I was a late bloomer to start travelling through Asian countries, but now I’ve started I can’t stop! But, having lived in Japan for 11 months now, I like to explore the new Asian countries a little bit differently. Do more ‘off the beaten track’ activities and less tourist activities. Do more getting lost in the back alleys and trying to communicate with the locals than following strict directions from my map. Spend more time relaxing and soaking in the environment and ambience, than making sure I am always on the go, ticking off the next sight.
Here’s a list of 5 fun things to do in Hong Kong, a mixture of some touristy activities, and some random fun things to do while you are in the city!
One more thing, a top tip for travelling in Hong Kong – look out for the phone boxes. Not because they are full of germs and you might catch something, but because often when you are near a phone box you can pick up 30 minutes of free wifi. Score!
Five things to do in Hong Kong
1. Visit Victoria Peak
This is one on everyone’s list. All of the tourist books will list it but will they take the time to relax at the top of the peak, join in singing with the choir and take the time to enjoy a relaxed coffee after devouring a burger at Bubba Gumps?
Something to keep in mind is that the line for this can be HUGE. We waited for over an hour to buy our tickets and get on the tram. In saying that, it is better than the alternative options – hiking up the extremely steep mountain, or catching the bus which weaves through the windy roads of the mountain and from what I’ve heard leaves numerous people vomiting on the bus.
Once you are at the top you get a pretty spectacular view of the city. We decided to first enjoy this view from a table at Bubba Gumps, American food chain (it’s so hard to get a good burger in Japan where both my new travel buddy and I live, so we were making the most of it). We enjoyed other activities such as relaxing over a cafe latte, enjoying the ambience, and overlooking the view.
We were in no rush, we even waited for the next tram back to enjoy more of the Christmas Carols sung by a small choir on the platform… we were the only ones singing along but had a great time!
You can find more information on the tram prices and getting to the peak here: http://www.thepeak.com.hk/en/
2. Get lost in a park
There are a few parks in Hong Kong, but the one I chose to spend some time getting lost in was Kowloon Park. There was a Chinese garden to wander through, a hedge maze, a statue square which I entertained myself in trying to take photos of myself kissing a statue, some fountains and various other areas to wander through.
I was in no rush, enjoying watching how the locals spent time in the park and interacted with each other in their cultural groups. It was fascinating… but I do love ‘people watching’.
At one point I lost my way and ended up in the Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars, a strip full of big statues of the comic stars. I’ve never seen anything like it, I thought I was at the entrance to an amusement park. But no, it was just a permanent exhibit for the comic stars which ended up leading me to an open square where I enjoyed watching a singing contest for a while before heading back to the hostel.
I eventually found my way through the maze of the park to the street, but enjoyed my leisurely stroll through the park, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and seeing some green. If you have time, take a stroll through a park and you might find some cool stuff like the comic strip avenue like I did!
3. Take a ride on the escalators
This might seem like a funny one, but Hong Kong is home to the Mid-Levels Escalators – the worlds longest outdoor covered escalators. It is more than 800 metres long! If you have a spare 2o minutes, take a ride, which is actually made up of 20 different escalators. And if you are with a group, challenge yourself to take a ‘Brady Bunch’ type selfie!
4. Go for a bike ride
Take yourself out of the city and go for a bike ride along the popular riding track among the locals – Sha Tin to Tai Po. It runs along the river and goes past some interesting architecture, the university, mountains and all in all is just beautiful scenery.
You don’t have to do the entire track. We caught the metro to Tai Wo, where you can easily hire bikes about 200m from the station exit. For two hours, it was approximately HK $40 for the bike rental. Helmets weren’t provided, and similar to a lot of Asian culture, it is common to go bike riding without a helmet…keep this in mind in case you want to take one or inquire about one.
5. Take a tram ride
Hong Kong is full of extremely skinny trams – a great way to see the different parts of the city without walking for an entire day! And at HK $2.30 each way, it’s too cheap not to do. We chose a random line to get on, we weren’t sure where we were heading but loved seeing the areas outside of the city hub. When we were getting hungry, we got off the tram, crossed the road and caught one heading back to the city hub. Easy!
There is always something happening in Hong Kong, and if you want, you can always find new things. And don’t be worried about getting lost, it’s all part of the journey!