Full of incredible sights and delectable food, Hong Kong’s overwhelming amount of entertainment and culture will surely keep you busy. When you think of Hong Kong, the famous skyline and towering skyscrapers might be the first thing you think of, yet, that’s not the only thing that makes Hong Kong the extraordinary city that it is. It’s also the bustling markets, unique street food, and of course, the bizarre forms of transportation are all quintessential Hong Kong.
Mong Kok Ladies Market
Whatever you need, you’ll find it in Mong Kok. It’s the holy grail for shoppers with endless rows of stalls selling souvenirs, accessories, gadgets, fakes and fashion pieces. This lively district is always packed with people haggling for the best deals. Now is not the time to be shy about bargaining, as everything is negotiable in the Ladies Market – and probably overpriced to begin with. Walking up and down these colorful streets feels like being at a circus, with voices yelling left and right, trying to allure you into their stall.
After wandering through the market, it’s easy to build up an appetite. Lucky for us, Mong Kok is home to some of Hong Kong’s best street food, with stalls sitting at every corner. Street food is an experience of its own as you discover the extraordinary selection from cow offal to classic Hong Kong style waffles.
Address: Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
With a city composed of islands, Hong Kong loves its public transportation. So, why not make it exciting? After becoming a public company in 1898, the Star Ferry has since been the pride and joy of Hong Kongers. The Star Ferry carries passengers between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, and nothing beats crossing the harbor on an antique ferry. Hearing the engines start and the ferry horn shriek as you leave the pier amplifies the adventure. Taking the MTR may be quicker but, in such a fast-paced city like Hong Kong, it’s sometimes pleasant to take it slow and enjoy the scenic route home.
Address: Star Ferry Pier, Tsim Sha Tsui, Central or Wan Chai
Victoria Peak tram
Speaking of unique methods of transportation, the Peak Tram is yet another way to travel that’s quintessential to Hong Kong. Undeniably popular with tourists, the tram escalates up to Victoria Peak and is the world’s steepest funicular railway. For adults, the fare is HK$37 (US$5) one way and HK$52 (US$7) round trip, with discounted rates for children and seniors. Although you may not be new to Hong Kong, having ridden the tram at least once is a must. Similar to the Star Ferry, the wooden seats and old-fashioned design of the tram is a remembrance from the past, giving the experience a nostalgic ambience. Feel the fresh breeze as you ascend higher and higher and witness the skyline from a whole new perspective.
Address: 33 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong
Leading up to SoHo district, the Mid-Levels escalator is like a stairway to heaven. You might be thinking – how is it that escalators could be so significant to Hong Kong? Well, to answer your question, it is the longest outdoor escalator system in the world, covering 800 meters, and it’s used by thousands of locals every day. With the steep hills climbing up to the mid-levels, the Mid-Levels escalator thankfully serves commuters because, let’s be honest, who would want to walk up that hill every day?
SoHo is one of the most popular entertainment districts in Hong Kong and easily accessible via the Mid-Levels escalator for after-work drinks or even a lively night out in town. Although this bizarre attraction was originally intended to make life more efficient and convenient for locals, little did we know it would become one of the quintessential Hong Kong spots.
Address: Jubilee St, Central, Hong Kong
Dragon’s Back hiking trail
And of course, we can’t leave out the Dragon’s Back hiking trail. This list would not be complete without a shout out to Hong Kong’s beautiful and underrated mountains. Nature in Hong Kong does not get enough credit – despite the fact that three-quarters of its land is nature parks and reserves. The Dragon’s Back trail is a must-do hike with breathtaking views and proximity to the city. Whether you’re an expert hiker or just starting out, this trail does Hong Kong’s lush landscape justice.
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