What to do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places on Earth, and a hub of contrasting cultures, cuisine, art, and research.  Whether you’re there for business or pleasure– or just passing through on your way to other parts of Asia– Hong Kong is worth an exploration. Set on an archipelago of hilly islands in the South China Sea at the mouth of the Pearl River, Hong Kong– which means “fragrant harbour”– was named for the fragrant wood products and incense that were once the basis of the region’s economy.  Today, it’s one of the world’s leading financial centers. Here are our recommendations for how to get the most our of your time in Hong Kong.

Eat & Drink.
Try dim sum (use this interactive menu to learn the ropes) and hot pot, a fondue-like experience where you dunk meats, seafood, vegetables, and dumplings in a pot of simmering stock at the table. Hong Kong’s famous milk tea, a relic of the British colonial practice of adding milk to black tea, is a must-try. Hong Kong is sometimes called the culinary capital of Asia; fittingly, it boasts a number of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Take in the views.
The best views of the city’s magnificent skyline are from Victoria Peak, which you can reach via the funicular railway, the Peak Tram. Get there before sunset and watch the city light up at your feet as night falls.

Explore the harbors.
Hong Kong is made up of over 200 islands connected by bridges and ferries. Seeing the city from the water is a perspective not to be missed, whether you charter a junk (starting at about $500 for an eight-hour charter; take a picnic lunch and a group of friends) or the seven-minute Star Ferry across the harbor (28 cents).

Shop
Hong Kong’s Temple Street Market is not for the faint of heart. It’s lined with open-air stalls selling everything from live seafood to knock-off purses, watches, and medicine. Fortune-tellers, buskers, prostitutes, and junkies fill the spaces in between.For a tamer shopping experience, head to Central’s waterfront mall, the IFC. Filled with world-class shops such as BVLGARI, Hugo Boss, and Prada, the mall is surrounded by bars and restaurants.

Day Trips
For day trips out of the city, we recommend Macau(accessible via helicopter or boat). A UNESCO World Heritage site, Macau’s narrow streets and charming squares are lined with galleries, museums, and temples that denote the city’s rich history and Portuguese colonial heritage.

Or, take a day trip to Lantau Island, where fishing villages and pristine beaches line the shore, and mountains and lush valleys fill the interior. Guided tours are available to visit Po Lin Monastery and the Giant Buddha Exhibit.

What are your recommendations for a trip to Hong Kong? Leave a comment below or join the conversation on our Facebook page!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.