Hong Kong Attractions

Top things to do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Night Skyline

Asia is one of our favourite regions, we love the cultural diversity, the food, the landscapes and of course the people. And now where can you find better examples than Hong Kong, this former British colony was once China’s gateway to the west.

Now of course mainland China is a lot more open to the world, but that hasn’t diminished any of Hong Kong’s charms, in fact it has only heightened its Asian side. Still one of the worlds trading hub’s, it is a melting pot of people from all over the world. This all makes Hong Kong one of the most diverse cities in the region.

We love the place and it is one of our favourite city break destinations. We couldn’t spend more than a few days there at a time, a long weekend or a stopover on route to somewhere else is just about perfect.

Next time you’re in Asia seriously consider stopping in Hong Kong on your trip. There are loads of things worth visiting. Below are our top recommendations if you do decide to go.

The Peak

The Peak view nightime

The peak is an absolute must when in Hong Kong, the islands highest point offers a great vantage point for anyone who loves a dramatic scene. From the top you have virtually unspoiled views right across the harbour towards Kowloon. One of the world’s most famous city skylines

Getting to the top is aboard one of the most amazing railways ever constructed, the nearly impossible angle at which the train rises up over the city is an engineering marvel in its own right. And well worth taking the ride even if you are not bothered by the view at the top.

The train has been serving the locals who live in the cities most exclusive district at the top as well as the many tourists who visit for over 125 years.

This is a great day the whole family will enjoy and the only cost is the train journey up which for a city like Hong Kong is relatively inexpensive.

Temple Street Night Market

For those that haven’t experienced the buzz and atmosphere of an Asian market, we highly recommend visiting Temple street market. It is one of the best examples and glimpse into the Asian culture.

Open every night of the week, from the moment the sun sets until late. Temple street market has featured in many a blockbuster movie, you will instantly recognise it when you arrive.

This is a great spot to indulge your love of shopping, and almost anything you could possibly want to pick up can be found here, from Tea’s, trinkets, jewellery, watches and electrical goods to a fine selection of Asian traditional medicines.

The market is also very popular among the foodies of the city, and almost any type of Asian street food can be bought and sampled here.

Lan Kwai Fong

Hong Kong’s centre of entertainment, packed with nearly 100 bustling bars and restaurants this is a great place to spend an evening or two. Throughout the year there are many carnivals and different themed events that take place at Lan Kwai Fong.

Visitor a Tailor

We always visit a tailor when in the city, in as little as 48hrs you are able to pick up a perfectly tailored suit or outfit, for often a lot less than an off the peg example would cost back in Europe.

The whole process starts with picking out a design from the hundreds of magazines on offer, all the top designers are available to copy. Then you choice your fabric and get measured up. Pop back the next day for the second fitting, and the day after your finished article is ready for collection or delivery to your hotel.

Our favourite tailor in the city is Sam’s located at the Burlington arcade on Nathan road, he has been a favourite of the cities elite for several decades now, in fact a lot of the other tailors in Hong Kong are just retail shops and the actual tailoring is done by Sam’s guys. But best to go direct to the man himself.

Tian Tan Buddha

Tian Tan Buddha, Lantau Island

Tian Tan Buddha, or Big Buddha as it’s more commonly known as, is the spiritual centre for Hong Kong’s practising Buddhists, and also a major tourist spot.

The 34 meter tall bronze statuette weighs over 250 tonnes and is one the world’s largest Buddhist sculptures. If you are in any way interested in learning about the culture of the places you visit then you should pay the Tain Tan a visit.

As well as the huge Buddha, there is plenty of opportunity to learn more about Asia’s dominant religion.

Entry to the surrounding grounds is free, but to enter the Buddha does require a modest fee.

Final Thoughts

Whatever you decide to do whilst in Hong Kong we hope you consider those things above, they are really spectacular. Either way enjoy yourself in one of the world’s truly great cities.

Travelling alone

Would you travel alone?

For most people the experience of travelling is one they must share with others, and sharing such an experience can strengthen your relationship. Be it a family member, partner or friend when you travel together and share such an experience it will change your relationship all together, mostly for the good but sometimes for the bad.

On the other hand travelling on your own can have the same effect on your relationship with yourself, spending any amount of time, alone in a unfamiliar surroundings will lead you to discover more about yourself than you thought possible.

My first experience of travelling alone came about by accident on my one of my first trips abroad. Myself and a my best friend, had decided one summer to head off to the Greek islands and work our way around them. We were only 18 at the time and neither of us had ever been away without parents before. Filled with excitement and enthusiasm we heading off to Crete, were we worked outside a bar, trying to get passers by to pop in for a drink. The money wasn’t great, the hours long and the constant rejection from potential customers took it’s toll on your confidence. But we didn’t care we met tons of new people, felt like explores and it was much better than stacking shelves in our local supermarket back home.

crete greek island

Whilst there we got loads of tips about which islands to visit the best and cheapest ways to get between them and filled up with loads of ideas for the rest of our summer travelling. We spent around a month on Crete, before we decided to head off to other islands and we ended up settling on an Island we had never heard of before Naxos, were we worked for a camp site called Plaka camping. Our job was to board a ferry with a return ticket to another island, then on the return trip go up to groups of young travellers and get them to book into our camp-site. This may not sound like a great job, but it was awesome, we basically spent months in the sun, chatting up groups of young European girls. What a dream for any 18 year old boy.

Plaka camping Naxos

After spending a few months doing this, my friend had to return to the UK for family reasons, this left me a choice do I go home with him or stay? If this had happened at the beginning of our journey the choice would have been easy, I would have been on the plane with him. But I had grown a lot this summer and now had the confidence to continue on my own. So I decided to stay.

