Hong Kong Attractions
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Hong Kong’s foremost tourist attraction has always been the 550-meter-high Victoria Peak mountain peak on Hong Kong Island. Countless postcard motifs are cut from here, and you understand why when you see the view of the skyscrapers and Victoria Harbor. At the top you will find the futuristic bowl-shaped Peak Tower with view terraces. Inside the Peak Tower you will also find several restaurants and a shopping center. Madame Tussaud’s wax cabinet has a branch here, and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum has an exhibition of bizarre objects from around the world.
The electric train that takes you from Central to Victoria Peak is an attraction in itself. It was originally built in the late 1800s to bring the city’s richest to its grand homes with Hong Kong’s best views. Try to get a seat on the right side of the cabin to get the best view of the ride up. The train leaves every quarter from 1 p.m. 0700 from Central, and a return ticket costs approx. 20 kroner.
- See AbbreviationFinder for commonly used abbreviation of city Hong Kong, China. Also includes meanings of the same acronym.
Hong Kong Museum of Art
The Tsim Sha Tsui Art Museum focuses mainly on Chinese cultural heritage, and on both local and international art. You can rent headphones with audio guide for NOK 9, and from the cafe you have a nice view of Victoria Harbor. Open daily from 2 pm 1000 to 1800, entry 9 kroner. Free on Wednesdays.
Hong Kong Space Museum & Theater
Right next to the art museum is the Hong Kong Space Museum, which is about astronomy and space travel. The museum’s eastern part, with its egg-shaped ceiling, has become a landmark in Hong Kong, and below it you’ll find the Stanley Ho Space Theater, which features 40-minute IMAX films. Open from 2 pm 1300 to 2100 on weekdays, and from 2 p.m. 1000 on weekends. Closed on Tuesdays. Entry 9 kroner, free on Wednesdays.
Wong Tai Sin Temple
In Kowloon you will find the 18,000-square-foot Wong Tai Sin Temple. This is Hong Kong’s largest and most famous Taoist temple, and thousands of visitors come here to light incense, pray, and express their wishes for the future or seek an answer to their problems.
Open daily from 2 pm 0700 to 1730, free admission.
Hong Kong Disneyland
The world’s fifth Disneyland has opened its doors on the island of Lantau west of Hong Kong Island. Disneyland has Adventureland with attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean and the Lion King. Open daily from 2 pm 1000 to 1900, day passes cost around NOK 250 for adults and NOK 175 for children.
The ferry route, which operates between mainland Tsim Sha Tsui and Central on Hong Kong Island, carries over 70,000 passengers daily across Victoria Harbor. For a first-time visitor, it’s a great sight to be in the middle of two veritable walls of huge glass and steel skyscrapers, on either side of the strait. A fleet of twelve ferries takes you over in minutes and costs you two to three bucks on the upper deck. The crossing is sure to remain as one of your foremost memories of Hong Kong.
Man Mo Temple
This Hollywood Road temple in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island is the city’s most famous. It was built in 1847 and is dedicated to both the war god and the god of literature, and has been considered very important to preserve Chinese culture in Hong Kong while the city was under British rule. Outside, you will undoubtedly be contacted by handlers, astrologers and fortune tellers who will be happy to tell you how wonderful your future will be. Free admission, open daily from 7 am 0800 to 1800.
Hong Kong Museum of History
Founded in 1975, the Hong Kong Museum of History has four main sections showing the history of the Hong Kong area from its inception to the present day in terms of nature, archeology, history and ethnography. Open daily from 2 pm 1000 to 1800, closed Tuesdays. Entrance approx. 9 kroner.
Hong Kong residents’ favorite pet is neither dog nor cat, as in Europe. Birds are the big thing here, and you can still see people walking in the park with their bird cages as they feed the poultry with insects and seeds. At Bird Garden in Mong Kok, Kowloon, you will find a myriad of stalls selling tens of thousands of birds of all sizes and colors, accompanied by deafening chirps.
Open daily from 2 pm 1000 to 1800, free admission.
Hong Kong Tourist
Although it is quite possible to catch most of Hong Kong’s major tourist attractions and sights on your own within a few days, there are easier and relatively affordable options. Several operators offer guided English-language tours of the district, where you can choose from several different programs. Discover Hong Kong is run by the City Tourist Board and has received excellent feedback from satisfied customers on their trips.
Day 1 in Hong Kong
The first day we concentrate on Hong Kong Island and its attractions. After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, head to Central. Take Hong Kong’s fast and efficient subway if you want. From the metro station you can continue straight east. Then you will come to Statue Square. Here you will find fountains, benches, a World War II fallen monument and one of the world’s best hotels, the Mandarin Oriental. Continue east past the Legislative Council Building from 1912, and turn right into the Chater Garden. Right in front of you you will see the city’s third tallest building, The Bank Of China Tower.
