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Explore The World: 31 Reasons You Should Visit Hong Kong

Photo by John O'Nolan on Unsplash

So you’re thinking of visiting Hong Kong? Here are 31 reasons why saying yes to any and every offer to go to Hong Kong is the right thing to do. These reasons are suggested and written by both locals and tourists

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#1 Ho Lee Fook Cantonese Restaurant

Try some trendy food in the funky part of SoHo. In Hong Kong, SoHo is the entertainment district located south of Hollywood Road, packed with restaurants, bars and cafes. Try Ho Lee Fook, a fun and funky landmark for Cantonese pub fare.

With its upbeat vibe and trendy decor, Ho Lee Fook is designed to bring to mind old school after-hours Chinatown. Maybe because it appeals so much to English speaking visitors, the menu is pretty basic, nothing too adventurous, but it's all pretty good. SoHo is a great walking area anyway, and Ho Lee Fook is fun to grab a table and order a bunch of different things to share.

Contributors: Caroline Duterque from Jack and Ferdi

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#2 Chungking Mansions

A five-block thriving international city landmark. Home to more than 4000 residents from a variety of Asian and African countries, Chungking Mansions also features a diverse multicultural commercial business promenade, a mall and guesthouses.

Located in probably the busiest part of the city, the massive Chungking Mansions look like a small city within a city. There are hostel-like guest houses for the adventurous traveler on a budget, and a sprawling three-story commercial arcade and mall. It's a popular destination for goods and services of all kinds, for example this is where you shop for clothing, food and household items from all over Africa and Asia. A wide variety of restaurants make for a unique dining experience. Chungking Mansions is also an official business place where you can do things like get your currency exchanged.

Contributors: Caroline Duterque from Jack and Ferdi

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#3 Po Lin Monastery and Big Buddha Visit

The journey out to Po Lin Monastery where you can also see Tian Tan Buddha (The Big Buddha statue which is absolutely amazing). There are many ways to get there but the way I went was getting the gondola from where the local subway dropped me off to catch it. I choose to go on one with a glass bottom. Such an awesome journey going out to the monastery then walking around the Po Lin Monastery and seeing the Big Buddha where inside is a relic of Gautama Buddha. A breathtakingly amazing experience not to be missed.

Contributors: Andrew Mondia from The Intuitive Traveler

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#4 Fine Dining Heaven

Of course everyone knows Hong Kong as the city of street food, but Hong Kong is one of the few cities in Asia with more than 63 restaurants in the Michelin guide with 1, 2 or 3 stars. For the lover of fine dining it is heaven because of the mix of Western/French cuisine and the art of the Asian kitchen.

Contributors: Michael Wirtzel from Wirtzel Luxury Consultancy

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#5 A world of luxury

With more than 64 billionaires living in Hong Kong, it is known as one of the richest cities in the world. A lot of luxury brands have a flag store and usually they are one of the first to try new fashion and luxury trends. What I love about Hong Kong (working in the luxury) is that they have a different way of looking at things that we in the Western world think of as normal. If you want a new Hérmes bag, or the latest Richard Mille watch, Hong Kong is the place to be.

Contributors: Michael Wirtzel from Wirtzel Luxury Consultancy

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#6 Hong Kong Book Fair

Hong Kong’s most enriching cultural event. If the words book fair trigger a spark of excitement, this is the destination for you and about a million of your friends.

For nearly 30 years the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) has hosted this wholly unique week-long book fair and cultural trade show. In addition to a truly staggering book selection for all ages, vendors exhibit stationery and printed gifts and artwork. Renowned authors from around the world attend and hold seminars, there are galleries for art exhibits, and multimedia and cultural activities, including for kids and teens at the Children's Paradise pavilion.

