My Top 15 Favorite Things to do in Hong Kong
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Hong Kong is one of the countries that is high up my list of most visited places in Asia. I have been traveling for many years now, and I go to this country several times yearly. Of the almost 900,000 Filipino tourists who visited Hong Kong in 2017, I am proud to be the 0.0005% or so of the statistic!
This place that has served as my second favorite country holds many great memories, adventures, and stories. Throughout the years of my constant return, I have listed down my 15 favorite things to do here—and they never get old.
Day tour at Disneyland Hong Kong
There is something about Holiday season that always makes me want to visit HKDL. This theme park is timelessly charming, for both the young and for the young at heart (like me). I always fall in love with the spacious park grounds while enjoying the chill winter breeze. Classic!
Shopping at Citygate
Shopping at Citygate Outlets always comes after HKDL in my itinerary whenever I visit Hong Kong. The shopping complex has so many outlets and international names to choose from, and most of the brands offer discounted prices, especially during the holidays. The mall also has several restaurants to choose from, so even at the busiest times of the day, I was always able to get a nice and comfy table in a good resto anytime. Of course Chicken Rice will be my staple!
Hiking up to see Tian Tan Buddha
The Tian Tan Buddha also called “The Big Buddha”, is a 34-meter-high bronze statue of the monk that sits atop a hill in the highland region of Ngong Ping, in Lantau Island. Because of its massiveness, the statue is visible even from afar. However, hiking up the Big Buddha stairs and shrinking in the presence of the bronze edifice is more fulfilling. The statue represents the connection of human, nature, and faith.
Riding the Ngong Ping cable car
There was one time I visited Ngong Ping via a cable car instead of taking the train. The ride is just about 20 minutes long, and the view was incredible. The blueness of the sky and the ocean seemed to merge when I looked at the horizon.
Besides the picturesque ride, the cable car operators also offer a thrilling transportation option in one of their “crystal cabins”—a cable car with a transparent floor! This is something I am planning to try.
Hopping aboard the Peak Tram
Just like the Ngong Ping cable car, another interesting ride is the Peak Tram. Just like what its name suggests, the Peak Tram is a tram system that carries passengers at a higher altitude. Famous stopovers include the Peak Tram Historical Gallery and the Sky Terrace 428—both of which are hundreds of meters above Hong Kong grounds.
More shopping at Tsim Sha Tsui
Tsim Sha Tsui is the Shibuya of Hong Kong. It is the place I go to when I feel like mall hopping: malls are located almost next to each other, and there are mall chains and other complexes within a one to two-kilometer radius. High rise malls like K11 has seven floors in total and hundreds of boutiques, high-end shops, and restaurants that I have yet to completely conquer!
Taking a trip to Ocean Park Hong Kong
I am a huge fan of theme parks. So, Ocean Park, Hong Kong is also in my list of favorite things to do in this country. This is the second largest theme park in the country, just second to HKDL, but both of these parks are close to my heart.
There is so much to see in this place, but my favorite is the Grand Aquarium and its 360-degree screen show. The species of fish and the deep blue color of the water makes me feel like I am a sand dollar at the ocean floor, watching the rich marine life pass above me silently.
Food tripping at Kowloon
Even someone who is the tiniest bit acquainted will know that a food trip is one of my fave things to do wherever I go. I can’t help it! The cuisine of a certain place always tells something about the culture of that country unlike any other article, travel guide, or vlog. And also it’s because I simply love to eat.
Kowloon is my top foodie adventure spot: streets adorned with Cantonese cuisine stalls of dim sum, grilled meat on sticks, wonton noodle shops, and classic street food. One specific are in Kowloon that everyone should visit is Sham Shui Po, this is the place where you can find one of the two Tim Ho Wan Restaurants in Hong Kong with with Michelin stars.
Taking lots of pictures at Madam Tussauds Hong Kong
Madam Tussauds Hong Kong is a house of wax—a house of wax figures! I have been here one time and saw ultra-realistic wax models of former US president Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth the II—two public figures I would never imagine I would see up close and personal. It’s an uncanny experience.
