Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s “grand dame” of theme parks. First opening in 1977, the park encompasses over 870,000 square meters (214 acres) of land on the southern portion of Hong Kong Island.
Park visitors are definitely in for a treat, with the various exhibits, amusement rides and special shows, featuring a wide assortment of animals from the depths of the sea. With its vast land space, Ocean Park is divided into different areas, which are all linked together by the world’s second longest cable car system.
One such area is Aqua City, which boasts of the world’s first water screen show, providing a look into the underwater world at a 360-degree angle. Spectators are usually left enthralled at the sight of thousands of fishes and other sea creatures.
Hong Kong’s Ocean Park is also home to “landlubbers,” who may even have the chance to “meet” two giant pandas who live in their natural habitat as part of the park’s wildlife conservation efforts.
As for thrilling rides, the theme park has plenty to offer, but the most popular ones are Abyss Turbo Drop, Flying Swing and the adrenaline-pumping Roller Coaster.
The Giant Buddha
The Giant Buddha statue on Lantau Island is one of the most visited places in tour itineraries around Hong Kong. Lantau Island itself is a far cry from the densely-filled Kowloon and Hong Kong islands, and, visitors may appreciate being surrounded by a wide expanse of green countryside.
Rising to 34 meters (approximately 111 feet), the Giant Buddha is the world’s tallest outdoor seated bronzed figure of the deity. Casting a lone majestic figure amid the mountains of Lantau Island, it took 10 years to make the colossal structure in China, before it was transported to Hong Kong.
Within the same location of the Giant Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and the Wisdom Path provide great sources of inspiration for anyone seeking a tranquil escape from the daily rigors of life.
Going up this area may prove to be a “heart-stopping” experience if you take the Ngong Ping Cable Car, which is conveniently located near the Citygate Outlet Mall. The mall is also linked to the MTR trains that can take you back to the city center in no time at all.
Many tourists opt to stop by Hong Kong Disneyland along the way for an afternoon of magic and amusement. The fireworks at the end of the day are a fitting ending to a delightful Lantau Island outing.
Victoria Harbour, alternately called Hong Kong Harbor, is the primary landmark of the city, and represents its mighty presence in Asia. One look at the harbor would show the ultra-modern pace by which Hong Kong operates its day-to-day activities, while adhering to the city’s rich culture and traditions at the same time.
A daily scene at the harbor is usually of Chinese junk boats with their recognizable sails passing by skyscrapers. The construction of the buildings along the harbor was done under the guidance of feng shui principles, hoping to ensure that there is an abundant flow of positive energy, in turn securing good fortune and prosperity for the city.
A number of hotels are built alongside the harbor enticing visitors with magnificent views of this timeless feature of Hong Kong. For those who can’t afford pricey hotel accommodations however, there are two exciting ways to enjoy Victoria Harbour without paying top dollar.
Take a tram ride to The Peak to get a staggering view of the harbor from a very fortuitous position. On a clear day, Victoria Harbour glistens against the boundaries between Kowloon and Hong Kong islands.
People wary of high altitudes may prefer to stay on the ground and visit the Avenue of Stars along Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. You might want to hang around at night as the Symphony of Lights transforms the harbor into a visual cacophony of sound and colorful lights, “bouncing” playfully from more than forty of Hong Kong’s skyscrapers.
Nan Lian Garden
Nan Lian Garden is a wonderful respite from all the shopping, sightseeing and walking in the concrete jungles of Hong Kong. With structures and landscaping based on the Tang Dynasty era, the garden is a breath of fresh air in the heart of the bustling metropolis.
The tranquil atmosphere of the Garden is a sharp contrast to the busy aura projected by the tall buildings in the background. There, you can walk among temples, ponds, pine and cypress trees, bridges and ornamental rocks while learning about the architectural styles used in the traditional garden.
The center of attraction inside Nan Lian Garden is the Perfection pavilion and Zi Wu bridge, which strike a gleaming reflection in the pond due to the pavilion’s gold hue and the bridge’s crimson paint.
Inside the exhibition halls within the garden, visitors can also find other equally interesting cultural highlights. This little piece of heaven is located in Kowloon’s Diamond Hill neighborhood, which is easily accessible from the MTR Diamond Hill station.
Lan Kwai Fong
Lan Kwai Fong offers a vast range of entertainment options when the sun goes down in Hong Kong. This cluster of bars and restaurants is located in Central District, the main business hub where regional offices of global financial corporations hold fort.
Such a location means Lan Kwai Fong usually teems with expats, who need only walk a few steps from their corner offices to make their way to happy hour.
Concentrated around the alleys of D’Aguilar and Lan Kwai Fong, nightlife is at its peak as revelers, usually with drinks in hand, spill out onto the cobblestoned lane. Lively music reverberates with bass beats punctuating the air of merrymaking, which usually goes on until a few hours before the sun creeps up over the horizon.
If you prefer a more relaxed vibe, close to Lan Kwai Fong is Soho, which stands for “South of Hollywood Road.” Soho ignites a passion for food among gourmands hoping to be part of the scene inside Hong Kong’s best upmarket restaurants and bars.
Most of these trendy establishments encircle the Mid-Levels escalator, the longest network of covered escalators in the world. Covering more than 800 meters in distance, the moving stairway provides an easier route for pedestrian traffic coming from Central all the way up to Western District.