Turn southwest into Garden Road and you will soon have St Johns Cathedral on your right. It looks a bit lost among all the skyscrapers, but this 1849 cathedral is one of the few remaining colonial buildings in Central. If you continue west, you will exit Queens Road Central. In the lively side streets of Li Yuen Street East and West, you will find most of leather, bags, cheap clothing, souvenirs and jugs at the most affordable prices.
The next side street, Pottinger Street, is a stone staircase with traditional street stalls selling everything for needlework, from buttons and zippers to silk and thread spools. Pottinger Street is surrounded by tall, modern buildings, and it all appears in a somewhat quirky combination. A little south of Pottinger Street you will find Stanley Street, every photographer’s dream shopping street. Here cameras and photo equipment are sold at very good prices. Below Stanley Street is Lyndhurst Terrace, with its antique shops selling old paintings, maps, vases and lamps, side by side with modern spa centers and beauty shops.
Turn left into Cochran Street and you’ll be at the world’s longest escalator. It is 800 meters long and is really meant as a means of transport for the residents of the higher Midlevels. The walk through the entire escalator takes around 20 minutes if you do not use your legs. Below you will reach Central Police Station, a gray venerable building from 1864 with large columns. The area west of the police station is the Soho district, one of Hong Kong’s foremost restaurant districts, and an excellent pretext for stopping for lunch. For example, try the vegetarian restaurant Life in 10 Shelley Street.
After lunch, follow Shelley Street north to Hollywood Road. Then head west until you reach Hong Kong’s famous Man Mo Temple of 1847. This incense-filled Chinese temple is always busy and filled with worshipers, and the plaques outside give you a good insight into the history of the temple.
If you’re still motivated to walk further, head northwest until you reach Ko Shing Street. This is Hong Kong’s premier street for shopping health foods, herbs and Chinese herbal medicine. Or you can continue straight north towards the Macau ferry terminal. Here is the former Port Office, which is now the Western Market, built in 1906 and declared as a historic monument in 1988.
Maybe the time is right for a trip back to the hotel to drop off the shopping bags and get a shower and a change of clothes? But in the afternoon you should find your way to the lower train station at Garden Road 33. The ride up to Victoria Peak takes only minutes, but get a seat on your right to enjoy a breathtaking view of the skyscrapers and harbor as you cruise up the hill. When you arrive at the summit, head for the distinctive Peak Tower. The view from the terraces where all of Hong Kong is in front of you is indescribable. At Peak Tower you will also find Madame Tussaud’s wax cabinet, where you can mingle with movie stars and celebrities, and of course another shopping center. If you have the time and the desire, you can also go for a lap at the top. From the south you have a view of Aberdeen and the South China Sea.
If the view is not impressive enough in daylight, it will take on a new dimension as the sun goes down and darkness subsides in the 1830-1900 era. The skyscrapers light up, the neon jungle lights up, and you stand and moan that such a view is actually man-made. Just off the Peak Tower is The Peak Lookout Restaurant, so head here when you start getting ready for dinner. Ideally, you have well in advance sent a reservation to the restaurant or called 2849 1000 and reserved a table with a view. For more information, see the restaurant’s website. Here they do not close until 2330, or 0100 on weekends, and there is live music from 7 p.m. 1900, so there is no rush to get back to the hotel!
Day 2 in Hong Kong
Today, Kowloon on the mainland is on the program. You can start with the metro to Tsim Sha Tsui station. Northeast of this is Kowloon Park, and a leisurely morning walk here is enjoyable. Watch local people walking around their bird cages or practicing Chinese martial arts. Afterwards, turn east into Kowloon’s main street Nathan Road and follow this to the end of the road as you stop where you want. At the end you will find the Salisbury Gardens park with its sculptures, and next to it you have both the art museum and the aerospace museum, which should occupy the rest of your morning. Lunch at the Art Museum’s café, which has a great view of Hong Kong Island’s skyscrapers.
In the afternoon, perhaps the movie enthusiast will choose to go east and visit Hong Kong’s Avenue of Stars. Here you will find a bronze statue of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan’s fashion store, but apart from these two, you should be well above medium movie enthusiasts to know more than a few of the names of the stars in the street. The shopping-hungry may prefer to go west, past the city clock tower of 1921, and to Harbor City. This is Hong Kong’s largest shopping and entertainment center, with more than 700 shops and eateries.
For some more exotic markets, take the metro a few stops north to Prince Edward, and walk 3-400 meters east. Here is Hong Kong’s bird market, where you could have bought birds of all kinds and colors, mainly as pets. Just next door is the flower market.
In the evening, take the subway to Jordan and head for Temple Street, a small parallel street to Nathan Road. Every night at 2000 begins the famous and lively night market. Here you can bargain for cheap clothes, shoes, photo equipment, CDs, DVDs and much more. Of course, these are pirated goods, so don’t buy a Rolex at half price here and think you’ve made a bargain!