I am excited to visit Madam Tussauds again in 2019 because they will be displaying a wax replica of Pia Wurtzbach soon. She will be the first Filipino to make it in this unique museum.
Hong Kong is a very vibrant country with lots of parties, festivals, and aesthetic. Besides neon lights, skyscrapers, and delicious food, the art of its people can also be seen in the walls on public spaces as murals and graffiti. Hollywood Road and Chung Ching Street are my favorites, and I have yet to spot more wall arts. There are also interesting wall arts in Sham Shui Po if you need more backdrop for your #OOTD.
Being one of the oldest neighborhoods in Hong Kong, the various artist from around the world gathered recently in Sham Shui Po to join a festival called HKwalls which aims to change the image of the neighborhood and inspire people through artistry.
Dining at the Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant
I have seen floating markets in Bangkok and Sri Lanka. But Hong Kong’s Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant is one of a kind. This dates back to the 1970s, and it is more than just a restaurant with very, very, good food. The Jumbo Kingdom has a Wine Garden, a Sampan restaurant, a Cooking Academy, and the grand Dragon Court, the haven of Hong Kong cuisine.
Traveling the land on a double-decker Ding Ding tram
Yet another innovative transportation option at Hong Kong is the Ding Ding tram, a two-floor tram that got its name from the “ding ding” of its bells that are used to indicate its approach near the stations and intersections. Of course, I always sat at the second floor for the best experience! Space efficient, creative, and definitely trendy.
Traveling the seas on a traditional Chinese junk boat
Sometimes, I skip the large tourist boats and hop on a traditional Chinese junk boat instead. Among the many tourist junk boats in Victoria Harbour, my favorite would be Aqua Luna. These boats have been an integral part of Chinese culture since way, way back. Originally, these boats were mostly used in trading. Now, some boat operators like Aqua Luna offer them as pleasure boats for adventure-hungry travelers such as myself. You will know that it’s a junk boat if you see the red-colored sails that expand proudly like those red Chinese paper fans.
Trying exotic food
For many residents of East Asia, snake soup might be commonplace, but for me, it is definitely an exotic dish! Snake soup restaurants are abundant in Causeway Bay. I have tried many bowls of this and I cannot count how many times I have persuaded fellow travelers to try the dish themselves. The snake meat is very tender, and tastes somewhere between chicken and fish.
If you are still up to more food adventures, head to Sham Shui Po and visit Shia Wong Hip Restaurant. This restaurant serves mostly cantonese food but they are also famous for their exotic animal dishes like snake, hard-shelled turtle, wattle-necked soft-shelled turtle, crocodile, and gecko.
Last minute shopping at the airport
After exploring Hong Kong and before heading back home, I always make sure to go to the airport early to shop and use my remaining HKD. This is very important. You can’t use your HKD in the Philippines and in most cases changing it back to Philippine Peso will just mean additional currency conversion loss.
There are a lot of interesting shops at the airport, and if you missed a few shopping spots in Hong Kong during your stay because of time constraints, I guarantee that you will always find something to buy from the airport.
Looking for the best place to stay in Hong Kong? Wego never failed me and I use it each time I visit Hong Kong.
If you’re visiting Hong Kong for 3 to 7 nights with Cathay Pacific, you’re eligible to redeem one of the tours or offers below:
- Hop-on, Hop-off Open Top Bus Sightseeing Tour
- Deluxe Hong Kong Island Combo
- Old Hong Kong Experience
- Kowloon Cultural & Life Tour
Booking period is from September 21, 2017, to November 30, 2018. Travel period is from Sep 21, 2017, to December 31, 2018. Visit Cathay Pacific and Discover Hong Kong for more detailed information.
Hong Kong is the kind of country that always keeps me coming back. The streets, shopping centers, and the festivities in its theme parks feel so nostalgic yet at the same time so novel to me. Visiting here and staying for days and even weeks has become second nature to me. And because of its timeless beauty, I don’t think this will change anytime soon.