Best things to do in Hong Kong
Take an aerial tram (or hike) to Tian Tan Buddha
We took a cable-car ride up to the Tian Tan Buddha/Po Lin monastery (This area is referred to as Ngong Ping). After waiting in line for a couple hours on a Saturday afternoon, we finally got on our glass-bottom gondola. This cable car zipped us up to Ngong Ping in about 20 minutes, and through the glass floor we could see a couple hikers taking a trail up. It would have been nice to hike up and avoid the long lines and expense of the cable cars, but after a long day of checking out the sights, we were thankful for our easy ride back down.
Once you get to Ngong Ping, it is easy to spend several hours checking out the Big Buddha atop the hill and the surrounding monasteries. You can go inside the buildings and marvel at the golden statues and intricate carvings. If you are searching for good luck, you can find some incense to burn, or maybe throw some Hong Kong coins into the hands of a Buddha statue... Don't eat the oranges from the little orange bushes though, a monk told us they bring great sorrow to your household!
Hong Kong Park and Edward Youde Aviary
Hong Kong Park is like the Central Park of Hong Kong. Although smaller than the one in New York, the vibe is really nice and there aren't that many tourists (or locals for that matter) hanging around. The weird thing about Hong Kong is that though it's a huge city, in certain places you can find yourself almost alone. Many times while we were walking around we were the only ones on the streets or paths, and Hong Kong Park wasn't even very populated. Right down in the heart of Hong Kong, across the street from the Bank of China building, we were literally the only ones on the sidewalk. It was kinda weird, but very cool.
Edward Youde Aviary is near the center of Hong Kong Park. We randomly showed up about 5 minutes before the place closed but were in there long enough to realize how cool it was. I definitely would have enjoyed more time in here, checking out the birds and animals...definitely move visiting the aviary near the top of your list.
The Peak Hong Kong (Victoria Peak)
Possibly the most important destination during your time in Hong Kong, Victoria Peak is one you simply cannot miss. The view from any location atop Victoria peak (locally known as "The Peak") is the signature view of Hong Kong that you have been waiting for. Right before sunset is the perfect time to show up as you can watch the sun go down and the city lights come to life. Me, Shay and Tyler took the tram up (100HKD or 12 USD round trip) and decided to walk along the trails and roads for our way back down. The view from the top was awesome, and there are several restaurants inside the Peak building if you get hungry. When all said and done, we actually had the most fun during our hike down on the little trails and roads that parallel the peak tram tracks. We were all alone on the path, and it was cool to look at the glowing city below as we descended. This experience is featured in our vlog of the trip...
Hong Kong FAQ
Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monestary
- How do you get to Tian Tan Buddha?
There are roads that go up to the Buddha and monasteries, but the coolest way to get here is to take the aerial tram/gondola or to hike up on a steep trail through the mountains.
- What is the aerial tram/cable car company called?
The name of the cable car establishment thing is "Ngong Ping 360"
- What is the location of the cable car place/Ngong Ping 360 in Hong Kong?
The building where you get on the cable cars is located outside of Tung Chung Station Hong Kong. Once you get out of the train station, you will see several signs pointing you in the correct direction.
- How much is the aerial tram/gondola ride up to the Tian Tan Buddha?
This was pretty expensive, about 30usd per person for a round trip ticket. It was cool, but the lines and wait times were very long (we went on a Saturday afternoon). Next time I think we would like to take the hiking trail...
The Peak Hong Kong
- How to get up to The Peak Hong Kong.
You can walk, Taxi, Bus, but probably the most fun way is to take 'The Peak Tram'
- How much does The Peak Tram cost?
The Peak Tram is 100HKD or about 12usd for a round-trip journey, this also lets you into the top of the Peak building where you can go out on the terrace and check out the cool view of the city below.
- Are the lines long for the peak tram?
Yeah, we got in line on a Sunday afternoon on valentine's day, so probably the worst the line ever gets. About an hour wait in line to get on the tram. We were glad we did it though.
- Is it okay if you speak only English?
Yeah, all the signs for the trains and stuff are in Chinese and English and many of the local people also speak English.
- What camera did you use?
I used this little guy, raw: http://amzn.to/1QwcWuu
My Airbnb discount code: www.airbnb.com/c/kevink151