A spectacular, serrated skyline of soaring towers and neon lights, Hong Kong is a vibrant, immersive metropolis and cultural hub. Dramatic harbour-front light shows transform the waterfront’s gleaming buildings into a colourful canvas – best seen from the Star Ferry, when the Symphony of Lights blares into life each evening. A city where future and tradition collides - perhaps best illustrated by the skyscrapers that feature gaping holes, designed to allow spirit dragons to soar from the hills to the waterfront unimpeded.
Wander flowing shopping streets, wade through sprawling markets and soak up the neon glory of this one-of-a-kind city - which continues to reach for the sky. Hong Kong's dense jumble of activity is one of its main appeals, but once you've felt the thrill of rising to towering observation decks, to see the soaring city from above, it's surprisingly easy to find peace among Hong Kong's intense urban wonders. Victoria Peak is the highest point and it offers staggering views down over the city and harbour. The Peak Tram funicular can ferry you to the top, to the vantage point which was historically adored by the rich for the cooler air found here, away from the busy bustle of the city streets.
Many elaborate temples add a tranquil element to Hong Kong’s whirr, and Tin Hau temple has a surprisingly urban location, considering its dedication to the Goddess of the Sea. It did once occupy the shorefront, but the city's growth saw land reclaimed from the sea around it, leaving the temple marooned inland. Having been leased to the British for 99 years, milky tea is a revered tradition here - enjoy your cup with a serving of local dim sum.While it's easy to think all the bright lights are the sum of today's Hong Kong, you need only walk or board a tram for the short jaunt west into Western to discover a side of Hong Kong that is more traditionally Chinese but no less high-energy. You'll discover the real Hong Kong to the east of Central, too, in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and beyond. Amid the residential towers are restaurants, shopping malls, bars, convention centers, a nice smattering of museums, and—depending on fate and the horse you wager on—one of Hong Kong's luckiest or unluckiest spots, the Happy Valley Racecourse. Kowloon sprawls across a generous swath of the Chinese mainland across Victoria Harbour from Central. Tsim Sha Tsui, at the tip of Kowloon peninsula, is packed with glitzy shops, first-rate museums, and eye-popping views of the skyline across the water. Just to the north are the teeming market streets of Mong Kok and in the dense residential neighborhoods beyond, two of Hong Kong's most enchanting spiritual sights, Wong Tai Sin Temple and Chi Lin Nunnery. As you navigate this huge metropolis (easy to do on the excellent transportation network), keep in mind that streets are usually numbered odd on one side, even on the other. There's no baseline for street numbers and no block-based numbering system, but street signs indicate building numbers for any given block.