Top 10 things to do in Hong Kong when travelling with Friends
Hong Kong – a playground for the spontaneous, adventurous and indiscriminate, i.e. for you and your mates.
Experience the city’s incarnation of juxtaposing qualities– traditional meets modern, East meets West, highways meet hiking trails, counterfeit meets quality goods. Promising a concentration of endless entertainment, Hong Kong is a place where you can knock out plenty of eat-see-do-s in one painless blow.
Here are the 10 top things to do in Hong Kong when travelling with friends.
1. Ocean Park – Hybrid park
Clichéd may be its drawback, but effortless fun is its forte. As a wildlife and amusement park hybrid, Ocean Park is the perfect round-up-your-friends outing. Day passes are not particularly cheap (HKD$385), so arrive early and leave late for more bang for your buck. Catch a glimpse of the cute and cuddly pandas before letting your adrenaline fuelled bodies roam free with the likes of the Hair Raiser and the Abyss.
2. Victoria Peak – feeling high
Trade your mobile screen for a widescreen view of the Hong Kong skyline at Victoria Peak. Most tourists would prefer catching the Peak Tram from Central for HKD$75 (one-way) to the summit. But for the frugal or fitness enthusiasts, choose the ‘Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road to Peak’ hiking trail and stride into the belly of Mother Nature. Prepare for a 1.5-2 hours ascend and 45 minutes descend. Be sure to linger at the Peak until sunset and watch the city transform into a sparkling spectacle.
3. Shopping – shop ‘til you drop (or run out of money)
Shopping is one of Hong Kong’s acclaimed allures. And don’t worry – with quantity, comes quality. Hong Kong has three main categories of retail therapy – markets, malls, and boutique shopping. For markets, try the Ladies Market for clothes, Temple Street Night Market for gadgets and souvenirs, and Graham Street Wet Market for a taste of Hong Kong’s boisterous food culture. For middle to high-end mall shopping, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and Admiralty would be your best areas. For our skinny-jeans friends and boutique shoppers, PMQ is the hipster haven – a former Police Married Quarters turned creative bazaar showcasing the finest local art and design.
4. Lan Kwai Fong – the night is (always) young
Whether you’re with friends or eager to meet new ‘friends’, a night out is a holiday must. As Hong Kong’s most lucrative bar, restaurant and club district, Lan Kwai Fong is the perfect place for a cheeky cocktail and a brazen boogie. This popular night circus is home to an assortment of venues and entertainment, from sophisticated wine bars to the corner club serving flaming shots. However big or small, a night out in Lan Kwai Fong will be one to remember.
5. Big Buddha – Big day out
Be sure to block out a day to visit The Big Buddha, or Tian Tan Buddha as it is formally called. Sitting 34 metres high above 268 steps on Lantau Island, this bronze statue brings together both locals and tourists in celebration of religion and culture. On a clear day, catch the 25-minute scenic Ngong Ping Cable Car ride to Ngong Ping village. There’s plenty to see and do at the village, with street vendors selling authentic Hong Kong food – fish balls, chow mien etc. – to undermine your pre 268-steps workout psyche.
6. Yum Cha and Cha Chaan Teng – Say goodbye to hangry
Eating great food should never be compromised, especially when travelling. Yum Cha is Hong Kong’s pride and joy. Perfect portions for sharing and ample variety, including fluffy steamed BBQ pork buns and crispy dan taats (egg tart). The Hong Kong café aka cha chaan teng is another great spot for a hearty breakfast chow down. Pair a cup of milk tea with a serving of Hong Kong style French toast doused in peanut butter or condensed milk. No dieters allowed.
7. Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and Symphony of lights – two for one
End a day of shopping at Tsim Sha Tsiu with a night stroll along the popular boardwalk conveniently named the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. Rest your fatigued shopping limbs with a light nibble or drink, and unwind against a backdrop of the Symphony of Lights show as it debuts at 8pm every night. 44 skyscrapers and landmarks shooting light beams and lasers in an orchestrated frenzy will leave you speechless (or uttering at least one “wow”).
8. Star Ferry – ride the waves
A Hong Kong experience would not be complete without an endearing ride on the iconic Star Ferry. Weave through the traffic of Hong Kong’s archipelagic highways and taste the sea salt across your windswept face. Costing no more than HKD$3.4 one way, the Star Ferry is a steal of a joyride. Better still, board before 8pm and enjoy the city’s shimmering skyline from an exclusive mid-harbour vantage point.
9. Outlying Islands – adventure awaits
What better way to explore the Hong Kong archipelago than to catch a ferry to its straggling islands. The big four – Lantau, Lamma, Cheung Chau and Peng Chau island – are distinct in personality and character, and worth a visit to each. Cheung Chau is small but jammed pack with activities – caves, a mini Great Wall and the annual Bun Festival. Lamma Island on the other hand is a perfect place to kick back – a short hike along the coastline or a wander around the traditional market stalls will do you good.
10. Hong Kong Junks – drop anchor
Cruise along the still waters of Hong Kong with a ride on a Hong Kong ‘junk’ (a former term for traditional fishing boats, and now for any sailing vessel). If you prefer the catered party vibes and mingling with other travellers, companies like Aqua Luna and Jaspas run group tours of up to 60 passengers. For something more intimate, charter a private junk and split the costs amongst your friends. Be sure to pack an esky of beer and munchies before sailing towards the quieter islands for a relaxing frolic and dip in the ocean.