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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

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

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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.

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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.

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.

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!

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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?

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Featured photo credit: Andres Garcia via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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