VICTORIA HARBOR VIA STAR FERRY
The locals have been catching the Star Ferry since 1874 for transport across gorgeous Victoria Harbor from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon. An important component of the local commute for many, it is also a classic way to explore Hong Kong for visitors.
VICTORIA PEAK VIA PEAK TRAM
Catch this colonial-era trolley for a precipitous climb, and take in spectacular views of Hong Kong’s harbor, high rises and general topography. Once atop Victoria Peak, explore its galleries, restaurants and the Peak Tower.
MAN MO TEMPLE
Stroll down Hollywood Road, enter a Ming dynasty-style entrance, and step into another world. This red lantern–lit temple is dedicated to Man, the god of literature, and Mo, the god of war, two deities that have been worshipped throughout Chinese history. The god Man was particularly popular with hopeful students wishing to pass the Confucian-inspired civil service examinations that formed the cornerstone of ancient Chinese society. The temple is saturated with smoke from huge incense coils, and the burning of paper money, creating an exotic scene.
HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY
Forget sleep-inducing exhibits and groan worthy dioramas. This captivating museum will grab your attention and it won’t let go, with interactive and multi-media displays covering the history of Hong Kong, and illuminating the geographical, commercial and historical influences that enabled the city to evolve into the fascinating place it is today. Even if you don’t consider yourself the “museum type” we urge you to stroll through for an hour: you may up end spending half the day.
This is the main thoroughfare in Hong Kong, a feast for the senses and a tempting shopping destination for anything from designer clothing to watches, jewelry and electronics. Caveat emptor: fakes abound, so be on your guard if you intend to purchase.
TEMPLE ST. NIGHT MARKET
Prowl the Night Market to soak in its wonderful atmosphere. Browse the stalls, and perhaps get a scrumptious late-night snack from the seafood hawkers. Bring your bargaining skills.
This area makes for a delightful day trip. Catch the ferry to Lantau to visit the Po Lin Monastery and the massive bronze Tian Tan Buddha statue. The monastery was built by Zen monks in the 1920s. In 1993 the “Big Buddha” was constructed nearby. Upon completion, Buddhist monks came from around the world for the opening ceremonies. There is a serene quality to the monument that makes it worth a visit. One must ascend 268 stairs to access the statue. Take the ferry from the Outlying Islands Pier, just west of the Star Ferry terminal. Once on Lantau catch the Ngong Ping Cable Car and enjoy great views during the 25-minute ascent to Po Lin.