The skyscrapers of Hong Kong are world famous. Seeing all those highrise buildings is an experience, especially at night. The most beautiful view is from the promenade in Tsim Sha Tsui on the skyline of Hong Kong Island.
Or from "Central" to the brightly lit skyscrapers Kowloon, with the tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong, the 484 m high ICC at Union Square.
Tip: Every evening at 8 pm an impressive show takes place: The skyscrapers are illuminated with a moving light show, occasionally accompanied by classical music at the Clock Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui. Free and great!
With the tram across Hong Kong Island.
The short double-decker tramways are a reminiscent of the London double-decker buses - they are not red but covered with colorful large-format advertising.
The tram line stretches parallel to the shore of Hong Kong Island: reason enough to jump on a tram if one of the frequent downpours accure. with one trip and watch life on the streets from the upper fencing area.
Tip: With the Octopus Card, a kind of credit card that can be recharged and is simply held in front of the vending machines in the tram (and all other means of transport throughout Hong Kong), it is possible to jump up and down spontaneously at any time.
Hong Kong is famous for its diverse cuisine, very typical and tasty are the snacks called "Yum Cha", which is popular for breakfast, midday or late afternoon in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou (Canton).
Varied Chinese tea leaves, from green over white to black tea, are available to choose from, they are filled in a small porcelain jug. If the jug is empty just ask for a refill with hot water.
In addition one chooses small Dim Sum snacks, which sometimes travel through the dining room on a cart. (Which is good, because instead of being awkward to choose from the - Chinese menue - just point at what you want.) Dim Sum are often steamed and wrapped in rice paper. The small appetizers are made of meat, fish or shrimp, sometimes sticky rice balls in banana leaves, always mouth-friendly and delicious.
Tip: Yum Cha is worth more than just a snack: reserve for Sunday brunch in one of the special Dim Sum restaurants, with a large dining room and experience the full and loud, but genuinely Chinese atmosphere.
Shop till you drop.
Even if it exceeds the budget of the normal traveler quickly: The incredibly diverse shopping malls in Hong Kong just can not be missed!
Whether the hypermodern 2 IFC in Sheung Wan, the hip iSquare on Nathan Road, the sophisticated Ocean Terminal on the Star Ferry Pier (Kowloon), or the Peak Galleria at the top of Hong Kong Peak: shopping malls are typical for Hong Kong. Whole afternoons are spent in the stores, food courts and tea houses of the Hong Kong's consumer temples. Some are even interconnected with bridges and bridges, so that traffic on the roads don't need to be crossed and one air-conditioned shopping paradise is followed by the next.
Tip: The "Chungking Mansion" on Nathan Road (Tsim Sha Tsui) was the setting for the Hong Kong movie "Chungking Express" directed by Wong Kar-Wai. Atmospheric interesting, but not for shopping ...
The old ferry connection was established in 1912, the boats are just as old and still running and impress with their simple charm. For a dime amount you can travel from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon. Especially at night a romantic alternative to expensive dinner cruises. Then plunge into the busy daytime and nightlife of the Kowloon business district, which starts right on the dock!
Tip: If the boat travels in the other direction, just tilt the back of the wooden benches forward: Already sitting back in the direction of travel!
Lantau Island - Po Lin Monastery and the Great Buddha.
Quite easily to find, just take the MTR train to Lantau Island, where the international airport is located.
At Tung Chung Station, board a cable car (Ngong Ping Cable Car) that carries tourists and pilgrims across the wooded hills of Lantau, until the tall seated Tian Tan Buddha of the Po Lin Monastery can be seen. Here you can take the opportunity to hike in the surrounding villages (the oldest fishing village of Hong Kong Tai O is 300 years old) or climb the 260 steps to the 26 meter high Great Buddha. He is surrounded by 6 beautiful devout Boddhisattva statues, each of which is a unique, homage to the lotus throne of the Buddha.
Tip: Try the traditional vegetarian cuisine in the monastery's own restaurant.
The small Daoist Man Mo Temple.
Hundreds of incense spirals hanging from the ceiling spread the beguiling fragrance and make the temple a mystical place.
People of Hong Kong and tourists love this temple, which is hidden in a quiet residential area in Sheung Wan.
Tip: In the surrounding side streets, there are hip cafes and Chinese pharmacies where you can buy bird nests and other traditional Chinese medicines.
Hong Kong Peak.
Just before sunset you can take the historic tram on the peak. And wait up until the sun goes down or take a walk with a view: The view is more than terrific.
Tip: Just take a taxi from the ground floor of the shopping center: It is much faster and cost less than the crowded tram! (Of course, you can take the taxi also for the way up, if you do not want to stand in line for the old ropeway and save time and money...)
A trip to the nearby enclave of Macau should not be missed on a Hong Kong stay. Stroll through the streets and enjoy the view from the old fort.
Recommendation: The Macao Museum, which illustrates the eventful history of the portugese colony of Macau. From Hong Kong to Macao takes about 1 hour by ferry. You can buy teckets directly at the ferry terminal.
Tip: Do not forget your passport, it is essential for the booking of tickets and the ride!
Editor's note: The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will open in 2018. The bridge spans the Pearl River Delta and connects Hong Kong with Macao and mainland China. Border installations are being built. Do not forget your passport, even if Macao and HK also belong to China!
The "Good Wish Garden" at Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kowloon is worth a visit for its colorful garden architecture and animal depictions.
Statues of turtles, goats, dragons and multiple animal representations of all kinds can be found in the landscaped garden with multi-storey bridges and pools. A contemplative place to stroll and linger.
The temple itself is worth a visit, even if it is a bit out side of Kowloon, in a high-rise residential district, but there is also the temple life, away from the tourist trails.
Tip: Koi carp, goldfish and turtles can also be seen alive and in great variety.
by Inke Neundorf