Fun things to do in Hong Kong

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    by swissfondue
  • The Peak, at night.
    The Peak, at night.
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    HONG KONG TIPS FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS

    by swissfondue Updated Jul 2, 2014

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    For the first time tourist Hong Kong is easily divided into two central locations – Hong Kong Island and Kowloon separated by Victoria harbour.

    Hong Kong Island is the business centre which contributes to the densely skyscrapered skyline. There are plenty of markets and shopping centres and lots of sightseeing attractions but some parts are quite westernised in keeping with its commercial activities. This is the home of the Mid levels which is the most affluent residential area of Hong Kong.

    Kowloon is more retail, more local, more the real Hong Kong in my opinion. Both areas have hundreds of hotels but I always stay on the Kowloon side in MONGKOK as I like its chaotic vibe. It is one of the most densely populated areas per square kilometre on the planet. If you want a hotel with some degree of Harbour views it would be best to stay in TSIM SHA TSUI which is closest to the waterfront.

    The MTR (train system) is a very tourist friendly way to get around. Exits to streets, buildings, tourist attractions etc (normally letters) are displayed on boards in the concourse so you really shouldnt get lost. Getting out of some exits can involve a bit of walking sometimes.

    In terms of paying for transport I always get an Octopus electronic smart card as it’s much more convenient and cheaper than single train tickets. You can also use the card on buses, Hong Kong Island trams, the Light Rail system, the Star Ferry, some shops and the Peak Tram. If you are planning on using the Airport Express train to get into the city (stations in Kowloon and HK Island) you can get a travel pass which includes a return airport ticket and three days unlimited travel on the MTR. You can order the travel pass online and there are conditions for length of stay but I just buy an Octopus card at the customer service counter at any station.

    HONG KONG ISLAND:
    CENTRAL is the busiest MTR station.
    For the bus terminal in Exchange Square use Central Station - Exit A
    buses go regularly to Repulse Bay and Stanley (6, 6A & 260) Aberdeen (70) and Ocean Park (629)
    To go to the lower Peak terminus use Central Station - Exit J2. Walk through Chater Gardens, past the Bank of China Tower and up Garden Road. The Lower Peak tram Terminus is on the left. NB: if you decide to take the Peak tram late afternoon there will be long queues as everyone wants those combined day/night photos.

    Riding the Mid Levels Escalator – Central Station: Exit D2 onto Queens Road and follow directions towards Central Market. Best entrance to escalator is inside 100 Queens Road. It is 800ms long and operates upwards after 10am. You can get off at numerous exits including Hollywood Road famous for its antique shops and Man Mo Temple.
    Li Yuen Streets (East & West) - markets
    Soho and Lai Kwai Fong – restaurants, bars, nightlife area for locals.
    Causeway Bay - The other major retail area on Hong Kong Island.

    KOWLOON:
    TSIM SHA TSUI is the main MTR station.
    Exits to:
    Avenue of Stars – nightly laser light show featuring HK Island skyscrapers. 8pm (only 15 mins long) Star Ferry Terminal & Harbour City Shopping Mall.
    Canton Road - Designer flagship stores.
    Beginning of Nathan Road – This is the area where touts try to sell you watches etc but very colourful at night.
    Granville Road – outlet stores
    Hong Kong Museum of History – Great museum in South Chatham Road. Off Granville Road.

    YAU MEI TAU & JORDAN MTR stations
    Temple Street Night Market and the Jade market can be accessed from either station. The Jade Market is on during the day only but don’t go to Temple Street much before 8pm.

    MONGKOK MTR station
    Mongkok is where the locals shop but only in the late afternoon and evening. There is Langham Place Mall, street and market shopping and about 5 million people on the streets during the day and more at night. The three main shopping streets all run parallel to Nathan Road.
    Tung Choi Street (between Argyle St and Dundas St) – Ladies Market – open from early afternoon
    Fa Yuen Street - sport Shoe Street.
    Sai Yeung Choi Street - young fashion and electronics
    The Mongkok area is also where the goldfish, bird garden and flower streets are located. Walking distance but can also be accessed from Prince Edward (next MTR station up from Mongkok)

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    Kowloon Culinary Wanderwalk

    by JessicaLangdon Written Mar 7, 2014

    I went on a Kowloon Culinary Wanderwalk with my husband, shortly after arriving in Hong Kong. A local, English speaking guide took us and three other travelers to five local restaurants, each hand picked for a special dish. And there's a surprise dish that really challenges your tastebuds!

    Our guide Edmond was amazing, she told us a lot about Chinese culture, how Hong Kong people differ from 'Mainlanders', and - very important - how to use our chopsticks! This was an amazing experience, to eat like the locals do in the streets and 'Dai Pai Dong' (I had to go back to the food tour website to recall the name of these 'big license' restaurants). Would highly recommend a food tour like this to anyone who wants to see, taste, and smell culture. No English menus needed!

