A Layover in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a bustling metropolis, with over 7 million people with the population being scattered throughout its more than 200 islands. Hong Kong is in fact a city and a country, although it was officially handed back to China in 1997, it still has its own government and currency. Hong Kong offers diversity in culture, lifestyle and religion and is certainly an exciting place to visit.
Hong Kong, known for its unique energetic vibe, interesting food, and beautiful skyline is the perfect city for a layover, shopping, sightseeing, or relaxing, whatever you wish to do is possible, however my suggestion is comfortable walking shoes and loose clothing especially in the summer months as temperatures and humidity can be uncomfortably hot.
Getting around Hong Kong is easy, the public transport system is well organised and you can go almost anywhere in Hong Kong by tram, bus or Mass Transit Railway (MTR). Taxis are readily available, but are a little more expensive than public transport.
Hong Kong offers many great upscale shopping districts that rival the high-end streets of: Shanghai, London and Paris. The best places to shop, however, are the small shops that line the roads, and street markets that exhibit the charm and uniqueness of the locality.
It is wise to look around at the various stores to compare prices before buying anything. Bargaining is a must, however in the very local Chinese markets, prices are fixed.
Top sights to see in Hong Kong
Victoria Peak – Take the Peak Tram up to 1 810 feet above sea level and get a bird’s eye view of downtown Hong Kong, Kowloon, and Victoria Harbour. Go another step higher and take a 10-minute hike to the actual Victoria Peak.
Ocean Park – is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, and animal theme park. As well as being able to see the amazing panda bear, there is a butterfly house and live animal shows. Once you take the cable car across to the other side of the park, you will find an amazing amusement park with wild rides and rollercoaster’s, not for the faint hearted.
Central District -Lan Kwai Fong is a great spot for a night on the town, the street is lined with great bars and restaurants. The Mid-Levels famous escalator will lead you to the Soho district, where there are numerous boutique shops, beauty salons, nightclubs and restaurants.
If you are interested in Antiques and Art then a walk down Hollywood road is a must.
Kowloon – The most famous street in Hong Kong, Nathan road, stretches from Tsim Sha Tsiu all the way past Mong Kok up to Prince Edward. This is the best shopping street, but beware of electronic shops that inflate their prices when they see a tourist.
Hong Kong’s Light Show- Every night at 8pm, Hong Kong’s skyline lights up for a 10-minutes, it is amazingly choreographed to music, which you can hear if you wonder down the Avenue of The Stars located on Kowloon’s Victoria Harbour waterfront.
Ngong Ping 360C- this is one of Hong Kong’s must-see attractions on Lantau Island. It is a cable car that starts in Tung Chung (near the airport) and takes you up to the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, the world’s tallest outdoor-seated Buddha, and the Po Lin Monastery. This is the major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong.
The Avenue of Stars, is situated in Tsim Sha Tsui East, in Kowloon. It was built to give credit to the local movie industry. It is on a waterfront walkway, and stretches for 440 metres, extending from the Hong Kong Museum of Art to the New World Centre. The design was based on the “Avenue of Stars” which is located in Hollywood, United States of America.
Hong Kong Markets- Some of the best markets are:
- Stanley Market- this market is great for souvenirs, art, clothing and shoes; it is located on Hong Kong Island near Repulse Bay.
- Ladies Market-open every day in busy Mongkok, here bargaining is essential, great for handbags and watches.
- Prince Edward Flower Market- a colourful street lined with flower sellers and beautiful orchid shops.
- Temple street night market- open from 10pm onwards, this market is great for everyone; you can also experience the taste of local food at one of the street cafes.
Overall there is something for everyone in Hong Kong, whether you have 2 days or 2 weeks, you’ll have enough time to experience this great city!