Hong Kong is a city of extraordinary experiences. Something new and unique can be found in every corner of this stunning island city. Even if you're just sipping tea at a cafe, you can come across something you haven't seen anywhere else. So you can imagine how overwhelmed I must have gotten during my five-day trip.
I've shared some reasons for why I fell head over heels in love with Hong Kong in another blog post. But here, I want to talk about some of the things that set it apart from all the other places I've been to.
1. Watching the laser show from the iconic Star Ferry
Hong Kong's Star Ferry is a popular way for locals to get from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central very quickly. But for those visiting the city, it's a tourist attraction for the stunning views it has to offer. You get to see the entire Hong Kong skyline while sitting on a boat and enjoying the breeze. And the best part? At 8pm every evening, there's a laser show called Symphony of Lights on display and you get the best views from the ferry.
2. Seeing the Hong Kong skyline from the top of The Peak
Hong Kong is a city of skyscrapers, home to the largest number in the world! So you can imagine how difficult it would be to have a place higher than these towering buildings. There's one – Victoria Peak or The Peak – from where you can view the entire city, skyscrapers included, as if watching a movie. I'd want to live at a place like that
3. Grabbing a drink up in the clouds at Ozone
Located on the 118th floor of the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong, Ozone is the second highest bar in the world. It is so high that when you're in the elevator on the way up, your ears pop! When the weather is misty, you can see the clouds outside the glass windows of the bar. At other times you can get the most amazing view of the skyline while enjoying bespoke cocktails and the cool Hong Kong breeze.
4. Taking the Crystal Cable Car ride to the Big Buddha
If you've done even a little bit of research about the places to visit in Hong Kong, Big Buddha will have made an appearance. Towering at a height of about 112 feet (34 metres) it is one of the tallest Buddha statues in the world. But what makes it unique is that you have to take a cable car ride to reach up to it from Lantau Island. And if you happen to take the crystal cable car (a cable car with a glass bottom), you are in for the most gorgeous views of the water, hiking trail and the hilly forest region below!
5. Partying until sunrise at Lan Kwai Fong
You might find club streets at many places in the world, but no one does it quite like Hong Kong. Lined with pubs, bars and discotheques one after the other, Lan Kwai Fong offers a multi-sensory experience. You will come across various kinds of music, luxury cars, dancing people, binge drinking sessions, and the most delectable food all in one stroll. And that too at 3 in the morning. Whether you're looking for a budget drinking session or a luxury cocktail experience, this is the place to be. The best way to get a holistic experience is to go pub-hopping around midnight.
6. Going from the city to a hill hike in a span of 20 minutes
I don't think there's any other place that lets you go from a skyscraper to a mountain hike in such a short span of time. Thanks to Hong Kong's unique topography and scenery, you are just driving distance from escaping the hustle-bustle of city life. Dragon's Back hike takes about half an hour to reach and gives you a chance to hike up to Shek O Peak from where you can sea the Big Wave Bay on one side and the Hong Kong skyline on the other. Who doesn't want that?
7. Exploring the unusual street markets of Mong Kok
Where else in the world would you find street after street of specialised markets where you can buy anything in the world. In Ladies Market you will find everything for a bargain – from knock off Gucci to Hermes scarves, you won't leave empty handed from here. If you're a shoe-lover, head to Sneaker Street, located right next to Ladies Market, to dive into the latest stuff from the world of shoes. Tech geeks head to the multi-storey Mongkok Computer Centre and those looking for a completely out-of-the-box experience, head to the Goldfish Market. Spread out over several blocks this market has dozens of tiny shops displaying hoards of goldfish in tiny water-filled pouches. There are other animals too – from dogs to turtles, whatever pet you want, you can find it here.
8. Witnessing amazing street art
Hong Kong is an expanding art hub that is home to a wealth of local and international artists and art galleries. But the true art here lives in the streets, which are galleries in themselves. From murals in Sai Yin Pun to entire buildings being turned into art hubs in Central, Hong Kong's neighbourhoods give you an insight into this colourful phenomenon. I, for one, am yet to come across a place so vibrant.
9. Going paddle boarding in Sai Kung
As a city, Hong Kong is extremely active. People walk for the most part and eat healthy. Even their recreational hobbies include physical activity. Paddle boarding in Sai Kung is an extremely popular water sport that Hongkongers indulge in, especially over the weekend. If you're visiting the city, you must give this a try. A cross between surfing and kayaking, it is great for beginners!
10. Trying Michelin-starred dim sums at a street-food price
The food is one of the best parts about Hong Kong but since I couldn't include all my favourite meals in one article, I stuck to dim sums. You could call Hong Kong the city of dim sums with almost every establishment selling some form of the delicacy. Personally, the fact that blew me away was that I could get a serving of dim sums for as little as $20 (around ₹180) at a Michelin Starred restaurant! We don't get dim sums that cheap in Delhi!
I can continue writing about all the amazing things that this city has to offer. But we will leave some things for you to explore. And if you've already been to Hong Kong, share your experiences on Tripoto.
In association with Discover Hong Kong.