It's a city associated with fine dining and shopping, and while there is plenty of that, there is so much more to Hong Kong.
Best things to do in Hong Kong
It's a place that's worth more time than an overnight stopover with world-class dining, a modern bustling city fringed by jungle and with so many epic walking tracks. Effortlessly integrating tradition and modernity, there's nowhere else in the world quite like it.
Here are a few of our top recommends, both on and off the beaten track.
1. Man Mo Temple
You might well smell this temple before you see it as the perfume of incense is heavy in the air. It's an incredible smell as both locals and tourists burn sticks on the shrines and even from the roof at Man Mo.
Set in one of the busiest parts of Hong Kong, Man Mo is a haven of calm and tradition. The temple itself is attractive but it is the scent in the air that will stay in your memory and set it apart from the rest.
2. Have the drink at the highest bar in the world
Hong Kong is all about the views and you won't get much better than the highest bar in the world. Ozone is on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Cartlon hotel in Kowloon.
After an ear popping elevator ride, head straight for the terrace (best to reserve a spot in advance) and soak up those incredible views with cocktail in hand.
If you want to really spoil yourself order the HK skyline signature cocktail, it was quite the show!
3. Marvel at the view from Victoria Peak
Whether you get there on foot or by tram the views from the top of Victoria Peak will take your breath away. You get a great look at what makes Honk Kong such a special city, with the modern skyline surrounded by dense jungle. Also a great spot at sunset or after dark.
4. Tackle Hong Kong's second highest peak: Lantau Peak
Lantau Peak is the highest spot in Hong Kong that you can walk standing at a tidy 930m above sea level. It's a lung busting hike up to the top, but the views from the top are unparalleled as you see a completely different side of Hong Kong.
You can see from our review on it why this was the highlight of our whole trip to Hong Kong.
5. Take a trip on the Star Ferry
The Star Ferry is a must-do when visiting Hong Kong! This short ferry trip across the harbour has to be one of the best value things you can do in the city at under HK$3 per trip.
It's a short but iconic trip and a convenient way to cross over to the other side of the city.
6. Hike the Dragon's Back
This is the most popular hike in Hong Kong and for good reason. It's relatively easy and has the most spectacular views you can imagine. It's no concrete jungle here, it's all about those big ocean and mountain vistas. We saw so many bright blue butterflies here we felt like we were back in Australia. If you only have time for one walk in Hong Kong make it this one.
7. Hike up Lion Rock
This walk is a bit of a workout but it's worth every last step. The views as you ascend and from the top are magnificent. It's easy to see why it's an instagram favourite. It's also a great place to spot the resident macaque monkeys who call this area home. They were very happy for you to stop and observe them and didn't display any of the aggressiveness we've seen from them in India and Nepal.
8. Take in the night city sky line
The night views look great at street level or from on high and there are plenty of opportunities to get up high in this city.
This shot is taken from the Ritz-Carlton hotel which had incredible views from every direction but there are many other hotels, restaurants, bars and lookout points you can also head to.
9. Eat at the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world
Tim Ho Wan is a fairly unassumingly looking restaurant in the middle of the IFC Mall (there's also two others at Tsim Sha Tsui and Olympic). Not exactly where you would imagine you would come across Michelin starred cuisine. The menu is extensive and the food great. The unconventional ordering system sees you ticking the boxes on a small paper menu you are handed in the queue (yes you definitely have to queue for this one). Make sure you don't do what we did and assume you are ordering per piece and not per dish, you should have seen our faces as our table continued to fill up with dish after dish, much to the locals amusement. You can get an amazing meal for two here for under HK$150.
10. Escape the city for sunset at Sai Wan
There are some lovely sunset spots in Hong Kong but our favourite was definitely this little spot just outside the city centre. It's so peaceful with only the ocean and small islands to look out on. You won't have this spot to yourself, it's a locals' favourite too, but you'll definitely be glad you came.
Where we stayed
The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong is one of the best hotels we've ever stayed in. Stunning rooms, unrivalled luxury and service that goes beyond exceptional. Some rooms even have a Tesla car that takes you into Kowloon for free. Staying here is well worth the cost!
A cheaper option, but further out is the Hyatt in Sha Tin. The rooms are comfortable, huge and a decent option for a cheaper cost.
If you're thinking of travelling to Asia, then why not check out our following blogs:
- Best things to do in Thailand
- Anecdotes from Thailand
- Top Hikes in Hong Kong
- Tackling Hong Kong's second highest peak: Lantau Peak
- Instagrammable Hong Kong
- Anecdotes from India
- Anecdotes from Cambodia
- That time we were attacked by bears
- 10 must-see places in Asia
- Anecdotes from Vietnam
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Are you heading to Hong Kong? What are you looking to do there? Let us know in the comments below!