to select a few sights of major interest & see these at your own pace. The top 10 Hong Kong sights & tourist attractions listed below are in no particular order but can form the basis of your itinerary whether you have only a few days to enjoy Hong Kong or a week or more.
1. Victoria Peak
For spectacular views across Hong Kong and Hong Kong harbor by day or night, take the peak tram for the short journey up to Victoria Peak. The peak is just over 550 meters above sea level and as well as the amazing views across Hong Kong harbor, the Peak Tower also has many other sights including Madame Tussauds and the Peak Explorer Motion Simulator.
2. Tian Tan Buddha & Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island
To see the largest outdoor bronze Buddha Statue, take the subway to Tung Chung station on Lantau Island and then take the Ngong Ping Skyrail to the Ngong Ping plateau. At over 34 meters in height and with a colossal weight of over 250 tonnes, the Tian Tan Buddha statue is an astonishing Buddhist attraction. To reach the Tian Tan Buddha statue and see dramatic views of the surrounding landscape, walk up over 260 steps to the top. This attraction is one of the biggest in Hong Kong and can become quite crowded. The Po Lin monastery is also located on the Ngong Ping plateau and is one of the most popular Buddhist temples in Hong Kong. Built in 1924. the Po Lin monastery (precious lotus) is a striking building with a large bell contained within its three storey exhibition hall. Visitors can actually stay overnight at the temple and vegetarian food is also available.
3. Temple Street
For shopaholics, visit the Temple Street market in Kowloon which is named after the famous Tin Hau temple. Temple Street market comes alive at night when hordes of tourists and customers gather to find bargains in clothes, electronics, CDs and other articles and items. The market is just over half a kilometer in length and as well as offering material goods, visitors can also have their fortunes told, listen to street singers or just try Chinese food from the local food stalls, cafes and restaurants.
4. Ocean Park
Ocean Park is a must for keeping kids entertained. Ocean Park is one of the largest amusement parks in the world and is larger and busier than Disneyland Hong Kong. The park is located in the southern district of Hong Kong island and has almost five million visitors per year. Ocean Park offers a vast array of entertainment ranging from action packed fun fair rides & roller coasters to aquariums with sharks & dolphins. To reach Ocean Park, take the 629 bus from Admiralty MTR.
5. Repulse Bay
For sunbathers and beach lovers, Repulse Bay offers one of the finest beaches in Hong Kong. Repulse Bay is more relaxed than other parts of Hong Kong with its upmarket apartments, shopping areas and fine restaurants.
Stanley is a small town on the south east part of Hong Kong island. Historically, Stanley was used temporarily by the British as their administrative quarters after the annexation of Hong Kong in 1842. During world war II, Stanley was the last area where British and Canadian troops surrendered to the Japanese. Today, Stanley is a major tourist attraction comprising of Stanley Market, two beaches, Stanley Main Street offering waterfront bars and restaurants, Stanley prison, Murray House which contains the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and Stanley Plaza.
7. Star Ferry and the Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront
For a spectacular view of Hong Kong harbor, take the Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central. The ride lasts only a few minutes and costs around 2.20 HK dollars. It surely has to be one of the best value journeys on earth. There are three routes taken by the Star Ferry: Tsim Sha Tsui to Central, Tsim Sha Tsui to Wan Chai and Hung Hom to Wan Chai. For dramatic night and day views of the harbor and Central, walk along Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. The area also contains the Avenue of Stars with a statue of the legendary Bruce Lee and hand prints of past and modern Hong Kong film stars including Jet Li, Jackie Chan and many others.
Disneyland is a major attraction for kids and families. The amusement park opened in September 2005 and is based on Lantau Island. Disneyland can be reached by buses, taxis or via the MTR to Sunny Bay station. Hong Kong Disneyland is very similar to other Disneylands across the globe with a variety of entertainment, shows & rides for all.
Mongkok lies in the center of Kowloon and is the city's largest shopping center. Mongkok has a lively atmosphere and is filled with neon lights, hugh crowds of teenagers and locals, shops, restaurants and markets such as the famous flower market and ladies market as described below. The area has a sleazy reputation where triad gangs and gambling are reported to be commonplace. This should not worry tourists as they are unlikely to be targeted by triad gangs.
10. Ladies Market
In central Mongkok in Kowloon, the Ladies market can be found on Tung Choi Street between Boundary Street and Dundas Street. Ladies market is probably the most famous market in Hong Kong and a variety of women's clothes are sold as well as accessories, electronics and toiletries.