From its temples and trams, to its finance and Feng Shui; Hong Kong is a city of captivating contrast. Just as a scenic vista can take your breath away on account of its beauty, so too can this enigmatic Chinese city — its neon-lit harbour providing a dramatic panorama of colour, vibrancy and noise.
Despite the hubbub however, pockets of Hong Kong have retained a level of charm and heritage unmatched by any other Asian city. For those travelling to Hong Kong as part of an unforgettable escorted tour from Scenic, here we provide some essential top tips on what to see, where to shop and what to eat during a stopover in Hong Kong.
From the moment you set foot in Hong Kong’s city middle, you’ll be bowled over by the pace and vibrancy of its skyscraper flanked boulevards. There are sightseeing gems aplenty, starting with the panoramic vistas afforded at the top of Victoria Peak. Make your way to the summit of this mighty hillside by Hong Kong’s traditional ‘Ding Ding’ tram system, and you’ll be granted affirming views of the city below; the perfect way to get to grips with Hong Kong in one fell swoop.
Once you’ve savoured the views available atop Victoria Peak, descend to street level and negotiate your way to Lantau Island, the largest of Hong Kong’s islands. With its mountainous interior, Lantau is certainly worth a visit for those overawed by the crowded city streets. The main reason for your visit, though, should be to see the Tian Tan Buddha, a colossal bronze depiction of Sakyamuni Buddha, which is thought to be at the centre of Buddhist faith in Hong Kong. Regardless of your religious views, this is an incredible spectacle you ought not to miss.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to sample a slice of Hong Kong’s old-world charm, make for the Chi Lin Nunnery. Located in the city’s enchanting Kowloon District, this Buddhist temple complex is one of the finest examples of Tang Dynasty-era architecture in the city — making it the perfect place to snap a photograph for loved ones to enjoy when you return home.
As you’d expect from a city bequeathed in Asian culture and heritage, Hong Kong offers a smorgasbord of delectable culinary treats. During your visit, you’ll enjoy some of the finest food on the planet, with everything from Michelin Star restaurants to authentic street food available on the city’s long roster of great eats.
If you’re keen to sample regional cuisine during your visit to Hong Kong, start your culinary odyssey in Tin Lung Heen, an exquisite Chinese bistro awarded two Michelin Stars on account of its divine gastronomy. Tucked away in the belly of the city’s celebrated Ritz Carlton hotel, this award-winning restaurant serves some of China’s finest fare — don’t miss it.
Or, if you’d prefer to tuck into authentic Hong Kong cuisine on the go, why not pay a visit to one of the city’s many street food vendors? No visit would be complete without frequenting one of Hong Kong’s laughably affordable street food markets; we’d recommend Lin Heung, a charming teahouse whose delicious Dim Sum attracts vast crowds.
Known affectionately as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, Hong Kong is a global city recognised the world over for its culture, heritage and skyline. But there’s another area in which the city excels, and that’s its shopping. Like many Asian metropolises, Hong Kong has recently experienced a boom in retail popularity, with international flagship stores and contemporary shopping centres popping up across the city.
For those keen to make a dent in their holiday spends with a little retail therapy, the district of Admiralty, Central and SoHo is the best place to pound the retail pavement. This compact neighbourhood is home to a selection of high-end designer stores and opulent boutiques, including Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, and Bvlgari. There are jewellery shops aplenty too, so you can buy a whole new wardrobe within a single square mile.
Alternatively, if you prefer to steer away from designer names in favour of something more authentic, Hong Kong is home to a wealth of street markets. Our favourite is the Cat Street antique market, where you’ll find a selection of Ming Dynasty-era furniture and other curious treasures. For those keen to pick up a unique souvenir from their trip, this is the ideal place.
Interested in visiting Hong Kong as part of a luxury escorted tour from Scenic? Visit our escorted tours page to browse our complete range of Asian tours, or call our team on 0808 286 8761.