In May 2012, I had a chance to visit Hong Kong. Sadly, it coincided with the start of my career in advertising and I had to give it a miss.
Ever since, Hong Kong has been on my bucketlist and everytime I read an article on the experiences Hong Kong offers, my heart does a little guilt flip, while Hong Kong sits proudly in the list , waiting to be ticked.
“Hopefully this summer” I tell myself, sitting and wishfully planning the list of to –dos in this exciting destination. While some may like it for its glittering lights, carnivores may visit it for its delectable Asian palate.
But here are my reasons to visit Hong Kong this summer:
• The iconic Helicopter tour: flying over the Victorian harbour
So picture this: flying over glittering lights, gazing at ferries, container ships, coastal vessels and motor yachts. Now imagine doing this with the option of dining in the air. Due to a space crunch, Hong Kong decided to build skyscrapers and Look Up. In this tour, one can look down and see all these architectural marvels standing proudly in the city.
• To be an honorary Panda keeper:
I LOVE PANDAS! (Who doesn’t?)
Imagine getting to be a Panda Keeper and learning how to prepare pandas’ toys and meals from experts?
At the fascinating Ocean Park, one gets to relive their ‘Panda’ dreams by getting close to the animals and becoming a kid all over again!
No matter how old I get, Disneyland is Disneyland. Period.
What’s best, I can explore a total of seven themed lands at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is known for adding new attractions, including the recent addition of the “Star Wars: Tomorrowland Takeover” and the brand-new Iron Man Experience, the first- ever Marvel-themed attraction in a Disney park.
And to get the best of both worlds, one can take a ferry ride via the iconic Star Ferry to Hong Kong Disneyland.
• To travel on the Peak Tram: the world’s steepest funicular railway:
The 120 year old Peak tram is a unique way to explore the city. For the love of aerial shots and the thrill of ascents and descents, this features high on my must do list.
An exciting seven-minute journey past Central’s skyscrapers to the rooftop of Hong Kong, the Peak Tram offers photographers breathtaking cityscapes to capture and be awed. Nothing like taking this journey at sunset hours and photograph the city scenery with its 7600 skyscrapers and a magnificent harbour.
• To click the British colonial architecture from a hop on and hop off bus and the iconic trams:
For the architecture lover, capturing the colonial style buildings is a definite must do. The cheapest way to do so is hopping into a double deck tram car, known locally as the Ding Ding,
In HK $ 2.30, what ever the distance, you get to witness the British architecture spread across the city on the cheapest mode of transport.
Another option is the air conditioned Hop on and Hop off bus, which lets you explore the city at your own pace, giving you the flexibility to schedule your sightseeing at your own accord, with the record commentary in multiple languages as company throughout the journey.
• To cruise on the Star Ferry:
The Star Ferry is a 118 year old ship, on which one can get a different but a beautiful perspective on the city. From the bustling harbours to people watching on the jetty, this is one trip a daughter of a sailor wishes to undertake for her love of the sea and ships. Not to forget the National geographic rates the Star Ferry as one of the 50 places of a lifetime.
• To witness the Symphony of Lights:
Proclaimed by the Guinness book of world records as “the world’s largest permanent light and sound show”, the Symphony of Lights, which takes place every evening at 8pm atop one of rooftop bars, is a star attraction.
• To dig into Pineapple Buns:
While everyone’s favourite are the egg tarts at Tai Cheong Bakery,I plan to attack the traditional Pineapple Buns at Kam Wah Café.
Fish lover’s can head to Hong Kee and Yum Kee, both of which have over 40 years’ history, with fish ball noodles being the only item on their menu or alternatively discover their very own fish ball vendor on the bustling streets of the city.
And last but not least, Dim Sums! If you did not know, Dim Sum means ‘touch your heart’.
The go to place for Dim Sums is Lin Heung Tea House, a century-old joint that’s among the few left that still uses dim sum trolleys.
• To have a field day at the Ocean park:
For the wildlife lover, a day at the Ocean park promises encounters with a variety of animals and marine life.
With a pavilion to view the animals and the Whiskers Harbour with kid friendly rides, this place attracts kids and adults alike. When can you encounter sea lions, penguins, Giant Pandas and dolphins all in a day?
Here’s a guide to Ocean Park by Karla Around the World!
• To be amused at the interactive 3D artwork museums:
Not a selfie person really, but interactive 3D artwork museums, filled with optical illusions and vibrant photo ops are surely my kind of a thing. From optical illusions, 3D paintings to trick eye exhibits, this museum is sure to offer art, adventure and excitement.
• Shop till I drop:
I managed to get a sneak peek into what Hong Kong offers for the compulsive shopper, courtesy my sister. The things she bought were drop dead gorgeous. Hong Kong is high on style as you get the trendiest and latest fashion couture in the city. One can safely be prepared to carry an extra bag or even better, buy one there.
You might known Hong Kong as a place where one can go on a business trip, attend a conference or head out with their friends for a fun trip. But Hong Kong has all the ingredients to be the ideal family vacation.
The best ways to explore it is either through a cruise, or flying over the city or simply taking a stroll along the waterfront in Central or Tsim Sha Tsui for an even closer encounter with the city.
Another must do is to get a 360-degree view of the Victoria Harbour from the observation desk on the 100th floor of Hong Kong’s tallest building: the ICC. The deck can be reached by a high speed lift (last I took one was at the Burj Khalifa)
From amusement parks, to gastronomical delights, to fascinating museums to exciting cityscapes: Hong Kong has something for everyone.
This summer, Hong Kong celebrates 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and to celebrate this special offers are available to all Hong Kong visitors from 1st April, 2017 onwards.
So what’s your reason to visit Hong Kong?