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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Top 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong

Source: Top 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong
Website: The Guardian

From glittering skyscrapers to villages perched on stilts in the sea, Hong Kong's diversity makes it a fascinating place to explore. Here are 10 of the best attractions this cosmopolitan city has to offer.
1 Sensational shopping

Whether you're haggling for souvenirs at the Temple Street night market, checking out the footwear in Asia's largest shoe department or wandering down streets lined with goldfish sellers, you can't visit Hong Kong without shopping. Hong Kong insiders recommend the quirky, independent boutiques of the Sun, Moon and Star streets in Wan Chai, where barbers stand next to bric-a-brac shops and Monocle magazine's store.

2 Glamorous nightlife

The phrase "living the high life" takes on new meaning when you are 118 floors up at the Ritz-Carlton hotel's Ozone bar. It's the highest bar in the world, positioned at the top of the tallest hotel in the world and the views across Victoria harbour are stunning. Seen from the bar, over cocktails and Asian tapas, the city's trademark skyscrapers look like a toy town. Hong Kong has plenty of places to party, but Lan Kwai Fong on Hong Kong Island, with its buzzing nightclubs and restaurants, is where most people head.

3 Animated architecture

The Symphony of Lights is a free nightly light show in which searchlights, neon glows and patterned lights are beamed across the city to the soundtrack of Asian pop. The Symphony takes place every day from 8pm and, for the best view, watch it from the Avenue of Stars, Kowloon Promenade.

4 Eating out

With 11,000 restaurants, you could eat out three times a day for 10 years in Hong Kong and never eat at the same restaurant twice. Eat in a floating restaurant for a true Hong Kong experience or visit Tim Ho Wan in Mongkok for world-beating dim sum – with steamed pork buns for HK$12 (about £1), it's the cheapest Michelin-starred food in the world.

5 Unexpected island hopping

Hong Kong's islands are its best-kept secret. There are more than 260 to explore, with Lantau, Lamma, Peng Chau and Cheung Chau closest to the mainland. Ferries, including the famous Star ferry, run from Pier 7 in Central. The views of the city from the water are worth the trip alone.

6 Inner peace

Hong Kong offers peaceful retreats alongside the hustle and bustle. The Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau island is 34 metres high, making it the world's largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha. There are 268 steps to the Buddha, so you will get a workout – but the fantastic views make the climb worth it. For more quiet contemplation, visit the island's Po Lin monastery, then walk the Wisdom path beside 38 wooden statues carved with verses from Buddhist scriptures.

7 Spotting pink dolphins

From the small fishing village of Tai O on Lantau island, you can take boat tours around the old stilt houses to the ocean to spot the native pink dolphins. Life is lived at a slower pace here and the insight the island offers into nature and traditional ways of life is not to be missed.

8 Natural wonders

Sai Kung is known as Hong Kong's back garden, consisting of a vast area of exotic landforms, parkland and marine habitat. This area is called the National Geopark and is beloved of walkers. It includes a collapsed volcano so large that nobody knows where the centre is.

9 Relaxing spas

Kowloon's streets are hung with foot-shaped signs advertising reflexology treatments and, after a day's sightseeing, pampering treatments are very welcome. Locals are talking about the new Salt Spa in Tsim Sha Tsui's K11 Art Mall, which mimics a salt mine with purified salinated air and bright white walls made of the briny stuff.

10 Views from the Peak

A visit to Hong Kong isn't complete without a trip up the Peak, from where you can see the skyscrapers, Victoria harbour and the junks in the bay beneath you. Take the Peak train up 373 metres to the top for spectacular views and to enjoy the nature trails, or visit Madame Tussauds and the plentiful family attractions inside the Peak tower.

With love from Travel Funky


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