Hong Kong is well known as one of the world’s leading international financial centres owing to low taxation rates and near-free port trade. But the city is also a bustling tourist destination, with a plethora of family-friendly activities and attractions. Here are Hong Kong’s top 10 all-time attractions.
The Peak Tower
Admired for its architectural splendour and its high altitude position – 396 metres above sea level, Peak Tower is one of the most visited tourist spots in Hong Kong. Enjoy stunning views of the cityscape, harbour and ocean from the Peak Tower’s view platform — The Sky Terrace, which stands 428 metres above sea level.
Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
Pose with Hong Kong’s superstar Jackie Chan, dine with Audrey Hepburn or visit the office of Barack Obama at the world-famous Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. The museum exhibits wax-doubles of influential figures from politics, showbiz, and even royalty. Don’t miss the forbidding Chamber of Horrors, but be warned – the deadly scare zone with its mix of live performers and wax monsters can get spooky.
Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck
In just 60 seconds, visitors can ride up in a double-decker elevator to the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre, where Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck presents 360-degree panoramic views of the city. Advanced telescopes equipped with four different built-in viewing modes are installed at the deck and visitors can zoom in to take an up-close look at the landmarks as seen in real time or choose for daytime and nighttime views.
This is a must-visit magical destination for kids and grown-ups alike. Watch Disney icons such as Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Pluto, Tinker Bell and Cinderella parade down the park as they wave and dance with kids. Enjoy free rides and shows through the day while you await the grand finale, “Disney in the Stars” held every evening over Sleeping Beauty’s castle. The dazzling display of shimmering laser lights and fireworks set to the inspiring symphony of Disney theme songs is simply mesmerising.
Apart from thrill-rides and dolphin shows, the Ocean Park houses a huge aquarium featuring local sea-life. The newest attraction is the Polar Adventure, where you can get up- close with king penguins, spotted seals among other Arctic creatures. Touch pools, feeding shows and live talks are held throughout the day in the Grand Aquarium area.
Stanley Market is certainly the place to shop for souvenirs, silk garments and local artworks. Shopkeepers are friendly and usually open to easy bargaining. Even if you are not prepared to take up their final offer, they smile and bid you well. The narrow shop alleys can get crowded on weekends so it’s best to visit the place on a weekday.
Golden Bauhinia Square
Witness national fervour at the daily flag-raising ceremony held at the Golden Bauhinia Square, set against the backdrop of the picturesque Victoria Harbour. The ‘Forever Blooming Bauhinia’, a national emblem of Hong Kong, is a gift from the central government to the people of Hong Kong to mark the 1997 handover of the island to the People’s Republic of China.
Symphony of Lights
Awarded the world’s largest permanent light and sound show by the Guinness Book of World Records, this dazzling show of coloured lights and laser beams, synchronised to music and narration, brings to life the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong. Best views can be got along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront between the Avenue of Stars and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, as well as the promenade outside the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai on every Monday and Wednesday.
Repulse Bay Beach
Stretching along the southern tip of Hong Kong, Repulse Bay beach offers a perfect change of scenario from the seemingly endless landscape of skyscrapers on the island. The beautiful vistas of the deep-blue sea and the surrounding lush mountains are awe-inspiring. Don’t miss a stroll down the Kwun Yam shrine (Goddess of Mercy) further along the beach where burning incense sticks scent the air.
Macau, just an hour away from Hong Kong by ferry, gives you the chance for a quick visit to a second country during your trip. The peninsula exudes a mix of Portuguese and Chinese culture, depicted in its architecture, cobbled streets and cafes. Apart from its old marvels such as the Historic Centre, Taoist temples and baroque churches, the nation is home to the world’s largest collection of casinos, boasting nearly 33 venues. The Venetian Macao is the largest casino in the world.