We finally had a day to visit Hong Kong, since when we bought the flight to PhilippinesWe had a long layover to fly. So the first thing we did was find out what to see and do in Hong Kong on a long layover day.
What we did not take into account, and well, I did not know what could happen to us, is that it rained heavily for just the few hours that we spent in our visit to Hong Kong. In any case, that did not stop us from trying to see as much as possible, and enjoy this Chinese city, so different from China.
Remember that Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997, when it passed into the hands of China, after nearly 150 years of British rule.
Today, Hong Kong is a city of contrasts, from the double-decker buses, like those you can see in the United Kingdom, through its streets, skyscrapers, modernity, the colonial past and its strong traditions, to the overcrowding of many of its inhabitants in minimal rooms. Places where it is impossible to have a normal life. It is a rich city, but where poverty hides behind the concrete masses, where no one can see it.
Another activity to do in Hong Kong is to enjoy Cantonese food, really delicious. But you have to let yourself go to those restaurants where there are only Asians and the menu is in Chinese. You will not understand anything, but the culinary surprise will be capital.
Well, if you are going to visit Hong Kong for a day or something more and you are looking for what to see and do in Hong Kong, the city of infinite skyscrapers, we will tell you below.
What to see and do in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Bay it is what gives life to this city, without it, perhaps Hong Kong would not have become what it is.
Visit Victoria Peak
It is undoubtedly the best viewpoint in the city, or so they say. We could not verify it, since the clouds, as soon as we set foot in the city, were so low that at first we could hardly even see the buildings in the bay. So, going up there, with the clouds and what was raining, was not worth it.
But it is the point where you can enjoy the best views of the bay, with the skyscrapers at your back. I certainly think, even though we didn’t go, that it is one of the best places to see in Hong Kong.
Cross Hong Kong Bay on the Star Ferry to Victoria Harbor
We went from the airport to the city, specifically to Hong Kong Station on the Express train. It is the most expensive option, (it is not a high price either), but the fastest, and if you only have a few hours, I think it is the best, without a doubt.
From Hong Kong Station, you can walk a bit, and start to feel the pulse of the city, until you reach the Pier 7 which is where the ferries leave from to Kowloon.
This company, which was founded in 1888, with only twelve ferries, transports more than 70,000 people a day. And it is undoubtedly the cheapest and most fun option to cross the short distance between the two shores.
When we got to Pier 7 and saw the ferries, we felt like we were really in Hong Kong.
The buildings in front of it, in Kowloon, could be better intuited, and luckily, the clouds were disappearing, but not completely.
Find Bruce Lee on the Avenue of Stars
In the purest American style, like Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, we find this curious walk, where you can find a statue of one of the most famous inhabitants of the city, Bruce Lee.
But if you look among the stars, you will also see that of Jackie chang, another Hong Kong celebrity.
Unfortunately for us, it was just when we got to see Bruce Lee that it started to rain heavily. So much so that we had to make a stop along the way for twenty minutes, until it stopped a bit. But you can’t say you’ve been to Hong Kong without visiting Bruce Lee on the Avenue of Stars.
Railway Clock Tower
As soon as we got off the ferry, those surprises and contrasts began. The first of all, to find ourselves face to face with a vestige of the colonial era, the Railway Clock Tower.
This tower is what remains of the Kowloon-Caton station location. English colonial architecture is visible in this 40 meter high clock.
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Hong Kong Cultural Center
Just behind the Railway Clock Tower, a much more modern building surprises, and which is one of the most important cultural neuralgic points of the city, the Hong Kong Cultural Center.
Concerts, operas, ballet, musicals and exhibitions are held in this center. So if you feel like it, have time or it seems like the best plan, you can come closer and see its programming.
We decided to continue walking around the city, looking for its neon lights, Cantonese restaurants and beehive buildings.
This is one of the main streets in Kowloon. And being a main artery in a city of these characteristics, it is full of shops, many of them quite expensive.
I think that to visit Hong Kong it is essential to get to this street, but the good thing is to be discovered in the alleys that lead to this avenue. That’s where we got lost looking for a place to eat Cantonese soup, and we found it. Not without first enjoying that typical Hong Kong image full of neon signs.
At times it seemed that we were inside the movie Blade Runner.
We found our restaurant, ate a delicious soup, and continued in search of more alleys, without wasting time. And this time was important for two reasons, to go back to the airport, but first to enjoy the daily show Symphony of Lights, from the Avenue of the Stars.
Symphony of Lights
An essential place to visit in Hong Kong is the one known in Spanish as Symphony of Lights. This is a free show that happens every day of the year at 8 pm, and the best place to see it is almost next to the Bruce Lee statue.
Although it is better to be located next to the railing of the promenade.
During the Symphony of Lights, lights and sound are synchronized. The skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island, in front of Kowloon, participate in this show, acting as actors where, to the rhythm of the music, they turn their gigantic neon lights on and off.
I particularly liked the Symphony of Lights, and I think it is a must see in Hong Kong, I repeat, free, and enjoy it.
Kowloon Park is the perfect retreat within the concrete jungle that is Hong Kong. Contrast the tranquility, the activities carried out by its inhabitants, among other Tai Chi, with the madness and debauchery of the skyscrapers and streets that surround it.
Visit Ladies Market
North of Kowloon, in Mong Kok is the one known as Ladies Market, which we could not go to. Neither the weather nor the weather was with us, so we will leave it for next time.
But we have many references to this place, that’s why we want to add it to the places to see in Hong Kong, even if we haven’t been.
This market is the most famous in the city, and they say that you can find everything there. I mean clothes, accessories, perfumes, etc. So if you are looking to go shopping visit Ladies Market what to do in Hong Kong.
In addition, the surrounding streets have added to the consumer madness, filling them with shops, as if the Ladies Market extended its tentacles further.
Man Mo Temple
This was another of the places that we could not visit in Hong Kong mainly due to the weather. Our first intention was to go to Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island, and when we got down, to approach the oldest temple in the city.
Although it cannot be compared, we had already visited temples in Chinatowns in other Asian cities such as Kuching in Borneo, Georgetown in mainland Malaysia or the Glodok neighborhood in Jakarta.
Visit Mid Levels
This was another of the points to visit in Hong Kong, but it was distorted from the initial plan due to the rain and intense clouds.
From Hong Kong Central to Victoria Peak, you have to go through an area called Mid Levels, which is very lively. Much of that life is due to the large number of street stalls, markets, shops and bars.
I think it must be worth getting there, so if you get the chance, do the visit when you go to Victoria Peak, the best views in the city, they say.
Hong Kong travel insurance
Don’t forget to take out travel insurance when you go to Hong. Unexpected situations can always happen such as having an accident, and you need a medical transfer or even medications. Medical bills in Hong Kong, especially if you have to go through a hospital, can be really high. We tell you what you have to take into account when looking for the insurance that best suits your trip in this link, Hong Kong Travel Insurance.
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