In the southeast of China, more precisely on the Pearl River Delta, lies the major city of Hong Kong – or as it is translated: Fragrant Port. The city, which has a population of around 7 million, is one of the world’s fascinating metropolises with many contrasts of Chinese and Western culture – life pulsates here. As a former British crown colony, it is a link between East and West and combines tradition and modernity in a fascinating way. Experience the contrast between traditional street markets, temples surrounded by incense, and super-modern high-rises and shopping malls. Outside the city center, Hong Kong delights with unspoiled nature and small fishing villages. Enjoy and explore this unique metropolis with many sights during your Hong Kong city break.
Tip 1: Victoria Peak
It’s just called “The Peak”, the 552 meter high mountain just behind Hong Kong’s Central District. The highest mountain on Hong Kong Island is famous for its location, spectacular views and history.
The Peak Tram, a funicular railroad that opened in 1888, runs up the mountain. Especially at busy times, the Peak Tram can get a little crowded and there may be waiting times. At the stations, the visitors are guided by instructions so that as many people as possible can get up and down the Peak as quickly as possible.
At the top of the Peak Tram terminus is the Peak Tower, which is shaped like an anvil. On top of the roof is the observation deck Sky Terrace 148, from which the view over the skyline, the harbor to the New Territories is great. Also, at the top is the Peak Galleria shopping center.
For those who have some time, we recommend walking along the narrow Lugard Road. Enjoy the panorama over Hong Kong, the harbor and Kowloon from there.
Tip 2: Tian Tan Buddha
The Big Buddha (also called Tian Tan Buddha”) is really big and most impressive from a distance. For example, if you approach the Buddha dam with the cable car Ngong Ping 360. The Tian Tan Buddha is one of the largest sitting Buddha statues in the world.
On Lantau Island at Po Lin Monastery, the Tian Tan Buddha can be found. It is the largest Buddhist monument in Hong Kong and an absolute visitor magnet and very popular tourist destination. The large Buddha statue is surrounded by eight smaller statues, each holding things with a certain symbolism in the direction of the large Buddha. The Tian Tan Buddha got its name because its design was based on the Altar of Heaven of the Tian Tan Temple (Temple of Heaven) from Beijing. Therefore, the Big Buddha also looks to the north, in the direction of Beijing.
The Buddha is 34 meters tall and weighs 250 tons. On clear days it can be seen as far as Macau. Visitors have to climb 268 steps to visit it.
Construction of the monument began in the early 1990s and the statue was completed on December 29, 1993. Exactly on the birthday of Gautama Buddha. The Buddha was assembled from 202 bronze pieces, inside steel structures support the Buddha to withstand the pressure of the wind.
Tip 3: Temple Street
When visiting a foreign city or even a foreign country, there is no way around making a detour to the respective local market. Only there can you really get to know the country and its people and get an idea of the culture. But the Temple Street Night Market in Hong Kong, which was named after the Tin Hau Temple located here, is different from most markets in the world: Here, the hustle and bustle does not start until the evening. Between 6 and 7 p.m., the masses flock to Temple Street in the Mong Kok district of Kowloon. This unique market, which is a prime example of the many typical Chinese markets, is open until around midnight. It is lively and chaotic as the merchants try to sell their wares and the visitors fight for a free seat in the small restaurants at the side of the street.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you buy goods, go out to eat or just stroll a bit: The Temple Street Night Market is simply unique and best conveys the attitude towards life of the people in Hong Kong. If you are there without a specific goal, you can simply be fascinated by the chaotic and colorful hustle and bustle. The smells, the sounds and the different people, ranging from merchants to opera singers to fortune tellers, make a visit to the night market an unforgettable experience.
Tip 4: Happy Valley
The Happy Valley racecourse is also located on “Hong Kong Island”. Here, the real Hong Kong Chinese go about their weekly betting business and only a few tourists stray into this area. A mistake, as we find. Because a horse race in Happy Valley is definitely part of the “Hong Kong Experience”!
The jockeys in Happy Valley are already a real eye-catcher – but the view from the grandstand onto the green racing meadow and the glittering skyscrapers of the metropolis is simply unique.
Even if you’re not normally a fan of betting, on every Wednesday you simply have to join in the general betting fever in Happy Valley. For about 20 Hong Kong dollars you can already be part of it. If you have no idea, just bet on the horse you like best.
Tip 5: Victoria Harbour
Victoria Harbour is one of the largest port facilities in Hong Kong and one of the busiest in the world. Every year, about 220,000 ships from all over the world anchor here.
As a result of the subtropical climate, Victoria Harbour is a port that can be visited throughout the year. It is worth mentioning that until today there is no bridge that crosses the harbor. Through various tunnels, which have been built in the meantime, it is possible to cross under the harbor basin.
Victoria Harbour is world famous for its unique nighttime panoramas of the skyline. Visitors can get the best views from the Victoria Peak Tower, or from the Cultural Center Piazza. One of the main attractions of Hong Kong in the harbor are the celebrations of the “Chinese New Year”, where a large fireworks display takes place. In recent years, additional new viewpoints and promenades have been created at Victoria Harbour, such as the “Waterfront Promenade” and the “Hong Kong City Hall”.
Many visitors are inspired to take a ride on board one of the “Star Ferry” ships. Since from here the view of the harbor is an unforgettable one. The popularity of Victoria Harbour has increased considerably, because in the evening hours every day from 20:00, a show called “A Symphony of Lights” is organized. A visit to the “Avenue of Stars” is also highly recommended, which runs along the promenade of the “New World Centre”. Here are honored people who became famous in the past decades in the “Hong Kong cinema”.