Contributors: Caroline Duterque from Jack and Ferdi

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#7 Secret Islands off the Coast of Hong Kong

I never thought of Hong Kong as a tropical island destination, but believe it or not, there are a smattering of pristine islands all around the mainland with lush green forests and clear blue waters! My husband and I were invited for a junk boat adventure by friends of ours who reside in Hong Kong part-time, and before we knew it, we were whisked out to sea--only to find small, virtually untouched islands all around Hong Kong where we could anchor out, swim, and enjoy the summer sunshine. It's the perfect way to cool off when the stifling heat of the city gets to be too much. The best part was stopping off at one of the islands, where a very small daytime population owns and operates a hole-in-the-wall seafood restaurant. There, we had one of the most fantastic meals of my life and the views were unparalleled. But don't ask me the name of this hidden gem: I was sworn to secrecy, and I'll never tell!

Contributors: Skye Sherman from SkyeSherman

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#8 Afternoon Tea At Nobu

A tradition adopted during the time of British colonial rule. At least once you should attend a fancy afternoon tea, and with Nobu, you get an elegant place with a stellar view of the harbor. At Nobu, it is a less traditional Japanese-style  experience, which means a green tea and small plates. Mind the dress code, this is a classy place.

If you can plan ahead at all, make a reservation and request a view of the harbor and Hong Kong Island. Guests sit at low sofas and watch the boats drift by, and it's a beautiful way to spend an afternoon. Just as the Brits do, in Hong Kong afternoon tea is a mini-meal. Nobu offers elegance with specialties that include Umami, a spicy ika cake, fish and ebi dumplings, and Okinawa peanut tofu. For your sweet cravings try the Fuji apple rosette and the Nori tamago waffle with teriyaki mayonnaise, pineapple jam, and coconut caramel for dipping.

Contributors:  Caroline Duterque from Jack and Ferdi

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#9 Yat Lok Roast Goose Restaurant

Don't leave Hong Kong before eating a goose. You'll notice that roast goose, with crispy skin, is a popular menu item regionally, but it's been said that every other roast goose is rated against Yat Lok's roast goose.

Who roasts the best goose in Hong Kong is akin who makes the best cheesesteak? in Philadelphia. It's one of those regional specialties as those in the know will tell you. In terms of how flavorful and crispy is

the skin and how the meat melts in your mouth, Yat Luck is always on everyone's list. If you go with a group you can get a whole goose served family-style. It's amazing that Yat Lok has become one of the most famous

restaurants because it doesn't look like much from the outside, and, by the way, the waitress will most likely yell at you. It's kind of a thing here.

Contributors: Caroline Duterque from Jack and Ferdi

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#10 Sky Terrace 428 at The Peak Tower

One of the most iconic Hong Kong attractions.  The Peak is arguably Hong Kong's most famous attraction for locals and visitors alike. The aptly named Sky Terrace 428 stands a full 428 meters tall (1404 feet) for an unmatched 360-degree view. The best time to come is around 6pm, to enjoy both daylight view and night scenery.

From a distance, the iconic Peak Tower is a striking feature that brings to mind a massive spaceship. If you want to do like the locals do, take the Peak Tram from city center directly to Victoria Gap and go to the Sky Terrace 428 observation deck. From a quarter mile high in the sky, you get unforgettable views of the city, skyline and islands.

Contributors: Caroline Duterque from Jack and Ferdi

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#11 Ngong Ping 360

Quite a way to see the China Sea. Ngong Ping 360 is the 25-minute gondola ride that provides breathtaking panoramic views of Ngong Ping Plateau and the whole of Lantau Island. The bi-cable ropeway spanning 5.7km across Tung Chung Bay first opened in 2006 under the name Skyrail. In 2009 a new glass-bottomed gondola was introduced as an upgraded premium option for the particularly adventurous. Private gondolas (no line!) are also available.

Contributors: Caroline Duterque from Jack and Ferdi

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#12 Ride The Iconic Star Ferry

This is not just any ferry! Operating since 1880, the famous Star Ferry is a central feature of Victoria Harbour, used heavily by locals for commuting back and forth to work, and also by tourists who ride the ferry to get a real Hong Kong experience.

A fleet of nine ferries travel between Kowloon, Central and Wanchai for commuters and tourists. In addition, Star Ferry offers the only licensed harbour tour, a leisurely one-hour journey designed especially to allow Hong Kong visitors to see a variety of harbour views.

