Once you have decided to cross the border from China to Hong Kong, what will you do? While there isn’t a shortage of possibilities, it helps to know what to look for in Hong Kong. What’s there to see, where can you shop, and what is the best way to relax? The following are a few more top recommendations for visitors detouring to Hong Kong. At Backpacking in China we have lived, travelled and passed through Hong Kong many times.
1. Visit Nan Lian Garden
Once the ‘hidden gem’ of HK, Nan Lian Garden has come out of hiding. It is now regarded as one of the must-see areas due to its beauty and charm. Built on 3.5 hectors of land, it was designed to resemble Shanxi Province’s, Jianshouju Garden. Knolls, stones, water elements, and wooden structures have been incorporated into this exotic park. Peaceful and serene, Nan Lian Garden provides a restful retreat from busy city life and travel. Built around a centralized water feature, the park’s koi, bridges, pavilions, fountains, tea house, and vegetarian restaurant draw visitors from around the globe. Use your Cathay Pacific Asia miles card in the gift-shop and galleries to take advantage of extra bonuses.
2. Ascend Victoria Peak
Likewise, Victoria Peak provides a pleasant respite where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city. From the peak, you can see the colourful HK harbours, the jewel-like skyline, and the intricacies of the region.
From this vantage point, it is possible to take in the spectacle of China’s mountainous region to the north. It is possible to arrive at Victoria Peak via the century-old cable railway that leaves from Garden Road. If you arrive just before sunset be prepared for the vision of a lifetime! You’ll also get to see it day and night which is fab as you can tell from the photos.
3. Lin Heung Tea House
The (Fragrant Lotus) Lin Heung Tea House is reminiscent of an age gone by. From the whir of the ceiling-fans to the tattered chairs and table, the tea-house doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is. However, the house specialties provide a taste of Hong Kong long past. And, the memory of the rice dumpling, lotus paste buns, and tea will linger with you throughout your travels!
4. Temple Street Night Market
At the junction of Jordan Road and Temple Street, you will find the beginning of the Temple Street Market. Located in central-Kowloon, the Chinatown oasis stretches out along the thoroughfare. At night, the streets light up with hawkers pandering their wares. Everything from counterfeit watches to fortune tellers an be found under the tawdry light-bulbs.
5. Wander through Chungking Mansions
Located on the Kowloon peninsula, the Chungking Mansions are a contradiction in terms. Originally built in 1961 for Chinese residents, the ‘Mansions’ now house approximately 4,000 persons from such places as South Asia, the Middle East, Nigeria, Europe and America. While it is renowned for its shantytown qualities, this inner-city complex is bustling with five seventeen-story buildings that provide apartments, inexpensive guesthouses, businesses, shops, restaurants and money changers. In this haven, it is possible to explore HK to your heart’s content while buying and eating almost anything on a decent budget. Hong Kong Island on the other hand offers high end living which we’ll cover more in future posts.
With so much to see and experience in HK, detouring to this incredible city is well worth the adventure away from backing in mainland China.