You get a three-in-one kind of deal on a holiday to Hong Kong, with its neon-soaked city streets, rural mountain hikes and secret beaches.
Yin and yang
As both an independent territory of China and a former British colony, Hong Kong is a perfect mix of old-world Orient and ultra-modern city living, with afternoon tea thrown in. The Hong Kong region encompasses a number of small islands in the South China Sea, as well as the Kowloon Peninsula, which is connected to the mainland. And while it’s a busy, urban metropolis of towering skyscrapers and glitzy mega-malls, it’s also surrounded by jungle-covered mountains and hidden beaches. You could call it a city, countryside and beach break all in one.
Bright lights, big city
Most visitors stick to the busiest areas of Hong Kong, the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island. Kowloon’s waterfront promenade offers gorgeous views across Victoria Harbour to the neon-lit towers of Hong Kong Island – don’t miss exploring the buzzing night markets and sizzling street food stands. On Hong Kong Island, must-dos include riding the tram up Victoria Peak, its highest mountain, for unbeatable views, and lunch at one of the many lively dim sum restaurants.
Escape to the country
A trip to Hong Kong’s Outlying Islands is well worth the effort, as it shows off Hong Kong’s more Zen side – the rural yang to the urban yin. You can take the subway to Lantau island, then hop on a glass-bottomed cable car for a scenic journey over green mountains to reach the ‘Big Buddha’, a 112-foot bronze statue at the top of 268 steps. Some say he can be seen from Macau, 62 kilometres away. A short ferry ride to Lamma also makes a relaxing daytrip – this car-free island is all mountains, beaches and little fishing villages. You can even do an easy hike from one side to the other.