Advertising
Advertising

10 Must-Do’s If You’re Visiting Hong Kong For The First Time

10 Must-Do’s If You’re Visiting Hong Kong For The First Time

As one of the most vibrant and bustling cities in the world, Hong Kong’s east-meets-west allure beckons travellers from all around the globe. However, with so much to see and do in this fast-paced, dynamic cosmopolis, it can be overwhelming for the first-time visitor.

To make your life a little easier, here are the 10 absolute must-do’s to tick off on your first trip to the “Pearl of the Orient.” Planning your travel itinerary has never been easier.

Marvel at Hong Kong’s Breathtaking Views from Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak is one of Hong Kong’s most iconic landmarks, providing the best vantage point for panoramic views of the city’s towering skyline. Take the Peak Tram up to the Peak Tower and aim to arrive half an hour before sundown to watch the city lights come alive in all their multi-hued glory.

Advertising

Hong Kong Panorama View from The Peak

    Eat Dim Sum at the World’s Cheapest Michelin Star Restaurant

    No trip to Hong Kong is complete until you’ve tried dim sum. Make a beeline for Tim Ho Wan, the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant, for delicious morsels of authentic Cantonese snacks like siu mai (pork and prawn dumplings) and har gau (prawn dumplings). The much-lauded baked barbeque pork buns are also a must-order.

    iStock_000023889797_Small

      Battle the Adrenaline-Pumping Rides at Ocean Park

      Save Disneyland for the kids and spend your day at Ocean Park instead, a marine-life theme park designed for adults that’s located on the southern end of Hong Kong Island. With no shortage of animal exhibits, exciting attractions, and thrilling rollercoasters, adrenaline junkies can expect a full day’s worth of blood-pumping fun.

      Advertising

      iStock_000016803201_Small

        Shop Til You Drop

        From bustling street markets and trendy boutiques to some of the most upscale multi-story shopping malls, Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise. Head to Causeway Bay to shop at landmark areas like Time Square Mall and Sogo. Then check out Tsim Sha Tsui, an area in Kowloon that’s home to some of Hong Kong’s best luxury shopping, including the grand Harbour City Mall. Schedule rest breaks in between — you’ll need them!

         

        iStock_000026627120_Small

          Enjoy High Tea at The Peninsula Hotel

          One of the lingering legacies of British occupation in Hong Kong is the widespread popularity of high tea. Indulge in the quintessential high tea experience at The Peninsula, Hong Kong’s oldest hotel. Help yourself to an assortment of delicious sandwiches, cakes, scones, and pastries from the three-tier stands and enjoy music from the string-quartet. No reservations are permitted, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

          Advertising

          The Peninsula Hong Kong

            Take the Star Ferry for the Symphony of Lights Show

            Witness dazzling views of Victoria Harbour with the classic Star Ferry ride from Central to Kowloon. Hop on the boat just before 8 PM to catch the nightly Symphony of Lights show and see the city’s skyscrapers come to life. Picture a sensational multimedia bonanza of coloured lights and laser beams synchronised to music and narration. For a nominal ferry ride ticket fee (the show itself is free), this is one performance that can’t be missed.

            Hong Kong skyline at night

              Haggle and Score a Bargain at the Street Markets

              For a unique shopping experience, venture out to Hong Kong’s lively street markets, where you can find and buy almost anything and everything. Temple Street Market is a popular favourite for cheap clothes, watches, and everyday items. Ladies’ Market, home to over 100 stalls selling clothing and accessories, is also a must-visit. Don’t be shy about haggling to negotiate a bargain — it’s all part of the experience.

              Advertising

              iStock_000033223798_Small

                Party It Up at Lan Kwai Fong

                In Hong Kong, the mentality “work hard and play hard” is widely recognized and adopted. There’s no better place to do the latter than at Lan Kwai Fong, the city’s most vibrant nightlife district and where you’ll find the trendiest night spots. Home to over 100 restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops, Lan Kwai Fong is popular among locals and expats worldwide.

                young asian friends couples enjoying party in pub.

                  See The Big Buddha on Lantau Island

                  Take a day trip out to Lantau Island to see its biggest drawcard — The Big Buddha. Go via the Ngong Ping 360 cable car, which shuttles you from the town of Tung Chung to the mountaintop Buddha, a 25-minute journey with sweeping views of the bay and mountain peaks. Sitting at 34 meters high, climb the 268 steps leading to the stature to marvel at the massive bronze Buddha up close and personal.

                  iStock_000081398727_Small

                    Maximize Your Time or Stopover at Hong Kong Airport

                    Considered one of the best airports in the world and the gateway to Asia, Hong Kong airport is a destination in itself in terms of all that it has to offer. From miniature gardens to an IMAX Theatre, Aviation Discover Centre, and sports simulators such as soccer, basketball, car racing and golf, any time spent at the airport will fly by in a flash. If you’re travelling business or first class with Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific, arrive a little earlier to enjoy exclusive access to their premium lounges. 24-hour shopping and dining is also available at the airport — what more could you ask for?

                    Hong Kong, China - September 26, 2013: Inside view of Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1 (HKG) in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok is the second busiest airport in China with 56.1 million passengers in 2012.

                      More by this author

                      5 Misconceptions About Weight Loss, For Those Looking to Lose it Fast 8 Ways To Get Out Of A Reading Slump 5 Ways to Prevent Buyer’s Remorse & Become a Savvy Shopper Need A Digital Detox? 10 Ways To Switch Off 10 Smart Travel Tips For A Stress-Free Holiday

                      Trending in Lifestyle

                      1 10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult 2 10 Ways to Quickly Boost Your Workout Motivation 3 How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck 4 8 Best Multivitamins For Men, Women And Kids 5 42 Practical Ways To Improve Yourself

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on November 9, 2020

                      10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                      10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                      Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

                      Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

                      Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

                      If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

                      Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

                      1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

                      Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

                      Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

                      Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

                      2. No Motivation

                      Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

                      Advertising

                      This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

                      If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

                      3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

                      Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

                      A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

                      A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

                      The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

                      4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

                      One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

                      We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

                      Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

                      Advertising

                      You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

                      5. Upward Comparisons

                      Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

                      The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

                      These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

                      Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

                      6. No Alternative

                      This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

                      Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

                      Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

                      Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

                      Advertising

                      7. Stress

                      As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

                      When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

                      We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

                      If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

                      8. Sense of Failure

                      People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

                      Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

                      Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

                      If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

                      9. The Need to Be All-New

                      People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

                      Advertising

                      These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

                      10. Force of Habit

                      Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

                      Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

                      These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

                      Final Thoughts

                      These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

                      There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

                      More on Breaking Bad Habits

                      Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
                      [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
                      [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

                      Read Next