You’re probably wondering where I’ve been these last few weeks (well maybe you weren’t but still…). The truth is that I decided to travel to Hong Kong for eight days. I met a woman from there when I was vacationing in Iceland in the summer of 2012 and she recommended that I visit. I was bit by the travel bug so I contemplated the trip. It wasn’t until last Fall when I was talking to said woman who told me Chinese New Year would be a good time to drop by that its time to get serious. Throwing caution to the wind, I immediately got my laptop, signed into Kayak.com and bought a plane ticket. I had a marvelous time and in this article, I will tell you about the top five highlights of the country complete with some of my personal photos:
#5.) Ocean Park
Hong Kong may have their very own version of Disneyland but living in east coast of the states where we have a much bigger, better version in Disney World, it makes all other Disney theme parks seem inferior in comparison. While it would have been fun to see Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck wandering around the continent of Asia, Hong Kong has a strong alternative in Ocean Park. Located in Hong Kong’s Southern District, this theme park has attractions that everyone – adult or child – can enjoy. With an aquatic theme, you can enjoy roller coasters like the heart-stopping Hair Raiser and my personal favorite, the Arctic Blast.
You can also glare at various live animals such as penguins and pandas.
Hey if you have enough time, visit the large aquarium and be sure check out the different shows including a cute play containing different costumed sea creatures.
You can maneuver from one side of Ocean Park to the other by utilizing a cable car that overlooks the park for a beautiful sight but beware as there’s a bit of a wait for it. Worth it though just for this shot:
Kids can also win big at the many carnival games that displayed at the establishment. Huge plush toys from (likely rigged) games like shooting water into a clown’s mouth give it that classic carnie feeling.
#4.) Hong Kong Heritage Museum
If you ever visit Hong Kong, you’ll learn very quickly that its residents are very proud of fellow countryman, martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Although born in America, Lee was raised on the island and became one of its biggest celebrities. His legacy is preserved in the Hong Kong Heritage Museum located in Sha Tin.
Entitled “Kung Fu. Art. Life.”, the lengthy walk-through boasts an assortment of items from Lee’s upbringing are on display accompanied by facts about his life, most of which I never knew beforehand. In addition to blurbs, props from his films, including rare posters from his most famous motion pictures (“Enter the Dragon”! “Game of Death”!), are there to view. If you have even more time to kill, you can head to the museum’s theatre and watch a 90 minute documentary on Lee’s life with commentaries from his family, close friends, and key figures in the movie industry that have worked with him throughout his life. Although the exhibit is the main selling point for the heritage museum, it isn’t the only one on display. Permanent exhibitions such as a Chinese art gallery and even a children’s play center where toddlers can enjoys tons of fun learning are contained. Huge fans of Lee should probably plan a trip soon, the exhibit is retired in 2018. Sadly, pictures aren’t allowed inside special attraction but there are plenty of visual to snap pictures of outside.
#3.) Victoria Peak
Seattle has the Space Needle, Chicago has the Willis Tower, St. Louis has the Arch, and Hong Kong has Victoria Peak. One of the top attractions in Hong Kong, the Peak sports incredible views of the mountains and city center. You are transported to the mountaintop of the Peak via tram car and have the opportunity to check out some neat sights on the way up.
Once you finally arrive at the Peak, walk into Victoria Harbor and admire the beautiful views such as this one:
There is a decent-sized mall for all your shopping needs and the famed Madame Tussauds wax museum. I did not go inside (I previously went to the original Madame Tussauds in London) but I recommend going inside to see life-like sculptures of famed Chinese celebrities.
Got an extra couple of dollars? Check out Sky Terrace 428, the highest viewing point in the entire country. It costs a little extra but contains even more breathtaking 360 degree overview. I advise going to the Peak during the week as it gets quite busy and attracts a fair amount of tourists.
#2.) Avenue of the Stars
Want a taste of Hollywood in Asia? Then walk the Avenue of the Stars, the Hong Kong equivalent of the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. This large walkway boasts metal engraved stars on the concrete sidewalk with the names of various Chinese legends in television and cinema. Names such as Bruce Lee, Chow Yun-Fat, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and John Woo decorate the approximately 20 minute walk.
Statues of movie props such as director’s chairs and light fixtures as well as a large Bruce Lee statue are other treats that tourists can check out and take pictures with.
#1.) Ngong Ping 360
Other than the Peak, one of the most visited attractions in all of Hong Kong is Ngog Ping, a huge tourist attraction located on Lantau Island. After taking a 25 minute cable car ride deep into the mountains from a terminal about 10 minutes from the airport, travelers can visit Big Buddha, an enormous Buddha statue sitting atop a 100-step staircase and the Po Lin Monastery where visitors can view the house of prayer and see the monks’ house of worship.
Another special treat is the Wisdom Path which is something hikers and adventurers will love.