What to do in Hong Kong

Destination Reviews
By

Hong Kong is a fascinating city, not least because of its rich history of British influence which has so shaped its vibrant 'East meet West' style. Built as a trading outpost thanks to its sheltered natural harbour, it's now a modern cosmopolitan city with one of the most iconic skylines in the world.

As one of the most densely populated areas on the planet, on first acquaintance, Hong Kong can be overwhelming. Navigating this teeming, tightly packed city is not always easy. So it's best to plan ahead to get the most out of your stay.

First of all, where will you stay? Will it be Hong Kong Island or Kowloon? Hong Kong Island is where much of the development took place under British control. A narrow strip of land between Victoria Peak and Victoria Harbour is packed with high-rise offices and apartments. This is the commercial centre of the city, so staying here gives you easy access to the nearby sights and excellent shopping. The Mandarin Oriental is the arguably the best option, with impressive harbour views.

Kowloon is an extension of the city on the opposite side of the Harbour, beyond which lies mainland China. The most southerly point is Tsim Sha Tsui (or TST as it's called locally) which is my preferred place to stay. Dissected by the memorable shopping street of Nathan Road the area is much more walkable than others, and there are a number of excellent hotels along the harbour front, the most famous of which is the classic Peninsula Hong Kong. Properties on this side of the harbour enjoy all of the facilities of their rivals on Hong Kong Island, with the addition of spectacular views over the city's iconic skyline. TST is also home to the Ocean Cruise Terminal, so joining your cruise will be simple.

Getting around the city is easy once you have found your stride. Taxis are cheap and plentiful - use the help of your hotel doorman to ensure the driver knows your destination. Take the 1920's style Star Ferry across the harbour from TST to Central. Or use the clean and efficient MTR, Hong Kong's underground, which has excellent English signage and is easy to navigate.

No matter where you stay there is plenty to see beyond the shops. Take a funicular tram to the 552 metre high Victoria Peak where you can enjoy wonderful views especially on a clear day, or visit Man Mo Temple, an atmospheric sanctuary from the busy streets. In the evening walk along the Tsim Sha Tsui's East Promenade where at 8pm every night you'll witness A Symphony of Lights, where lasers and lights illuminate harbour front buildings in a spectacular show. Then visit the Temple Street Night Market, Hong Kong's liveliest, which is a short distance away just off Nathan Road. Great if you're looking for a bargain, or go for the bustling atmosphere and the wonderful street food that's as interesting to see as it is to taste.

If you're staying for a few days, travel out of the city and see some of the smaller harbours which each have their own distinct personality and attractions, such as the rather kitch Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen fishing village. And if time allows visit Lantau Island which is home to pristine beaches, traditional fishing villages, lush valleys and the Po Lin Monastery with its 111 foot tall bronze Buddha.

With so much on offer, whatever your interests you will love this amazing city. Just call us and we will be happy to assist you with your plans.

Alex Loizou
Meet the author

Director of Sales & Marketing at Mundy Cruising

More about Alex

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