Five must-do excursions, taking in the best of Hong Kong
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Escorted tour | History & culture
Hong Kong is one of the world's great cities - a gleaming 24-hour metropolis set by the sparkling waters of Victoria Harbour on the edge of the South China Sea. From ultra-modern skyscrapers and luxury boutiques to ancient temples and traditional markets, there's a wealth of attractions for tourists visiting this vibrant, cosmopolitan city. Here we look at five must-see attractions to help you make the most of your stay in one of the most fascinating, and fun cities on earth.
1 - Hong Kong Highlights
Whether you're short on time or just want to get a flavor of what this remarkable city has to offer, a five-hour Hong Kong Highlights tour is the place to start. You'll begin with a ride on the legendary Star Ferry as you cross the busy waters of Victoria Harbour, heading to Hong Kong Island. From here you'll head to Victoria Peak, boarding the Peak Tram - a traditional funicular that first began operating in 1888. You'll climb high above the city's skyscrapers to the summit of 'The Peak' from where you'll be able to admire what is without question the most spectacular view in Hong Kong, stretching across Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbour and Kowloon. From here you'll head past picturesque Repulse Bay as you make your way to the traditional fishing village of Aberdeen - a floating community that still plays an important part in modern day Hong Kong. Here you'll board a sampan - a traditional Chinese boast - and head out amongst the town's waterways to get a close-up look at this unique way of life. The last stop on the tour will be the market town of Stanley on the southern side of Hong Kong Island where you'll have the chance to haggle with the locals and maybe pick up the odd bargain before heading back to your hotel.
Prices from: £147 per person
2 - Kowloon Market Tour
This full-day tour gives a wonderful insight into the colourful and diverse markets of Kowloon. Begin your day with a walk along Hong Kong's harbour front where your guide will give you an introduction to the history of Kowloon before you head inland to the bustling back streets that are home to the city's most interesting and lively markets. Walk through the districts of Yau Ma Tei and Mongkok - two of the most densely populated parts of the city - heading first to the Flower Market, the centre point of Hong Kong's blossoming flower trade. From here you'll make your way along Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, lined with vendors selling bird cages, before continuing on to Fa Yuen Street Market - a popular market selling everything from clothes and accessories to electrical goods and food. The next stop on your walking tour is the Goldfish market where tropical fish and an impressive array of aquariums are sold. The people of Hong Kong believe that fish bring wealth so this auspicious market is always packed, making it a fun place to visit as well as affording some wonderful photo opportunities. Next up is the Ladies Market where all sorts of clothes, bags and trinkets are sold at knock down prices - a great place to try out your haggling skills and maybe pick up a bargain in the process. Continuing your journey through Kowloon you'll see the incense-filled Tin Hau Temple before making your final stop at the Jade Market where stall holders sell all manner of accessories and jewelry made from this revered green stone.
Prices from: £159 per person
3 - Kowloon Behind the Scenes
This fascinating four-hour tour takes you off the beaten track to discover some of Kowloon's hidden secrets. Head away from the well-trodden tourist trail and learn about the pearl and jade trade, the unique traditions of the Chinese wedding and culinary secrets of Hong Kong's famous dim sum culture. After a visit to Tin Hau Temple for an insight into Chinese culture you'll take a memorable stroll along Shanghai Street - one of the oldest thoroughfares in the city.
Prices from: £134 per person
4 - Discover Lantau Island
Just a short way from Hong Kong itself, Lantau Island offers spectacular mountain scenery and a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Indeed, no visit to Hong Kong would be complete without a visit to the iconic Giant Buddha, a huge Buddha statue sat atop the scenic Ngong Ping Plateau. Cast in China, this impressive figure took 12 years to complete and was unveiled to the public amidst a swathe of religious fervour in 1993. Visitors can now climb the 200 steps to the platform where the Buddha is seated and marvel at the superb views across the mountainous surroundings. After a tour of the Giant Buddha you'll enjoy a simple vegetarian lunch at the nearby Po Lin Monastery, much the same as the resident monks would eat, before heading to Tai O fishing village, a rare example of a stilt house community set above the tidal flats and home to the Tanker people. Here you'll learn how to make fishing nets and try the culinary delights of salty egg yolk and sweet bean porridge, while listening to locals share their tales of village life.
Prices from: £283 per person
5 - Evening Aqua Luna Cruise & Symphony of Lights
Enjoy the ultimate in Hong Kong's evening entertainment as you board a traditional Chinese junk and set sail on beautiful Victoria Harbour, surrounded on all sides by the towering skyscrapers and peaks that characterise this stunning city.
The Aqua Luna - your ship for the night - is one of the last handcrafted junks to be built in Hong Kong and is surely one of the most romantic places from which to view the famous Symphony of Lights. Drinks are served on board as you enjoy the best view in the house of this impressive music and light extravaganza, which lights up the Hong Kong skyline with a spectacular display of lasers and searchlights, accompanied by a dramatic soundtrack.
Prices from: £30 per person
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