Hong Kong remains as one of Singaporeans favourite holiday destination over a long weekend – glorious food, cheap shopping and its short flight distance are all plus points. But it’s similarity as an urban island to Singapore may also mean some would find it boring. However, there’s much more to Hong Kong than you think!
If you are planning a trip to Hong Kong soon, check out our guide here for a different Hong Kong you didn’t know about.
Day trip to Lantau Island
This island on the western part of the Hong Kong peninsula boasts dramatic ocean views, gorgeous hiking trails and picturesque villages, not to mention the iconic Tian Tian Buddha statue.
Start your day by taking the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car which takes you from Tung Chung MTR up to the Big Buddha. The cable car ride provides a panoramic view of Tung Chung Bay before cruising over the hills of Lantau.
At the end of the cable car ride, take your time to explore Ngong Ping Village. Although it is pretty touristy, the buildings constructed in classic Chinese style is still worthy of some pictures, and you can have a tea break at one of the few restaurants around. After that, explore the Po Lin Monastery, one of the most important Buddhist institutions in Hong Kong. Next, get ready to climb some 268 steps to visit the majestic Tian Tian Buddha.
While in Ngong Ping, take a bus down to one of the oldest fishing villages in Hong Kong, Tai-o. Here, you’ll see the iconic stilt house settlements, fishermen in action and shops selling dried seafood. Another attraction in the area is the pink dolphins that cluster near Lantau. Your best bet to see the creatures up close is Dolphinwatch, a quasi-environmental tour group that offers regular boat trips to Lantau. If you fail to spot a dolphin on your trip, you can join the next available trip for free.
Get a tan in Hong Kong
You might be surprised. Yes, there are beaches in Hong Kong! Hong Kong might be best known for its skyscrapers, crowded streets, and luxury shopping, but this familiar city also has more than 450 miles of coastline and over 100 beaches! For those looking for a little frolic in the water, You’d find some lovely beaches less than 30 minutes away from central Hong Kong. Some of these more accessible and popular beaches include Big Wave Bay, Repulse Bay and South Bay Beach.
Watch the Symphony of lights
We’ve all seen postcards of Hong Kong’s dramatic cityscape and the Symphony of Lights is a tribute to that. The light and sound show takes place every night at 8:00 pm and lasts about 10 minutes. The best part? It’s free. Literally, the stage is the entire city and you can watch the lights from just about anywhere in the waterfront. The best views are from the Tsim Sha Tsui side with the Hong Kong Island skyline in view, or watch it from the Aqua Luna for a unique experience!
The Aqua Luna is a traditional red-sail Chinese junk and you can book a cruise to enjoy the symphony of lights while relaxing on a comfy lounge bed. Recline on deck, sip a refreshing cocktail and watch as the laser lights beam around you. For an extra special evening, enjoy a gourmet fine dining experience at Hutong restaurant after your cruise. The restaurant is known for its northern Chinese cuisine while boosting some awesome views of Hong Kong.
Visit the Hong Kong Museum of History
Hong Kong is filled with wonderful museums that document the city’s fascinating past and cultural heritage, and a walk through the Hong Kong Museum of History will give you a taste of that.
You’d find the museum bursting with exhibits, including those on prehistoric Hong Kong, the Opium Wars, the Japanese occupation, as well as local folk culture. It’s also located next to the Hong Kong Science Museum, so you can fit two museum trips into one day.
Chilin nunnery and Nan Lian Garden
One of Hong Kong’s most tranquil escapes in the city, this Buddhist complex, originally dating from the 1930s, was rebuilt completely of wood (without a single nail) in the style of the Tang dynasty.
The Chi Lin Nunnery features elegant wooden architecture, treasured Buddhist relics and peaceful lotus ponds. Sometimes, you might meet silent nuns giving offerings to the many statues of Buddha and arhats.
Right opposite the nunnery and cutting through Diamond Hill’s stretch of high-rise apartments is the tranquil Nan Lian Garden. The public park is also built in the style of the Tang dynasty, which includes the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection and water features that make it a great photo spot. Both the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden are great for escaping from the busy streets. A vegetarian restaurant serving Chinese food and Chinese tea house is located in the garden as well.
To the unbeknownst, Hong Kong is actually an excellent location to hike especially during the cooler months. For a start, you should probably try out the Dragon’s Back trail. This is one of the most popular hiking trails in Hong Kong since it is easily accessible, doable for beginners, scenic and ends at a beautiful beach. The trail offers 2 options – a shorter route which is about 5km long, which might take you anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. The longer trail is around 8 km, and will take you about 2.5 hours to complete.
Of course, if you are an avid hiker, there are plenty of other hiking routes you could try out, including the Tai Long Wan, Sharp Peak and Lion Rock Peak.
Have fun at the theme parks
Those who travel to Hong Kong with kids will probably always head to the theme parks. But if you’ve always focused on just food and shopping, you should at least visit one of the few theme parks in Hong Kong. Of course, there’s the Disneyland in Hong Kong for those Disney fans, and the famous Ocean park that some of us might have visited when we were young! The fact that it is still around might mean something!
With the above activities, a trip to Hong Kong need not be limited to just a shopping trip over the weekend. In fact, it can make a really nice trip for the whole family with a variety of activities! Do you know, our family plans cover kids for free, and offer the same limits as adults! So what are you waiting for? Get your family covered with our travel insurance plans for peace of mind!