Hong kong’s finest
TTN rounds up the city’s best and brightest attractions
Two of Hong Kong’s most endearing sights are the Peak Tram and the Star Ferry.
The Peak Tram was built in 1888 to transport visitors from Hong Kong harbour to the top of the Peak and soon became an essential form of transport when the Peak became a prime residential area. Open from 7am until midnight, a 12 minute ride on the world’s steepest funicular railway takes you to the Peak Tower which offers a spectacular 360 degree panorama from its rooftop platform. There you will find a shopping arcade, good restaurants including Café Deco Bar and Grill which serves oriental and western ‘fusion’ dishes and an interactive Madame Tussauds, where you can have your picture taken with Jacky Chan and have a go on the EA gaming experience.
A must for visitors is to cross Victoria Harbour on one of the century-old fleet of Star Ferries which give unbeatable views of the city’s skylines as well as providing the quickest and cheapest route between HK and Kowloon. For a gentle cruise around the harbour, the ‘Shining Star’ ferry offers day and night cruises inclusive of food, refreshments and a wireless video tour guide.
The Ngong Ping 360 skyrail on Lantau Island which opened in 2006, transports sightseers along a 3.5 mile gondola cableway to view the giant Tian Tan Buddha, the world's largest, seated, outdoor, bronze Buddha statue. At 34 metres high, its dramatic silhouette can be seen for miles and up close it’s a hardy climb up 368 steps. Nearby is the Po Lin Monastery built in 1920. The newly created ‘ancient-style’ village of Ngong Ping overflows with gift shops and fast food cafes.
Hong Kong Disneyland which opened in 2005 is also located on Lantau. Ideal for children aged 12 and under, it is small and compact and includes Tomorrowland, Fantasyland and Adventureland.
Ocean Park, one of the biggest entertainment complexes of its kind in Asia has a reef aquarium, giant panda haven, roller-coasters, gondolas, Kid's World and Discovery of the Ancient World.
Another innovative attraction is the nightly Symphony of Lights when 30 buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbour participate in a spectacular performance of flashing colourful strobes, that 'dance' across the water in time to the music.
The Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple, a Taoist temple established in 1921 is located on the southern side of Lion Rock in the north of Kowloon and visitors flock to have their fortunes told there. Colourfully decorated, it is an excellent example of a traditional Chinese temple with yellow latticework and multicoloured carvings that complement the temple’s red pillars and golden roof.
The Chinese love eating and HK is choc-a-block with places to eat from six star hotel dining to afresco street tables, huge dining halls and tiny bistros.
The huge range of cuisine incorporates regional Chinese, Asian, Halal and Western. On the south side of Hong Kong, Stanley has some superb restaurants and Aberdeen is famous for its floating Jumbo Seafood Palace where you choose your own fish straight from the sea. The best nightlife is in Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo in Central district where bars, discos and restaurants are stacked along tiny ladder streets and winding lanes packed with young locals and expatriates.