Hong Kong is one of my favourite places in the world! After visiting it for the first time in 2016, I knew I would be back again and again. We have visited Hong Kong three times and would love to share a few of our favourite spots in Hong Kong with you. Here is the link the the downloadable map
For this self guided walking tour, we will start on Hong Kong Island at Admiralty Station. From here we will walk to the peak tram terminal. Along the way there are lots of nice parks and green spaces to check out. For a major metropolis, Hong Kong manages to preserve a lot of green spaces for locals and visitors alike to escape the concrete jungle.
The Peak Tram is the first major spot on our tour. The Peak Tram was built in 1888, and was the first funicular railway in Asia. The full journey takes about ten minutes, but it is an experience not to be missed. It will cost you about $20 for the trip, or $99 Hong Kong Dollars. When we visited in 2016, the line up was quite long, but when we visited again in 2020, we had the entire tram to ourselves.
The Peak itself is another must see place in Hong Kong. From the top you have an incredible view of Hong Kong and of Kowloon. There are quite a few hiking paths at the top as well, which we enjoyed in 2020, or there is a shopping centre if that is more of your scene.
From the peak we will walk to Hong Kong Park. Hong Kong Park is full of gardens, an aviary, waterfall and much more. Here we also found the memorial to the doctors and nurses that died during the SARS epidemic in 2003. Hong Kong was one of the places most effected by this outbreak, along with Canada and mainland China. It was an incredibly overwhelming experience to see this memorial, given that we visited it in early 2020, not even a month before the world shut down.
Next up we will walk to Hennessy Road for iconic views of Causeway Bay and downtown Hong Kong. You can also hop a ride on one the iconic double-decked trams. These electric trams have been in operation since 1904, and will cost about $2.60 a ride.
From here we will walk to the Hong Kong Promenade for views of Kowloon and Victoria Harbour. Along the waterfront you will also find the Hong Kong Wheel. Built in 2013, it offers excellent views of Victoria Harbour from the top. A ticket will set you back about $20.
Next we head to Pier 7 to take the iconic Star Ferry to Kowloon, across Victoria Harbour. The Star Ferry has been operating this route since 1888. Each ferry has a star themed name, like the original four boats: The Morning Star, Evening Star, Rising Star and the Guiding Star. The lower deck costs $2.60 and the upper deck is $3.20 (more on weekends and holidays).
After your ride on the Star Ferry, you will arrive in Kowloon Harbour. Keep to the right, and follow the Harbour front. You will soon be at the newly renovated Avenue of Stars. Much like the Hong Kong version of the Hollywood walk of fame, you will find the names and hand prints of many famous Hong Kong associated superstars. Names such as, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Jet Li and John Woo.
Make sure not to miss the iconic statue of Bruce Lee, and strike a pose in front of the iconic Hong Kong skyline. The Avenue of Stars is a great place to visit at night, when there is a nightly light show.
At the end of the Avenue of Stars you will find a pedestrian bridge that will take you to a lovely little park on the way to our next stop, Kowloon Park. When we visited in 2016, this park was where the temporary Avenue of Stars was located.
The walk to Kowloon Park will take you about 15 minutes, but the scenery along the way makes the walk interesting. There are also many shopping malls if you are interested in a stop here.
Kowloon Park is a 33 acre park in the heart of Kowloon, and a happy reprieve from the city landscape. The park was a former British military barracks. The Urban Council cleared the land in 1970 to make room for the park. On the grounds you will find museums, gardens, a lake, an aviary, a hedge maze, sporting facilities and the Cartoon Walk of Fame. Make sure to pay a visit to the Avenue of Comic Stars, which opened in 2012, and it’s 24 statues. Also make sure not to miss the beautiful Chinese Gardens.
From Kowloon Park it is a brief walk to our next stop, Temple Night Market. The market opens at 2pm, but the evening is when it shines! Pull up a plastic stool and enjoy a seafood dish, a rice hotpot or other classic Hong Kong street fare, all washed down with a beer and some people watching.
After filling up at Temple Street, jump on the metro at Jordan Station and take the metro to Tung Chung for the Ngong Ping Cable Car to Ngong Ping on Lantau Island. This cable car ride will carry you 5.7km into the clouds of Lantau Island. The ride takes about 25 minutes. Try to book tickets online in advance if you can, otherwise arrive early to get a ride! When we rode the gondola it was extra foggy, and it looked like our gondola was riding off into the abyss.
There is a little Chinese Style village at the top of the gondola ride. When we visited in 2016 there was a dragon dance performance here for the Lunar New Year.
Next stop at the Big Buddha, otherwise known as the Tian Tan Buddha. The Buddha is a seated 34 metre tall bronze Buddha. The base of the alter is built to look like the base of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. You can climb up the stairs and even enter the bronze Buddha, which houses the remains of Gautama Buddha. There is also a carved bell that rings 108 times a day (every 7 minutes) symbolizing the 108 afflictions or toils of the human spirit.
Our last stop on our tour is Po Lin Monastery. This beautifully serene monastery was founded in 1906. The monastery houses 3 bronze statues of Buddha, representing his past, present and future. The interior of this monastery is indescribable, and gilded beyond anything I have ever seen. At the entrance to the temple you will see visitors lighting incense, like at many temple and monasteries, but at this temple we saw people lighting incense sticks that were larger then they were!