1. Victoria Peak
I debated for a bit with myself if I should put Victoria Peak as my number one, because let’s be honest, it is probably the most touristy thing you can do in Hong Kong. I wish I could be a bit more original, but the truth is that I simply can’t, because a trip to Victoria Peak is one of the coolest things ever. The view is simply breathtaking and it will instantly make you fall in love with Hong Kong. Victoria Peak is a 554 m high hill, which gives you the best view of the city. Getting to the top is very easy, all you have to do is to take the Peak Tram (nearby MTR Central), which takes about 5 minutes, or you can also take a bus, which takes longer but you get to see more of the surroundings. I would highly recommend you to go by day! I’ve been to the peak a few times, and I can assure you that the day view is way better than night view. The very first time I went to the peak was by night, and both my friend and I were not impressed. The next time I went by day and I realised immediately that the night view is nothing compering to day. By day you get so see the real beauty and uniqueness of Hong Kong, crazy skyscrapers, blue water and green hills. Mix of urban and nature, is what in my opinion makes this city stand out from the rest. I had goosebumps the very first time I saw this view.
2. Avenue of Stars
I know shocking, but what can I do, a walk on Avenue of Stars with the crazy view of one of the most impressive city skylines in the world, is a pretty damn cool. This one needs to be done both by day and night, so I would recommend coming before the sunset, to see both. At night you get to see all the colourful lights and lasers on top of the skyscrapers, plus the water gives mirror- effect and makes it all look even nicer. And if you’re interested in Hong Kong film stars, you can take a picture of yourself and their names written on the floor, just like the Hollywood Walk of Fame 😉
3. Causeway Bay
My favourite district on Hong Kong Island, it’s a very compact area, full of skyscrapers, but also more old- school buildings, shops, restaurants, markets and everything you could possibly imagine. It’s always very lively and busy, it’s colourful and a bit chaotic, but also super interesting. It’s definitely my favourite place on Hong Kong Island to take pictures, because there is always so much going on. The Time Square area is modern and full of trendy shops, but if you wonder a bit father you will be able to find fruit and vegetable markets hidden in the alleys, traditional Chinese medicine shops or fortune tellers.
4. Mong Kok
Mong Kok is my favourite area in Kowloon, what I like about it is that it’s very different from Hong Kong Island. The best that I could describe is, that HK Island is the more westernised and modern area and Kowloon and especially Mong Kok are more local and traditional. Mong Kok has more of Chinese/ Hong Kongese vibe, with tons of local shops and restaurants, markets and street food. It’s the best place to try local cuisine, get your self everything you desire on a stick (my favourite options are mushrooms and grilled tofu), bubble tea (which is everywhere) and some traditional Hong Kongese egg waffles, and wonder around crazy streets of Mong Kok.
5. Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha)
Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a large bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, located on one of Hong Kong’s islands, Lantau Island. The best thing about a trip to Big Buddha is the 20 minutes long cable car ride, that takes you to the top mountain where the Buddha stands. The cable car goes above the sea and thorough the hills, plus you get to see the colourful skyscrapers, plains landing at the nearby airport, and Hong Kong’s skyline in the far. It’s honestly freaking amazing. I would recommend you to come as early as possible, because the lines to cable car tend to be long, and don’t go on a weekend, I did this mistake this summer and waited for about 45 minutes. You can also book a ticket online in advance, which will save you a lot of time. You can also choose a crystal cabin (a bit more expensive), which basically means that the whole cabin is made of glass, and you can see what is below you, which I thought was super cool.
6. Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is a Buddhist temple, located in the New Territories, which is the area close to the Chinese border. The monastery is hidden on a hill, and the only way to get there is to climb 430 stairs, surrounded by gold Buddha statues. The temple itself is a beautiful colourful building, there are tons of flowers, colours, ornaments, statues any gold Buddhas everywhere. There is also a little restaurant where you can eat a local meal, plus you get to see an awesome view of the city. This place has a completely different vibe than the rest of this busy and crazy city. It’s definitely worth to visit, to get in touch with nature and to see the more traditional side of hong Kong, and enjoy the quiet and peaceful atmosphere.
7. Central and Soho
Central and Soho are the modern districts of Hong Kong, located in heart of Hong Kong Island. Central is the business district, with all the shiny, huge skyscrapers, and Soho is a great place to shop, eat and party. If you’re staying in Hong Kong for a while and miss western food Soho is the place to go. What I find interesting about Hong Kong, is that because of its past as British Colony, Hong Kong ended up turning into a really multicultural place. I loved wondering through streets of Soho or sitting at a coffee shop and watch people passing by, you here so many different languages here, and there are so many interesting people passing by the area, from literally all over the world.
8. Et Dim Sum
Just because, you simply cannot com to Hong Kong and don’t try the most known Hong Kongese food, the famous Dim Sum, that the whole world seems to love. I like them too, there are good, don’t get me wrong, but I will stay loyal to Shanghai 😉 I prefer xialongbao, the famous soup dumplings from Shanghai. So if you’re in Hong Kong I would recommend you to try both and make up you mind. They are both soft, warm and tasty and you can get them with all kinds of fillings, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who would not like dumplings ;D
9. Shek O
Shek O is the cutest little town located at the south-eastern part of Hong Kong Island. The day that I’ve spent in Shek O, was on of my favourite days this summer. I came to Shek O expecting it to be just a nice beach, but it turned out to be so much more. The Shek O villages itself turned out to be such a beautiful and peaceful place, very colourful, full of flowers, palm trees and surfboards. The architecture and the whole surroundings just blowed my mind. I was running around and taking pictures of everything, feeling really happy, that I’ve decided to come here on one of my last days in Hong Kong. The beach wasn’t a disappointment either, it was quiet big, the sand was white and clean, the water was crystal blue and super warm. Plus you can rent an umbrella and a beach chair and relax at the beach the whole day long.
10. Lamma Island ang Cheung Chau Island
The reason why I put them both in hear, is that I simply cannot choose between those two, it’s impossible. There are both so worth visiting and also very different from each other. If you’re in Hong Kong make yourself a favour and peak at least on of those two. I think it’s sad when people visit HK and all they see is the city, and forget that about 75% of Hong Kong is actually nature (yes only about 25% of Hong Kong is inhabited, I was shocked too), and Hong Kong does have some amazing nature. Both of these islands have such a different feeling and vibe than the city, there are no cars, no skyscrapers, less people, no chaos, everything is more calm and laid back. Lamma Island is the closer option (only about 30 min ferry ride from HK Central), it’s a good place for a hike with a great view over the mountains and the sea (try Family hike), there are also some nice beaches, and a lot of stands offering fresh coconuts and cold pineapples. Cheung Chau Island is more interesting in terms of more cultural sightseeing and the architecture on the island is really cool and different from the city.
Cheung Chau Island