Hong Kong’s premier theme park boasts roller coasters, an aquarium dome, and many rare animal species – saving time and money with an Octopus Card is also possible!
The Peak is an iconic Hong Kong tourist attraction and must-see on your itinerary. Take the famous red Peak Tram ride for stunning panoramic views of Hong Kong’s skyline! With Cathay Pacific flights adding new routes, including Christchurch to Hong Kong, it is very easy to enjoy all the attractions highlighted below.
Ocean Park is a Hong Kong staple and one of the world’s premier theme parks, welcoming millions of visitors each year. Offering everything from nature-focused exhibits to carnival rides – Ocean Park provides something for all visitors in an environment rich with natural beauty and ocean views.
Spread across an expansive 915,000-square meter surface area, the Park can be divided into two distinct sections: The Waterfront and The Summit. Attractions in The Waterfront include Amazing Asian Animals, Aqua City and Whiskers Harbour while five attractions on The Summit include Marine World, Thrill Mountain Adventure Land Polar Adventure Rainforest all separated by themed zones to provide the optimal experience for all age groups.
Ocean Park boasts several highlights, such as the Grand Aquarium, Mine Train ride (whether traditional or virtual reality), Seal Show, Rapids roller coaster – not only for thrill-seekers but even those afraid of heights!
It is best to visit The Park during weekdays or preferably avoid weekends; buying tickets online in advance can help avoid crowds while saving on entry fee costs.
One way to beat the crowds is to take the cable car that departs from Tung Chung MTR Station and offers relaxing views of mountains and seascape. Plus, its quick service runs between 10am-6pm daily for only HKD 96 per round trip ticket!
Avenue of Stars
Modelled after Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, Tsim Sha Tsui’s 3.5 km waterfront promenade honoring stars from Hong Kong film industry cost approximately HK$40 million to construct and is an ideal spot for leisurely strolling or photographing stars. First opend in April 2004, this attraction offers breathtaking waterfront views along its entire route – ideal for taking photographs or just gazing upon.
Take time to stop along the walkway and read up on each star and character name – some may be more recognizable than others! My children especially loved seeing Bruce Lee, known as one of the greatest martial artists ever and imitating his moves.
The walkway is well maintained, offering a relaxing atmosphere both day and night. Food stalls are plentiful for when hunger strikes; souvenir items are also widely available for purchase. We found the grilled shredded squid (a local delicacy) stall at the Hong Kong Football Association statue end particularly outstanding; even boasting its own shredding machine!
We particularly enjoyed observing the newly renovated statues of Bruce Lee and Anita Mui, complete with contemporary tech features like water installations. Bruce Lee’s statue now evokes his fast martial arts fighting speed while Anita Mui’s offers more sedate performance onstage performances reminiscent of her stage shows.
The new layout of the Avenue of Stars makes navigating much simpler, with plenty of food options and souvenir shops nearby. The main entrance can be found between HKFAA and Salisbury Garden on a walkway between them; alternatively you can reach it via MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui station, bus, tram or ferry service.
Tian Tan Buddha
One of the top attractions in Hong Kong, Tian Tan Buddha – popularly referred to locally as The Big Buddha – stands 34 metres tall and is one of the world’s largest outdoor statues of the Buddhist deity. Situated atop a hill with panoramic views overlooking Ngong Ping village and Po Lin Monastery, it’s one of the biggest Buddha statues you will encounter anywhere in Asia.
Reaching the Big Buddha involves climbing 268 steps, so it is best to wear comfortable footwear. A cable car will get you there faster; however, taking the scenic walk allows for more scenic views and allows more exploration. To reduce transport costs further it would be prudent to purchase an Octopus card before departing – these cards can be found everywhere throughout Hong Kong at 7-11 stores!
As a photographer, be sure to arrive early as it quickly becomes very crowded in the afternoon. I found that photographing the big Buddha at sunrise and sunset when there were less people around made the task easier.
To reach the Big Buddha, take the MTR to Tung Chung station and either catch a bus or cable car to Ngong Ping Village from there – either way will provide stunning views! There’s plenty to see around the statue as well – including six smaller bronze statues known as “The Offering of Six Devas”, depicting them offering music, fruit, flowers, ointment lamps and incense to Buddha as symbols of generosity, morality meditation zeal and wisdom.
Po Lin Monastery
Po Lin Monastery stands on Lantau Island’s serene Ngong Ping Plateau as an iconic Buddhist sanctuary. Established by three monks from Jiangsu Province in China in 1906 as “The Big Hut,” its current name was granted in 1924 and the main temple houses three remarkable bronze statues depicting Buddha’s past, present, and future lives along with numerous Buddhist scriptures. Additionally, its giant Buddha statue “Tian Tan,” built in 1993 acts as an extension of this monastery that attracts pilgrims from across Asia.
The 34-meter Buddha figure made of bronze stands at 34 meters tall and faces north, overshadowing mainland China as an influential spiritual guardian. Since his installation, its presence has propelled Po Lin Monastery into greater renown; today pilgrims and visitors flock to it regularly. Access can be gained via either taking the Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride or hiking the Shek Pik Country Trail which extends five kilometers from Ngong Ping village to Shek Pik Reservoir.
Consider taking a stroll from the Buddha statue along the Wisdom Path as well. Not only will you experience Hong Kong without crowds and noise pollution; you’ll be treated to beautiful tree-lined paths with benches along them as you discover Hong Kong’s green side! Many visitors to Ngong Ping village only visit to visit Buddha – many skip exploring more by wandering along it for just 15 minutes at most; nevertheless it would be well worth your while and worth making the effort to discover this hidden gem!
Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Experience one of Hong Kong’s premier attractions, the Avenue of Stars is a must for film buffs. Kick back alongside Bruce Lee or even sit in his director’s chair!
Hong Kong Cultural Centre’s iconic, slanted building that dominates Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront serves as home for an array of world-renowned performers and artistic events, ranging from an orchestra concert to theatre and dance shows – check the schedule to see what events are available when visiting.
Hong Kong Museum of Art is another tourist destination worth visiting, featuring an incredible collection of Chinese art. Exhibitions at this museum focus on festivals, customs, paintings and architecture as themes.
At 2 Kwu Uk Lane in Tsuen Wan, you can reach this museum easily using the MTR to Tsuen Wan station and Exit A.
Shopping is one of the main draws to Hong Kong, and you’ll discover excellent places for you to do just that all across its urban sprawl. Chung King Mansions in TST offers everything from electronics and spices to a delicious selection of local eateries – it is even a favorite lunch spot of locals!
Hong Kong wouldn’t be complete without paying a visit to one of its many temples and shrines, including Wong Tai Sin in particular, where you can light incense sticks, consult with fortune tellers about your future and witness others pray to their gods.