Being alone in unfamiliar surroundings, will make even the most shy of people become extrovert. And I quickly made new friends and acquaintances wherever I went.

Now I have no hesitation in travelling alone, in fact I think I prefer it. Not being tied to anyone else, not having to compromise on things and doing basically what I choose is the best way for me to travel. This may sound selfish to some of you, but travelling is so important to me, I am just not prepared to compromise.

Over the years I have travelled loads on my own, during such time I have met some truly amazing people, had some unbelievable experiences and I have truly grown as a person.

So I challenge you to do the same, pack your bags, book a flight and head off with  out friends or family, or even a plan. You will undoubtedly find it strange at first, even a little scary. But stick it out and you will have an amazing time, one you can treasure for ever. Some of you will even become as addicted as I am to travelling alone.

Sydney -Australia

Top sights in Sydney

Sydney skyline

Another of our favourite cities to visit is the Australian city of Sydney. Located in the state of New South Wales, Sydney is Australia’s most populous city and is home to nearly 4.3 million people. That’s nearly 20% of all Australians live there.

Well if nearly 20% of Australians live there then surely Sydney must be an awesome city? Well we certainly think so, and it’s no wonder that the city attracts over 15 million visitors a year (7million domestic and 8 million international).

The city is stunningly beautiful, the streets are clean, the architecture is a heady mix of colonial and modern, the climate is great all year (236 sunny days a year), and the people are fantastic.

Sydney is not the cheapest city to visit, and prices here can be high. The mix of its popularity and the strength of the Australian economy, all make for an expensive trip. Hotel prices rival any other major developed city, as do food and drink prices. A great way to make it economical is to combine it with another destination as a stopover such as Bangkok

On top of the cost of staying there, is of course the cost of getting to Sydney. Now unless you are already in Australia or maybe New Zealand, then getting there is going to be a trek. It will involve nearly 22hrs flying time from Europe. This makes getting here not only a pain but also expensive.

IF you do decide to spend your hard earned cash on a trip to Sydney, then you will want to get the most bangs for buck that you can. Do not waste money on things you don’t need to see, or are not worth seeing, use our experience of the city to ensure you get the most out of your trip you can.

Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge has to be one of the most famous sights in the world, spanning the beautiful Sydney harbour this steel built mammoth is the world’s largest steel arch bridge. Catching a glimpse of this spectacular piece of architecture is a must for any visitor to the city. Simply take a stroll along the Southern shore and or sit out at one of the many cafes and bars near the opera house, and you will be able to appreciate its magnificence.

Viewing the bridge is of course free of charge and makes for some great holiday snaps. However if you are a little more daring then consider taking Bridge climb tour, which is one of the city’s most popular things to do. Small groups of around 10-15 people have the amazing opportunity to climb to the top of the arch. Once atop the arch you will be rewarded with some truly breathtaking views of the city. The most popular and therefore the most expensive times of the day are dawn and dusk, there really is no better way to view sunrise or sunset in Sydney than from the top of the bridge. Word of warning do not have a beer with lunch before you climb, safety is paramount here  and all climbers are breathalysed before the tour starts, and they operate a zero tolerance policy, you will not be refunded if they do not allow you to climb.

Sydney Opera House

Another world famous sight that Sydney can boast is its opera house, the UNESCO world heritage site gracefully adorns the harbour. Designed to mimic the bellowing sails of the clippers that used to trade through the harbour, any trip to Sydney would not be complete without a photo.

For those who are a little more interested in the history of this famous building, guided tours operate daily, where you get to explore all of the building. Of course you can always book into to see one the shows for a remarkable evening out. Shows are not cheap mind.

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo - Sydney

We are obsessed with zoo’s we must have visited over 30 of them across the world, and Sydney’s is up there with best. Enjoying some of the city’s most sought after real estate with majestic views right across the harbour to the CBD, this has to be the most beautiful zoo we have been to.

The Australian continent is so isolated geographically, that the evolution of its wildlife and fauna is vastly different to that of Europe or the America’s. And if you want to learn more and see it up close you have to visit Taronga zoo.

Entrance to the zoo is $44aud for adults and $22aud for children, but it is well worth the cost and if you are here with your family this would be our recommendation for a family day out.

China Town

I know why travel all that way to Australia and visit a mini China? Well the Chinese and the Australians have had a great trading relationship for over 100years that this part of town is now a true part of life in Sydney. It is also a great budget way to spend a few hours.

Take a wander around and enjoying the different smells and sights of China Town you will not be disappointed. If you are there over a weekend then head down on Friday night for Yum Cha, the street market. During which you can sample food from all over Asia not just Chinese regions.

The Royal Botanical Gardens

Botanical-Gardens sydney

Sydney is a working hub is very densely populated just like any other major city. A welcome oasis form the hustle and bustle is the Botanical Gardens, which are located only a short stroll from the harbour. There are over 30 hectares of impeccable maintained gardens to explore.

Entrance to the gardens is free and you are welcome to bring your own picnic to enjoy on one of the many green spaces around the gardens. The mid day heat in Sydney can become unbearable at times, so for those who can face walking around they operate a hop on hop off bus around the gardens.

This is an outdoor attraction so make sure you are in sensible clothing, and have adequate protection from the sun.

Final words

Sydney should be on everyone’s must visit list. It really s a city that offers it all and is regularly voted one of the best cities to visit and live.

If you get the opportunity then please, please take it and visit Sydney.