A Rouge Guide to Hong Kong – What To Do?

Mimi ON Sep 30, 2010 AT 2:56 pm

The Peak Tram

The Peak Tram

This city is made for convenience. Seriously, they have a travellator that takes you up street levels so you don’t have to sweat it up the hill. However, when I wasn’t revelling in how lazy I could be, I was trying my best to sample all the activities Hong Kong had to offer.

I started by popping over to the Botanical Gardens where they have a mini Zoo full of monkeys, reptiles and Giant Tortoises. After that you can nip down the hill and catch the famous Peak Tram that takes you all the way up to the peak of the mountain behind the city for some truly spectacular views. You can buy return tickets for $56 and that includes access to the roof of the building on the peak for some serious tourist snaps before heading down again. Coincidentally, when you’re travelling around Hong Kong make sure you buy an Octopus card (the equivalent to our Oyster), they’re cheap and easy to use on all sorts of public transport (including the tram) and can even be used to buy things from the local shop (7Eleven).

Happy Valley Racecourse

Happy Valley Racecourse

I managed to do the views all in one day and thought I needed something a bit more racy for the evening… literally. The Happy Valley Racecourse (one of two main racecourses in Hong Kong) opens for its racing season in September each year and is an incredible place to go if you’re in for some fast-paced fun in the evening.

I went on a Wednesday – which conveniently happens to be Ladies night around Hong Kong, meaning if you’re of the female sex you don’t have to buy a drink all night – however they also run on Saturdays. The Happy Valley Racecourse is worth visiting just to see the set up, as it’s a huge structure built in one of the most congested parts of town. It would almost be a haven if it wasn’t so busy and hectic on race nights. This is no bad thing though as half the city must cram into the stalls on big race nights and the atmosphere was electric when I went. With racing such a competitive sport in Hong Kong, it’s definitely a worthwhile tick off your cultural list.

The Big Buddha

The Big Buddha

Another of those ticks can be taken off by jumping on the MTR (the train lines that link the city and the New Territories/Islands together) and heading to Tung Chung where you can get the cable car over to see the Big Buddha. This huge statue is a model of the Earthly Mount of Tian Tan, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and is one of 5 giant Buddha in China. Make sure you head there early though as the return journey on the cable car itself takes 1hr so you need time to travel there and walk up the statue itself too. Plus if you need a break after your trip, why not head to the huge Designer Outlet Shopping Mall by the Tung Chung MTR stop. It’s got cheap (ish) designer clothes and air-con… what more could you want?

A Jaspa's Junk

A Jaspa's Junk

Another great way to get out the city is to take a ‘Junk’ out with a group of friends. These Junks are large boats that you can hire out, get sailed out to sea, supplied with unlimited food and drink and generally float around enjoying yourself in the South China Sea. I had a fabulous day on the infamous Jaspas’ Junk (which are actually known for being a bit wild, although ours was pretty chilled out). I would definitely recommend hiring a boat out, even if it’s smaller than a junk as the reefs in the South China Sea are truly beautiful.

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