Hong Kong is an incredible place! This awesome semi-autonomous city is the perfect place to get your first experience of Asia. If you’ve never been, put it on your bucket list! There are a thousand reasons why you should visit. Since we can’t write that long of a list for you, here are the top 12 reasons to visit Hong Kong.
1. It’s Sort of a Part of China, But Not Quite
Hong Kong is semi-independent. It’s basically a part of China in many ways—it flies the Chinese flag, and its officials are appointed by Beijing. Still, it has its own immigration policies, currency, and passports. So what’s the deal? Well, until a couple of decades ago, Hong Kong was part of Great Britain. Now, it’s in a 50-year period in which it still gets its own currency and parliament and everything. Culturally, it’s very Chinese. But it’s a lot easier to visit than China is.
2. It Has Disneyland
Hong Kong has one of the coolest Disneylands in the world! Sure, you may have been to California or the Florida version, but that doesn’t mean you know what you’ll find in Disneyland Hong Kong. This Disney park has a distinctly Chinese flavor, which adds to the magic of the city. Feng shui, the Chinese idea of good fortune, has been incorporated into the park. The architectural designs, good luck rocks, and waters of wealth and fortune found around the park are just part of the manifestation of this ideology. Also, nearly everything is painted red, the color of luck. The park also offers Mickey-themed Asian food. It doesn’t get any better than that.
If you’ve ever drooled over brochures and travel blogs about Hong Kong, you’ll almost certainly see pictures of the Big Buddha. This massive copper statue is actually named Tian Tan Buddha, and it’s both a tourist attraction and the center of the Buddhist religion in the city of Hong Kong. If you visit (and you should), you can pay a fee to go inside the Buddha!
4. The Beach
There are many beaches in Hong Kong. After all, it is a destination made up of islands! If you want to visit the beach while you’re there, you’ll have plenty of options. If you want to get away from the city, head to Tai Long Wan. Another great beach is Repulse Bay. Of course, there are plenty of others to visit, as well.
5. Islands to Explore
Hong Kong is made up of 263 islands, so it’s pretty much impossible to visit every single one of them. However, this also means that you have endless exploration at your fingertips! Visiting Hong Kong can be a crazy, neon-lit adventure in the city, but don’t forget to explore the outlying islands, where the pace is slower and the world isn’t crusted in concrete. Lantau Island and Lamma Island are two of the biggest and most famous.
Hong Kong has many beautiful temples. There are both Hindu and Buddhist temples, although you’ll stumble across a lot more Buddhist religious sites than Hindu ones. One of the most interesting sites is the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery, where you’ll find five temples and thousands of gold Buddha statues and figurines. Believe or not, there are actually more than 10,000 Buddhas here!
7. Tons of Cool Museums
You could literally spend your entire trip to Hong Kong wandering through the many museums. It seems like there is a museum for everything. The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is a good place to start since you can learn about the roots of the city. Don’t miss the Science Museum or the Space Museum, either!
8. The Skyscrapers
The Hong Kong skyline is one of the most recognizable in Asia, so you can’t miss snapping a few iconic pictures while you’re there. Look out for the bamboo-inspired Bank of China Tower and the tallest building, the 1,538 foot tall International Commerce Centre.
9. The Food is to Die For
From fine dining to street food, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better cuisine than you’ll get in Hong Kong. The most famous food is Dim Sum, a savory dumpling dish filled with vegetables or meat.
10. Shopping Like No Other
You can expect to buy almost anything in Hong Kong: electronics, designer labels, jewelry, and more. It’s a shopaholic’s fever dream, arguably the best shopping destination in the world. There are enough street markets to last you a lifetime, and sprawling malls bursting with deals just waiting to be found. If you’re itching for a mall excursion, check out Cityplaza or Fashion Walk.
11. Awesome Hotels
Like any major city, Hong Kong has some pretty fantastic hotel options. As in, freaking amazing luxury hotels with infinity pools and incredible room service menus. If a $15,000 night at InterContinental Hong Kong isn’t in the budget, try Mandarin International. Here, you can dine at the no-menu Krug Room, where the chef invents dinner every night according to whatever he feels like making.
12. A Cultural Adventure
The final and most important reason you should visit Hong Kong is that it is a wonderful cultural experience. There are ex-pats and immigrants from all over the world who have blended their unique cultures into the mix that makes up Hong Kong. Although the city is mainly Chinese with a dash of British, it really is its own place. You’ll never find another place in the world quite like Hong Kong.
Hong Kong may not be on your travel radar but should be. Visitors will find world-class shopping, amazing food, beaches, temples, Chinese culture, nightlife – even Disneyland! Do you need any more reasons to visit Hong Kong?