Contributors: Caroline Duterque from Jack and Ferdi

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#13 Tai O Fishing Village

A great Lantau Island day trip. With its rare pink dolphins, houses on stilts and seafood marketplace, Tai O is one of the few remaining fishing villages in Hong Kong.

Lantau Island is a great day trip, but most people travel there to see the Big Buddha. The tiny island of Tai O, about a fifteen-minute bus ride from Big Buddha, is where visitors can get a glimpse into what life was like in old Southern China. The marketplace is a vibrant, busy place, especially for older residents who still make a living selling vegetables, trinkets and fresh and dried fish and shrimp paste. Though not officially official, locals will offer to take you out on their small boat for a short (fifteen or twenty minute) ride around the harbor so you can see the stilt houses up close.

Contributors: Caroline Duterque from Jack and Ferdi

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#14 Avenue of Stars

I just loved visiting Victoria Harbor and seeing the avenue of stars which is modeled after Hollywood Walk of fame. You get to see some well-known Asian celebrities such as Bruce Lee and Jet Li. Depending when you are there as well at night they have this awesome nighttime light & fireworks displays. As well as there are a number of museums around the area so you can visit and enjoy. A major spot for people to be and wander at night.  

Contributors: Andrew Mondia from The Intuitive Traveler

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#15 Stepping Back in Time with Hong Kong’s Culture and History

Hong Kong is a metropolitan utopia, perfectly combining history with the convenience of the modern world. Kowloon Park and the surrounding areas are rich in history, with the park itself being reason enough to make a visit. Just North along the tram line is Tin Mau Temple, a traditional Daoist temple complex in which you can observe another culture’s traditional worship and rest in the gardens. The Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre isn’t far either, a free museum to discover local culture and history (and a perfect place to take a break with multiple benches and air conditioning!)

Contributors: Mavyreen Andres from Globe Hunters

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#16 Chi Lin Nunnery

This large temple complex established in 1934 and renovated in Tang dynasty style is a favorite hideaways from all the crowds. Wooden architecture, Buddhist relics, and lotus ponds offer a tranquil setting. Do not miss it.

Contributors: Cydny Voicechovski from GOAL Traveler

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#17 Temple Street Night Market

Souvenirs, opera singers, fortune tellers, and street karaoke (of course). If you can only visit one Chinese market then this is the one. A lot of movies were filmed here for good reason. The place is packed with anything you would ever need to buy (mostly counterfeit) but who cares! The energy here is pretty cool.

Contributors: Cydny Voicechovski from GOAL Traveler

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#18 East Meets West & Tradition Meets Modernity

Hong Kong is a melting pot of influences which has shaped it into the city it is today. This city is semi-independent, it's basically a part of China in many ways, but still, it has its own currency and passports. Part of China, it was invaded by the British and Japanese, and all three have come together to create a Hong Kong where East meets West and ancient traditions compliment its modernity. Hong Kong streets are a unique combination of modern suburbia and old-fashioned style. Hidden among the skyscrapers and malls, Hong Kong has plenty of cultural gems to uncover, from temples and museums to a beautiful Chinese garden.

Contributors: Nedelina Payaneva from Asian Absolute

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#19 Man Mo Temple

A stunning tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). It was built in 1847 and remains the largest Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong. Giant hanging incense coils are a lovely break from the hectic financial district where it resides.

Contributors: Cydny Voicechovski from GOAL Traveler

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#20 Victoria Peak

Definitely considered Hong Kong’s most popular destination and you can tell once you see the line waiting for the Peak Tram. The Peak Tram opened in 1888, offers the steepest funicular railway in the world and only takes 7 minutes to reach the top. As long as it isn’t shut down due to clouds, you will be rewarded with the best view of Hong Kong, or any city.

Contributors: Cydny Voicechovski from GOAL Traveler

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#21 Yuen Po Street Bird Garden

The Bird Garden is a popular area with dozens of stalls selling exotic birds and beautifully crafted bamboo cages. It can feel a little like walking through a pet shop, but you are serenaded by the sweet songs of hundreds of rare birds while being fed and preened by their elderly owners.

