Hong Kong will keep just about any tourist entertained for at least a week long trip. And I am sure that even after two weeks all of the sights will not be visited. Discover Hong Kong was an incredibly helpful sight for helping us determine where to go. I do not remember visiting a city that had such a good tourism website. They had different itineraries we could choose from based on what we wanted to see. We could choose from cultural sights, first-time visitor, already visited, and hidden treasures. They even had helpful information on what is nearby each sight and how to get to each place. I also liked that they recommended different methods of public transportation.
With Ngong Ping Village, the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, Tai O Fishing Village, a Giant Buddha Statue, and Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island provides a great full-day experience. Prepare to walk a fair amount and take many water bottles, especially on a hot day. Taking the Cable Car to get to Ngong Ping Village is a very scenic trip and a great way to see Hong Kong. While in line waiting to buy tickets, we decided to buy the Ngong Ping 360 Holiday tour with the Crystal Cabin. It cost a bit more than the other tickets, but the Crystal Cabin looked like a lot of fun because the floor was glass and the tour also took us down to Tai O Fishing Village and back up to the Monastery and statue.
Because we purchased the Crystal Cabin tickets and had to get up the mountain to get to our tour, we were able to skip the really long line of people waiting for the regular cabin cars. We would have probably been in line for an hour if we had to wait. The ride up was great. We had a great view of Hong Kong and we got to talk to an older couple from Georgia. When we got to Ngong Ping Village we got lunch before heading out to the tour. I felt like we took a step back in time when we went to Tai O Fishing Village. The buildings looked old and there were a lot of old fishing boats. It was a quaint little village, but not a necessity to visit.
Po Lin Monastery was not as spectacular as I was expecting. The actual monastery was pretty empty with only 3 statues and some decorations. There were monks walking around with bowls expecting money though. They would ding their bell and then basically put the bowl in our face expecting to put some money in. There was also a large area outside the monastery where people could offer incense.
The Giant Buddha statue was pretty impressive. It is the largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha statue in the world (they were quite proud of that fact). I am sure there quite a few statues that are not seated, or indoor, or not bronze that are larger. We had to walk up 250 steps to get up to where the statue was. The view made it worth the walk. They had a small exhibit area where they had paintings from different monks throughout the years.
I would highly recommend visiting Lantau Island. We went on a very hot day so that made our trip a little more difficult. There are enough things to see to make a whole day trip out of it. Taking the Crystal Cabin was also a great idea. Cutting the line and having a great view made the few extra dollars worth it.
Our trip to Sai Kung made for a relaxing and enjoyable day. Sai Kung was about the furthest thing away from our hotel that we wanted to do, but we decided to make the long trip out on the first full day being there. We took the Island Line subway all the way out to the end (Chai Wan station) and then took a minibus to Sai Kung promenade.
We were planning to hop on a boat and head out an island and relax. I was expecting to find a few different buildings where people would be selling tickets for different boat cruises. Instead we walked up and down the promenade/boardwalk area trying to find someone who spoke good enough English for us to buy tickets from. There were just a lot of different booths where individuals were selling tickets. We were going to rent a sampan and have someone row us around, but that seemed like an awful idea considering the heat. So we got tickets for a boat going to a beach.
We ended up at Hap Mun Bay. The beach there was great. When we first arrived not many people were on the beach. And the water was absolutely gorgeous. Perfect temperature and clear for a ways. We even walked to the other side of the island which was more remote and had even better views.
Visiting the islands near Sai Kung was a great experience. Finding a boat was a bit of a hassle, but with broken English I am sure most of the people can sell you tickets. I am sure a cruise around all the islands would be extraordinary. Finding a beach to relax at is also a great idea.
Stanley Bay and Stanley Market
On the southern edge of Hong Kong Island, Stanley Bay is a small and quiet town. The bus ride getting there was very scenic. They had many small shops and restaurants in Stanley. They also have a museum area. Repulse Bay has a gorgeous beach nearby Stanley, but we passed on the beach.
Our main reason for going to Stanley was to visit Stanley Market, and that turned out to be a great idea. They had a good selection of shops from clothing to souvenirs. We bought some art and jewelry. Stanley Market has really good prices and is a great place to look for good deals.
Victoria Peak is the most visited tourist attraction in Hong Kong. Being located on the middle of Hong Kong Island gives Victoria Peak, or The Peak, many great views. The Peak Tram takes visitors up to The Peak at a steep and rapid rate. We were going to take the Tram up to The Peak but the wait was well over an hour. With the price and wait, we decided we could get a taxi up. I am not sure if the view was good or not on the Tram. From what I saw, the Tram did not look too exciting. The taxi was actually cheaper than taking the Tram as well.
The Peak had some incredible views. We got up there just before sunset so we were able to experience the views in the daylight and at night. We were actually eating dinner at Bubba Gump’s while the sun was setting. They also have a large shopping area and many restaurants. We got a good view of the Symphony of Lights from on The Peak.
Hong Kong offers a large list of things to experience and see. We tried not to crowd too much into one week of sightseeing, so we left without seeing a few things. However, we saw many sights and had a great week. I would much rather have a relaxing and enjoyable than having to run around and see everything. You can easily find information online about almost any of the sights you would want to see. Hong Kong certainly has a good variety of things to do that will entertain just about any tourist.