Hong Kong recognized as Asia’s ‘World City’ is one of the most exciting destinations on the planet. A fast-changing, bustling metropolis, Hong Kong offers a bouquet of well-known attractions suitable for every type of traveler.
However, if you have a few days to spend in this lively city, we encourage you to go beyond the norm and explore more of its terrain than what the guidebooks mention. Here are some tips to help you kick-start your explorations to uncover the secret Hong Kong.
Take a hike
Skyscraper bedecked Hong Kong appears at first glance to be a concrete jungle. Not many tourists are aware of the fact that 40% of Hong Kong’s land mass is made up of lush, green country parks and nature reserves. The city is home to 24 country parks that attract hordes of hikers (locals and tourists in the know) who scale the many grassy slopes and valleys of these parks to take in the gorgeous vistas on offer.
Some of the most popular hikes in Hong Kong include the Dragon’s Back, the Lantau trail, the Tai Long Wan Hiking Trail and the Lamma Island family trail.
On the Beach
The territory of Hong Kong encompasses the Kowloon peninsula and as many as 263 islands. Hong Kong Island is one of the largest islands in the group, and aside from being hosting the immensely busy business district of Central; it also hosts various neighborhoods along with beautiful beach fronts that offer facilities for swimming and picnicking.
Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay, South Bay and St Stephen’s Beach at Stanley are the gorgeous beaches on the south side of Hong Kong Island, which are easily accessible by the many public bus services from the main bus terminus in Central.
Ride the Waterways
Hong Kong is renowned for its excellent public transport system that includes a network of subways, trams, buses and ferries. The last mentioned mode of transport links the city’s many outlying islands with its epicenters of business. Travelogues and guidebooks recommend taking a ride on the city’s famed commuter Star Ferry as a must-do for visitors. You, must of course ride the Star Ferry, but why stop at just one ride? Travel on Hong Kong’s abundant ferry services to get a sense of island life in Hong Kong and do stop to savor a fresh seafood meal at one of the many eateries on the various outlying islands.
Enjoy birds song in the city
Hong Kong like most modern, urban cities exudes a vibe, which is intensely frenzied. If you need take a moment and escape the crowds head to the tranquil environs of the city center verdant Hong Kong Park, home to as many as seventy species of feathered creatures. In fact, if you love birds then a trip to the traditional Chinese style Yuen Po Street Bird Garden in the Mong Kok market district of Kowloon should also feature as a stop on your list. The neighborhood around the garden features many kiosks that retail myriad exotic birds. Hong Kong’s bird lovers congregate daily at the garden with their cages of pet songbirds to chat and compare their ward’s warbles.
Discover hidden culinary talents
Much has been written about Hong Kong’s restaurants and the city is, in fact, chock a block with myriad restaurants that cater to all price points. While you should always make time to yum cha or treat yourself to some delicious Hong Kong dim sum, you could also make a pit stop a Hong Kong private kitchen or two.
As the name suggests, a private kitchen is an eatery that is housed in a Hong Kong home. Hong Kong is one of the world’s most expensive real estate markets and many of the city’s talented chefs don’t have the financial means to set up a restaurant. So they deal with the situation by setting up a private kitchen and catering to a small group of diners at a time.