    Our guide Edmond telling us about snake wine
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    Doubledecker beauties

    by Assenczo Written Feb 25, 2014

    The street cars of Hong Kong are the cutest form of transport ever. They are also a very useful sightseeing tool on par with “hop-on-hop-off” buses except here one can and is tempted to stay on without hopping off at all. They are real old beauties plying the busy central streets of the skyscraper area providing lofty look at things big and small, in an everyday type of setting. For speed one has to employ the services of the underground system but for the pure joy of travel the trams are indispensable.

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    Cyber Port

    by Assenczo Updated Feb 21, 2014

    There is Hong Kong downtown, proud and “skyscrapy”, there is Kowloon, busy and” chinesy” but there are also corners that are new and undetected by the mass tourism. Cyber Port is a case in point. It is located halfway between Hong Kong city on the north side and Aberdeen on the south side of the island. It has a sleek new architecture to match its IT ambitions and offers a vantage point at snazzy apartment buildings lining the seaside without being in the thick of things and noise. It has a trendy hotel, “Le Meridien” with excessive attention to interior design and views to the sea practically on all sides. The Ocean Front Park with its Chinese joggers American style instead of the Tai chi sessions of the Kowloon gardens show how profoundly separate these two sides of the same Special Administrative Region are.

    No boats here, just bytes
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    Travelator

    by Assenczo Updated Feb 12, 2014

    The so-called “travelator” is a cute and genuine “attraction”. It is part of the escalator family akin to the airport speed paths but on an angle so it can climb the steep hill behind the skyscraper cluster. Apparently, it connects a well-to-do area to the business core which makes perfect sense. Nevertheless one problem should be considered – it moves only in one direction. In the morning it moves downwards and the rest of the day upwards. Before enjoying the “travelator” and its views too much one has to be quite clear on how much he is willing to walk back afterwards.

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    European New Year

    by Assenczo Written Feb 12, 2014

    Hong Kong populace pours out into the streets to meet the European New year. They are so determined to reach the best spots that some start their “vigil” as early as 8 o’clock. The less uptight ones arrive much later within an hour before the big bang and this is when it becomes excitingly dangerous. There are streams of human bodies moving in different directions which at times seem pointless due to the lack of space. Police is out in force to try to control the masses and apparently does a pretty good job. Still, the pressure is so high that some people might lose their breath for a while. In this particular corner there was a girl who was weeping for some reason most obviously not due to celebratory joy. With the countdown in progress all the phones of Hong Kong were pulled out to immortalize the moment of fireworks lighting up the sky. Well, if people have seen a number of fireworks in their lives this one would not be of particular interest but the packed crowds are certainly of jaw-dropping quality. Considering this scale of madness, it is quite surprising that this sort of hubbub actually exists when the fact that there is a Chinese New Year celebration too within less than a month in taken into account. Maybe this is one of the major shopping stimulus in the calendar of consumerism; you’ve got to drive these sales somehow!

    Long countdown Twitting from HK Uploading on Facebook Checking Google GPS
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    Looking at Hong Kong island from Kowloon

    by Madasabull Written Feb 2, 2014

    One of the big draws for any tourist to Hong Kong, is getting to see the amazing skyline of Hong Kong island.

    As our hotel was in Kowloon, we had to get a ferry across to Hong Kong island, but not before a great walk along the front to the ferry terminal. We say all kinds of things on the front, including an area where stars had put there hand prints, a great statue of Bruce Lee, load and load of people, and of course the view of Hong Kong island, which was amazing.

    Sue and Cathy on, a pig!
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    The Peak Hong Kong

    by Madasabull Updated Feb 2, 2014

    I have always seen pictures from above Hong Kong, and always wanted to be the one taking the pictures, so now I get my chance.

    We took the tram up to the peak, and once in the main building as you exit the tram, you feel you have walking into the worlds highest mall, layers of shops selling gifts and other items related to Hong Kong, and there is a Burger King, 3 signature restaurants, Bubba Gump Restaurant and bar which we had a drink in to use the toilets and the view from here was great.

    Madame Tussauds Hong Kong was there too, and they left Bruce Lee outside so we could all have a picture with him, but we were there for the view, so we made our way outside, for a small fee of course. And it was worth it, the view was amazing, and just how I imagined.

    Bubba Gump Co Restaurant and Bar
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    Soho and Yorkshire Pudding

    by Madasabull Updated Feb 2, 2014

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    This is an amazing area of Hong Kong, it's not like all the other shopping blocks in the city, there are some really great shops and places to eat and drink, and it comes alive even more at night.

    There is an escalator and stairs that take you right the way through, so no need to walk really. It reminded me of places in the UK were the more trendy people hang out and relax.

    It seems to go on and on in all directions, and we could have easily spent many days here if we had them, and no doubt we would have loved every minute.

    No trip to Hong Kong should be without a trip here.

    Sue and Cathy The best way to get around Soho
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    South Hong Kong Island

    by Madasabull Updated Feb 1, 2014

    After using the tram to get to the top of Hong Kong island, I could see the other side of the island from the top, and it looked well worth a look, not knowing what was out there.

