Hong Kong is an urban maze with narrow and hilly alleyways, mile-high skyscrapers and office towers, all exploding from a motley collection of zillions neon signs. Hong Kong is an eclectic, energetic, trendy and stylish metropolis. Even so, there are heaps of places to find peace and zen.
If a single picture could cover Hong Kong, it would be the panorama from the Peak. Looking down from this outstanding vantage point, you’ll see the top-notch harbour and the oh-so-incredible skyline incomparable to any other city. Sorry, Manhattan!
If you’re going to try dim sum only once during your stay in the city, this is the place. Lie Heung Tea House is a legendary dim sum spot with unpretentious, decades-old interior and authentic cuisine.
The legendary Temple Street Night Market looks like every B-movie Chinatown and consists of small vendors selling everything from sex toys to fake watches. This rowdy ghetto attracts also prostitutes, fortune-tellers and junkies.
Cha chan teng offers a typical fusion of Western and Chinese cuisine and is now something of a cult. Try the much beloved Tsui Wah on Hong Kong Island.
Board the Hong Kong’s iconic cross-harbor ferry and enjoy this pleasant little ride. Crossing the Harbor with Star Ferry is simply a must do.
Hong Kong is not only the well-ordered world of fine hotels and big banks. The other Hong Kong with hash dealers and men trading PCs can be found on the Kowloon peninsula in the Chungking Mansions. This infamous complex of cheap hostels and illegal migrants’ dwellings offers the best Turkish and Indian food though.
The landscaped rooftop terrace of Central’s waterfront mall, the flashy IFC Mall Roof, holds several posh bars and restaurants. Enjoy the million-dollar views.
The tiny island Cheung Chau is just a 12-km (7.5-mile) sail southeast of the city by scheduled ferry. But expect a living fishing community and harbor that is an age away. Pop into the 18th-century Pak Tai Temple, take a peek at the traditional Chinese market and stroll along the beach to see how the traditional Chinese community might have lived decades ago.
Lantau Island is Hong Kong’s largest island that’s well worth a visit with its pristine beaches, traditional fishing villages and spiritual sophistication. One of the most popular tourist attractions on the island is the giant statue of Tian Tan Buddha that offers wonderful views on a clear day.
If you have a long-lasting wish that’s yet to come true, you should visit the Wong Tai Sin Temple where, provided you make an earnest plea to the gods, every wish can come true. Or so it is said. But even if you don’t get your wish, this largest and most popular Taoist temple is still a must.