Things To Do In Hong Kong

Broadly, the regions of Hong Kong could be classified into following areas - Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, Lantau Island, New Territories, Lamma Island and Cheung Chau Island. Each of these zones hides several treasures that awaits to be discovered by you. To plan your trip to Hong Kong, checkout my Hong Kong Travel Guide.

Hong Kong Island 

The central area of Hong Kong Island is the commercial and political centre of Hong Kong. Though the skyscrapers seem to capture most of the attention here, there is much more to be explored in this island.

1. Victoria Peak - Take a tram to peak and walk up to an observation deck to get the best view of the magnificent city below. Sky terrace 428 offers some great views. Ideal time to be here would be in the evening to get, both, daytime and night view of the city. You could choose to return back by a bus on a winding road.

2. Victoria Harbour - Relax by the harbour and soak in the beauty of Hong Kong Skyline or enjoy a late evening cruise. Make sure to watch the laser show that takes place every night at the harbour, around 8:00 PM. Moreover, if you ever get a chance to travel to Hong Kong around New Year, then do not miss the spectacular New Year countdown and fireworks by the harbour.

3. Man Mo Temple - Visit this interesting temple located on Hollywood road that worships God of literature and God of war. From a distance, you shall be welcomed by the smell of spiral shaped incense sticks.

4. Ocean Park - If you are a fan of theme parks and thrill rides, Ocean Park is your paradise. There are two major attractions here – The waterfront and the summit. Cable car and funicular train connect the two. They are open from 10AM to 8PM and the tickets could be bought online or at any 7-eleven store. There are special buses (629) from Admiralty station. You could also ride bus# 70 till Aberdeen tunnel stop and then follow the directions to the park. This would work out cheaper. Ensure to set aside a whole day to visit Ocean Park. At the base, do not miss taking a glimpse at the famous Panda bears.

5. Shop at Causeway bay or IFC Mall - Consumerism is at this peak at these points. Most of the retail stores here sell expensive brands. Moreover, it is practically impossible to miss the IFC Mall, as it also houses the central MTR station on HK Island.If street markets are more your thing, shop at the wide variety of choices that are available at Jardine’s Crescent.

6. Get a free view of the city – The observation deck on the 65thfloor of Bank of China building is completely free for visitors. Ensure to carry your passport with you for entry.

7. Enjoy a tram ride – Taking a tram ride from one end to another, simply observing how the day unfolds in this incredible city, would be an interesting way to experience the city.

8. Take a stroll - Walk along the busy streets to absorb the aroma of the city. A suggested route would be to explore Sheung Wan. Start at Des Voeux road west and walk past the tiny shops that sell dried seafood and herbal-medicines. Walk up the Upper station street and reach the cross road filled with temples. Kwun Yam temple is one of the many temples located here. Watch the locals discuss astrology with the priests and old women practice calligraphy.

9. Trace the Dragon’s Back- There is more to Hong Kong than its breath-taking skyline and interesting business district. In the centre of this bustling city runs an interesting urban trekking trail. The best part of the 50 Km long Hong Kong trail is its last stretch - The Dragon’s Back.

Hong Kong trail begins at Victoria peak and ends at Big Wave Bay beach. 8.5 km long Dragon’s back at the end of this long trail begins at To Tei Wan. To get there, take bus number 9 from Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus (Which can reached via Exit A of Shau Kei Wan MTR station) and get off at To Tei Wan stop on Shek O Road. You can also choose to take the green minibuses that are slightly expensive.

The trail begins with an uphill climb. However, it isn’t steep. The trek is of moderate difficulty level. You shall soon find yourself at Shek O Peak (284m). The spectacular view of the southern Hong Kong Islands and its shoreline from Shek O Peak makes hiking in Hong Kong a memorable experience.

Follow the winding path ahead that gives the trail its well-deserved name. Stop at the Dragon’s back viewing point and absorb the beautiful sight for while before you continue. Dragon’s back comes to an end at Big Wave Bay Beach, a popular spot for surfers. This feels like an amazing climax to an exhilarating hike. 

Relax by the beach for a while before heading to one of the restaurants along the road that leads to the village. At the village bus stop, you shall find a bus back to Shau Kei Wan.  You could take a bus or the green minibus, which ever is available at the time of your arrival.


Kowloon is often observed as a much more authentic and exciting side of Hong Kong. Just across the harbour from Hong Kong Island, Kowloon has a unique blend of tradition and urbanisation.

1. The Promenade - Take a walk on the famous promenade by the harbour with interesting bronze statues. Do not miss the one of Bruce Lee. Walk past the Avenue of stars and watch the handprints left behind by famous stars. Ensure to watch the laser show that takes place every night at the harbour at around 8:00 PM.

