First Time in Hong Kong? Here Are 10 Things You Must Do

Although Hong Kong is technically part of China, its distinctive cultural lifestyle plays a big part in shaping the city’s unique identity.

Hong Kong is one of the world’s most popular cities as it offers incredible food, shopping spots, tourist attractions, and many other wonders. It’s also famous for two other things: its bespoke tailors and its role as a global financial hub. From the best shopping experience to the best hiking trails, here are 10 things to do in Hong Kong.

1. Take in sweeping views at Victoria Peak

Take in sweeping views at Victoria Peak
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One of Hong Kong’s highlights is the Victoria peak or also simply known as ‘The Peak’. It’s the highest point on the island and has always been an exclusive neighbourhood since colonial times. The air here is cooler than anywhere else in the country and this is where one can enjoy amazing landscape and skyline views. To get to the peak, you’ll need to either take a hike or a funicular.

2. Have dim sum, and dim sum-more

Hong Kong Dim Sum
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Hong Kong has some of the best dim sums in the world. And I mean The Best.

Previously, Chinese folks had dim sum as an appreciation for tea. In Hong Kong, it’s a dish that can be enjoyed any time of the day. Three of the popular ones are Tim Ho Wan, Yan Toh Heen, and Lei Garden. I enjoy dim sums of all types and my favorite is the steamed custard bun, also known as ‘Lao Sa Pao.’ Dim sum is typically a snack for many people, but I can simply get full from eating just that!

3. Hang out with your inner child at Ocean Park Hong Kong

Ocean Park in Hong Kong
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If you love theme parks, Ocean Park Hong Kong is where you can see amazing animals and experience the best adrenaline rush. The park offers a stunning ocean view for you to enjoy and capture.

But the best part of it is you’ll get to see the ocean while you’re on the rollercoaster. Woo-hoo! Don’t forget to check out the park’s marine-life exhibits and shows. The park is HUGE and covers more than 915,000 square meters of the southern side of the island, making it one of the biggest ocean parks in the world.

Tip: Start your day early to fully enjoy everything that Ocean Park Hong Kong has to offer!

4. Hike (or even paraglide at) the Dragon’s Back Trail

Dragon’s Back Trail in Hong Kong
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Hong Kong is not just about big malls and the modern lifestyle. Travelers can also head to the Dragon’s Back Trail (where the locals go too, especially during the weekend) for a good hike and spectacular skyscapes.

The attraction was named after its undulating feature, which resembles the shape of a dragon’s backbone. It features a wonderful trail, just outside the city, that connects Wan Cham Shan and Shek O Peak.

From the hill, you’ll get to enjoy beautiful views of Shek O, Stanley, Tai Long Wan, and the South China Sea. Besides hiking, there are also other activities at the Dragon’s Back Trail such as kite flying and paragliding.

5. Climb 268 steps to the Big Buddha at Po Lin Monastery

Big Buddha at Po Lin Monastery
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If you’ve already explored every corner of Hong Kong, don’t miss out on the remote Po Lin Monastery, which features the Big Buddha.

The statue was built in 1993 and took 12 years to complete. It’s made of bronze and faces north toward Mainland China. The statue attracts thousands of pilgrims every year.

But be warned! To get a better look of the Big Buddha, you need to climb 268 steps – no more, no less. Apart from the mesmerizing 34-meter tall statue, visitors can also enjoy panoramic views of Hong Kong’s lovely mountains and sea. After a tiring walk, fuel up with some healthy food at a vegetarian restaurant nearby.

6. Relax and people-watch at the Big Wave Bay Beach, Shek O

Big Wave Bay Beach, Hong Kong
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Need to unwind? The Big Wave Bay Beach is a getaway worth checking out.

There, you’ll see windsurfing enthusiasts, locals, and travelers like you who also want to relax under the sun. Tip: Hit the beach after you’re done hiking at the Dragon’s Back Trail. The two attractions are actually very close to each other.

The beach isn’t just perfect for getaway seekers. There’s also a well-preserved prehistoric rock carving that history enthusiasts can appreciate there. The rock, which was found in 1970, is a Declared Monument that displays interesting geometric designs and animals. When you get hungry, there are plenty of eateries around the beach that you can visit.

7. Practise your bargaining skills at the Temple Street Night Market

Temple Street Night Market, Hong Kong
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Want to know where to buy dirt cheap goods in Hong Kong? Go to the Temple Street Night Market.

That’s the place to be if you’re looking for good bargains on household items, souvenirs, and cheap clothes. Apart from shopping, what else do the locals, expats, and foreign visitors do there?

They treat themselves with some really good cheap Chinese food! There, you can also have your fortune told if you’re curious about the future. While you stroll around the street bazaar, don’t miss any good deals. Haggle as much as you can as prices of goods always start higher than their real value. You’ll be surprised to learn how much money you would’ve given away if you didn’t bargain!

8. Take a day trip to Macau

Macau
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Visitors who travel to Hong Kong would usually take a day trip to Macau a place where you can gaze upon historical buildings and architecture from colonial times.

But the most distinctive buildings there are big casinos that can be seen everywhere. Try your luck at a slot machine or two.

Just like Hong Kong, Macau is famous for its wonderful culinary too. The food is good enough to make you want to jump onto the ferry again, for the second time! Don’t leave without trying their famous Portuguese tarts, dim sum, and porridge!

9. Visit the Venice of Hong Kong, Tai O fishing village

Venice of Hong Kong, Tai O fishing village
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Take a boat ride to the Tai O fishing village where you’ll get to see traditional stilt bamboo houses — something you won’t really see much in a modern place like Hong Kong.

The village, located in Lantau Island, receives the most visits during the  weekends. So if you wish to experience the village’s authentic, quiet, and peaceful setting, visiting it during a weekday instead.

If you love seafood, this is a great place to indulge. Also, get your camera ready in case any pink dolphins turn up – another of Tai O’s highlights!

If you’re wondering how such a village came about, it all started during the Chinese civil war. At that time, many Chinese from Mainland China came to Tai O to seek refuge. From then on, they’ve settled down there and continue living their traditional lifestyle.

10. Watch A Symphony of Lights Show at the Victoria Harbour

Hong Kong Symphony of Lights Show
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Victoria Harbour is one of Hong Kong’s most famous hangout spots. While you’re there, hang around a little longer until the Hong Kong’s ‘A Symphony of Lights’ show begins.

It’s a show that involves colorful lights, laser beams, and music that’ll leave you with unforgettable memories of the city. Enjoy the show to the fullest, because it’s free! The light show features five main themes: Awakening, Energy, Heritage, Partnership, and Celebration. Fun fact: In 2005, it was declared the world’s largest lighting and music show according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

This list of 10 things to do in Hong Kong features some of the country’s most popular spots. Of course, there’s so much more that Hong Kong has to offer. If you’re planning to celebrate your next holiday there, find cheap flights to Hong Kong on Traveloka today!

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