The Many Faces of Hong Kong

A traveller's guide to the unique and spectacular city of Hong Kong.

An Infectious Buzz

Whenever I see Hong Kong under the cover of night I am reminded of the Sci-Fi film ‘Blade Runner’, even in the absence of hover cars and Harrison Ford. The city has an infectious buzz and an endearing charm that will enchant those who approach the streets with open eyes.

Intriguing Geography

Hong Kong is set in the South China Sea, south of the Kowloon Peninsula and is situated in an area that includes over 200 surrounding islands. Naturally, this lends to an intriguing geography when viewed from the plane window upon arrival. Although Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world there are an abundance of nature reserves to escape to for various leisurely activities. It’s also very easy to navigate the city due to practical signage and infrastructure, with readily available wifi allowing tourists to utilise a range of electronic GPS devices. Some hotels even offer their own hand held devices which contain recommendations for places to eat and visit while staying in the city. I used the Hotels Combined app to locate a hotel that was close to all the action and had spectacular views overlooking the harbour.

Spectacular Views of Hong Kong Harbour

Ease of Travel

The MTR (underground train) system is easy to use and usually the quickest way to travel to and from the airport.  The trains operate using an ‘Octopus card’ system which gives commuters easy access to a range of other public transport options including trams, ferries, and buses. Hong Kong has so many facets to its street life it’s a good idea to stay above ground as much as possible to absorb the atmosphere of this exhilarating city.

Bustling Nightlife

Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai are the districts known for nightlife, with wild parties, and great dance floors to keep revellers pumping for hours. For tourists looking for a more relaxed evening, the SOHO Mid-Levels are a great place to dine after dark. Additionally, the Central Mid-Levels escalator is a popular attraction, providing an appreciated alternative to walking in the heat of Hong Kong. With 800 metres of escalators that incline 135 metres and 14 entrances and exits, it’s a great way to view the city from a unique perspective.

Sight Seeing

With 360-degree cityscape views from The Sky Terrace 428 it is easily the highest viewing platform Hong Kong and most certainly worth the journey to the top. It’s important to note that the tram is very popular and the line can be rather long so it’s a good idea to have water on hand to deal with the heat and humidity. Once at the top it’s an easy cab ride down, or else you can take the tram down if you are keen for seconds.  

The popular tramline that carries visitors to the very top of 'The Peak'.

Hong Kong Cuisine

There are so many restaurants in Hong Kong that making a decision can cause a headache! If the 2016 Michelin Guide is anything to go by then food lovers will be in heaven with 23 Local Street Food Venders receiving stars. From inexpensive Michelan starred Dim Sum to exquisite morsels that will leave you salivating for more, if you have a love of Dim Sum then Hong Kong will impress. In Hong Kong you will never find yourself out of options with the city also offering fantastic international cuisine, coffee shops, juice bars, and health food stores.

Hong Kong offers a range of delicious food options. Source: Martinho Smart

Shopping

Shopping is integral to Hong Kongolese pass time and there are shops crammed into every possible spare space of the city. As a visitor it would be rude not to partake! Anything from high end designers within the glamorous malls of Central, to the overcrowded chaos of the Lady’s market and ‘sneaker’ street at Mong Kock, there’ll be enough entertainment to appease even the most avid shopper.

Ultimately, the many faces of Hong Kong provide a haven for both the adventurous, and the not so adventurous visitors, regardless of your taste in entertainment. With a vibrant and bustling nightlife, shopping for every budget, and plenty of green spaces and beaches, Hong Kong will provide enough adventures to keep even the most experienced travellers on their toes.

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