While traveling to Hong Kong, in Asia, I knocked quite a few items off my Bucket List. And found quite a few more to add to yours.
Bucket List of 17 Things to do in Hong Kong
1. RIDE THE LONGEST ESCALATOR IN THE WORLD
Rest your weary feet from Hong Kong’s hilly streets and get a lift on the longest outdoor escalator in the world. The Central Mid-Levels is a 2624 foot bucket list worthy ride that links the Central and Western districts on Hong Kong Island, with many shops and dining stops along the way. Not only a touristy must-do, but very practical too.
2. EAT DESSERT FIRST
Hong Kong is known for its cutting edge food concepts and The Dessert Kitchen is amongst one of the most creative. It is a trendy little cafe that sells nothing but unique Asian style treats, at just about any time of the day. That’s right. A kitchen dedicated solely to desserts. With masterpiece desserts, like the Blueberry Kiss, it is perfectly acceptable (& recommended) to skip the traditional dinner and replace it with a purely sweet one at a place where dessert always comes first.
3. RIDE ON A TRADITIONAL CHINESE JUNK BOAT
Taking a Hong Kong junk boat ride will give you the second best skyline view (see #6 for the first), but this view is just an after thought compared to the junk boat ride itself. Aqua Luna features a traditional junk boat ride through Victoria Harbour that also coincides with the cities famous light show, the Symphony of Lights.
4. SEE THE HONG KONG STARS
If you take a junk boat ride, arrive at the port an hour early to see the Hong Kong stars. The Avenue of the Stars is a tribute to the famous in Hong Kong’s film industry. It is a stroll along the water that would be reminiscent to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, except I would recognize ninety percent of the stars in Hollywood and only two in Hong Kong; Bruce Lee and Jackie Chen. Good enough.
5. EAT SNAKE SOUP
In the Causeway Bay section of Hong Kong you will find Se Wong Yee, the tiniest eatery, with the menu out front completely written in Chinese, except for the significant bold lettering stating the sale of Snake Soup, an Asian delicacy. There were two options on the menu; just the plain old Snake Soup for 50 HKD ($6.50 USD) or the Snake Meal which includes the of duck’s liver-sausage.
6. WITNESS HONG KONG’S BUCKET LIST WORTHY VIEW
Though the view of the city skyline from the junk boat on Victoria Harbour (see #3) was pretty spectacular, there is nothing like the one from the Sky Terrace at The Peak. It is the highest 360 degree viewing terrace in town and requires a steep tram ride along with several floors of escalators to get to the top.
7. CLIMB TO THE TOP OF BIG BUDDHA
There are 268 stairs to reach Hong Kong’s Tian Tan, one of the largest sitting Buddha’s in the world. And even though at 34 metres (112 Ft) feet tall, Big Buddha was perfectly visible from the ground level, it is hard to tell its true massiveness without getting up close and personal.
8. RIDE IN A “CABLE CAR”
Before actually climbing the stairs to Big Buddha you have to get to its location on Lantau Island and there aren’t many options. You can take a bus, make a strenuous hike uphill or ride the 3.5 mile Npong Ping Cable Car that suspends you high above the ground. Not like the typical street cable cars in San Francisco. At all.
8. EAT STREET FOOD AT A FISHING VILLAGE
On the Western side of Lantau Island lies the quaint fishing village of Tai O where the homes are built on stilts and the markets sell a plethora of dried fish street food. Though there are dozens of fishy dishes to choose from I tried a meal of BBQ squid jerky, for just 10 HKD ($1.29 usd).
9. MAKE AN INCENSE WISH AT A TEMPLE
In Hong Kong, as well as much of Asia, burning incense is done by worshippers as an offering with the belief that it attracts attention from the Gods or, in some cases, is food for the spirits that have passed prior. When we visited the Man Mo Temple a layer of smoke filled the room and coiled incense hung from the ceiling. Though you can make incense wishes here, we followed a different cloud of smoke to Po Lin Monastery where worshippers were waving their enormous joss sticks. We purchased a bundle of incense at a nearby booth for 20 HKD ($2.50 USD) and made wishes of our own.
9. GET YOUR FORTUNE TOLD
After you have done your shopping at the Temple Street Market, pay a visit to the late night fortune tellers near Tin Hau Temple. There are about a dozen, some English speaking, that will enlighten you about the future.
photo credit | f8Bthere
10. EAT AT THE CHEAPEST MICHELIN STARRED RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD
Tim Ho Wan is a hole-in-the-wall dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong that gained recognition after receiving a coveted Michelin star and therefore being known as one of the cheapest Michelin starred restaurants in the world. And it is cheap. Really cheap. Though they are well known for their pork buns, all their food is quite tasty.
11. STROLL THROUGH THE GOLDFISH MARKET
Hong Kong’s Goldfish Market is a quirky line of shops that cater to the locals and their Feng Shui lifestyle. Aquariums equal good luck in the Asian culture, fish symbolize good fortune and water attracts energy of wealth and abundance. This market is devoted to selling an array of interesting fish and their accessories. Even if you won’t be shoving an aquarium in your carry-on luggage, it is worth a visit.
12. DINE AT A FLOATING RESTAURANT
The Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant is an ornamental restaurant that floats. Duh. The eatery was built in the style of of an exquisite Chinese imperial palace. While you are there you may as well order the signature dish, the Flamed Drunken Shrimp which is prepared right in front of you.
photo credit | Arthur Chapman
13. GO TO THE HORSE RACES ON WEDNESDAY
Head to the Happy Valley Racecourse for the uber trendy Happy Wednesdays. On this weekday evening the racecourse has great food, drinks and entertainment, all while being able to bet on the ponies. Each Wednesday is a different theme, such as Wines of the Valley. Could that be any more perfect?
14. EAT DINNER IN THE DARK
At Hong Kong’s Dialogue in the Dark you have the opportunity to take a culinary journey where blind waiters serve a meal in complete darkness. A perfect way to challenge your taste buds!
15. DRINK TRENDY COCKTAILS
As previously mentioned, Hong Kong has some killer food concepts, and the same goes for drinks. Quinary is a swanky place for pre-dinner cocktails where they concoct creative beverages like an Earl Grey Caviar Martini. I had their refreshing Oolong Tea Collins.
16. TAKE THE STAIRS
You have not fully experienced Hong Kong unless you have walked up a set of some of the steepest stairs you have ever seen. It is a hilly city. Though there are many inclines around, Ladder Street from Queen’s Road Central to Cain Road is amongst the most impressive…and painful.
17. TAKE A TAI CHI CLASS
Tai Chi is a gentle form of martial arts known to be a big part of Chines culture. Three mornings a week you can take a free introductory Tai Chi Class to get acquainted with this craft.
photo credit | Hong Kong Tourism
Which of these adventures will you add to your Hong Kong bucket list?