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Things To Do | Hong Kong

When you're in Hong Kong, you've got to visit some of the touristy places, but you've also got to leave time to experience the city and culture. The hustle and bustle of people fill the neighboring streets. Public transportation in Hong Kong via the MTR makes it very convenient to city hop. If you're not much of an underground railway kind of person, there are also plentiful taxi cabs or buses. The choice of transportation is really up to you.

During my trip, I used the MTR to get from town to town. It's fast, convenient, and very organized. The ticket buying process was simple. You simply need to pick the stop you want to end up at and the machine will charge accordingly. If you have been to northern California and had a taste of the BART before, then you have an idea of what to expect in terms of boarding the railway cabin.

The tricky part is finding the correct wing to go to when underground. The underground portion is very organized, with people going one way on one side, and people going the other way on the other side. A flat, painted line on the ground divides the sea of people. But people walk along their side and direction of the ground automatically. The most difficult part for my husband and I was when we took the wrong turn and had to go back. Imagine having to go against the crowd to go back the other way. But, you're probably thinking that we could just make a u-turn. It's all really in the timing. If done at the just the right time, it's simple to jump in and blend in with the sea of people going the direction you wish to go.

Since my husband and I stayed and the InterContinental Hotel in Hong Kong, these are some of the local sights and things we got to do that I would recommend.

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1. A Symphony of Lights (Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong)

If you're a fan of the night lights and orchestral music, then be sure to check out the Symphony of Lights show. Located on Victoria Harbor, staying at the InterContinental Hotel in Hong Kong gave my husband and I "front row" seats to the light show. We only had to do a short walk towards the waterfront (about 2 blocks). This free show begins at 8pm every night and lasts for 10 minutes, so be sure to get your camera and smart phone ready to go! Oh, and did I mention the show is free?

When my husband and I watched the show, it was raining humid rain. Other show watchers ended up leaving and returning once the rain subsided a mere 10-15 minutes later. From my experience standing in the humid rain and refusing to lose my spot, I would suggest waiting it out in the rain, but only if the rain is humid. The thing with the high humidity is...yes, I did get soaked (not drenched) when it did rain, but everything dried up within minutes once the rain subsided because of the humidity! It's times like these...thank God for humidity!

2. Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple (Wong Tai Sin, Hong Kong)

The Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple is definitely a touristy spot, but you shouldn't let that stop you from paying a visit. It is free to visit the temple, unless you wish to make a donation. There are approximately 4 stop points where you can pray and leave one or all of your incense sticks. You'll first enter the main gate and see statues of the different Chinese zodiac animals, each with a unique pose and holding an item unique to that zodiac animal.

Once you go past the zodiac animals, there are two stories of small fortune teller booths to the left. There are many to choose from and various services they offer. Some are able to do face reading, palm reading, kau cim interpretation, and more. Some are able to speak English as well. It is said that the readings of fortune tellers at this temple are accurate, so check that out if you have the time!

Parallel to this, but on the main path is an area where you can get incense sticks and light them. After that, you follow the sea of people from stop to stop and say your prayers. At the first stop (main shrine), there is an area that is blocked off for people who wish to draw kau cim sticks for specific questions they have.

Once you have finished with the incense sticks and have placed them in the appropriate collection pots, you can wander around some of the open areas of the temple grounds, one of which is the Good Wish Garden (waterfall picture). Or, if you head back towards the entrance, you can venture off in a direction that doesn't take you to the zodiac animal statues and find an area where you can tie a red string for good luck.

3. Ladies Market (Mong Kok, Hong Kong)

In Hong Kong as well as other Asian countries, there are many places where you can do some street shopping and get plenty of goodies at a great price. These places are the perfect place to shop for some souvenirs for friends and relatives back home without necessarily "breaking the bank." After all, it's the thought that counts, right?

There are all kinds of goods at this market...from bags, to clothes, to stuffed animals, to homeware, and more. And, it's over here (as well as other touristy places), where you can get a taste of the hustle and bustle of this lively country. For those of you with some bargaining skills, you might be able to put them to use (or to the test) at these street shops.

4. Hong Kong International Airport (Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong)

So you're probably thinking, "Did this girl just post that one of the "things to do" is to visit the airport?" Well, the answer is:  yes, I did! Of course, you don't need to visit the airport until it's time to leave. But definitely some of the architecture and the sea of people make for good pictures to commemorate your trip to Hong Kong (As you can see, there wasn't much to my sea of people when I left). Plus, the large windows at the waiting area makes for a good picture of the airplane you'll be boarding.

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I hope you found some of these travel sites helpful and that you enjoy your visit to Hong Kong! Are there other places not on this list that should be? Comment below!
- Nicole G.


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