If you’re flying to Europe via Asia, it makes sense to break your journey overnight, catch up on some sleep and have a quick look around while you’re there. With its compact size and 24-hour culture, Hong Kong is a smart choice for your stopover.
You probably have an idea in your head of what Hong Kong looks like: high-rise buildings that soar high above busy streets in a concrete jungle. From the moment you arrive in this fascinating city you’ll realise that it’s so much besides.
One of the most striking first impressions as you leave the airport is how efficient and modern everything is. The Airport Express train takes just 20 minutes to deliver you to Kowloon Station, or 24 minutes to Central in the heart of Hong Kong, and it’s sleek, comfortable and punctual.
As you’re whisked away from the airport, you’ll find your eye drawn to the spectacular peaks that surround the city in every direction. There are eight mountains in total, and the best-known is the one which is most easily summited. Victoria Peak rises 550 metres above sea level, but the Peak Tram will have you at the top in no time at all, with what seems like barely enough time to soak up the ever-expanding view. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping views of the entire territory. It’s a good idea to arrive just before dusk, so that you can see the city by day and then watch it transform into a lit-up wonderland as night falls.
You’ve had a good look at Hong Kong from the land, but it’s also a great idea to spend some time on the water. It’s only from here that you can really get a sense of the sheer scale of human endeavour that has been involved in creating this amazing city. Taking a junk ride will not just give you the opportunity to experience an authentic piece of Hong Kong heritage, but you may also get to see some of the lesser known corners of Hong Kong. The entire region of Hong Kong actually covers 2755 square kilometres and comprises around 260 islands, so if you can squeeze it in, it’s well worth visiting a few.
One of the most-visited islands is Lantau, home to the Tian Tan Buddha, or Big Buddha as it’s commonly known. This 250-tonne bronze figure stands 34 metres tall and you’re sure to work up an appetite climbing the 268 steps to reach it.
If you haven’t already fallen for the charms of one of the restaurants atop the Peak, you’ll be tempted by the many dining options back in the city. The local cuisine is traditionally Cantonese-inspired, but features numerous other influences as well. Roast duck is a favourite signature dishes, but you may prefer to try one of the many dim sum restaurants to sample as many local delights as possible.
No visit to Hong Kong is complete without some serious retail therapy. You can blow some serious cash in the high-end designer boutiques, or ferret out a copy of your favourite accessories in the day- or night-time markets.
If you’ve only got a couple of days to see the best that Hong Kong has to offer, unfortunately, you’re going to miss some other highlights. Whether it’s a trip to Happy Valley racecourse to experience horseracing like you’ve never seen before, a visit to one of the many beaches close by, or a hike along a portion of the 50-kilometre Hong Kong Trail, there are plenty of reasons to start planning your next flying visit.
Talk to you local personal travel manager who will help you discover plenty of reasons to visit or stopover in Hong Kong.