Hong Kong is probably the most glamorous city in the world with a terrific skyline and a unique hubbub buzzing throughout the city. It is colorful, it is bright, it is alive, and what's more- it has so much to offer! There is a completely different side to Hong Kong that makes a trip to this amazing place a memorable one. Hiking trails, magnificent beaches and islands, and forest-covered mountains are all parts of the attraction that Hong Kong holds. There are so many things you could be doing in Hong Kong whether you are there just for a day or for a week.
The Star Ferry is a great place to start your trip in Hong Kong- it dates back to 1888 and has been connecting the Hing Kong island to Kowloon since then. You will get a glimpse of all kinds of ships, boats, and other marine vessels at Victoria Harbour, masterfully crafting their way through the dense water traffic. The sight of the immense Hong Kong skyline with a background of towering mountains from the sea is a sight you are not likely to forget. The refreshing breeze hitting you so elegantly serves as the cherry on top.
It is easy to catch a ride on the star ferry since a vessel leaves every other minute just for a few Hong Kong dollars. The best time to catch a ride would be after sunset. The city offers a light show called the Symphony of Lights, which in itself is a grand experience you will get free of charge. You will get a 360-degree view of an amazing display of laser beams that dance upon the towering skyscrapers from the sea.
The skyline of Hong Kong is too famous and you can never get enough of it. Once you have seen the skyline from the sea, it is time for you to get a 360-degree from up above. The Peak, also known as the Victoria Peak, could be easily reached via a tram ride starting near Hong Kong Park. This too, like Star Ferry, is going to be a remarkable experience as you get an unhindered view of the entire city. You could also visit the Peak Tower and Peak Galleria while atop it. There are many restaurants around the place, and the Peak is designed like a park.
There are many trails around the Peak and some of them lead you down to the city. It is an impressive mix of forest trails and concrete roads though it could get confusing sometimes. Just like the ferry ride, nighttime is the best time to visit Victoria Peak. You get to see the bustling city in all its glory when well lighted up. If you are not willing to take the tram ride, you could also take a taxi directly from your hotel to the top of the peak.
Beaches are not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about Hong Kong. However, you will be missing out on a lot if you do not go to the spectacular beach at Repulse Bay. Though the soft sand is very welcoming, you will get a very non-touristy kind of beach experience around this place. The seafront is lined with all kinds of shops and restaurants which is a very typical sight in all of Hong Kong. Amalfitana along the shore is a terrific place to try pizzas.
Big Wave Bay is close to Repulse Bay and another amazing place to spent the day or evening. The waves are not so big around this place but the U-shaped cove and the accompanying beach make way for a splendid experience. The atmosphere too is much more relaxed than Repulse Bay since the latter is the more popular spot.
Going to the beach is no big trouble at all. You will find many scheduled buses and taxi cabs that will take you to the beach.
Night Market on Temple Street
Whenever you visit a unique place, you want to collect certain souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones. Well, the Temple Street Night market is the best place to look for such stuff. Tourists and locals alike flock to this market since there is not one thing that you cannot find here! The Night Market is situated in Kowloon and you will find various dealers selling all kinds of things ranging from clothes to gadgets to jewelry, and so on.
The market starts around 6 p.m. but the later you arrive, the better it is for you. If you are looking for jade jewelry or some traditional Chinese artifacts, then this is the place to get the best bargains in all of Hong Kong. Surely, there are certain other market streets around Hong Kong too, but none have the liveliness that this market showers.
There is an adventurer in every group, and Dragon's Back is the place to bring out the adventurous spirit. It is a small hiking trail that overlooks the ocean and gets you spectacular views of such places as the Big Wave Bay, Shek O, and Mt. Collinson. The Dragon's Back hike happens to be the most popular hiking trail in the city and thus is generally abuzz with visitors on weekends and holidays. However, if you are looking for a place to blow off some steam and escape the constricting crowd of Hong Kong into the laps of nature, this is the place to be. The trail passes through greeneries and solitude allowing you the occasional minstrel of a bird's call or the sound of a small waterfall.
It is quite an easy hike and anybody could do it. You have to start at Section 8, which is the bus stop for To Tei Wan, and after a short distance, you will mostly be going downhill. The walk will take you to Big Wave Bay where you could spend some time on the beach or even go for a swim. Going to the nearby Shek O is easy-peasy with many taxi and bus services available. There are many restaurants around Shek O where you could end the day's trip with a delectable meal of seafood.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
Another place to escape the sound of the busy life of Hong Kong would be the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. It is situated in Sha Tin and is set up on a hilltop you have to climb about 400 steps to reach the top and it is worth the effort. The steps are lined with numerous golden statues of Buddha. In fact, the temple has more than 10,000 statues of Buddha throughout and also does not host as a monastery since no monks live on-site.
While visiting the temple, you will realize that the walk is part of the attraction of the place. All the statues that you would pass while climbing up to the top are different either in the pose or in the expression it is displaying. At the top, you will come to a square with many impressive structures and statues. When you go inside the temple you will find small statues of Buddha lining the walls from floor to ceiling. The opposite side of the temple has an open view into the green surroundings.
You could easily reach the temple through the metro line- you have to take the East Rail to Sha Tin station and go for Exit B. There is another temple nearby and may get confusing for you, so be sure that you are on the right way before you start the climb.
Chi Lin Nunnery & Nan Lian Garden
The Chi Lin Nunnery is located in Diamond Hill which is in Kowloon. The Kwung Tong line on the metro will take you to Diamond Hill Station and you have to take the C2 Exit to reach the temple complex.
Though the original date of establishment of the Chi Lin Nunnery dates back to the 1930s, it was later rebuilt around the 1990s keeping to the traditional style of the Tang Dynasty. Every structure in this temple has been constructed using wood. This gives it an aesthetic and an ancient feel. The front side of the complex has an amazing display of Bonsai trees. These bonsais surround the Lotus Pond Garden which has a magnificent display of a handful of ponds with water lilies.
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