Hong Kong things to do

By Ed Peters, your Hong Kong expert

I write for AsiaSpa, Conde Nast Traveller, Gourmet Traveller, .... Read more
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expert-rated things to do in Hong Kong
Expert overall rating:4.2 (out of 5)

A corner of a foreign field that was forever China.

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Despite the (fairly) widespread use of English in Hong Kong, the city can overwhelm to start off with. A couple of companies run double decker bus tours around the island and the Tsim Sha Tsui peninsular - hopping aboard will allow you to get your bearings rather than wrestling with the public bus and train systems on day one. And you can hop off the double decker if you fancy exploring a particular area.

It's well worth getting out to the islands - ferries run all day, and a little-used shuttle service connects Peng Chau, Lantau and Cheung Chau; by the same token, Hong Kong's Country Parks provide an alternative view of what is popularly perceived as wall-to-wall concrete and glass. 

One of the best aspects of Hong Kong is that you are rarely more than 60 minutes' travel from anywhere. An hour or less by road, train or sea from downtown Central lie the border with China, nigh deserted beaches, mushrooming new towns, and island communities that have changed little over the past few decades.

The stored-value Octopus card acts like a second passport as far as transport is concerned, and the searchable (by street number or building name) Yellow Pages map (www.hkcitymap.com) is the A-Z of Hong Kong, with additional information on ferry times, MTR locations and even the weather.

NB Much of what is listed here is free, or tickets cost about ten bucks. I'll say no more about the cost of living (or holidaying) in Hong Kong.

How I’ve picked my things to do: 

Purely and simply, these are places I enjoy visiting, and find something new to enjoy each time I go there. I've also tried to add something extra - everyone is urged to visit The Peak, but many are unaware of the easy walk around the mountain, or the park at the very top. Likewise, it's fun to ride the cable car to the Big Buddha, but you can walk on to Lantau Peak, the territory's second highest. 

Set focus

Purely and simply, these are places I enjoy visiting, and find something new to enjoy each time I go there. I've also tried to add something extra - everyone is urged to visit The Peak, but many are unaware of the easy walk around the mountain, or the park at the very top. Likewise, it's fun to ride the cable car to the Big Buddha, but you can walk on to Lantau Peak, the territory's second highest.