Hong Kong is the most vibrant and spirited city on earth with the most dazzling nightly light show in the world. The city truly knows how to put on a display.
We visited the Asian “City of Lights” to attend the annual Wine and Dine Festival. Over a four-day period, vintners from around the world gathered to showcase their finest wines for Hong Kong.
We loved tasting the things like the €600 bottle of Grange wine from Penfold’s Estates in South Australia and sipping our first sparkling wine from the country of Georgia. However, it was getting out to explore the sights of the city that made us excited about being in Hong Kong.
We had been to Hong Kong once before, but we had a limited budget and three very short days. This time we were ready to do the city in style.
Starting at the sky100 observation deck, we looked out over the most densely populated piece of land on earth. Hong Kong also has one of the most impressive skylines in the world. The skyscrapers are constantly competing with one another for the top spot as not only the highest, but the most unique and beautiful.
Seeing Hong Kong from above is a must, and a trip up the Peak Tram offers another extraordinary view. Dating back to 1926, the Peak Tram was created to take the ultra rich residents to and from their mansions on the mountain. Today, the ultra rich still live on the mountains, but the general public can now take the tram up to the top of the peak to enjoy astounding panoramic views of the city.
The Peak Tram offers tourists a chance to watch the sun go down over the city from the highest viewing platform in town. You can spend the day hiking its trails or enjoying a meal at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.
Hong Kong Island is a mountainous island and many sights are high on a hill. Our next stop takes us over to Soho. Hollywood Street was once the main street of Hong Kong Island, and today everything south of Hollywood is set aside for the urban chic. Cool bars and cafés with rooftop terraces line the boulevards where rich expats, businessmen and high society meet each night to sip expensive bottles of champagne and cocktails.
It is here that you will find the world’s longest escalator. The crème de la crème of Hong Kong live up here, and the escalator was built to take the upper class to and from their cliffside apartments. Each morning the escalator is switched to down for the morning commute, and then by 10am it turns around to transport people back up to the top all day long.
One of our favorite stops in Soho was in a quieter setting known as Man Mo Temple. Here people buy red ribbons to write down their wishes and prayers to hang from giant coils of incense letting the smoke carry their dreams to the Gods above.
A trip to Hong Kong wouldn’t be complete without a stroll along the waterfront of Kowloon Island. Kowloon offers the best views of the Hong Kong skyline. If you make your way to the clock tower, you can watch a 3D light show while the symphony of lights plays over Victoria Harbour. It’s a dazzling display of light and sound, and Hong Kong truly comes alive at night. The city is fine during the day, but the beauty shines once the sun goes down.
Not far from the clock tower is the Avenue of Stars. Hong Kong is famous for its movie scene and several famous Hong Kong film stars have cemented their handprints and signatures into the promenade including Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh. It makes for a great stroll.
The way to truly enjoy Hong Kong is through your stomach. Make sure to take a food tour to understand and appreciate the Hong Kong food scene. Residents are passionate about their food and taking part in a food tour will help you understand what to order at a restaurant and how each dish is prepared. We joined Hong Kong Foodie Tours in the old market district of Sham Shui Po. We tasted authentic traditional cuisine and explored markets to learn about local ingredients.
A visit to Hong Kong is a trip you’ll never forget. It’s crowded and buzzing with energy; it’s noisy and overloads the senses. Once the city grabs hold of your heart, you’ll want to go back again and again.