2. Museums - Tsim Tsa Tsui is a hub for many museums in Hong Kong such as Hong Kong museum of art, HK museum of science and Hong Kong Museum of History. Check the weekly days of free visits and save some dollars on entry fee.

3. Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple – This is one place that you cannot afford to miss while visiting Kowloon. The Taoist temple is dedicated to a deified healer named Wong Tai Sin who, as a shepherd in Zhejiang province, was said to have transformed boulders into sheep. When he was 15 an immortal taught him to make herbal potion that could cure all illness. Taoist ceremonies and rituals take place in the main altar.

To reach there, get off at Wong Tai Sin metro station and take the B3 exit to reach the temple. While the temple architecture is marvellous, you might be more interested in observing the devotees in great number predicting their future. They use fortune sticks called Chims to predict their future.

4. Chin Lin Nunnery - Take the Metro till Diamond hill station and visit the quiet and peaceful Chin Lin Nunnery. At the end of a Bonsai garden, an impressive wooden structure stands out with its elegant simplicity. The inner sanctum has Huge Buddha idols surrounded by the six celestial kings.

5. Explore the mysterious Chung King Mansion – While you are in Tsim Tsa Tsui, ensure to walk into the maze called Chung King Mansion. It is a shady looking place that is filled with guesthouses, stores and restaurants. There are plenty of Indian restaurants here.

6. Shopping - Finally shop at any of the several markets in the Kowloon region like Temple Street or at Mong Kok.


Lantau Island

Lantau Island would be the first place you will set foot on when you fly into Hong Kong. Yes, it houses the airport but there is more to this island than just that.

1. Ngong Plateau - With the iconic Big Buddha statue on the Ngong Plateau, Lanatau Island is one of the top tourist destinations in Hong Kong. You could either choose to trek up the hill or just enjoy the exhilarating Gondola lift. Ngong Ping 360 offers a cable car service to the Ngong Plateau, which houses the famous Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery.

To get there, take MTR to Tung Chan station.  As you walk out, it is hard to miss the Ngong Ping 360 cable car station right opposite the MTR station. You can pick a standard cabin or a crystal cabin for your ride. I would recommend you take the third option of riding both; one each way. The third option is priced between the first two. The crystal cabin can be scary for a while but is great fun. If you want to save some cash, simply ride the bus #23 from Tung Chang Bus terminal to the summit. Cable cars are almost ten times more expensive than the buses.

At the summit, as you walk towards the magnificent Bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, you pass 12 statues of divine generals. Each of them represents 2 hours of a day. At the top, around the Big Buddha statue, are six deities holding a different offering for the lord - Flowers (Charity), Incense (morality), Lamp (Patience), Ointment (Zeal), Fruit (Meditation) and Music (Wisdom). In the complex below the Statue, there is a small museum and some souvenir shops.

Next, walk to the Lin Mo Po monastery located exactly opposite to the Big Buddha Statue. At the entrance, embrace the spiritual setting with devotees lighting incense sticks.  Inside, the golden Buddha idols and the ornamented interiors are a treat to the eye.

There are a few cafes outside the monastery that serve vegetarian meals. Try some healthy food and desserts before you decided to leave.

Next, walk to the Wisdom path. It is an interesting work of art created by Professor Jao Tsung-I. Its a monumental calligraphic of the Heart Sutra. Heart sutra is a treasured text revered by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists. The column located at the highest point is left blank representing Shunya (emptiness), a key theme of Heart Sutra.

2. Tung Chung Fort - While these are the sites that are situated on top of the hill, at Tung Chung, if time permits, you could explore the Tung Chung fort and Hau Wong temple.

3. View the stilt houses of Tai O - Many travel to Lantau Island to view the Tian Tan Buddha statue and Po Lin monastery. However, Tai O, a lesser-known attraction could be a delight to those who wish to discover more than just the crowded tourist attractions in Hong Kong.

Tai O is a peaceful fishing village on the western side of Lantau Island that is home to Tanka community of fisher folk. It was once an important trading port to China. Salt and fish were the major exports. Tai O was once also known for trading illegal immigrants brought from China by "snackheads". However, today, the village is famous for its neatly built stilt houses.

To get there, take bus # 11 from Tung Chung station. By the time I reached Tai O, the sun had already set. The reflection of the candescent light that illuminates the narrow streets of this small village had painted the sea golden.

There are a series of shops on the main street that sell some interesting items. I would highly recommend spending an evening in this rural setting to embrace a side Hong Kong, away from the concrete structures.

4. Disney Land – If you are traveling with kids, then this would be a good stop to experience a Disney world in the east. Plan for an entire day here and check the parade timings and pick a descent spot to view them.


