5 Great Reasons to Visit Hong Kong

After 156 years of British rule, Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997. The result of the island nation’s complex history is a culture that is truly unique. Every year visitors flock to Hong Kong to enjoy the treasures of the central island and the rest of what this smattering of over 200 islands in the South China Sea has to offer. In this article, we will explore five of the most outstanding reasons that Hong Kong should be on your bucket list.

hong_kong_at_night_from_victoria_peak

Source: Wikimedia

#1 Food

With a population of just over seven million people, Hong Kong has a staggering 15,000 restaurants. The cuisine is a unique mix of Eastern and Western delights, earning the nickname the “World’s Food Fair.” In Hong Kong, there is something for everyone from Michelin-rated fine dining to some of the world’s most spectacular street food for the most adventurous culinary traveler.

Here are a couple of tips that could help you adjust to the particulars of eating in Hong Kong, which could also save you some cash. First, understand that there can be hidden fees in restaurants which may not be straightforward such as charges for sauces and other extras. So be careful to ask exactly what you are paying. Second, communal dining is commonplace in Hong Kong so don’t be shocked if someone sits down at your table.

As for the dishes, here are three quintessential favorites, which you may want to sample on your next visit:

Roast Goose

With crispy skin and succulent flesh, roast goose in Hong Kong is irresistible. This dish can be found throughout Hong Kong, but it is best to know where the top roast goose can be enjoyed. Here are five of the best place for roast goose.

Hot Pot

The closest thing to Hong Kong Hot Pot in the West is fondue. Similarly, Hot Pot comes steaming to your table with a choice of morsels to dip. But the Hot Pot is generally filled with broth, unlike fondue which has cheese. It is a fun way to have a communal dinner with friends. Here are five of the best places to get an excellent Hot Pot.

Pineapple Bun

Also known as Bo Lo Bao, this popular snack gets its name from the fact that the sweet and crunchy top resembles a pineapple. Spoiler alert, this treat does not contain any actual pineapple. Pineapple buns and best enjoyed warm and often it is served with a generous pad of butter inside. This treat is a must for every visitor. There is a great debate over who has the best; with this extensive list, you can be the judge.

pineapple-bun

Source: Wikipedia

#2 Martial Arts

Hong Kong has been home to some of the past century’s biggest names in Martial Arts. Not only was it where Ip Man met and trained the biggest star of them all: Bruce Lee. Hong Kong is also home to other stars such as Jackie Chan and Chow Yun Fat.

If you’d like to learn from some of the greats, there are many opportunities to train in a number of different styles. However, due to the presence of Ip Man and his star pupil, Bruce Lee, Hong Kong has become an epicenter for Wing Chun. The most epic training opportunity is training at the Ving Tsun Athletic Association (VTAA). Founded by Ip Man and some of his disciples in 1967, this has become the premier place to train in Hong Kong. Two of Ip Man’s sons still teach at the VTAA and lessons won’t break the bank. For more visit their official page.

#3 Street Market Shopping

Hong Kong is a paradise for all kinds of shopaholics, but it is particularly tantalizing for those who love street markets. There are entire street markets in Hong Kong dedicated to everything from jade to goldfish. If you are a female who likes to haggle to find the right deal on clothes and accessories, you’ll want to check out the Ladies’ Market, located on Tung Choi Street. For techies who want to grab the latest device at a discount, visit the Apliu Street Market. And for those who aren’t sure what they are looking for, but love to be dazzled by novelties that light up the night, visit the Temple Street Night Market. No matter what you are looking for, you can find it in Hong Kong. And if you look hard enough, you can probably get it at a discount (as long as you have some skills when it comes to haggling).

#4 Fabulous Transportation

The MTR, which is Hong Kong’s public transportation system, is world class. The city is teeming with double-decker buses and trolleys. However, if you want to have a unique ride, you should spend time on the water. It is possible to charter a Junk boat, but private tours can cost upwards of $1,000. If you are on a budget but still want to be on the sea, there is a perfect solution: The Star Ferry. Riding The Star Ferry is a treat day or night, as you drift along with fascinating cityscapes on both sides. The trip will be memorable and won’t cost you more than a couple of dollars.

The Ngong Ping 360 is a gondola lift that was founded in 2006. This incredible aerial lift, owned by the MTR, quickly became a top attraction in Hong Kong. People in the city of Hong Kong are elevated in separate gondolas, above land and sea, to the mountains of the Ngong Ping area where you can visit major attractions such as the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery.

#5 Hiking Trails

For those who are looking for a respite from the bustle and hustle of Hong Kong’s busy streets, there is ample opportunity to reconnect with nature. The phenomenal hiking trails that surround the city is perhaps the most underrated draw for tourists visiting Hong Kong. The trails offer gorgeous panoramic views that make an afternoon jaunt into the wilderness an unforgettable opportunity. Locals and tourists alike escape the busy city for a rejuvenating hike.

Thanks to the excellent public transportation system in Hong Kong, it is easy for people to access the trails for a half-day hike and still return to the heart of the city to enjoy a spectacular meal. So, it is recommended to eschew the travel agencies offering hikes and to go off on your own and arrange for a hike using the city’s public transport. However, if you do decide to go it alone, make sure you understand the risks. Due to extreme weather changes and some trails that get washed out during high-tide, there is some risk involved. Much of that risk can be avoided by checking the weather and doing research to make sure you are on a trail that won’t be flooded due to a change in tide. The primary trails are  Wilson Trail, Hong Kong Trail, Lantau Trail, and MacLehose Trail. They vary in length and degree of difficulty; one of these big four should be able to fit most travelers’ needs.

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Loren Mayshark
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Loren Mayshark

Loren Mayshark is an American published author and travel writer who has traveled extensively in S.E. Asia and studied Chinese art, religion, philosophy, and history while earning a BA in World History from Manhattanville College.

He has written for The Permaculture Research Institute and Uisio among other prominent outlets.

He is the author of Death: An Exploration (2016). For more visit his official website: www.lorenmayshark.com
Loren Mayshark
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