    My Brother in Law said we should go to a market there the next day that he loves, so we did just that. We got a taxi from the ferry port, all the way around to the other side of the island. The taxi cost £12 one way, and was well worth it. Taxi's are one of the few things that are quite cheap here.

    On route we passed some beautiful beaches and coves, with loads of luxury yachts and boats, luxury homes, and space with trees and shrubs. It was like being in a totally different place.

    There are some really great water front bars and restaurants too, not cheap, but really nice. And for the most part, we weren't shoulder to shoulder with everyone here.

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    Bruce Lee

    by Madasabull Written Jan 30, 2014

    Bruce Lee is so loved in Hong Kong, even though he was born in San Francisco. But he loved Hong Kong, and Hong Kong loved, and still doe, him.

    Everywhere you go, you see images and posters of him, statues and even at the top of Hong Kong mountain when you get off the tram, he is there.

    He is a real hero of the people, and we loved taking pics of all the Bruce Lee stuff, when you could get near it. There was always plenty of people around Bruce Lee images and stuff.

    He didn't see this uppercut coming! Sue with Bruce Sue and Cathy with Bruce
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    The Tram to Hong Kong Peak

    by Madasabull Updated Jan 30, 2014

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    The picture is of my brother in law and his partner who met up with us in Hong Kong for the weekend.

    The Peak Hong Kong is an amazing attraction, but to get there, you either have to walk up the mountain, or get the Tram, and of course we thought we would go the way of the tram.

    Here is a great tip, and it should work for a while until everyone get's onto it. You can get on the tram at the bottom or the top, or, there are a few stops in between where you can get on.

    The queue's we saw at the bottom and top, were massive, and I mean huge, hundreds of people at either end, but if you get yourself to the next stop up, or down, depending on which direction your going in, you may find it easier to get on the tram.

    The tram leaves each end, full to roof, but there is always a little wriggle room, just in case the drive spots a few people on route. The drivers don't want to leave you stood there, so they try to get you in if they can.

    If they can't get you in, the driver going the other way will see you stood there, and room might be made for you on the next one. Look, you either start in a massive queue, or you don't, and take a chance. We did.

    Anyway, the rides up and down are great fun, and we loved it.

    My Brother in Law and Partner
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    Local Snack Food

    by chichktour Written Jan 10, 2014

    I have no idea whether one would be adventurous to take our yummy local food like this. It was wonderful to try the sweet tou fu (soya bean curd) as a dessert which we can add blended yellow sugar as much as wish, if not enough, a bottle of syrup was on the sauce stand. The yummy pig skin and solidified pig blood look weird but taste good, especially I put on the sweet sauce. The most easily acceptable item maybe the big bun aside, with the minced pork mixed with vegetables. The bun's skin was crispy as it was slightly fried. O, a yummy afternoon tea.

    sweet tou fu, pig skin and blood, pork bun
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    Local snack foods

    by chichktour Written Jan 9, 2014

    Crazy shopping at Shanghai Tang for appreciation trendy Chinese gifts and costumes, Pedder Bldg for modern arts appreciation and wine cellar, G.O.D. in exploring Hong Kong's icons and humorous culture, Joint Publishing to find Chinese dim sum and easy cuisine books, small old ivory shop at Central back streets, treasure hunting of Chinese calligraphy brush and coins at Cat Street etc. Together with local food like eating sweet dumpling on street, dim sum at traditional Chinese restaurant with God of Guan Di and seafood aquarium, trying the hot and fresh egg tart at the street stalls. Time should be allowed next time in snake soup, noodles etc. It was so exhausting and still have to rush back to the airport Hotel for dressing up again for the next banquet.

    Egg tart everywhere in Hong Kong's bakery
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    Statue Square - Central

    by swissfondue Updated Nov 19, 2013

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    Statue Square in Central is a well known public thoroughfare but I had to check the origins of the name as its not a square filled with statues. Historically, the square was home to a number of statues of British Royalty until the Japanese removed them as part of their occupation of Hong Kong during WW2. The statues were returned after the war but relocated to other areas of Hong Kong. Only one remains today.

    While in the square or the adjacent Chater Garden take time to notice the many influential commercial buildings that surround it including the HSBC building and the Bank of China Tower (as shown in my photo)

    If you are walking through Statue Square on the weekend on your way to the Peak Tram Lower Terminus in Garden Road you will notice the many Filipino maids who use the square as a meeting and socialising venue on their day off.

    During Hong Kong's Annual Winterfest Statue Square comes alive each evening from late November. The square is home to a massive 18 metre tall Christmas tree and the surroundings are transformed with festive touches. Last year there was a carousel and performances by carol singers with the Christmas tree and festivities marketing the Tiffany and Co Brand.

    Santa has been seen in residence at times during the evening and there is a cute post office so children can post him a letter. In Hong Kong Santa is known as "Sing Daan Lou Yan" which means Christmas Old Man in Cantonese.

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Hong Kong Things to Do

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