New Territories

New Territories cover most of the Hong Kong’s territory. Yet, many travellers easily skip the zone by sticking to the central district.

1. Sam Tung UK Museum - Start your journey at Tsuen Wan. Begin with a visit to the impressive Sam Tung UK Museum that is built in the form of a Hakka walled village.

2. Western Monastery and Yuen Yuen institute - To get there, taken the metro up to Tsuen Wan station and walk to Shiu Wo st. Here you shall find green bus #81 upto Yuen Yuen Institute.

The main shrine at the institute houses idols of 60 reincarnations of a Taoist saint. Each idol represents years of the 60-Year Taoist Calendar. Devotees offer incense sticks to the saint referring to their year of birth and that of the current year.

3. Miu Fat monastery - Take a light rail # 751 to Lam Tei station and cross the road to visit Miu Fat monastery that will impress you with its beautiful interiors and elegant Buddha statues.

4. Ping Shan- Take a #614 light rail to Ping Shan and explore the ancient walled city on its famous heritage trail. You could walk to the Ping Shan Tan Gallery first and collect a map at the visitor centre. The trail will take you through 3 old but lively villages and several remaining structures built by the Tang clan. You shall pass by Hung Shing Temple, Ching Shu Hin Chamber and Kun Ting Stuyhall, Tang Ancestral Hall, an ancient well, a pagoda and remains of the walled city. It is impossible not to imagine how a city might have flourished here several years ago.

5. Go Trekking - If you are up for some trekking you could visit the Mai Po Marshes and Hong Kong wetland park in Yuen Long. If you are up for a good hike, do not miss the 10,000 Buddhas monastery at Sha tin.


Lamma Island 

While it is certain that you cannot get enough of the skyline of Hong Kong, it is always refreshing to occasionally take a break and experience the wilderness. With its remote villages and deserted beaches, a trek across Lamma Island would turn out to be a memorable entry in your travel journal.

Lamma Island has two moderately populated villages – Yung Shue and Sok Kwu. These are on the opposite sides of the island and a 4km long family trail connects them. There are no roads or vehicles on this island. Most locals use bicycles to commute.

You can take a 30-minute ferry ride from the central piers (Pier#4) or Aberdeen to reach either of these villages. Ferries to the island run from 6 AM till midnight. Keep in mind that Sundays and holidays attract an increase in ticket price. The frequency of ferries from the central piers is more.

Family trail begins at the village of Yung Shue. Follow the signboards to the beginning of the trail. You could choose to rent a bicycle at the village. The trail could be deserted in most places but is absolutely safe. There are signboards and emergency phone booths along the trail.

1. Yung Shue - Here, you could visit the Market, Tin Hau Temple and Hung Shing Yeh Beach.

2. Kamikaze caves – These caves were built by the Japanese during the Second World War.

3. Sok Kwu - View a rare dead fish on display at Tin Hau temple in Sok Kwu. A local chef, who had found the fish, had donated it for public viewing.

4. Tung O - If this 4km trekking in Lamma Island isn’t fulfilling, then continue your walk on another loop trail at Sok Kwu that passes by Tung O, Yung Shue and Mo Tat Wan villages. At Tung O you could try to visit the Sham Wan beach where the endangered green turtles are to be found. They say that only one in hundred eggs hatch. However, to enter the beach, you will need a special permission from the agriculture department. The Sok Kwu Wan - Shek Pai Wan - Mo Tat-Sok Kwu loop trail is exciting and the path takes you close to the beaches that you could have all for yourself.


Cheung Chau Island

Cheung Chau Island, also known as “Dumbbell Island” is located about 10kms from Hong Kong Island. This small island boasts of fine seafood restaurants and attracts thousands of tourists during the annual bun festival.

To reach Cheung Chau Island, you have to take a ferry from Central pier #3, at Hong Kong Island. Though this is not as remote and deserted as Lamma Islandit is popular among the tourists and travellers who gather here to enjoy the beaches and try local cuisine.

Visit the Pak Tai temple where a popular Bun festival takes place every year, during the month of April. Pak She Tin Hau temple opposite Pak Tai temple could be a quick stop on your route.

The beach is also famous for surfing and the island houses a popular windsurfing water sports centre.

Ensure to stop by the stores on the main street. There are some interesting shops dedicated to tea products. Make sure to try some flavours before deciding which one to carry back with you.

If you are up for a walk, you could also take a 2km trail to view the reclining rock and caves of Cheung Po Tsai situated on the western end of the island.

Well, Hong kong has a wide variety of choices to offer for travellers of all kind. That is what makes it so very interesting to explore this region on your own.