Hong Kong Tourist Attractions Guide
There are numerous tourist attractions in Hong Kong that you should not miss on your trip. These cover several facets of history, culture, beliefs and aspects of daily life as well.
Hong Kong History
The Hong Kong area has witnessed inhabitants from the Old Stone Age onwards. It has later transformed into a major part of the erstwhile Empire of China with loose integration into the regions under the control of the famed Qin Dynasty. It was initially a farming and fishing village along with being a site for salt production. Eventually, it turned into a major free port along with becoming a global financial centre as well.
The Qing Dynasty ultimately gave Hong Kong to the British Empire via the Nanjing Treaty of 1842 which conclude the First Opium War. Hong Kong later turned into a British colony and with the country winning the Second Opium War, the Qing Dynasty also gave up Kowloon in 1860 while the New Territories were leased for 99 years from the year 1898 onwards.
Interestingly, Hong Kong was occupied between 1941 and 1945 by Japan at the time of WWII. It was eventually freed by Chinese and British soldiers and came back under the stewardship of the latter. In the 1950s, the region became a major manufacturing and industry hub. Margaret Thatcher, then-British Prime Minister, signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984 which led to major emigration. The Handover of Hong Kong brought it back under Chinese rule which also prompted the adoption of the Hong Kong Basic Law.
Have a Close Look at Key Tourist Attractions in Hong Kong
1. Star Ferry
The iconic Star Ferry of Hong Kong goes back to 1880 and you only have to fork out a few HKD for riding from Victoria Harbour which is a bustling area with ships and ferries of all sizes. The central route is to the Hong Kong Island from Kowloon. TST (Tsim Sha Tsui) to Central is another pivotal route, giving you a splendid glimpse of the green mountains, the gentle ocean breeze and the towering skyscrapers of the city.
2. Victoria Peak or The Peak
The skyline of Hong Kong is simply spectacular from Victoria Peak or The Peak. Take the tramway till the top of the viewpoint for witnessing the magnificent skyscrapers, shimmering Harbour and nearby islands. Find the tram station near the Hong Kong Park entrance. You will find the Peak Galleria and Peak Tower with numerous restaurants, stores and a deck for observation.
There is ample greenery covering a major portion of The Peak. There is a trail going down to the city which passes through lush forests as well. Evenings at The Peak make for unforgettable experiences as you watch the city lit up in all its finery.
3. Big Buddha
Tian Tan Buddha or the Big Buddha Statue is positioned over the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island. This was a majorly secluded zone till the development of this statue in the year 1993. This is one of the world’s biggest statues of the Buddha and will amaze any visitor. The surroundings are also fabulous, encompassing ocean and island views along with rising green forests. You can simply take the lovely Ngong Pine cable car ride which covers 5.7 kilometres and 25 minutes through beautiful mountains, forests and water.
The ride ends at the charming Ngong Ping Village and you will have to take a walk to the monastery. The cable car is readily available from the MTR Tung Chung Station. Some visitors also go to the nearby Tai O fishing village on Lantau Island.
4. Wong Tai Sin Temple
The Wong Tai Sin Temple is a relatively new attraction with the original structure being constructed in 1920. A new building came up in its place around 1968. The temple honors Wong Tai Sin, the Taoist God, worshipped by locals as the one who brings prosperity and good luck in activities like horse-racing and also heals ailments.
A festival takes place every year at this temple. There are numerous buildings dotting the complex here including the Good Wish Garden, Hall of Three Saints and a hall dedicated to the legendary Confucius and his 72 followers/disciples.
5. Repulse Bay and Lovely Beaches
Repulse Bay has Hong Kong’s most popular beach with spectacular views and ample scope for swimming. The streets are packed with several stores and restaurants and you will enjoy the beachfront open-air dining experiences on offer.
Big Wave Bay is where you will find a charming cove with a lovely beach. You can also walk for a part of the iconic Dragon’s Back hike till the Big Wave Bay and take a swim. Barbecues dot the walkway near the beach and you can also check out the Shek O Beach.
Theatres In Hong Kong
Hong Kong is home to several acclaimed theatres including the following:
1. Hong Kong Repertory Theatre
The Hong Kong Repertory is a Government-funded organization and hosts performances of various global and local classics along with other popular creations. The Avenue of Stars has found a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records. A Symphony of Lights is popular at this nearby attraction.
2. Hong Kong City Hall
The Hong Kong City Hall was constructed in the year 1962 and has a theatre, concert venue and exhibition area. It can take 1,400 people at a time, showcasing several musical symphonies and recitals. The nearby Madame Tussaud Wax Museum is also a must-visit.
3. Sunbeam Theatre
The Sunbeam Theatre will delight enthusiasts with a keen interest in local culture and history.
4. Hong Kong Players
Hong Kong Players is the English-only theatre which harks back to the 1844 Hong Kong Dramatic Society.
Sports in Hong Kong
Popular sports in Hong Kong include swimming, basketball, swimming, badminton, football, cycling and tennis. Hong Kong hosts several global sporting events periodically at its Hong Kong Stadium and Hong Kong Sports Institute. There is also dragon boat racing and horseracing along with cricket which has been played here from 1841 onwards. Hong Kong had its own team qualifying for the ICC World Twenty20 in the year 2014 and has been a part of the ICC from 1969 onwards.
Parks & Recreation in Hong Kong
Here are some of the best parks and recreational spots in Hong Kong:
1. Chater Garden
This garden is located eastwards from the Central District’s Legislative Council Building. Built in the 1970s, it was opened in 1978 for the general public. The lovely fountains and pools add their own charm to the tranquil ambiance all around.
2. Cheung Kong Park
The Cheung Kong Park is also located in the Central area, within 5 minutes from the well-known St. John’s Cathedral. The park is immaculately maintained and offers a beautiful ambiance with cascades, ponds and more.
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