Contributors: Cydny Voicechovski from GOAL Traveler

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#22 Tai Kwun, Center For Heritage & Arts

The much-awaited Tai Kwun in Central District is now open and reason enough for anyone to visit Hong Kong. It's housed in an historic mid-19th century police station and prison where many of the old jail cells have been preserved. The complex contains cafes, galleries, design shops, and performance spaces. The jail has even been converted into a watering hole called Behind Bars! It's a fun space and an interesting concept that's definitely a must-visit in Hong Kong.

Contributors: JB Macatulad from Will Fly for Food

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#23 Gondola Ride To The Buddha

Taking The Ngong Ping 360 gondola to visit the Tian Tan Buddha, the largest seated Buddha statue in the world. Besides the statue there are several temples, shops, and events/cultural displays in the area. The gondola ride over gives you an impressive view of the city and the Buddha temple complex, for around $30 a person for a standard round trip ticket it is a good value, visiting the Buddha is free, but they do charge to go inside the statue.

Contributors: Michael Satterfield from The Gentleman Racer

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#24 Cha Chaan Tengs: Hong Kong’s Retro Cafes

Whether you're looking for a fulfilling breakfast, an evening meal or an afternoon pick-me-up; in Hong Kong, a quick food fix is never more than a few blocks away. Cha Chaan Teng's traditional Hong Kong-style cafes are open from early in the morning to late at night, and are perfect for filling and cheap meals like sandwiches, stir-fries and Hong Kong ice tea. They've often been around for decades and provide a look into the Hong Kong before its shimmering  skyscrapers were built; Mido Cafe in Yau Ma Tei is particularly charming.

Contributors: Chris Schalkx from Rice Potato

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#25 Soho

Go for a leisurely stroll or hit the bars at night. South of Hollywood Road (SOHO) has many narrow and historic streets loaded with chic bars and restaurants. Great spot to do a fair amount of day-drinking. Definitely the more “western” area in Hong Kong.

Contributors: Cydny Voicechovski from GOAL Traveler

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#26 Stunning Selection of Tasty Street Food

Hong Kong has a unique selection of delicious street food eateries that offer curious dishes such as curry fish balls, crisp egg waffles, a variety of wonton soups and dishes, and baked goods such as pineapple-looking buns and eggs tarts.

Contributors: Joe Robison from My Bucket List Events

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#27 The Shopping District

To understand how staggeringly different the cultures are check out the malls the vibrant colors people and sounds will overwhelm the senses. The difference in culture can be felt from the different cuisines to the odd memorabilia or even the fashion.

Contributors: Caleb Backe from Maple Holistics

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#28 Hong Kong Disneyland Fun for All Ages

In a country full of stark contrasts - Neon light bouncing off towering office buildings a half hour ride from traditional fishing villages - Hong Kong Disneyland is a happy break for visitors of all ages. The Disney magic is present in all its glory - familiar characters, rides, shows and amusement. Then, there is the uniquely Hong Kong twists - Chinese signage and lots of Asian food options, Mystic Manor, and the Dim Sum shaped in Disney characters at Crystal Lotus restaurant.

Contributors: Debra Ruzbasan from Ed-Ventures, Inc.

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#29 Breath Taking Natural and Urban Views

A breathtaking nighttime boat ride in Victoria Harbor, the mountain peak just outside the city for the skyline arial view, and the Dragon's back and Lion's Rock hiking trails where the ocean meets mountains will convince any visitor of that the diverse and spectacular scenery of Hong Kong is unrivaled.

Contributors: Joe Robison from My Bucket List Events

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#30 Mid-Levels Escalator

It is the world’s longest, covered outdoor escalator, going on for 800 meters and Ascending 135 enters through the hillside and streets of Hong Kong Island. It’s a series of 20 escalators and 3 inclined walkways costing HK$245 million to build. From start to finish it takes about 20-25 minutes and one can hop on at 14 different entrances.

Contributors: Kisma Orbovich from Kisma Productions

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#31 Hiking trails

Hong Kong is more than a metropolis it has beautiful landscapes meant to take your breath away. These views include bright vegetation and beautiful dark blue oceans as vast as your imagination. The peacefulness of the landscape offers a striking contrast from city life.

Contributors: Caleb Backe from Maple Holistics

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