Many would agree, locals in particular, and experienced travelers in general, that Hong Kong is an amazing place to visit, though not necessarily to live in. Why? Well the major reason is that you have to be rich to buy a half-decent apartment, in addition to how crowded it gets, the traffic jams, pollution and the unstable politics. All of which you would not have to deal with when you are visiting, and at least it won’t get in your skin as much as it does for a local. After spending a week in Hong Kong, my stereotype shifted from a city with nothing but cement everywhere to a cosmopolitan city with a green tropical side you might not have the chance to see if you’ve never been there.
So it was fairly easy to compile a 20 reasons why the “pearl of the orient” will leave you craving to visit, I know I want to come back as soon as I can.
1. The view of a city’s skyscrapers never looked this epic, let it be day or night time, and it never gets old.
Take the fabulous tram to get to the Peak, and don’t forget to take a walk when you’re up on the mountain and bring back countless shots home.
2. The Victoria Harbor.
The dazzling light show at Victoria harbor being performed with harmonic sounds given to you by the world’s best skyline, the symphony of lights takes place at 8 p.m. every day.
3. The Star ferry will broaden your perspective about commute options.
Locals have the ultimate commuter experience when crossing the river between Hong Kong island and Kowloon.
4. The Hiking trails.
If you have had enough of tall futuristic buildings and crowded streets, then get adventurous and go for a hike at “the dragon’s back” or to “Lion rock”. You will get lost in the beauty of mountains meeting the sea.
5. The Chungking mansions in “Tsim Sha Tsui“.
A building with an estimated over 4,000 people living inside, with the option to spend a night at a hostel or even cheaper room there to get a feel of how India would look like and see if you can handle it.
6. It can be a shopping mecca.
The jaw dropping scene you`ll witness when you go to causeway bay, the shopping paradise many would call, will take you from one ridiculously large mall to another, it’s Hong Kong’s response to Time square. I know this one is actually the only excuse many girls need to visit Hong Kong.
7. The fashion is staggering.
On the other hand, the fashionable beautiful women is enough reason for guys to get that flight ticket.
8. The Mongkok neighborhood
Wandering in night markets like the ladies market, the flower market, the sneaker street and the temple street, is a good way to see just how cheap it is to buy whatever you want and it is all in one neighborhood called Mongkok.
9. And more Mongkok.
For the old Hong Kong that we see in old movies, explore Mongkok more, and you’ll see rows of old densely populated buildings and where middle working class live their daily lives.
10. The public transportation
The convenient public transportation will take you to another level of awesomeness, not only every bus is double-deckered, trams as well, add that to how all attractions are accessible via metro and you have a transportation system locals should be proud of.
11. The history of the city
The rich history will make you fall in love deeper by uncovering the secret to how the city got to where it is today, the ups and downs, the English touch, the Japanese occupation and the cultural conflict with mainlanders are all around you here. You can learn all of the stories at the Hong Kong Museum of History.
12. Realizing you are in Asia just makes it more exciting to party.
Go out to “Lan Kwai Fong” and experience one of the best night life scenes in the world.
13. You can go sailing.
You can even rent this junk boat if you’re already with a group, or book a tour to sail around the harbor on a full-day or half-day trip. Then party like a pirate.
14. The red district
“Wanchai”, the red district of Hong Kong is where girls grab and chase guys, as opposed to what happens in Lan Kwai Fong.
15. The amusement parks
With Ocean Park and Disneyland at your disposal, feel your adrenaline rising on the crazy roller coasters and free your inner child at these huge theme parks.
16. You can pay tribute to your favorite Asian movie stars.
Meet the Bruce Lee statue at the avenue of stars, along with more Asian stars that made it to Hollywood.
17. Cable cars
The 360 Ngong Ping cable car will give you a remarkable panoramic look and a memorable experience, so don’t be afraid to hang in the air to take it all in.
18. The natural tranquility
Say “hi” to the big Buddha and contemplate the surrounding beautiful mountains, it will leave you speechless by its insanely peaceful atmosphere.
19. There are islands to explore.
The nearby islands like “Cheung chau” and “Lamma island” will provide you with a great doze of bliss after seeing the simple and traditional life there.
20. There are other nearby cities to explore too.
Senzhen, Guangzhou or Macau are only a couple of hours away by train or ferry, so be sure to visit at least one in order to experience and compare the different vibes.
“You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you.” – Nury Vittachi
Featured photo credit: Hong Kong Skyline China Night City Lights Evening via pixabay.com